Now that the dust has settled, we can talk about this issue. What happened with the launch of Jah Prayzah ‘s new album GWARA on new local streaming platform Gateway Stream Music last Sunday is difficult not to notice, it can not be ignored and it can not go without being spoken about.
By Marshall Shonhai
For those in the music industry, Gateway does not need an introduction. They have been working for some time now to introduce a wholly home grown App where local artists can sell their music. In 2020 Gateway hosted a number of very successful events, some which I was a part of.
The team at Gateway is very ambitious and are really driven, in December 2020, they hosted the very first pay per view music concerts featuring some of Zimbabwe’s biggest names in JP and Winky D as well as Janet Manyowa.
For the rest of us, Gateway Stream is actually much bigger than the music side of things, in fact, Gateway stream music App is a baby within a family of about 9 other Apps. Gateway Stream is the leading Zimbabwean online booking platform for tourism, leisure and hospitality services. It is owned by hospitality giant Rainbow Tourism Group.
Back to Sunday.
I thought with getting exclusive rights to stream the much awaited album of arguably the biggest artist in Zimbabwe right now. Gateway had really scored a first and staged a real “coup d’état”. For a whole week GWARA was going to be exclusively available on GATEWAY STREAM only! ITunes, Amazon, Spotify, YouTube and all other Online stores were only going to carry the album after 7 whole days!
The hype was there and people were ready, fans and otherwise included. One thing is certain whether you like Jah Prayzah or you don’t, you can not ignore him, he is that much a force.
So, Gateway had done their homework on how to bring the numbers to their platform and they must be commended for pulling that off, that an artist like JP can give them such exclusive rights!
Sunday came and people were ready and the last thing that Gateway stream, the Jah Prayzah camp and fans alike would have ever wanted to happen, happened. The system crushed!
I was following the reactions of fans and various other steakhouses in the music industry on various social media platforms and trust me, it was bad, the backlash was serious, the fans were not amused at all.
The artist had no choice but to turn to traditional platforms like YouTube, to make the album accessible to his fans, he cannot be faulted for that.
Gateway had faith in there platform but the sheer demand for GWARA was too much for it. I felt for them and I understand them, I have been in that place before, if you are in the entertainment industry you will understand what I am talking about, anything and everything that can go wrong will go wrong! Murphy’s Law!
Gateway and Jah Prayzah (JP) had a deal and they both must meet their obligations to each other. GWARA must still be launched with a JP performance exclusive on GATEWAY STREAM! Some might have been put off but Wagwizi’s loyal fans will have to be on GATEWAY again tonight at 7pm to catch their man in action and trust me, you won’t find the performance anywhere else.
This is a chance for GATEWAY to prove that they have fixed Sunday’s problem and that they are in the music industry to stay! This is their opportunity to show that they can deliver, they have been given the proverbial “second bite of the cherry” and frankly, its make or break for them.
I honestly think we should give them a chance, i believe in their vision and I know they have the resource to backup that vision. No need to throw the baby away with the bath water here. Sunday was bad, granted, but we all deserve a second chance right?
GATEWAY STREAM MUSIC, the ball is now in your court!