Nyasha Kada, Entertainment Reporter
POPULAR wheel-spinner DJ Stavo who recently returned from a successful US/ Canada tour has penned a letter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The letter also addressed to Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube.
In the letter, DJ Stavo laments about how the music industry has been sidelined and yet it can play a pivotal role in the building and restructuring of the economy.
The well-travelled wheel-spinner suggested the nation of Zimbabwe take notes from other countries thriving from music and arts.
H Metro’s Nyasha Kada (NK) caught up with the multi award-winning DJ Stavo (DS) to discuss at depth on his letter to the President and what can be done for to raise the flag for Zimbabwean music.
Dear Sir, ( Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa)
Cc. Kirsty Coventry & Prof. Mthuli Ncube
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read my message.
The purpose of this is to bring to your attention the role of music in economic development and asking for more attention to help improve our industry.
I believe that as a country that is looking for different avenues for investors we must not forget and look into the Music Industry that I believe has been sidelined and needs to be taken more seriously.
The music industry can also be part of the biggest industries which contribute immensely to the economy.
Music is one of the biggest industries in the world and I believe it is being sidelined.
A vibrant music economy drives value for cities in several important ways.
It fuels job creation, economic growth, tourism development and artistic growth, and strengthens a country’s brand.
A strong music community also attracts highly skilled young workers in all sectors for whom quality of life is a priority.
This in turn attracts business investment. It has been proven that the music industry in other countries has helped create and sustain local jobs and contributed immensely to the local economy.
Also Music tourism can generate millions of dollars for cities every year.
Tourism assets include a city’s year-round live music scene, festivals and historical music landmarks.
Please All I’m asking for as an Artist and a True Zimbabwean that has high hopes for our Country.
Please don’t ignore the Music industry. Our Neighbors are a true example that the Music industry can also help the economy.
I’m just trying to play my part, as I’m part of the younger generation that understands keeping up with times is important.
Once again Thank you for your time and hopefully this will lead to a better music industry. #TTP
NK: What motivated you to write the letter?
DS: I have recently returned from my tour of the USA & Canada and it was a huge eye opener.
There is a lot that we have to learn and it saddens me that we are way behind yet Zimbabwe has so much talent and it is not being exported as it should be.
We find that is the cause because we do not have structures in place to help the artist.
I have been in the industry of over 20years now and I would want to see the industry growing beyond just being a hobby and that is why I decided to put pen to paper so we could get the ball rolling for a better industry so the youth can prosper.
NK: What do you think is the first step or the important thing that needs to be done with our music industry?
DS: The first major step to be taken is for us to recognise the music industry as a business (Music Business).
Then understand that the music industry is a series that outlines the framework of the business.
We need to put structures in place to protect the industry and artists ( Laws) eg. Artist Managers, Booking agents, Music publishers, labels, A&Rs and others.
I have just mentioned a few as there is way more to it.
NK: Some people would say you are an attention seeker after this letter, what would you say to them?
DS: It might seem like as if I’m looking for attention but I’m not.
I’m talking from experience from what I have seen and what I have learnt from other countries.
Truly speaking for us (many Zim artistes) it’s just a hobby, where any individual just jumps into studio, does a song, then gets it played on radio.
If it blows up in Zim then the artist gets a few shows in UK etc then that’s it.
If it’s outside of Zim it’s not an industry anymore it’s now called music business, an artiste’s career can last much longer.
The structures that are set for this music business are so different from us.
A lot of artist in Zim are quiet right now but trust me they agree with me 100 percent especially those who’ve studied what other countries are doing.
It is annoying that there is so much potential but nothing is being said and being done about it. Someone needed to step up
NK: You have travelled and learned a lot from your tours around the world, what are some of the basics that need to put in place in our music industry for it to get going
DS: Yes I have toured and for sure I have learned a lot and that is why I felt in publishing my views.
There is a lot that needs to be done and we can’t simply right them down.
It needs the correct people stepping up and hearing the views from an artiste’s perspective and action needs to be taken and putting structures in place to help us grow and protects the industry.
NK: What words do you have for major players in arts? (promoters, media and corporate) etc?
DS: First of all let’s unite and help build the music industry and get it to reach its full potential.
It is a multimillion dollar industry that needs to be taken seriously and we can all gain from it if we respect the artistes and push them to their full potential as well as the industry.
You just have to look across the borders to understand.