ZIM dancehall artiste, Freeman, has established himself as one of the hottest artistes in the country, commanding a considerable following.
He is yet to scale the heights, which Jah Prazah has touched, but there is no question that he is on the right track. He appears to be an artiste who remains grounded, despite his growing profile, and tries, as much as possible, to keep himself away from controversy.
Freeman also works very hard and he is always trying to reinvent himself, exploring other areas to boost his appeal, and improve his music.
His collaboration with Alick Macheso produced a hit, which many music fans probably didn’t anticipate, and shows the versatility of Freeman.
There is no doubt that Freeman, and many of our young artists, represent the future of their industry in this country. This week, Freeman said something, which really caught our attention.
He said the music industry in Zimbabwe does not pay well and the road to success was a treacherous one.
The chanter said people had the wrong perception that prominent artistes were rich even though the opposite was usually true.
“Guys, this is not America or South Africa where you can get endorsements or buy cars and houses after waita one hit song,” he said.
“To some extent promoters are to be blamed, they don’t really value local artists, sometimes you find out that their priorities are international artists due to the amounts they pay them.
“Like recently people were not pleased with Joeboy’s performance but to my surprise that artist was paid more than Jah Prayzah.
“Here in Zimbabwe local artists are not really supported like international artists. We need to be supported and embraced here in our own country, there is no way I can be supported outside without being embraced locally.”
There is no doubt that the promoters have been giving our local artistes a very raw deal while showering the foreign artists with lots of money.
Jah Prayzah performed better than JoeBoy at their show but the Zimbabwean artist was given far less than what the promoters invested in Nigeria, who flopped terribly.
This is not fair on our artists and as a country we have to find ways of how best we can reward our artists in a way which will make a difference to their lives.
Some analysts are now even claiming that the invitation of many of the foreign artists, to perform in this country, was now being used as one way of money laundering.
They say that these promoters just give an impression that they are investing heavily in paying these foreign artists, while – in reality – this is just a process to launder money from this country.
It’s hard to dismiss such allegations especially when one sees how poor these foreign artists have been in recent months.
There is no point in us investing tens of thousands into these foreign artists when we are neglecting our own musicians.
Freeman has a point – we need to change the way we do business in our music industry.