BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
VETERAN rapper Enock “ExQ” Munhenga has expressed disappointment over the state of the local music industry which he said was getting poorer and lacked growth due to lack of financial backing.
ExQ, who has become one of the most sought-after entertainers in the country, emerged on the music scene in early 2000s during the birth of the urban grooves movement with a hit track Musalala.
In an interview with NewsDay Life Style, ExQ said it had become difficult for artistes to earn a living due to the declining economic conditions adding that fans were no longer spending more on music.
“To be honest the music industry is not growing, it is getting worse because I remember when we started, without shows we used to sell cassettes and CDs. As for me, when I released my first cassette, I did well and I knew the number of copies that I sold and my life changed through selling music,” he said.
“Now it is hard because we rarely sell music as people are now relying on shows and few corporates, but these corporates don’t release money, if they release, the person between the corporates and the artiste would want a bigger share and they don’t want to give artistes what they deserve. So at the end of the day things are getting worse and also with our economy it’s hard.”
The singer bemoaned lack of support from the corporate world.
“Music industry is not working well because the economy is not functioning well, so it is hard for fans to spend something on music. They need to buy music and they need to come to our shows so everyone will be calculating whether or not it’s profitable,” he said.
“The corporate side is not really supportive. So if the economy gets back on its feet then the music industry will also do well.”
A father of three, ExQ said at the start of his career, he produced only two songs which he performed over a period of two years.
“I was lucky because I believe with my first song Musalala that is when my breakthrough came because soon after I started doing live shows. I released another one and then started performing the two songs for two years and from there the rest is history,” he said.
“The greatest challenge is the issue of finance because failure to sell music, stage live shows and lack of support of corporates you cannot then afford to do proper videos because they cost a lot. So it’s really difficult to do something or produce quality projects that will cross the borders.
“The issue of finance affects marketing of our music and also launching new things. All this needs finance.”
ExQ said he had a huge vision for his career, adding that he was working on finalising new projects that he has been recording before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. He expects to release the projects as an album.
He said he felt encouraged when he saw fellow artistes doing well outside Zimbabwe and being recognised for their crafts beyond the borders.
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