‘COVID-19 has left artistes destitute’

BY KIMBERLY KARIATI

WARREN PARK-BASED hip-hop singer and producer Noble “Antonio” Furusa said financial constraints worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic had choked careers of many local artistes as they are struggling to afford decent lives.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Furusa said it was disheartening that artistes who entertain and educate society through their music were leading miserable lives.

“Most up-and-coming musicians have good projects in the pipeline, but financial constraints linked to this COVID-19 have also cramped them and are unable to see them through. Some complete them, but the returns they get cannot guarantee a livelihood because music no longer pays,” he said.

“This is where issues of piracy and royalties come in. Some even end up giving up without being recognised for their craft. Zimbabwe is blessed with talented musicians, but most are not able to make it large due to lack of recognition and exposure.”

The 24-year-old singer said he drew his inspiration from the ghetto setting he was raised.

“Growing up in the streets of Warren Park, I had a passion for art such that I had to learn more about music and production from my brother, Mclyne Beats, who has also mentored me to be a good sound engineer at his studio here in Warren Park,” he said.

“I believe that the purity of art will soothe the soul and give comfort to the restless. It is through art that one might find answers to questions which they seek answers for. So, this passion steered me till where I am today.”

Furusa said although COVID-19 had affected some artistes, they had shown resilience under difficult conditions.

“Though artistes are faced with many challenges, from my experience working with the likes of R Peels, Mclyne Beats and Pro Beats the industry has immensely grown. I think the music industry is expanding,” he said.

“We are seeing a lot of young talent out there, who are able to make good music such as Kae Chaps and others an indication that Zimbabwe has got a lot of talent. All that is needed is support and measures that protect the rights of artistes so that they take the industry to greater heights and be able to sustain themselves.”

Furusa said he recently finalised recording his extended play titled Colours and Lost in Love which features fellow hip-hop artistes.

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