The audience effect!

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The audience effect has also led to the rise of the one-hit-wonder sensations, which elicits the “bubble gum effect”.  It means that like bubble gums, some one-hit-wonders can lose taste and their vibe, especially with regard to music.


When an artwork is created, the expectations from the artist (creator) are appreciation from the audience. With the introduction of information communication technology (ICT, there has been an increase in the level of criticism from the audience to the artist through likes and views. This is usually visible in the comments section where some artists receive criticism which may demotivate them, while in the other cases the criticism actually pushes them to higher levels.

The audience effect has also led to the rise of the one-hit-wonder sensations, which elicits the “bubble gum effect”.  It means that like bubble gums, some one-hit-wonders can lose taste and their vibe, especially with regard to music.

One of the greater truths is that for many artists — in as much as they try to be original, it is a huge struggle for them to gain traction. This is due to the fact that the audience might not appreciate their art work. The audience effect can also demotivate an artist to a moment of real artistic depression when one may even want to give up.

The advice to the artist is to never play around with a moment of depression as these are real issues that affect a lot of people in the society. This raises the rhetoric of whether the artist creates for the audience or the audience is created for the artist. This means that artists must have the ability to craft art works that are enmeshed in depth, and also tell a story that is relatable to everyday happenings. This story must relate to the audience.

Audiences are the ones that also bring in the money for the artists.  They are the means of survival for artists through appreciation of the art work. The audience is the crowd factor which at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic has been highly discouraged due to it being a risk contact zone for the spread of the virus.

This has, thus, led to many of the artists being affected economically as art was a major means of survival through performances and showcases. We have heard of sad stories of artists now selling tomatoes or pleading for help as there were no audiences to support their work during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

What it means is that art should be a calling, and artists need to find other means to make an income in order to survive through hard times, and in order for them not to give up art because the audience is not able to support them financially.

The audience effect has now become virtual and views and likes are becoming central.  But these views and likes have created some scenarios where some artists inflate them in order to achieve greatness. Views and likes have resulted in social media celebrities — some of them are masquerading as people in the arts sector, but are posting things that really do not benefit society.

The audience effect has to focus on the quality of the art work. The quality of the art work is based on the artist understanding what the audience needs, and that artists and audiences have a relationship that is mutually based on taste and approach.

In essence, it is for the artist to be able to come up with fascinating art pieces in order to be able to wow the audience.  We have musicians like the late great Bob Marley whose music was churned out in the 1970s and 1980s, but 40 years later it is still being appreciated because of its depth.

In Zimbabwe, there are several artists like the late Chiwoneso Maraire, the late Oliver Mtukudzi, Lovemore Majaivana, the late Dorothy Masuka, the late Andy Brown and several others whose music still lives on because of its appeal to the audiences in the early 2000s and even now.

Audiences are never satisfied, and they have to be constantly fed with good and highly creative art works. The artist must never forget to edutain, which is to critique the different social ills and problems affecting the country in order to make their art relevant.  It is also imperative to speak of the good and promote peace, love and harmony through music, sculpture, poetry, story books, dress designs and other forms of art. The artist and the audience have a cat and mouse relationship, which is sour yet very sweet because in it, the artist has to sweat out by creating impressive art works, and the audience has to support them for their survival.

  • Raymond Millagre Langa is a musician, orator, writer and the founder of Indebo Edutainment Trust. Follow Millagre Ray Langa on Facebook, Millagre Ray L

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