The last decade has seen the rise of many music video directors and makers, of whom some have since fallen to ashes and disappeared from the scenes.
This battle to stay at the top has seen only the industry’s best staying at the top and producing most of the local quality products at higher costs.
As a result, musicians who are still struggling to make and keep their coin are flocking to cheaper producing companies who do their best to bring out the worst music video quality.
Speaking to Vibe this week, a few music video directors and industry gurus said local artists should not compromise their art with cheap and low-quality music videos and that investing money in a good video leads to more exposure.
Ogopa Butterfly founder Sula Kyababa has said, “Unfortunately, the music industry is the most expensive industry, the cheaper you go in it, the longer you take to get where you are going. So, if you are going to come into the industry with your pockets dry, then you are going to stay on that level for a very long time.”
Sula further noted that there are many artists who have been in the industry for many years and have shot 10 music videos so far instead of releasing few good ones.
“If you have saved that N$100 000 and shoot three good music videos, you would have been somewhere. It is about preference and choosing what you want, you can shoot so many videos worth N$4 000 to N$5 000, but do those videos compete in the industry?” he stressed.
Sula, who believes that a few musicians need to pull up their socks to get the best quality out on the market, further emphasised that a good producer comes with a price tag while a good studio also comes with the same including a sound engineer.
“You can have three talented artists and give them different studios to record into. The one who will work with the best producer will leave the rest behind, unfortunately. That is why some people fly to SA to record, why is Gazza’s production good, because he produces with the biggest producer in South Africa.”
“I don’t understand an artist who would pay to produce a whole album which will cost them almost N$30 000 but fail to do one video, it's wrong choices,” Sula said.
He then advised upcoming artists to refrain from rushing to produce a full album saying that a single determines the musician’s success and not an album.
“How many people release albums and don’t go anywhere? You’re new in the industry but your running to drop an album,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ogopa’s standard price is N$20 000 for a music video.
Edward Osman aka Sodo, the owner of Basement Films also corroborated on Sula’s comment saying that a good quality music video requires a good cheque, however, he noted that pricing depends on the requirements.
His standard price is N$5 000.
Owner of Reggie films, Undjee Reggie Zaire said, “You will find people that can shoot a video for N$1 000 or N$2 000 but it is not really something you would be happy with. Many artists are really unable to afford a good quality video and therefore, I always try to get something good out of the package that the musician has chosen.”
Reggie, who said artists struggle because there are no consistent shows, further told Vibe that his lowest price is N$3 800.