INVESTING in a brand name and paying for studio time does not come cheap and some Namibian musicians are complaining that the Namibian media industry is refusing to play their music and demanding that certain artists pay for interviews.
Local artists and some experts from the entertainment industry gave their commentary on the topic.
Local musician, Hoantami explained that it has been a general practice of certain commercial radio stations to charge a fee for interviews and that some don’t even have the courtesy of informing the artists in advance.
Another local artist, Icon, stated that he too has experienced this problem, adding that he has never been offered an interview for free and is generally charged N$300 for interviews.
RnB artist, JBlack, reverberated the same concerns, stating that upcoming artists are charged prices for interviews that they cannot afford and that this practice keeps talent from growing. He added that radio stations should also clarify what criteria’s they use to accept music.
“Some stations even play songs which have not been mastered,” he said.
NASCAM CEO, John Max, noted that the payment for interviews allows artists to sell their music. “It just depends on the level of an artist. Prominent artists are not charged for such interviews and they even turn the tables and request that organisations pay them for their time. It’s just a matter of advertising,” Max said.
Namibian Media Ombudsman, John Nakuta, however, cautioned that this practice is against standard practice.
Nakuta stated that journalists are not allowed to charge for interviews as it is against the code of ethics. He added that this also applies to radio and not print.