Gospel artiste Pastor Charles Charamba says challenges being faced by musicians due to the Covid-19-induced national lockdown should inspire deep understanding about the advantages of new information technology and investment.
Musicians largely depended on live shows, but the lockdown has turned the tables and brought in a new phase that calls for virtual interaction and dependence on other forms of investment as sources of income.
In an interview about the challenges and lessons he has faced and learnt under the current dark cloud engulfing the arts sector and many other facets globally, Pastor Charamba said the disadvantages at hand should bring out positive mindsets for betterment of careers.
He is among artistes that have embraced online live shows as a way of maintaining interactions with fans. In addition to the live performances, online music sales and advertisements have become common ways for musicians to reach out to their fans.
While other artistes have extended begging bowls in this challenging time, Pastor Charamba said he is privileged to be among musicians who have managed to use their talents as springboards to many avenues of investment and income.
The musician said he still manages to financially support members of his Fishers of Men group despite absence of live shows. He said he manages to get income from his other investments to keep his basic expenses covered.
“This era has taught us a lot as musicians. We have traditionally depended on live shows as our cash cow and many of us have been badly caught up in this era of minimised movements and prohibited gatherings,” said Pastor Charamba.
“The use of technology for various non-personal interactions is now a need of great importance. Musicians should embrace technology and realise that there are many other ways of operating in this era. Those who remain resistant to change may lose relevance.”
Pastor Charamba said they are currently doing most of their online shows as a social responsibility gesture.
“We understand that most people that are supposed to sponsor live online shows are channelling resources towards the fight against Covid-19. We also understand that most of our fans have depleted income and we cannot commercialise most of our performances. However, after this era, a lot will have changed in the way musicians treat online interactions with fans. This era has taught us a lot.
“On the issue of investing in other forms of businesses, I believe there are a number of musicians locally that have taken that area into consideration.
“Gone are the days when musicians can live solely from shows and music sales income. There is need for other sources of income that can be developed from what we generate from shows and music sales.”
The singer also spoke about the importance of setting up personal studios that musicians can utilise without limitations.
“There are a number of musicians that now run personal studios at home. Such investments are important because of flexibility to create without having to travel from home. Of course, there is a lot of education and information that is needed for personal music production, but that is another era that has kept some musicians doing own recordings during this lockdown period.”
Pastor Charamba said access to the Internet and online lessons should help musicians sharpen their skills through tutorials offered by international music experts.
He said musicians who take lessons from the challenges they are facing in this era will come out of the lockdown wiser and more informed.