Young Peter Moyo has lambasted record labels for their insincerity in dealing with music sales.
Report by Silence Charumbira
Peter claims he has sold around 10 000 copies of his debut album Mushonga Mukuru, released less than a month ago — a figure that he says would have never been mentioned had the distribution and marketing been handled by a record label.
“We sent 7 000 copies on the first batch, which were all sold and we have since put a further 6 000 copies, of which we will know on Monday [tomorrow] how many have been sold,” said Peter.
The young musician said he had already pocketed US$14 000 from the music sales, as he was selling the CDs for US$2 each.
“I paid for all the costs and production has cost me only US$3 200, implying that so far I have already pocketed a US$11 800 profit,” said the elated Peter.
But he does not have any kind words for record labels.
“I asked myself why record labels were scrambling for my signature when music sales were so poor and I realised they could be hiding something,” he said.
“These companies are never sincere with the contracts they make musicians sign. There is really no way you can keep track of the music that has been produced.”
He said he simply counted all the venues that he performs at countrywide and distributed the 7 000 copies among them in the first two weeks.
Music sales have been adversely affected by piracy, thereby condemning recording artists to poverty and the burden brought by the high cost of living.
Over the years recording has in some instances become even costly as artists make huge losses after failing to sell any music.
Diamond Studios, one of the biggest record labels in the country say their best-selling artist currently is Sulumani Chimbetu with his latest album Syllabus.
According to an official at the company, Sulu sold just around 3000 copies in two months, making Peter’s achievement quite remarkable.
Peter says he will forever be grateful to one drunken reveller who advised him to market and distribute his music alone.
The stranger came to his car at Checheche and advised him in a drunken stupor to shun record labels.
“Munhu ieye anondigwadza mukoma. (That man pains me a lot my brother)” said Peter.
“He was visibly drunk but I just respected his approach.
“He advised me to market and distribute the album on my own giving an example of himself, a cotton farmer who has not been making any profit despite growing a crop that should be profitable.
“He said he had to sell his beast so that he could start buying inputs. I look for him each time I am in the area so that I can thank him by replacing the beast that he sold.”
“I am grateful to that man and I have been looking for him so that I could buy him the beast he sold as a way of thanking him but I cannot find him.