Msaki goes live under lockdown

BRINGING IT: East London singer Msaki will have a live session in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Jazz Festival on Facebook
BRINGING IT: East London singer Msaki will have a live session in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Jazz Festival on Facebook

It may be an unusual time with some people left feeling like their hands are tied, but for East London singer Msaki the show is going on against all odds.

Msaki is among the SA artists who have adjusted and put social media to good use by holding virtual sessions for their listeners.

Though under lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the singer remains booked and busy.

It had taken  realising the importance her music and presence played in society to get up and make do with what she had, she said.

“Before anything else, I’m a musician who is called to comfort and encourage, so it’s only natural that I would be available at times like this.

“Yes, we need to get paid but at the end of the day we have songs that came to us as gifts, and these songs need to be available to soothe and comfort people so that they don’t feel alone, whether there is a cheque or not,” Msaki said.

The singer is booked for a live session with the Eastern Cape Jazz Festival Virtual Concert on the festival’s Facebook page on April 22 from 8pm.

This, after a live lockdown session on 5fm with Nick Hamman on April 21 at 10am. 

The past week has been eventful for the singer who performed on the Sweden South Africa Live Connection on Facebook Live on Tuesday evening, followed by another session with Naked Insurance on the same night on Instagram Live, and a Songs and Stories session with singer Zolani Mahola on Instagram Live on Thursday.

While some were paying gigs, others were free, Msaki said.

“My schedule is mixed between free shows that I do because I'm available and gigs that I get that pay.

“When people and brands see that you are doing something, they approach you and want to collaborate.

“In my case, because I decided to show up and be there for people emotionally, despite being overwhelmed by the situation myself, brands showed up for me financially,” she said.

With many people facing financial constraints due to the lockdown, most artists avoided charging viewers for the virtual shows, but all one needed to do was ask, Msaki said.

“The other thing is that we don’t ask.

“We avail ourselves and our art to be there for people emotionally during this time, and if we just ask for financial support on our side, there are people who may be willing to pledge something as they would with our physical concerts.

“So, set up a show and ask your supporters to purchase tickets online to support you,” Msaki advised.

Eastern Cape Jazz festival founder Mlindi Ntloko said he approached Msaki in a bid to sensitise and  educate local community members through infotainment.

“It is important at this time that we show our community members that we are at home and individuals such as Msaki — one of their favourite artists — are at home, obeying lockdown regulations.

“Through this, we can motivate the public to endure and stay home,” Ntloko said.

Msaki said she would share some of her old and new music during the Eastern Cape Jazz Festival Virtual Concert.

Follow Eastern Cape Jazz Festival and Asanda Msaki Mvana on Facebook for the concert.

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