Music Consumption | የሙዚቃ ፍጆታ

Picture Courtesy of Vice

A few years back, it would have been common to see someone fogging a CD and wiping it to ensure it plays clean. Not long before that, it was winding a cassette tape with a pencil. And even further back, people were exchanging phonograph disks. But there was also a time when the only way for people to hear their favorite music was to sit across from a musician playing it.

Music has come to us in many different forms over the years. Before it was easily accessible like it is today, the nightlife was its main driver. People would gather to listen to the radio where music played. And these gatherings inevitably became parties as it is in the nature of music to fill one’s body with joy and dance.

In the 1960s, Amha Eshete observed that while music was very popular, records weren’t available for purchase in Ethiopia. He took a leap of faith importing some of the most popular international music records of the time and opening the first record store in the country, Harambe Music Store. He wasn’t disappointed. He sold out pretty quickly. He then proceeded to pave the path that would allow Ethiopian music to gain the same accessibility. He made music recorded by local artists available on vinyl for the very first time. This was the bold step that left us some of our classic oldies on record.

The technological advances that followed the phonograph disk were fast if not immediate and Ethiopia has been able to keep up for the most part. But with easy accessibility comes a vast range of options and people all over the world are making more and more music every day.

Radio and TV continue to be the most common means for people to discover music even today and some artists still rely on them in addition to digital platforms. “You hear a song play on the radio once, you may not hear it properly. You see it on the TV again and you notice that you’ve heard it before. If you hear it a third time in the taxi the following day, you might be humming along,” says Dawit Ketema from Ahadu. People are drawn to music they hear repeatedly, even if it’s not a genre they particularly like. The reason behind the Earworm phenomena is still a mystery to science but it seems to work towards the musician’s advantage. TikTok is evident of this being one of the places where people pick up music now. The “sounds” feature on TikTok allows creators to use snippets of songs.This has given musicians a platform for more outreach as the songs with the most videos tend to circulate around the platform better.

ከጥቂት አመታት በፊት በትክክል እንዲሰራ ሲዲ በልብሱ የሚጠርግ ሰው ማየት የሚያስገርም ነገር አልነበረም። ከዛም ብዙ ወኋላ ሳንሄድ ፤ የቴፕ ካሴት በእርሳስ ማጠንጠን የተለመደ ነበር። ቀደም ስንል ከፎኖገራፍ ሸክላዎች ጋር ለመታገል የሚገደዱ ሰዎችም ነበሩ።

ነገር ግን ሃንክ ግሪን እንዳለው ሰዎች የሚወዱት ሙዚቃን ለመስማት ከሙዚቀኛው ፊት መቀመጥ ብቻ አማራጫቸው የነበረበት ጊዜም ነበር።

ሙዚቃ አይነቱ በበዛ መንገድ እኛ ጋር መድረስ መቻሉ ፤ ከህይወታችን ላይ ብዙ ቦታ ይወስዳል ለማለት አያስደፍረንም። እየሰራን ፣ ቤት ሆነን ፣ እየነዳን ፣ ምግብ ቤት ውስጥ፣ሊፍት ውስጥም ሆነ በክለብ ሁሌም ሙዚቃ አለልን።

የኢትዮጵያው አድማጭ በጆሮው ሹክ በሚሉት ቀጭን ሽቦወች በኩል የሚፈልገውን ሙዚቃ እንደልቡ ከሚያዳምጥበት መንገድ ጋር አብሮ መራመድ ችሏል። ግን ሰዎች ምርጫቸውን በምንድነው የሚያውቁት? እንዴት እና የት ነው የሚያገኙት?
ሬዲዮ እና ቴሌቪዥን ሙዚቃን ለመተዋወቅ የተለመዱት ቦታዎች ናቸው።

“በስርአቱም ባይሆን ሬድዮ ላይ ሙዚቃ እንሰማለን። ቀጥሎ ቴሌቭዥን ላይ እናየዋለን። በማግስቱ ታክሲ ላይ ስንሰማው አብረን ማንጎራጎር መጀመራችን አይቀርም።” ይላል የአሃዱው ዳዊት ከተማ።

የማይወዱት የሙዚቃ አይነት ቢሆንም ራሱ ሰዎች ደጋግመው ወደ ሰሙት ዘፈን ይሳባሉ።

እንደ ኤም ቲቭ እና አፍሮ ኤፍ ኤም ያሉ ማሰራጫውች ሰው የሚወደውን የሙዚቃ አይነት መወሰን ላይ ሚና ነበራቸው። አሁን እሱ ከባድ ሆኗል። ከኢንተርኔት ማደግ እና አብረውት እንደ ዩቲዩብ ፣ ስፖቲፋይ ፣ ሳውንድ ክላውድ ያሉ ቦታዎች መፈጠር ሙዚቃ እንደልብ ተደራሽ እንዲሆን አድርገውታል።

እንደ ሺዛም ያሉት ሌሎች ደግሞ ሰምተው የወደዱትን ሙዚቃ ወዲያው መለየት መቻልን ቀላል አድርገውታል። ቲክቶክም እንዲሁ ሰዎች በሚመርጡት ሙዚቃ ዙሪያ የራሱን ሚን እየተጫወት ነው።

Popular YouTube Music Channels

The advent of the internet, and platforms like YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud and Dezzer, has made music infinitely more accessible. This has exposed the Ethiopian audience to a vast library of music worldwide. This audience now no longer has to learn of its music taste from DJ selections or Television playlists but rather from real time exposure to the music itself. Moreover, due to the range of selections available, the local audience knows what to expect of those who make music be it for quality or messaging.

The internet has also changed the way the audience communicates with artists today. The audience can easily send direct messages to the creators they appreciate or in some cases, to those they do not. The gap between the celebrated and the common people has become much smaller. In the past, artists would have to do interviews, or publish newspaper ads to market their work. But the rise of social media platforms has allowed musicians to directly and, if they choose to, daily communicate with their audience, showcasing their brands and lifestyle as well. Moreover, musicians have taken to filming behind the scenes to bring the audience into how the art is made.

The Ethiopian music market has tried to partake in the growth of these platforms in monetizing the content and utilising current trends but it doesn’t seem to be enough because creators are turning to local innovations to ensure the audience can access Ethiopian music directly while also paying dues to the people who created the music. These movements gave us platforms such as Awtar and the now-defunct ArifZefen.

YouTube channels like Hope Entertainment have been pioneers in bridging the gap between content and consumer by directly paying musicians for their content and also providing music to an international audience, in a way creating its own music market.

It might not be an understatement to say the audience is more connected to the artists than ever before in history.

ኢንተርኔት በሃገር ውስጥ ሳይቀር ፤ አድማጩ ከአርቲስቱ ጋር የሚገናኝበትን መንገድ በጉልህ ቀይሮታል። እንደ ኢንስታግራም ፣ ፌስቡክ እና ቲክቶክ ያሉ ማህበራዊ ሚዲያዎች በየእለቱ በቀጥታ ከታዳሚው ጋር መገናኘት እንዲችሉ አድርጓቸዋል።

በዚህ ምክንያት አድማጩ ከመቼውም ጊዜ በላይ ለአርቲስቱ ቅርብ ሆኗል ብንል ማጋነን አይሆንም። ከዛም በላይ ሙዚቀኞቹ ከመጋረጃው ጀርባ ያለውን በቪድዮ በመቀረፅ ሙዚቃው እንዴት እንደተሰራ ማሳየትም ችለዋል።

ኢትዮጵያዊ ሙዚቀኞች እና የፈጠራ ሰዎች ፤ ስራዎች አርቲስቱ ተገቢውን ክፍያ ሳያጣ ለአድማጮች በቀላሉ ተደራሽ መሆን እንዲችሉ እንደ አውታር እና አሁን ከገበያ እንደወጣው አሪፍ ዘፈን ያሉ ዲጂታል መድረኮችን ይዘው ብቅ ብለዋል።

እንደ ሆፕ ኢንተርይመንት ያሉ የዩቲዩብ ቻናሎች በሙዚቃ ስራ እና በተጠቃሚው መሃል ያለውን ርቀት በማጥበብ እንዲሁንም ለአርቲስቱ ስራ በቀጥታ በመክፈል እና ለአለም በማስተዋወቅ ፈር ቀዳጆች ናቸው።

እድገቱ እንዳለ ሆኖ ፤ የኢትዮጵያ ሙዚቃ አርቲስቱንም እየጠቀመ ለአድማጭ ተደራሽ ከመሆን አንፃር ሊጓዝ የሚገባ ረዥም ርቀት ይጠብቀዋል። ከላይ የተጠቀሱት ነገሮች ለእድገቱ ጉልህ ሚና ቢጫወቱም ፤ አድማጭ ከፍተኛ ትኩረት ከሚሰጠው የምእራባውያኑ ሙዚቃ ጋር ለመወዳደር ገና ብዙ የቤት ስራ ይጠብቀዋል።

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