Hope for Nam Music in the States

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Some valuable ideas on how to promote Namibian music in the United States in particular were last Wednesday given to the local fraternity during a live video conference by an American expert. An American legal expert on music and copyright, Doris Long, shared her views and ideas on how Namibians should go about promoting indigenous music in the world’s biggest music market. She was advising a panel of three Namibians conversant with the local music industry and copyright issues from Chicago, John Max, director of NASCAM; singer Jackson Kaujeua and Edward Kambua, as well as industrial property rights expert in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. “To me the greatest tool to promote Namibian music in the United States is the internet. However, other ways of going about it is to avail at least one song or tune to an American radio station – not a whole collection of CD’s. The more the American public hears your music, the more they will buy into it,” said Doris Long via a rather unsatisfactory connection in response to a question put to her by Jackson Kaujeua. The director of NASCAM, John Max, proudly informed the American guest that his organization represents the interests and copyrights of 1ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 200 Namibian musicians, composers and authors of music. “We have already joined up and affiliated to other African music protection umbrella bodies, but also do so in America, even though we are still a small organization. Piracy and the promotion of Namibian music internationally remain two of NASCAM’s biggest problems, yet the local music market is growing in leaps and bounds,” said John Max, who admiringly referred to West African music that already has a strong footing in America. Doris Long admitted that it is a long and uphill struggle for foreign musicians to penetrate the American music market without the necessary contacts. “I suggest you also make use of the American Embassy in your country in promoting and selling Namibian music in the States. In the meantime I am pretty confident that, with the necessary promoting structures put in place, Namibian music will take off in the United States,” Doris Long said optimistically.