South Africa’s Lira recently opened up about her struggles in the music business, saying African artistes have limited access to African music because radio stations mostly play local music.
In an interview ahead of her concert at the Harare International Festival of the Arts last week, the ‘Phakade’ singer said the issue of royalties made it impossible for radio stations to play African music.
“It has to do with the issue of royalties because there are no systems in place to monitor the radio stations. As Africans, we have limited access to African music and this is why I don’t know a lot of Zimbabwean music,” she explained.
Asked if she would love to collaborate with Zimbabwean artists, the delectable songstress said she was ready although not enough African music was available on digital platforms.
Born Lerato Molapo, Lira put up a flawless show at HIFA 2018 on NetOne Day.
She said despite all her achievements, she has not yet arrived.
“While evolution is a constant reality, my best is yet to come as I don’t believe I have seen my greatest breakthrough yet,” she said.
“I shall continue to aspire to my highest self as I do what I love. Pursuing one’s passion and make a living from it is something I don’t take for granted.”
Lira also urged fellow artistes to work hard and improve their art despite lack of adequate resources because “when things are limited, that is where greatest opportunities lie”.
Lira said she had been fortunate in her musical journey not to have experienced abuse at the hands of male promoters, although she had been “financially exploited”.
“There was some sort of vulnerability coming in the industry. Just feeling like a woman, I was vulnerable. You know we are open to a lot of male attention and things like that, but it’s also surrounding yourself with the right kind of people and that gave me a sense of security in the industry,” she said.
Lira, who said she had been to 22 African countries, described Zimbabwe as “the most resourceful of African nations”.