Dar es Salaam. Music tours are not cheap to organize, but in a world where royalties are not anything to talk home of anymore, most artistes make money by going on tour, whether it is in Africa or in the West, it remains an ideal means of beating piracy as well.
And this was the case when Vanessa and Jux decided to go on their first ever tour aptly titled ‘In Love and Money’ .
After four stops the tour reached its climax over the weekend with a jaw dropping show at Next Door in Dar es Salaam with hundreds of youthful fans in attendance.
The tour had for the first time taken the celebrity couple to Mwanza, Mtwara, Dodoma andArusha where they found hundreds of fans waiting for them.
When the tour was first announced many of the industry’s big wigs were rather skeptical on how the artistes were going to make given the huge financial muscle that is required to foot the bills.
To some it was a gamble for this was the first time that artistes on their own had ventured to take their music to their fan base without the corporate support and sponsorship.
But to many people’s surprise, the shows were organized with precision, running in real time with all the major issues taken care of including fan safety and security while at the venues.
It was an opportunity for them to take their music to their fans and to experience some of their latest songs with their fans.
Jux was sharing what he has in the Love Album whereas Vanessa was offering her songs found on the Money Mondays, her debut album which was released in December plus many others before.
Speaking to the Beat Vanessa Mdee says it was a whole month of sleepless nights, always on the road making sure that everything goes to plan.
“When we first sat and thought about the whole idea it took quite while for the idea to crystallize, it was a whole new territory and for that matter we had to tread carefully,” says Vanessa who has taken a few days off.
Despite much of the attention being focused on their relationship, Vanessa Mdee says the tour was more about the prospects in the industry and not them.
“What we learnt was that as artistes it is possible to organize some of these shows because they connect us with our fans instead of waiting for corporate entities to make such arrangements,” says Vanessa.
She believes the horizon is now opening up for better things despite the issues with funding which in her view will in the long term get sorted out once corporate entities get the faith that they can put up great shows.
“We struggled with funding but that is all because some of the corporate entities wanted to see what kind of show we were going to put up. It is my belief that next time they will be the ones approaching us.”
Vanessa also admits that despite being widely travelled there are certain parts of this country that she is yet to visit.
“This was a tour full of experiences and new beginnings; you cannot believe that I had never been to Mtwara. It was quite breathtaking to see a packed stadium with adoring fans all there waiting for the performance,” she says.
The support that the duo got from the other artistes was something that further boosted the profile of the tour with artistes such as Mimi Mars, Chege, Ben Pol, Gigi Money, Weusi and many others lining up at different venues.
Though the show literally belonged to Vanessa and Jux, these acts provided the extra tonic and drama that is the lifeline of almost every tour.
What others say
The organization of the last show at Next Door was a shocker to the extent that other show organizers admit that the In Love and Money tour has raised the bar so high for upcoming festivals.
Speaking after the show, Babu Tale who is part of the Wasafi establishment which is led by Diamond Plutnumz said they had learnt a great deal from the duo.
“We are intending to have the Wasafi festival which will take us to 12 regional towns across Tanzania but what we have seen here speaks volumes and it means we really have to go work a bit harder to meet the fans expectations,” says Babu Tale.
The festival according to Babu Tale has already received some good news given the fact that Bellaire team is ready to support the festival with some of the international artiste who are on the brand willing to perform.
When people pay to go to such concerts or festivals they must get value for money otherwise they will not come back and as you know with the influence of social media news especially bad news spreads so fast,” he says.
Show goers too were equally enthused by what the pair were able to offer their audience in terms of creativity.
Aisha Mmary was in attendance at both Dodoma and the Dar es Salaam show and she admits that it was worth every coin, she cites the choreography and the production of the show as major elements that swept her away.
“There were days when Bongo Flava artistes gave us raw deals when it came to performances but this time round I saw plenty of effort being put in the creative elements of the show which is why we leave home,” says Aisha.
Her wish just like many others is to keep seeing such shows across the country because she believes it is the only way how artistes can connect with their audiences.
“We are told it is very expensive but from what I have discovered people are always willing to pay for quality things irrespective of how much it may cost,” she adds.
Though actual audience figures are yet to be released, the video images show the numbers at all the venues were quite handsome, something that future show organizers can leverage on.
But as they borrow a leaf or two from the lovebirds, one thing that is clear is that the duo have raised the bar a bit higher.