When does an artist stop being considered “upcoming” in Malawi?

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Pop Young

The debate around who qualifies as an “up and coming” or “budding” artist has sparked discussions in Malawi’s music scene. The term is often used to describe artists who are relatively new to the industry but are gaining recognition and building a fan base.

According to Malawian radio DJ Joy Nathu, an upcoming artist is “one who has joined the industry and is slowly rising the ranks by getting noticed with their artistic work.” They are also in the process of developing an established fanbase.

However, TV presenter and musician BlakJak (Fatsani Kalonda) believes that an artist cannot still be considered “upcoming” after releasing an EP or album.

He explains that following the release of a single that put them on the map, winning an award for “best upcoming artist,” and performing in multiple national and international shows, an artist should no longer be considered “upcoming.”

BlakJak also emphasizes that being an “emerging” or “rising” artist is not dependent on one’s age. 

This perspective aligns with the general definition of an “upcoming artist” in the art world, which typically refers to an artist who is relatively new to the scene but is gaining recognition and momentum in their career.

The debate was sparked by a confrontation between artists Phyzix and Pop Young, where Phyzix’s statement portrayed Pop Young as an “upcoming artist,” leading Pop Young to question this depiction.

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