By Ahmad Muto
Singer Joshua Baraka is arguably one of the most talked about personalities in music at the moment. However, critics, especially online, have argued that as much as his sound is much needed addition to local music, the centerpiece of his promising career is his latest song Nana.
Last week, he became the centre of conversation after it was shared that to have him perform at an event, one has to part with $2,000 (over sh7m). This animated a section of music consumers who argued that with his craft, he even deserves more while others countered that he is grossly overrated.
Then he remixed his hit song Nana with Ghana’s King Promise, Nigeria’s Joeboy, and Kenya’s Bien-Aime Baraza of Sauti Sol.
The much-anticipated, and much-hyped production dropped on Thursday, 25 2023, on YouTube and a day later, it had managed 50,000 plus views.
Recall Bobi Wine released his Nalumansi song after a long hiatus and got branded lacklustre, especially because it came from Bobi Wine, a name once synonymous with hits.
However, the song garnered over 20,000 views on YouTube, three hours after its premiere.
A month later when he teamed up with Sizza Man, Zex Bilangilangi, and Feffe Bussi on Labisa, he got 130,000 views in 24 hours.
Jose Chamleone, out of frustration, in February released a song aptly titled Gwanga Mujje after hailstorm forced him to push his concert. Two days after the song premiered, it hit over 65,000 views, 35,000 shy of 100,000, the number from which the actual count begins, at least by YouTube standards.
Joshua Baraka, one would argue is a young artiste and so the comparison is far-fetched. That would apply for the original Nana version but in three months, it has garnered 2.1 million views. Translating to an average of 175,000 views per week, and therefore 25,000 a day. Making it nominally lacklustre like Bobi Wine’s much criticised Nalumansi.
For the remix, he sought the vocal prowess of Joeboy and Bien who are much bigger brands compared to all the others mentioned here going by their global brand appeal and online numbers across the board.
Meanwhile, the Nana audio that is four months old has on 62,000 views on YouTube.
His other songs fall way behind; Mama I made it, 21,000 views in seven months, Run, 11,000 in seven months, You, 8,900 views in seven months and Angel of Mine, 16,000 views in seven months among others right up to the first song on his channel, How it feels from a year ago that has 3,900 views.
Some of his critics have argued that he has over exploited Nana’s hit status that he has failed to put out a new song.
“The Nana song in a picture after being milked by Joshua Baraka,” wrote a twitter user, while another wrote: “Joshua Baraka will milk this Nana song until Kevin Debruyne accepts Brok Lesnar is his dad.”
One of their observations was that the song already has six versions on his YouTube channel.
Take away: Social media is for hype. It is not a real place!