Listen Up – Up-close with Jossy Joss

Take us through your journey a musician and what has inspired you to become a singer?
I started out in the 90’s as young boy inspired by Tupac Shakur and R Kelly. I started writing raps and blending them with RnB but in 1999, I started an RnB group with DJ Maxi-B called 2/4U which then became Reality. The group disbanded and then I started another group called Preachaz in 2000, which was a gospel Hip hop/RnB group with DJ MO and Immo.
The group then got incorporated into Dungeon Family which was Hip Hop/RnB group consisting of different groups and solo artists. In 2001, I left the Dungeon Family towards the middle of the year to embark upon a solo career and then ended up in the finals of the NBC music makers competition where I ended up taking the second spot just behind the winner, Eric Mahua who won the overall prize. I then released my first single called “The groove” in the same year with the assistance of my good friend the late Ben “BK Kamati. I then received sponsorship to record an album, but this sponsorship was revoked but the sponsor then gave me a last N$1500 which I used to record Efundula in 2002. I then performed Efundula at the Miss Namibia pageant and as they say the rest history.
I released Efundula as an EP with 5 songs which was sponsored by MTC, and it went on to sellout out 1000 copies during that December. During the same year we started of the local Castle roadshow with Shikololo and The Dogg. I released my first full album in 2003 titled “I broke my chains loose” featuring hits like Ukaadona, Oshike tashipameke, Wizeni and Ekodobolo. During that period, I started a partnership with DJ MO called Radical records which then started working with artist like The Dogg, Papa Kamps, Tangina and others. It’s during this venture that we introduced Dogg and Gazza to one another and then they started of their partnership. During the same year I then performed with Brenda Fassie in Ongwediva, Mafikizolo in Windhoek, Mapaputsi, DJ Waxxy, Positive Black Soul and many other artists. In 2004, I released my second album titled Amushe with a sponsorship from Pepsi which featured hits like Ondikuhole and Omwa wetu featuring The Dogg. I also performed as the main act of Miss Namibia as at the time it was mostly South African artists that were the main acts.
In 2003 I also joined Energy100FM as a radio presenter and spend 2004 to 2006 focusing on my radio show called The Saturday breakfast show which became one of the biggest radio shows in Namibia. 2007 I released my third full album titled Okamati Jossy which featured the hits Katutura featuring Matongo Family , Kom Ou my & Very important. During the same year I became the manager for programming and production for Energy100FM which I started focusing on until 2019. I however featured on different songs including African Queen by Kavax, Ila tudane by Fishman, Sinvula by Beast Tshasimana and many others. In 2015 I released my fourth full album titled Deep in my heart which featured songs like Kuume, Otweenda navo, ila tuye and you were not.

You have been in the music industry for over 20 years, how do you feel about the industry growth?
The growth is amazing as the quality has improved from the music production to the artwork and the compositions. Artists also have access to international artists making it easy to collaborations. The quality of videos has also improved tremendously allowing Namibian artists to compete internationally. There is also growth on the business side of things as artists are paid better and can negotiate better endorsement deals. During our time we struggled with many of these things and at times felt that we are undervalued. At times we were paid 250 for a performance and at times you were told it’s for exposure. Today Namibian artists have more exposure locally and internationally that some have better following on social media than big corporates.

With reference from when you started, how will you describe your growth in this industry?
I believe I have grown musically and as a brand that 21 years later the name Jossy Joss is still household name. My music sounds better, and we’ll structured.

What inspired your new song “Ondikuuvite”?
Ondikuuvite was inspired by Efundula as a song and wanted to create a song that I could perform alongside Efundula.

How long did it take you to compose this song?
It took us about 2hours to produce the whole song as lately I hardly write but sing what feels right.

The song “ondikuuvite”, what inspired that title, what is the meaning of this title and is it dedicated to someone specifically?
This song is for people that are facing challenges during their engagement period and putting together a wedding that many might see as a cheap wedding. It’s a song that dedicated to people that want to have a small wedding to ensure that they have a great marriage. It’s for those that can’t put on an extravagance but still love each other that they want to solemnize their love for each other.

What was/is the most challenging part of being a musician?
Pressure to perform, money and writer’s block. These can create serious depression for an artists especially if you have released a hit and need to follow it up.

What do you intend to teach, or what message do you want to send across with this song?
Love overcomes all obstacles.

With your experience in the music industry, what advice will you give to the young and upcoming artist who would like to persue their career in music?
Music is an art and practice makes improvement, so focus on what you want to create and keep working at it but at the end of it all pressure brings opportunities for all dirty things including drugs so check your circle very well.

Apart from YouTube, how else can one access your music?
The song is available for streaming and downloading on Spotify, Apple music store, ITunes, Deezer and BoomPlay.

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