Rapper Octopizzo has encouraged local artists to be unique in their work.
Speaking in an interview in Tanzania, the Kanye hitmaker said an artiste who is only famous in his or her country needs to work extra hard.
Octo said an artiste who is only famous in his or her country is not an artist despite the crowd following him.
“Even if you have millions of followers from your country, then you are not yet there,” he said.
Octopizzo praised Tanzanian musicians for embracing the Kiswahili language.
“It is not a must for artists to sing in English for them to go international, be inspired but don’t copy,” he said.
Octopizzo named a few international artists who inspired him, saying he would never copy their style.
He said local artists have a long way to go to make the world embrace their culture.
“Be unique by pushing our culture the same way Afrobeat artists pushed their music culture,” he said.
“In the next five years, people should be listening to Swahili music alone.
We have a lot of work despite the few stars. We need to push ourselves with our languages. We need to push ourselves.”
Octopizzo said he would never work with a Tanzanian artist who approaches him for an English collaboration.
“I will not agree since that is not who they are, you are copying,” he said.
He said English is other people’s mother tongue and artists should not use other people’s language to go international.
“The most streamed artists are not singing English songs. The main thing is to do good music,” Octopizzo said.
“We love Congo and South African music yet we don’t understand their language.”
He pointed out that Diamond Platnumz’s work is known internationally yet most of his songs are in Kiswahili.
“English is not a measure of intelligence but just a language like our mother tongues,” he said.
Octopizzo also called out local artists who use clout chasing to push their projects.
Such artists are hungry for attention and are poor, he said.
The artist said he does music to make money and he would quit if he got something else to do.
Octopizzo said successful artists do not need to clout chase.
“I would quit music and do it just like a hobby,” he said.
“The clout does not help me. I am a superstar but do you see me walking with bodyguards?”