Interview with Mercenary, bestselling Cable Tunes artist of all time ‘This award shows people are buying and streaming my songs’ | 14 January 2020
Mercenary has been awarded bestselling Cable Tunes artist of all time for selling the most Cable Tunes for the last decade and bestselling artist for 2019.
This was during the 10th much-anticipated Cable Tunes award held on Saturday where the top artists on the Seychelles music scene were rewarded.
Seychelles NATION caught up with the artist for an interview about his successes and challenges throughout the years.
Seychelles NATION: Were you expecting to win the 2019 award for best selling artist?
Mercenary: I’m happy because this award is based on sales and this shows that people are buying and streaming my songs. I was not expecting it though as many artists put out good music last year, so the win came as a surprise.
Seychelles NATION: Since the beginning of your career how many albums have you released?
Mercenary: Since I started my solo career I have released nine albums. Before that I was in various groups where I worked with Jahrimba when he featured me on one of his albums while I was still in high school.
Seychelles NATION: Now that a new decade has started, will there be any changes in your music style?
Mercenary: As an artist I believe that you grow along with your music and develop a more mature sound but the message stays the same.
Seychelles NATION: Do you feel that Seychellois artists can make a living off their music?
Mercenary: An artist here in Seychelles will not be able to make a living just by releasing albums, they would have to be able to perform musical shows. In the beginning it won’t be easy as you would have to gain exposure and establish yourself as an artist with a loyal fan base but I do believe that an artist can live off their talent.
Seychelles NATION: What is the influence behind your musical style?
Mercenary: The inspiration behind my music is mainly reggae, dancehall and artists like Vybz Kartel.
Seychelles NATION: Are you planning to go more global with your music this decade?
Mercenary: I’m not planning to go global but if it happens then it happens. My main focus right now is catering for my fans on the island and within the region.
Seychelles NATION: Do you think it’s easy for Seychellois artists to gain international exposure?
Mercenary: It’s not easy as you need the proper contacts to do it. Here in Seychelles, we lack the proper channels to go through as not much is being done to showcase our talent to the international audience. I believe that artists need to go out and deliver to show people what they’ve got in order to make a name for themselves.
Seychelles NATION: What are the main challenges you face as an artist?
Mercenary: One of the main challenges we have would be piracy as it affects our album sales. There are many obstacles when it comes to being an artist, you have to be able to do everything on your own as there is no blueprint, but if you love something you have to be determined. Whatever hurdles come, you have to strive to overcome them and just never give up because if you don’t believe in your music no one else will.
Seychelles NATION: What advice will you give to the artists on the rise?
Mercenary: They need to believe in their music and have a certain type of discipline in order to make it in the music industry.
Seychelles NATION: Do you feel that music associations in the country are doing enough to support local artists?
Mercenary: I will not be able to comment as I do not interact with the association but I will say that you cannot depend on that as music is a career and you have to spend money and invest in yourself.
Seychelles NATION: Will we be getting an album from you in 2020?
Mercenary: We are still deciding if we are going to release an album or a single, we haven’t decided yet but I will be doing a show this year.
Interview conducted by Christophe Zialor