Booking shows is Kenyan artists’ main source of income. Record sales have gone down but, though we know that paid streaming is what will save the situation, it’s growth is slow. That’s why the musicians need to look beyond just touring. Merchandising thus becomes one good way to monetise that your brand.
Kenyans artists sell tee-shirts and go around saying they have launched a clothing line. We must thicken the line between clothing line and artist merch. While merchandise are but an extension to artist brand, clothing label is stand-alone and the artist may only step in to market and endorse the product. So it’s quite important that musicians focus on creating a good merchandise project, though this only applies to those who have a developed fanbase.
Sauti Sol have have leveraged depth of their fan-base to sell variety of merchandise. You as a musician, you can too.