THE TRANSFORMATION OF MUSIC 20 YEARS INTO DEMOCRACY
By: Nomahlubi Radebe
During apartheid, music and fashion were thought to be rooted in South African townships. 20 years into democracy and music has changed drastically; be it the style, genre, lyrics or dress sense.
Prior to1994, music had depth and meaning. It was a cry for help and freedom. Music gave hope to people who were constantly reminded of the struggle. At times, it was music that helped people rejoice and forget about the struggle. Furthermore, people were in the music industry for the love of it and out of selflessness.
Music back then really did come from the heart.
Ironically, there are some who say that music hasn’t changed at all after 20 years of democracy. “Nowadays music is just old lyrics made new by adding a beat,” says 35-year-old Melissa Fynn.
“The dress code hasn’t changed much too. It’s just that before democracy certain groups of musicians barely wore anything, and today almost all artists barely wear anything,” added Fynn.
Either way it is very much evident that music has changed drastically and will continue to change since the world is revolving.
Furthermore lyrics are thought not to make sense anymore. “People are no longer singing to empower or give hope but are now doing it just for self-gain and fame,” said Celest Heeralal, a teenager.
Twenty years into South African democracy and music has gone from giving hope to the hopeless to demoralizing women, giving the upper hand to men and corrupting the youth.
Instruments are more advanced, language used in lyrics is more vulgar and people in music videos (especially women) wear extremely revealing clothing.
Lyrics are about drugs, sex, alcohol and parties and if music was the light and hope for people back then, it now depicts a shocking moral decay in society.