. You are active with your fans online and you respond well. What has been your secret to building an online fan base?
Well, I always try to respond to my fans whenever I can. And also since I got verified on Instagram, the fan base has grown. I even have fans from as far as Tanzania now.
You are one of the few artists verified on Instagram. How is that working out for you, career wise?
I have been getting a few companies asking me to talk about their products or put their products on my Instagram story and I get paid for it, which is an advantage. I also have noticed that, for instance if I make a comment on a page of a Tanzanian artist, there are people who will look and see the blue tick and with that they will come and check out my page. By just that I have noticed that my followers have increased. I even have followers from Tanzania which is cool. They are so interactive and some even DM me each time I post something.
. You engage with fans and other creatives online. How is this important to you?
In public it may be difficult to engage with fans for security reasons. When it comes to doing it online, it becomes easier. You can interact with them, joke with them. This has helped me grow my fan base. I like telling jokes a lot, so when I post some, I get to laugh and interact with my fans. Also, I now can promote my music online easier because of this.
How have you grown and built a stable brand with zero controversies?
Well there are things you can do to survive in the industry other than having controversies. I haven’t had any controversies of late. I had an issue though, where a graphics designer meddled with my singles cover and people had some things to say though to me it was not major. At some point people actually create controversy for you, but if you learn to ignore it, it won’t go anywhere.
Have you managed to get endorsements or brand partnerships with your online reputation?
No, not yet but I have been getting proposals lately. So far I have been taking time to get into it because I don’t have a proper team but in a few months, all will be settled.
How have you managed to deal with the negativity and toxicity poised at you by haters?
You know, those people are actually customers and you know what they say that ‘ The customer is King’. So in a way, they might throw in some shade and all but I don’t usually reply because its better to ignore them. My fans now are the ones that actually end up defending me in all possible ways. That shows my strong relationship with my fans. Because whenever someone tries to diss me, they always stand up for me.
We see you have become a makeup artist. How is that working for you?
I have always loved makeup and I learnt from the best, Jackie Mgido, of Vault Cosmetics. She introduced me to makeup and I actually use her brands. So working with these people is so enlightening because at the end of the day we are all artists; we live to deliver to people. It’s always interesting when I do makeup to the models. They always tend to ask if I am the same Lipsy who sings and they always get excited to have a celebrity do their makeup. And in a way, this has helped me a lot especially when I am making a video, I know what I want in terms of my makeup. Plus it’s a way of supporting each other as artists.
How important is it to be business oriented in doing music?
To be honest, it is very important. When you do music, you need to get paid and when you make music, you need money. So all that been said, you need to be business oriented. Think business. Always get someone with the expertise of business, who knows marketing. This gives you all the space and time to focus on your music as an artist since the other crucial part of doing music is being handled for you by a professional. It also moulds you into being a great celebrity.
What does the future hold for the brand, Ninja Lipsy?
Well I can’t predict the future but there are a lot of things we are working on to actually grow the brand in and out of Zimbabwe. Basically we want the brand to grow and not be centralised on music only but also venture in some other industries. I am a very talented person so the brand is going to be venturing into many industries but music being the main thing. Also I have exciting collaborations lined the so when it’s all ready, you are definitely going to be hearing about it.
Any shout outs?
Yes definitely. I would like to send my shout outs to the people I work with, Mount Zion, T- Man Mount Zion and Team ZimCelebs. Also I would like to send a shout out to artists that have been supporting me the likes of King Shaddy, Shinso, Dadza, Stunner, Lady Bee. And also shout out to my UK team especially my promoters. Shout to my family as well for being there for me always. And last but not least, I would like to give a very special shout out to my fans. I love you guys and thank you for the support.