Jah Prayzah Gwara Album: A Few Lessons From A Well-Executed Social Media Rollout


Jah Prayzah's album titled Gwara was announced a few months ago. A successful album rollout determines whether the Gwara album will sink or swim. Jah Prayzah has been dropping hints on social media that may seem like random posts but are actually well-orchestrated marketing plans. With a few days remaining until Gwara's album release, we take a look at the strategy applied by one of Zimbabwe's biggest artists during the social media album rollout campaign. 

The album title "Gwara" is a Shona polysemy meaning coward, a path/direction, or sickness.
  

Strong prior social media presence and engagement build a strong marketing foundation.

A successful album marketing campaign is built on a strong engagement foundation with the fans and community over the previous months and years. Jah Prayzah built strong followership of about 2 million combined across social media platforms. He is constantly engaged with this community of followers across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so his marketing and sponsored posts always appear organic whether he is posting about fire outfits from a retailer, house designs, or stands for sale, and in this case, an upcoming album. He does not wait to activate his social media only around project releases. Without consistently engaging and growing their audience across social media, artists end up sounding overly promotional when they come out of nowhere to promote a new release. Fans love to support artists. They love to feel like they were one of the first fans. They like to feel like they are a part of something. They don’t like sales pitches.  

Kick-off the process by announcing the album 2 months in advance




Jah Prayzah kicked off the Gwara album rollout process with a standard proclamation of "I'm about to drop a project," on the 29th of April, 2 months, 10 days in advance. This is because the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. The audience needs to feel genuinely connected to an artist and their narrative. And this has to be built up over time, proactively. 

Tease the upcoming release with content that builds hype 


To build up anticipation and mystique around the album, Jah Prayzah constantly drops hints, snippets, and clues to generate interest and build hype, for example, the above clip of him performing a song titled Mhaka, off the Gwara album. This enables him to gauge interest and get feedback from the fans in the comment section so that when the song is finally released, fans are dying to get their hands on it. 


Focus on the narrative behind the project to drive organic engagement.

After the album announcement, Jah Prayzah used the hashtag Gwara on most posts related to the album updates to raise awareness of the album's progress. By scrolling on his Instagram you can tell the following: 

  • Jah Prayzah has finished recording the album. 
  • It will be released during his birthday week on the 9th of July.
  • The team is on a working visit in Tanzania probably to shoot some music videos or for some features.
  • We are anticipating a feature from one of Tanzania's biggest artists named Rayvanny since they have already collaborated on his album that was released in January



Release A Single

Jah Prayzah released Svovi two weeks before the album launch. Although it was marketed as a single not associated with the album, it was a great way to build buzz and get fans excited.


Brand Partnerships

At the height of a third wave Covid-19 resurgence, when touring has ceased and all-in person contact is relinquished, artists were left to become innovative and far more creative than they have ever been. 
For the album release, Jah Prayzah partnered with Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed company Rainbow Tourism Group for a campaign to launch the album 5 days earlier than anticipated exclusively on the Gateway Stream app. 

They will also stream the album launch event exclusively on this app before rolling it out to other platforms. Streaming is all the rage right now, as it has become one of the only ways for musicians to get their live music in front of their fans. 



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