Help with streaming-only artist Samidoh

Most of my editing has been on physical releases, but I just came across a popular Kenyan artist named Samidoh who was not listed in MB, so I added him. He has only released singles, and for most I have so far only been able to find YouTube videos.

Ndiri Mutwe was his first release. I could only find a YouTube video which I added as a standalone recording. However, he does refer to it in an interview as his “first single” - would this be better done as a release? Any best practices around youtube-only releases?

A later release Murata Wa Ngai is available as an mp3 from amazon as well as on youtube. I added it as a single, linked to both amazon and youtube. I have a couple of questions here:

  • The video was posted in August 2019; the Amazon page shows May 2 2020 as the release date. Should this actually be two releases, with their own release events? Or a 2019 release that just started being sold on amazon later?
  • On Amazon the label is listed as “Newwell Music” which appears to be this distribution service, somewhat similar to distrokid, I believe. Is there a consensus on whether these should be treated as release labels?

In general, Amazon release dates cannot be trusted.

The line between a single and a standalone track is very thin. Can you find any cover art? With cover art it is definitely a single, but if the artist himself calls the track one, I’d just enter it as a single as well.

I’m not familiar with Newwell Music or distrokid. I think the traditional paradigm of a label releasing an artist’s records just doesn’t work very well with artists like this. These companies could be nothing more than an agency providing some legal representation for the artist towards digital stores, but they could also offer more complete packages (like a studio, some promotion, the works). It’s really impossible to say as these companies often don’t even have a website.

In this case, the video is another recording with the video attribute and you can link them with the music video relationship.

I haven’t been able to find cover art (except for the few tracks that are on amazon). I don’t know much about the Kenyan music industry, but it seems like ringtones/ringback tones are big there; there’s a platform called skiza and many videos advertise a skiza SMS number. If that’s the primary means of distribution then cover art wouldn’t matter much, I imagine.