AFRICAN MUSIC #5: Music in Africa – Getting creative and proactive in this changing decade

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It’s obvious but not evident to everyone. Music from Africa has a lot to offer to the world, however not too many business’ eyes are on the ambitious project of making this big.

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There are though, organizations and people that make the exception. Let’s take a look at two….

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‘Africa unsigned’  is a joint initiative by producers, artists, music promoters and managers who believe in the future of African music. Currently there are approximately thirty people involved across the globe. They have presence in Europe, in South Africa, West Africa and in East Africa. It possesses an Amsterdam based website and uses crowd-funding, the known method which allows people to pool their money online to raise money. The funds are directed to African and Africa diaspora musicians that you cannot find in record stores, commercial radio or local versions of MTV. Most of the site’s visitors are from Europe and America, but now Africa Unsigned is targeting the continent. They’re targeting mobile phone users. Kenya is one of its firsts targets for revenue reasons.

Music in mobiles is unique here in Africa because there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes!! Sounds funny, but it’s true. People like music and mobile is one way they can take their music with them wherever they go. Since not so many people have Internet on a computer, and more have access to Internet on their phone, there is a huge opportunity.  This has given rise to content that consumers from the African continent might really start to like. It is to these growing consumers that we are making more content available, by bringing them music on their mobile in a sustainable and rewardable way for the creators/artists and record labels.

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‘OkayAfrica’ on a different perspective is a web-based organization that links the latest news on politics,culture and music  coming from Africa and the Diaspora. They even have projects placed in kickstarter to do fund-raising. Find in this website blogs, news, music, political opinions, etc…

On a final note, (according to one of the 2011 blogs by popular BEOBAB), “Artists are making music, but are conscious of what their role is, wanting Africa to be different than the Africa they have known.”

Let’s be creative to help new sounds find their way though all ears. Let’s use music to change the continent of Africa! Or should we just say.. continue to do it.. there’s a lot of effort back there and the sounds are already around the globe…..

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