African musicians have been advised to be more strategic in terms of making business decisions and utilizing digital platforms to enhance their sounds and distribution of their songs in order to effectively monetise their fame.
This was the view expressed by speakers at the 2021 AFRIMA Business Summit, organised by the International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA). The session held on Friday at the Eko Convention Centre, Lagos, with the theme: “Monetizing music in Africa”.
The speakers also emphasised the need for musicians and their teams to significantly improve their branding and public relations image, operating with the right budget for publicity and effectively use the streaming platforms available to generate revenue in order to develop the African music industry into a billion dollar sector.
In his opening remarks, Mike Dada, President of AFRIMA, said the primary objective of the summit and the award itself is to impact lives by giving young people a purpose.
“The idea is to bring African Super stars under one roof regardless of our colour. At AFRIMA, we don’t see colour or race. We know only one race and that’s the human race,” he said.
Dada stated that music is more than fun and entertainment, insisting that it is a multi-million dollar industry that can only be accessed with a business mind-set.
He added that many African artistes have died in poverty because they could not monetize their talent.
He said: “There is a business side to music, and that is why every year we integrate the AFRIMA business summit. We discuss the economic reality of music culture and sector itself. We learn how we can add to the GDP of the nation. Music must have a purpose, a voice. In this summit we will learn digital integration and involvement, because it’s only in Africa an artist will be famous yet die in poverty.”
Delivering a keynote address, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile Yussuf, the Lagos State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, expressed her joy on how the state government has been able to support creative talent in the entertainment industry.
She said: “It gladdens my heart to be part of this year AFRIMA award, which is a recognition of the musical talent in Africa. I’m particularly happy the Lagos state government is playing a part in this year’s AFRIMA Award, which to me provides an opportunity for members of the creative industry to exchange contact and share a historic moment.”
The summit then delved into three sessions, consisting distinct topics for discussion and deliberation.
The first session dwelt on “Building a Cult: The Magic of Music Marketing”. This session revealed the tips, tricks, tactics and strategies that has taken globally recognised superstars from local upcoming acts to global A-listers.
The four panel speakers included media entrepreneur, Olukolade Ajayi; pop culture journalist, Oreoluwa Peters; Egyptian music Producer and manager, Tarek Nojara; and founder and Chief Executive Officer Of Hypertek Digital, Efe Omorogbe.
According to the panellists, brand development is very important for an African artiste. The panel said Talent would kick start an artist their career but warned that it would not keep it running.
They urged the musicians to be keen on using their songs to promote African culture just like the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, and also get the right team around them and ensure each team member executes their responsibilities professionally.
The second panel discussed detailed business frameworks through which African aristes can utilise to succeed in the industry. Comparing traditional media to main stream digital media, the topic was: “The Music Industry Goes Online”.
The panellists discussed the digitization of music consumption, revenue generation, and exploring the various diverse alternative sources of revenue in the music industry and how the new reality of music creation, consumption and distribution can truly be harnessed by African artistes for global competitiveness. The panel members include Tochi Louis as moderator, music journalist, Motolani Alake; music entrepreneur, Dapo Ayo Adeusi; and Shahifoulaye Koné.
The third panel spoke on “Modern Technologies and Music Struggles”. The panellists focused on the problems affecting the music industry, shared knowledge and experience, as well as proffered solutions.
Issues such as Nigerian radio stations not paying royalties to the artistes were discussed. The panel members included media lawyer, Omolola Oyedele; Adam Tiram, Sarah Bullos.
The AFRIMA 2021 award ceremony will hold on Sunday, November 21, in Lagos by 7:30pm.
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