If there’s anything positive to come out of 2020 so far in Africa, a year COVID-19 plagued the whole world and stopped everything in its tracks, it’s the major boom of the African creative scene, especially the music sector.
In recent years we’ve seen the explosion of African music and talents not only across the continent but we’ve also grown beyond our borders, getting spotlighted across the globe by others who now see the potential in our scene. This push to hear more from Africa has been heavily fueled by the internet so it only makes sense that 2020, a year that has probably had the most internet traffic will equal more ears around the world streaming and searching for more African music.
It’s been a long time coming but we’re finally getting African sound a comfortable seat in the global table, the next move is to advance and build the ecosystem for music creatives in Africa, we need to set up sustainable structures and create investment opportunities that build local platforms for young people to create & distribute music without constraints. Award-winning music artist, Mr. Eazi understands this and has been making moves to solve this problem.
In 2018, he took his first step and launched emPawa Africa, an incubator program that provided artists with funding and resources to market their music, access radio and TV airplay, and train them to become independent music entrepreneurs. Through Empawa, he helped stars like Joeboy, Killertunes, J. Derobie, and many more.
His latest scheme is launching a fund which he’s calling Africa Music Fund (AMF), to invest in Africa’s stars of the future. AMF according to Eazi, is worth $20 million dollars, the lead investor is 88mph, capital for African businesses.
Artists cannot go to banks to get money for their music because financial institutions don’t understand how to secure intellectual property. They get it for physical properties but not for music. So, because not a lot of people understand the music business, there is no finance product for musicians.
AMF Will Invest In Music Acts Across The Continent.
Selected artists will be given funding depending on their revenue and projected incomes, using metrics such as streaming revenue. The initial advance invested in an artist’s music will be paid back in installments as the artist’s earnings start to rise, Mr. Eazi shared with CNN.
“For artists who already have footprints in the industry, we will just do our research. We can check how much they are earning or likely to earn from their streaming revenue, for example. Let’s say we have a two-year contract with someone. In those two years, we will be their representative, helping them manage their music, and as they grow we will be deducting the initial investment from their earnings.”
Leading The Selection With Data Mining
Eazi has partnered with a music distribution company Cinch Distro to use data from their newly created streaming platform to determine how much should be invested in new African acts with no existing music catalog.
The way it works is that they register on the platform and make their music. It has an AI-based tech that will filter their possible revenue based on the number of streams they get on the platform alongside a couple of other metrics. The artists basically use the platform to distribute their music and we monitor their progress. That way we can make data-backed decisions about who to invest in.