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PLATFORMS HELPING AFRICAN MUSIC

By Brigit OKeyo , published on 12 Nov 2019

PLATFORMS HELPING AFRICAN MUSIC

Music, an art form whose medium is sound and silence, is usually a mirror of the times it’s being created in.

With this being said, the diversification of African music remains astonishing as different cultures try to fight their way through the modern times, aiming for relevance in the society. Keeping in mind that music has the potential to shift an atmosphere and encourage a difference in societal behaviour, different genres have seeped their way through time as they try to make a difference impacting lives. The genres of music in the African continent remain vast with some of them being, Afropop, Afrobeat, Benga music, Bongo flava which is based in Tanzania, Highlife among other interesting genres.

Traditional music in the African continent was mostly passed down orally rather than being written as in the modern times. An example is the Sub-Saharan African music which frequently relies on percussion instruments of every variety, including xylophones, drums and tone producing instruments such as the mbira or thumb piano. African music is usually rhythmic and consists of complex rhythmic patterns involving one rhythm played against another to create a polyrhythm.

Modern Africa brings with it a whole new vibe in its music as different music acts incorporate traditional music with new music beats to create a new feel. The rise of the African music to the global scene has brought with it different platforms that try their best to support and equip music acts with the necessary skills to beat society’s expectation. YEBO, Africa’s first factual story telling platform, and YouTube are just some of the platforms that have a hand in the rise of some of the artists’ career.

Collaborations that have been made by YouTube and emPawa, Africa's first music incubator programme, has managed to uplift over 100 African musicians every year and changing the lives of some of Africa’s best unsigned musical talent. The emPawa foundation was founded by Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade, popularly recognised as Mr. Eazi in the 14th of November 2018. Its main aim is to help artists market their music, provide them with access to TV and radio stations for airplay, and enroll some of them for classes with top business managers so they can become independent music entrepreneurs.

The foundation has had major successes since it was founded, having artists such as Joeboy, whose real name is Joseph Akinfenwa, topping music charts in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Nigeria in the space of a few months, as well as Ghana's Kwesi Arthur, who received a BET award nomination after his video was funded at 3,000$. Kwesi’s nomination motivated Mr. Eazi to do more than just fund music videos thus the emPawa foundation.

Some of the similarities in both platforms is that both manage to have a lot of incorporations with both young and upcoming African musicians, giving them a place where they can showcase their amazing content on a global level.

YEBO, a platform that was launched on the 30th of October 2019, has an aim of putting out a positive perspective of Africa to the world. Having episodes such as upbeat, triple charge and Newsicroom has been a way to support these young talents who are filled with energy and are ready to show the world what they’re capable of. The shows have also acted as a means of exposure, as well as catapulting the artists by giving them a wide target audience and setting a base for them.

Artists such as Mankind, Njambi Koikai, Gilad, Tetu Shani among other great acts have made it to the show, bringing with them ultimate awesomeness besides greatness. YEBO continues to support these great artists as they continue to rise in their careers.

Getting a message across to the society can sometimes be hard as mixed signals can be made. Creativity in music acts has proven otherwise as a person is able to decode a message from the lyrics. The promotion of African music by these and other platforms have made a great impact on the world in terms of how they now see our beautiful continent.

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