Spotify launches “Spotify Talks Africa”

Spotify, an online streaming platform has  launched “Spotify Talk Africa” to promote Africa’s music industry.

Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa in a statement on Thursday,  said the newly launched programme was an online video series that would bring the  continent’s music industry stakeholders together in conversation.

She noted that “Spotify Talks Africa” was a forum for featured panellists to discuss the issues that the African music industry faced and the solutions needed to drive success among creatives.

According to her, central to this was how music streaming platforms like Spotify can  contribute to this growth.

”The African music industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years due to a variety of factors, including collaborations with local and international artists, music streaming, and social media.

”However, only a select number of artistes are enjoying this success, and many talented creators are still struggling to break through.

”This is why Spotify has launched Spotify Talks Africa, a video series that brings the continent’s music industry stakeholders together in conversation,” she said.

Okumu noted that the panellists were drawn from across the industry and included artistes, producers, artiste management, and Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa team members who provided insight into the role of streaming in the industry.

Slated to be released quarterly, each video episode was themed around specific issues in the industry, ranging from how music streaming kept  legacy acts alive to the lived experiences of women in music.

According to her, the first episode was hosted by Kenyan media personality, Mariam Bishar, in conversation with John Katana Harrison, the band leader of the legendary group,  Them Mushrooms; Wangechi, a Kenyan rapper who just returned from a three-year hiatus.

She said this would also be done with Monica Kemoli-Savanne, Spotify’s Artist & Label Partnerships Manager for East Africa.

She noted that their robust discussion touched on the exportation of music to new audiences, music royalties, tools needed to grow as an artiste, and the role technology played  in all of this.

Speaking on how streaming had changed the music industry, John Harrison said  “I think it is a great thing, we are surprised now where people are listening to our music.

”It has brought in a new avenue where music can be taken anywhere within the country and beyond.”

On the importance of collaborations, Wangechi said: “That is why you do collaborations, because then you hit the artist’s fanbase.”

Also, Monica said: “I encourage artistes to tap into their backend through Spotify for Artistes, and build their strategies around that data.

”You can see the demographic of who is listening to your music from age to gender and location.”

The industry is poised for even more growth and if Them Mushrooms were anything to go by, relevance and longevity could go hand in hand.

Them Mushrooms’ participation in Spotify Talks is  part of a series of activities by Spotify to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. (NAN)

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