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Africa’s music professionals discuss everything music at AFRIMA roundtable

By Patricia Uyeh,

Before the curtains were opened for one of the most anticipated shows-the AFRIMA awards, music business professionals, executives, music enthusiasts, the media and even pastors gathered to discuss  this year’s theme tagged ‘Digital takeover : Shaping the future of African music’ at a roundtable in the ballroom of Eko Hotel and suites, Lagos.

The programme kicked off with a welcoming address from the African Union representative, Angela Martins who applauded AFRIMA for the good initiative as she called on other African Union countries to participate in the initiative. She concluded by thanking participants for their active participation.

Afterwhich, the floor was opened for discussion with musician, Wax Dey and Radio/TV presenter Laura Dave serving as hosts. The programme was divided into two sessions. The first session had line up of well seasoned and intellectually sound speakers with high knack for business enterprise.

They included Ricki Stein(Head of A&E, Okay music), Michael Ugwu(General Manager, Sony Music), Sam Onyemelukwe (Managing Director, Trace TV
Nigeria), Kevin Orifa(Managing Director, EM blue) and Munya  Chanesta(Managing Director, Content Connect International).

While they spoke on different topics, building brand, understanding the industry, following due processes like knowing the laws guiding music contracts, negotiating contracts as well as having a good lawyer not forgetting persistence and hardworking was the summary of the whole discourse.

From all indications, music streaming is the future of African music and that should be an avenue for musicians and business minded people to tap into.

The second session, was a bit technical with a lot of statistics and analytics to drive home the digital message. Another set of the the music industry professionals served as the panelists to discuss issues related to African music. They included Femi Osinubi(Technology and Media leader, PWC West Africa), Dr Siphon Sithole(Chairperson, Moshing Music Conference and Exhibitor), Brahim El Mazned(Artistic director, Timitar festival), Kenny Ogungbe(Record label boss) amongst others.

Emphasis was on talent, which can never be enough to scale the music industry and music must be viewed as a business venture. Insights were also shared on how to fund the music business, knowing sources, adopting the right approach, how much is worth investing and building the right networks.

It was quite an interactive session as there was room for questions from the audiences. It was also a good opportunity to network and link up with individuals with similar interests.

This annual programme is deemed profitable as it addresses issues and sorts out solutions affecting the African music industry generally. The programme which virtually took the whole day though there was  a break in between came to a close and all attendees left the venue better informed and prepared for the main event proper-the AFRIMA awards.

Photo credit : PM news

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