Spotify Talks Africa brings together stakeholders to discuss the African music industry

Spotify has launched Spotify Talks Africa, a video series that brings together the continent’s music industry players in conversation. The African music industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years due to various factors including collaborations with local and international artists, music streaming and social media. However, only a small number of artists are enjoying this success, and many talented creators are still struggling to break through.

The new video series is a forum for featured panelists to discuss these issues, as well as the solutions needed to ensure creative success.

At the heart of this is how music streaming platforms like Spotify can contribute to this growth. Panelists are drawn from across the industry and include artists, producers, artist managers and Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa team members who provide insight into the role of streaming in the industry.

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

The first episode is hosted by Kenyan media personality Mariam Bishar in conversation with John Katana Harrison, the frontman of legendary band Them Mushrooms; Wangechi, a Kenyan rapper who just returned from a three-year hiatus; and Monica Kemoli-Savanne, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager for East Africa. Their in-depth discussion covers exporting music to new audiences, music royalties, the tools needed to grow as an artist, and the role technology plays in it all.

Speaking on how streaming has changed the music industry, John Katana Harrison says, “I think it’s a good thing, we’re surprised now where people are listening to our music. It’s a new avenue where music can be taken anywhere in the country and beyond.

“That’s why you do collaborations, because then you reach the artist’s fan base,” Wangechi explains of the importance of collaborations.

“I encourage artists to tap into their backend through Spotify for Artists and build their strategies around that data. You can see the demographics of who listens to your music from age to gender and location,” adds Monica .

The industry is poised for even more growth and if Them Mushrooms is anything to go by, relevance and longevity can go hand in hand. Them Mushrooms’ participation in Spotify Talks is part of a series of activities organized by Spotify to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary.

To watch the full conversation, go to spotifytalksafrica.byspotify.com.

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