Over time, the African music industry has played a major role in the global music scene. Some artists like Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Burna Boy, Sarkodie, Koffee, Angelique Kidjo amongst others have done well to place the continent on the international view.
To expand the capacity of the talents in the industry, Nigerian music artiste, Oluwatosin Ajibade popularly known as Mr Eazi has raised $20 million for his Africa Music Fund (AMF). In a statement disclosed by CNN, Mr Eazi revealed that the funds will be used to invest in the careers of African music creatives. It will also provide financial support for artists to expand their music catalogue.
According to Mr Eazi, the entertainment ecosystem is not well understood by investors and financial institutions in Africa and this limits funding in the industry. The investment which was led by 88mph, a company that invests in African businesses, will be used to create a new platform to fund the music entertainment ecosystem in Africa.
“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,” he said.
With this funding, artists who have been picked will be given funds based on their revenue and projected incomes to expand their music content. This will be measured using metrics such as streaming revenue. As the artist’s profits start to increase, they will pay back the initial funding invested in the artist’s music in instalments.
“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,” the entrepreneur cum music artist noted.
With AMF, African creatives will reportedly have access to a larger audience through streaming platforms and technology. This will also enable them have access to festivals and shows for their music as well as help them distribute their music.
Mr Eazi has always had a special interest in investing in the music and artists on the continent. In 2018, he launched emPawa Africa, an incubator programme that helps “new artists reach their full potential musically by equipping them with the knowledge and funding to do so.” It provides a specialised service for marketing African music via digital marketing, radio, television and press. The company also helps artist collect all their publishing income, seek and closeout sync opportunities and place them in recording sessions.
It is noteworthy that this isn’t the first time music artists are investing in the African music business. In January 2020, three-time Grammy Award winner Wyclef Jean raised $25million for his Carnival World Music Group to fund music publishing business in Africa and developing countries.
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