South By SouthWest 2014 (SXSW) provided an opportunity for attendees to get a better understanding of the music phenomenon eminating out of 55 African countries on that continent
Austin, Texas - USA was the epicenter of the largest music festival attended in North America last week.
Rab Bakari gathered some key people to speak for an hour on the topic below.
Packed With Electronic Beats: Africa's Next Music coming to America
Took place on Thursday, 13 March 2014 - Austin Convention Center Room 13A 17:00hr – 18:30hrs Central Daylight Time (Chicago, Houston time zone) – 5hrs GMT
Rab Bakari – Universal Music / Mixerpot (Marketing North America)
Rickie Davies (Marketing UK)
Buddha Blaze – Spark Africa (Marketing East / Southern Africa)
Ovie O (Co-Founder of http://notjustok.com/)
E.L. (Ghana rap artist/producer Azonto sound)
Innovative! That's the sound + visuals dominating all media in Africa. In recent years numerous hot, digital musicians, Hip hop/Afrobeat artists, and DJs are emerging from across Africa, marking the global music scene. Some are based on the continent, some in Europe + North America. They reflect a new generation of socially networked artists who are just as comfortable in the tough areas of Africa's largest cities as they are performing at elite European nightclubs or music festivals.
How can this innovative music make the transition from Africa to Europe to North America (specifically the USA)? Many attendees of all musical levels want to hear discussion on how the African music scene can break into the United States.
Afrobeats, the new popular music from Africa finding its way into the European mainstream market with two top 10 UK released singles; BET Intl & MTV Base continuous support and award recognition in the International Act category. The new sound seems to be influencing some of the top American artists. Will the UK’s embrace of Afrobeats force the United States to do the same? This panel brought together musicians, DJs, Marketers, bloggers and producers to discuss why some of the most creative digital music in the world is coming out of Africa why it has not been heard by the usual attendees of SXSW.
Panel Questions for specific topics stimulate discussion
1. How has digital technology reshaped music on the African continent and what are the unique ways that digital technologies recording, editing, producing, are used in Africa?
2. How important are music videos; the music and what kinds of stories do they tell? What have been the popular styles of music coming out of these African countries in the past five years?
3. How are these music and video productions monetized? Can a person make a decent living from electronic-based music?
4. How is social networking and the use of internet technology playing a role in reaching the masses of a continent containing 55 countries and hundreds of languages; and how can these styles of music and video be linked to North American audiences?
5. Where does a SXSW participant go to hear and see this phenomenon of music "packed with beats" emanating out of several African countries?
6. How can African artist get their music on American TV and Radio?
We had 10 minutes for questions from the audience.