They Represented Africa At Word’s Most Anticipated Music Event
This year, African artists showcased their talent at the South by South West (SXSW) Music Festival that took place in Austin, Texas (USA) between March 17th and March 22nd, 2015. Serge Beynaud, Davido, Ice Prince, Sarkodie, Samini, R2Bees, along with singer Emma Nyra were amongst the renowned guests who attended the festival that brings together more than 2,200 artists from all over the world. Some artists shared their experience in a panel and interacted with a crowd that was very inquisitive about the Afrobeat phenomenon. Later in the evening, Serge Beynaud, Emma Nyra, Davido, Ice Prince, Sarkodie and R2Bees performed in front of a vibrant crowd. Afrizap covered the events and shares with you the highlights of one of the most anticipated music events.
The “Meet Africa’s Leading Musicians” panel brought together some of Africa’s renowned musicians such as Ghanaian singer Samini, Nigerian artist Prince, and even R2Bee; the Ghanaian duet that figured on Forbes African celebrities watch list 2 years ago.
DRC comedian Eddie Kadi moderated the panel.
Ice Prince reminded us the role late Fela Kuti played in the rise of the Afrobeat music style. The genius behind one of Nigeria’s most remixed songs of all times “Oleku”, shared his wisdom. When asked the question “Which American artist would you want to work with?”, he assertively replies: “Which African artist would you want to work with?”.
Ghanaian artist Samini who is 33, shared the story of his early days as an artist when he was 14. The father of the “Africa dancehall” recollected the times when social media such as Twitter and Facebook did not exist. This did not prevent him from selling his audio tapes, which was then the common recording audio format. He is glad to represent Africa at SXSW, and says that “his dream has turned into a reality”.
Emma Nyra is very active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. She highlighted the importance of social media in developing her own brand. The Nigerian vocalist who sang “Elele” with Davido also raised the difficulties African artists face when attempting to monetize their art. She reminded us that she does not receive any royalties when her songs are played on the radio, nor when they are featured on an advertisement. Her only sources of income are concerts and endorsements.
Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie pointed out the lack of royalties in the African music industry. It is indeed a big handicap for aspiring young African artists.
Here is an excerpt of Sarkodie’s concert