Spotify has launched Spotify Talks Africa, a video series that brings the continent’s music industry stakeholders together in conversation. Spotify Talks Africa is a forum for featured panelists to discuss the issues that the African music industry faces and the solutions needed to drive success among creatives. The panelists are drawn from across the industry and include artists, producers, artist management and Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa team members who provide insight into the role of streaming in the industry.
Each video episode is themed around specific issues surrounding the industry from how music streaming is keeping legacy acts alive to the lived experiences of women in music. The video episodes are set to be released quarterly.
The first episode is hosted by Mariam Bishar, a Kenyan media personality in conversation with John Katana Harrison, the band leader of Them Mushrooms, Wangechi, a Kenyan rapper and Monica Kemoli-Savanne, Spotify’s Artist & Label Partnerships Manager for East Africa. The discussion touches on the exportation of music to new audiences, music royalties, tools needed to grow as an artist and the role technology plays in all of this.
Speaking on how streaming has changed the music industry, John Katana Harrison says “I think it’s a great thing, we are surprised now where people are listening to our music. It’s brought in a new avenue where music can be taken anywhere within the country and beyond.”
“That’s why you do collaborations because then you hit the artist’s fanbase,” says Wangechi on 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 demographic of who is listening to your music from age to gender and location,” adds Monica.
The industry is poised for even more growth and if Them Mushrooms are anything to go by, relevance and longevity can go hand in hand. Them Mushrooms’ participation in Spotify Talks is a part of a series of activities by Spotify to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary.