The first leg of the Midem African Tour 2020 recently took place at the Freeme Space, Nike Art Gallery Road, Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday, February 25th, 2020
Now in its third year, the Lagos forum, which was hosted by OAP Uche Agbai (Sensei Uche), was attended by music industry stakeholders, tech professionals, entertainment lawyers, talent managers and other members of the entertainment industry.
Themed “The state of the Nigerian music industry today and its evolution from past years. How the industry copes with the main challenges it faces today and how to build a sustainable international career for African artists”, the four-session forum started with Midem Sales Director, Javier Lopez giving an overview of Midem’s goal and its reach from Africa to Cannes, France.
A panel at the forum discussed “the state of the Nigerian music industry and its evolution from past years”. They also discussed how the industry copes with the main challenges it faces today. The speakers included Now Music Nigeria executive Efe Omorogbe, OAP, Douglas Jekan, PR person and Digitracker, Andrea Giaccaglia, and artist, Mo Eazy.
Other topics discussed included the rights management and digital distribution, facts about digital music consumption in Africa. Entertainment lawyer, Akinyemi Ayinoluwa, Boomplay’s Head of Marketing (Africa) Oluwatosin Sorinola, and West Africa’s Regional Director of Empire Music, Bolaji Kareem tackled these topics.
A press conference was held with Midem Director, Alexandre Deniot, Boomplay’s Head of Marketing (Africa), Oluwatosin Sorinola, and Trace TV’s General Manager for Music and Editorial, Lanre Masha, in the afternoon and it was revealed what collaborative efforts Midem, Boomplay and Trace TV were making to push talented upcoming artists to the lime light. They also spoke about how music education can tackle piracy in the music industry.
A live 52-minute Skype question and answer session was held with Grammy award-winning Haitian rapper and musician, Wyclef Jean. While answering the questions posed at him, he said:
“Fela Kuti has planted a seed and now that the flower has grown, nobody needs to change it. All you have to do is reinvent and recreate the Afrobeat sound. Artists need to prove their worth through unique sounds. They need to sell themselves because nobody will. African artists are the most viewed artists on YouTube, that should send a message to upcoming African artists. However, you have to acknowledge the preceding generation and not talk down on what they have done and their achievements. Both old and new generations of musicians need to respect and give credence to their skill; the old generation respecting the new and vice versa.”
Continuing the session, Midem Director, Alexandre Deniot revealed that Midem will be launching the world’s first global platform for services dedicated to artists and right-holders (artist managers, labels, etc) which will help boost artists’ careers and provide solutions for labels to support their artists and catalogs at the Midem Forum scheduled for 2nd to 5th of June 2020 in Cannes, France. He added this will create an avenue for artists to showcase their talent, reach their audience and partner with distributors, and allow music distributors and right-holders scout for talented artists to partner and communicate with them.
“It’s going to be a platform where you’d get the services you need as an artist or a manager or a label. There will be an exhibition area where you can find all these services. Music is in our DNA and of course, it’s about business but we need to get the artists up first,” he said.
To close the day’s activities and promote new talents, a showcase was held for attendees to unwind with good music from Tomi Thomas, Cyclone Artemis, Tarrah, Cavemen and Sydney of Africa. The second leg of the Midem African Tour is set to be held in Cape Town on Friday, 28th of February, 2020.
Seyi Shay, TY Mix, DJ Cuppy, Joey Akan, Prince Eghosa, Martha Huro, Benjamin Omesiete, Maduforo Chidinma, Matthew Oyebanji, Shakar El and Energy amongst others graced the first leg of the 2020 Midem African Tour.
The organizers of the event, Steve Osagie (Spotlight Management), Nosa Dag (6060 Music) and Sijuade Adedokun (Cream Entertainment), however, added that “it is very important for the future of our music and the industry that we be a part of a global community.”