Music News

Let's rebrand Africa, says Akon.

Let's rebrand Africa, says superstar artist and producer Akon (Video)

“The number one brander in the universe is the United States, ” said Akon at the insightful, entertaining, applause-heavy talk he delivered at the recent YouthConnekt Africa Summit ’17 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Wizkid

How Nigeria's Wizkid fashioned a new sound that won global appeal

He has a staggering seven nominations at the Billboard Music Awards and will come to the UK to headline festivals this summer.

Arunma Oteh, Vice President and Treasurer, World Bank; former Director General of Nigeria's SEC

Harvard Business School Interview: In My Humble Opinion by Arunma Oteh, Vice President and Treasurer, World Bank; former Director General of Nigeria's SEC

World Bank VP and Treasurer Arunma Oteh (Harvard MBA, 1990) has a clear sense of why she likes her job.

Wizkid signed with Sony Music last year

Sony Music seeks Nigeria streaming growth to build on ringback market

Sony Music Entertainment sees big growth prospects for music streaming in Nigeria, thanks to falling internet data costs and a large, growing population, a senior executive told Reuters.

Strive Masiyiwa, Founder & Chairman, Econet Wireless Group

Strive Masiyiwa builds broadcast empire to challenge MultiChoice

Econet Group is building a broadcasting empire that could challenge MultiChoice’s dominance in the payTV market across the continent.

Midtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Credit: myplaydatacharts.com

We Don Blow! The African Music Wave: Lanre Dabiri, Founder, PlayData

I’m at a traffic light, downtown Atlanta last summer and I notice a car that has also stopped for the light beside me playing really loud music.

Yemi Alade and D'Banj with their awards at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2015. Credit: businessoffashion.com/Getty

Why Africa's Musicians Are a Marketing Goldmine

Stylish, dynamic and extremely popular, Africa’s music stars are brand ambassadors for many multinationals in Africa but the fashion industry has yet to grasp their value.

Kemi Adetiba

Nollywood's Must-Watch Director

It’s opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and Kemi Adetiba is about to step onto the stage and into the spotlight.

Monde Twala, VP of Viacom Africa’s BET, Youth and Music portfolio

Viacom and Turner Targeting Africa's Millennials With Multi-Platform Offerings

With more than half the population of Africa under the age of 18, networks are looking for more ways to target young audiences with cross-platform content, hoping to grow today’s generation of increasingly connected African youths into tomorrow’s brand-loyal consumers.

Yemi Alade

The boom in Africa's music industry continues

Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in the continent’s thriving music industry.

Wizkid: The Nigerian artist is set to sign the biggest record deal ever by an African artist

Wizkid is set to sign the biggest record deal ever by an African artist

Wizkid has pretty much cemented his place as top dog on the scene. The Nigerian star’s adding another notch on his belt with these new reports that he’ll be signing a multi-million dollar deal with a major record label imminently.

Davido: “Most music that comes out these days has our elements already in it, so why wouldn’t the people love African music?” (Tom Oxley/Washington Post)

Is this the year that African music will conquer the United States?

Whether it’s through hip-hop, R&B, Top 40 radio or Internet memes, Drake is a ubiquitous presence on our cultural landscape. Yet for all of his inescapable hits in the past few years, it was only in May that Drake finally topped the Billboard charts.

Tony Allen

Lagos calling: Tony Allen opens up Nigeria's music scene

If you want a city that’s a modern musical powerhouse, you don’t need to think of London or Los Angeles or New York.

Wakaa! explores themes including emigration of young Nigerians. U.S. and British universities are very popular with Nigerian students, who often look abroad for better economic opportunities. Credit: Jermaine Sanwoolu/newsweek.com

Nigerian musical Wakaa! targets Broadway after successful London stint

As the curtain falls on the first Nigerian musical to make the leap to a London theater, its executive producer is setting her sights higher still.

Fela Kuti: A militant message couched in uplifting form. Photograph: Leni Sinclair/Getty Images

Here are the 10 best songs by Fela Kuti

A look back over a seminal career that encompassed political dissidence, UFO contact, chicken sacrifice – and some of the greatest dance music ever recorded.

Michael Ugwu, General Manager, West Africa, Sony Music Entertainment

Michael Ugwu is leading the Nigerian music revolution (Video)

Lagos is a city with a vibrant music scene and is, arguably, the music capital of Africa. When Sony Entertainment, one of the world’s largest record labels, decided to start operations in West Africa, the company turned to Michael Ugwu to be its General Manager.

Nigerian pop star, D'banj has been one of the continent's biggest names over the years (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

The sound of young urban Africa is set to take over the world's pop charts

London has long been one of the world’s most influential pop culture centers, particularly with fashion and music.

Wizkid

Meet Wizkid: Nigeria's Best-Dressed Pop Star

Wizkid is pretty much the biggest thing in Nigerian pop, which itself seems to advance on the global music stage almost as quickly as the country’s economy, one of the fastest growing in the world.

Davido

How Davido Became African Pop Music's Fortunate Son

Once, while on a Greyhound layover in Birmingham, Alabama, David Adedeji Adeleke, the Nigerian pop star now better known as Davido, spotted a familiar face on the CD rack of a bus station rest stop.

Mo Abudu, who abandoned a high-flying career in the corporate world to run a television studio. Photograph: SundayAlamba/AP

The Lagos power list: 21 people in 21 million

Lagos, a megacity home to an estimated 21 million people, is Nigeria’s cultural and political powerhouse.

Leading the way is DJ Black Coffee, a colossal figure on the South African house scene. He's topping the charts and filling dance floors, and often works with many of his musical forebears, such as Hugh Masekela.

How South Africa became the new capital of house music

It may have started in “The Warehouse” club, Chicago, but the center of the house music world has relocated.

Afrobeat king Tony Allen. Credit: cnn.com

"I still want to play something impossible": Afrobeat king Tony Allen (Photos)

“The first thing he asked was ‘Are you the one who said that you are the best drummer in this country?’ I laughed and told him, ‘I never said so.’ He asked me if I could play jazz and I said yes. He asked me if I could take solos and I said yes again.”

D'banj poses at his home in Lagos. Photographer: Paul Odijie/Bloomberg

Nigeria's booming music scene: An interview with D'banj (Video)

The mansion, the pool, the Bentley, the life-size portrait and the gold medallions are the spoils of a revolution in Nigeria and music superstar D’banj is enjoying them.

P-Square perform at the Mawazine music festival in Morocco in May. Fade Senna / AFP

Nigerian duo P-Square represent Africa's rise in the pop world

When P-Square talk about keeping it in the family, they mean it. The Nigerian pop duo are not only twins who perform together, they also live and record together in a compound in the country’s capital, Lagos.

Nneka - Nigeria's soul superstar is back - and as outspoken as ever

Nneka: Nigeria's soul superstar is back - and as outspoken as ever

Wrapped up in a long brightly-colored scarf, which does little to contain her free-flowing curly hair, Nneka sits back quietly as she tries to bring to mind her very first memory of music.

Jason Njoku, Founder and CEO, iROKO Partners

Failing all the way to success: Jason Njoku, Founder & CEO, iROKO Partners (Video)

Jason Njoku is the Founder and CEO of iROKO Partners. iROKO Partners is the largest distributor of Nigerian entertainment (movies and music) online.

Nkiru Balonwu, CEO, Spinlet

An interview with Spinlet's CEO, Nkiru Balonwu, and Head of Business Development, Oye Akindeinde (Video)

Spinlet is a mobile music download platform founded in 2006 with offices in Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town, South Africa; and San Francisco, United States.

Jason Njoku, Founder, iROKO Partners

The impact of over-the-top (OTT) internet-based content delivery in Africa: Jason Njoku, Founder, iROKO Partners (Video)

The over-the-top (OTT), internet-based content delivery invasion is occurring on four distinct battlegrounds. Telecommunications operators, which have a variety of strategic weapons in their arsenal, stand the best chance of gaining a foothold in the market.

PwC

South Africa Entertainment and Media Outlook including Nigeria & Kenya (2013 - 2017): PwC (Report)

The South African entertainment and media (E&M) market will generate estimated overall revenues of R175.4 billion in 2017, having increased from R104.8 billion in 2012 – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9%.

Demola Ogundele, founder of Notjustok.com

Leading Music Site, Notjustok.com, Launches SoundCloud-Styled Music Platform

Leading music site, Notjustok.com is launching a SoundCloud-styled music platform today that allows artists to upload songs and share with their friends, fans and followers as well as link these up with iTunes so that listeners can purchase their music.

Fela Kuti

The making of a musician - ‘Finding Fela’ by Alex Gibney: A movie review by The New York Times

The small gesture was not Fela Kuti’s style. With his band the Africa 70, this Afrobeat pioneer rolled out monster-size grooves, chugging along with soulful beats, keyboards and horns.

Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti: Africa's Bob Marley - or an African Handel?

When I met Fela Kuti, the self-styled “Black President”, he was in a London hotel wearing only a pair of red underpants, smoking a massive joint, surrounded by three of his wives he notoriously married 26 in one day and his personal magician, a Ghanaian who called himself Professor Hindu.

Fela Kuti

Catching Up With Seun Kuti on "Finding Fela"

Finding Fela is an unforgettable documentary that sits with you, long after the music ends and even the image of Fela Kuti—Nigerian musician, political activist, creator of Afrobeat and subject of the Broadway musical Fela!—begins to fade.

Seun Kuti

Afrobeat uprising: the musicians fighting against a tide of sugary pop

Once upon a time, Lagos was the city where Afrobeat stars such as Fela Kuti and Fatai Rolling Dollar cast musical spells under tropical skies.

JumpStart Africa

Crowdfunding Now Available To African Entrepreneurs Through JumpStart

How many times have you had that killer idea but you had to shelve it because of a lack of capital or a money related obstacle?

Spotify

Spotify in Talks With Vodacom Over Music Deal in Africa

Spotify Ltd. is in talks with Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD) on a partnership that would mark the music-streaming service’s first foray into the African continent, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Jason Njoku on Arise Entertainment 360

Jason Njoku, CEO, iROKOtv: Video interview on Arise Entertainment 360 (Video)

Jason Njoku, CEO, iROKOtv: Video interview on Arise Entertainment 360