Most of the artists tend to have good artworks like songs, poems, videos but find themselves having difficulties in terms of promoting or publishing them. Similar issues are common among artists around the world and especially in the East African region, in countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and even Tanzania where some artists are still facing such hindrances to their music career.
The recent history of the development of the music industry in the East African region clearly shows the rise of music but also shows that many of the local musicians are additionally facing challenges like mainly lack of access to education (music schools), professional managers, publishing houses, record labels and media space.
However, for EAC, progress has been tremendous with the Bongo Flava movement, bringing talents on the digital platforms and creating wealth, business initiatives (festivals, media channels, talent contests…).
But again, as time went on the industry’s popular figures also changed constantly.
Kayiranga Justin, a journalist and fan of gospel songs in his analysis found that in the East African Region many artists make songs but when the time comes, they leave.
“The music in this region is changing constantly. You find that today we have this one special on the market and when you wake up you hear that the popular one has shifted to politics or other businesses’’ Kayiranga observed.
“You would also find some going into the music but with a different sense of faith to work with extraordinary power or magic power. This is also part of the industry here.” He added
Mr. Justin KAYIRANGA goes on to say that this is in addition to the lack of financial means as one of the reasons why the music in the region is constantly not stable.
In a short interview with an experienced journalist in showbiz, Abdu Bronze, on the other hand, points out the challenges to the development of artists in the region citing an example of Rwandan artists who make their songs but not as effective as those of Nasibu Abdul Juma, popularly known by his stage name Diamond Platnumz, and often referred to as “Simba” or “The King of Bongo-Flava”
“Our local artists for sure needs some professionals to help them either in marketing and professionalism or music mentorship programs for the upcoming musicians” He said
Abdu Bronze noted that perhaps there are a few who have reached the level of writing songs and writing for others. But they are also limited to the local level.
“Of course, this is where the music experts first show up. There some who are able to land music partnerships with the famous brands and their music can reach far and when you hear them, they have a good melody but it is because of the mentorship and other partnerships agreements.” He added
How Sony Music Publishing sets to help regional artists?
Apart from the fact that the artist’s work would be of good quality to reach more audience, it also requires having a real way to publish it, sell it and have a well-known address where fans can access them.
When you follow up, many of the artists find it difficult to find a way to help them get to the bottom of their talents. So here it is clear that there is a need for a real way to deliver art to fans who are from all over the world.
Companies like Sony Music Publishing in Africa continue to make a positive impact in the entertainment industry, not just in East Africa but across the continent.
Last year when Sony Music Entertainment Africa (rebranded Sony Music Publishing) appointed Christine Mosha, known as “Seven,” to lead Marketing and Artist Development for the East Africa region, Mosha revealed that she will build out the company’s roster of local talent and amplify its international repertoire and existing catalogue across the region from her base in Tanzania.
Of course, the company’s main role is publishing work from various artists and actively bringing them available to the world of Entertainment which is the main component in the development of the music and that also plays a crucial role in benefiting the artists by creating popularity and making revenues.
Since its inception, Sony Music Publishing has supported the careers of songwriters and continues to defend their rights.
In order to help East African talents, Sony Music Publishing has continuously kept an eye on developing talents while at the same time put in place the management staff that are ready to help the region’s Artists.
In June 2020, Sony/ATV Music Publishing South Africa announced it has named Munyaradzi Chanetsa (Munya) A&R Manager, Africa, the company clearly wanted Munyaradzi to bring in his expertise for this industry where East African Artists will continue to benefit if they have the good management.
In this role, Munyaradzi is responsible for finding new talent throughout the continent, promoting songwriters’ copyright and careers, and connecting them to larger opportunities around the world.
He is also work closely with colleagues to pitch new and existing repertoire into the marketplace. Grabbing these opportunities for regional artists is an added value to their long-term goals in music career.