Africa rising music conference comes back bigger and better

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The music industry goes beyond hit songs and stage performances – there are music executives and individuals that earn money by writing songs, creating and selling recorded music, and sheet music just to name a few things.

There is also the issue of ownership of the music and what the artists are entitled to.

Eyewitness News spoke to Sarah Jane Nicholson about the upcoming Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC) which will be held in Johannesburg at the Steyn Entertainment-owned Hallmark House Hotel on 24 and 25 May.

“The conference will be host to an amazing list of individuals who are glorified professionals in their various positions throughout the music scene. A lot of key knowledge will be shared and ARMC will make sure that it is shared on our social media platforms to make it easily accessible,” said Nicholson.

In this day and age, being a talented songwriter, guitarist, singer, etc isn’t enough. One needs skills and knowledge about what is happening in the background and Nicholson said the upcoming conference will be a space for everyone, from the guy who DJs at a wedding to the world-renowned artist, to come to learn and share ideas.

“Honestly any and everyone is encouraged to attend, ARMC is open to all. More importantly, everyone involved or everyone who wants to be a part of the music industry is encouraged to attend, as this will be an exciting opportunity to network, learn and find out about the latest trends, information and so much more,” said Africa Rising Music Conference organiser, Nicholson.

The organiser promises that this year’s edition of Africa Rising Music Conference would be bigger and better. She said the woman-led, executive-focused conference promises to be a game-changer for African music and its connection to the European market.

“We have hosted two previous smaller ARMCs. This year, we have a significant amount of international executives attending, such as from the Dutch Music Export and Paradise Worldwide. This means a large opportunity for the local executives to build connection capital in offshore territories right at their doorstep”.

Founded by Nicholson, a long-term advocate of the African music industry, the conference has a powerful line-up of women ambassadors, each bringing their unique insight and skill sets to the event such as Tumi Mogapi (South Africa) Women In Music South Africa, Anyiko Owoko (Kenya) Anyiko PR, Dieuwertje Heuvelings (The Netherlands) – ADE BEATS / Dutch Music Export. Money Ba Doo (South Africa) artist/songwriter and JAMIIE (DE) artist, producer at Afrohouse Beatport Curator.

“Limitations of international travel due to the pandemic have weakened the African-European connections and hampered various activities. ARMC is vital in reinforcing the mutually beneficial connections between the industry in Africa and Europe, and it’s doing this by creating a meeting point for various music executives and professionals to exchange knowledge, contacts, and cutting edge ideas,” said Anyiko Owoko.

The conference will feature a mix of local and international delegates, centering around the hip-hop and electronic music industries and the Afro-Euro connection both of these chart-topping genres provide. Nicholson said the conference’s offering was unique.

“Versatility and showcasing of up and coming artists. Diving into the business side of the music business is another important factor I would like the conference to highlight.”

She points out that the aim of ARMC’s highly focused programme is to empower and enable South African-based executives to successfully move into the international space as well as provide valuable insights and connections for international stakeholders looking to work and understand the African market.

“African music has always had an influence on the rest of the world, but these days, it is unapologetically being showcased. Artists one could never have thought would collaborate (such as Fireboy DML ft. Ed Sheeran – Peru) are now effortlessly taking that leap and infusing African sounds while teaching the rest of the world about it.”

ARMC promises speakers from the upper echelon of the music conference community to unpack Africa’s market share and, in doing so, empower stakeholders with access to potentially explosive African markets.

“This will be done through highly focused sessions hosted by speakers with uniquely valuable insights from Africa and beyond, concentrating on a range of factors contributing to the growth of the global industry at large.”

With the primary territory of focus being the Netherlands, the conference’s international showcasing partner is the Dutch Music Export who will be supporting 15 Dutch music professionals to participate in a trade delegation at the conference, as well as bring over four Dutch hip-hop/R&B artists to perform at the two live showcase events being hosted by the conference.

“We are positive that this exchange will help accelerate the development of the South African and African music market by developing real expertise that can compete on a global scale.”

Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC) will be held in Johannesburg at the Steyn Entertainment-owned Hallmark House Hotel on 24 and 25 May. Tickets are available on Howler.

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