Mr. Eazi’s emPawa foundation and YouTube are helping African acts go global
The emPawa foundation and YouTube want to put African artists on the world map.
With over 5 million monthly Spotify listeners and counting, Mr. Eazi is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most successful artists but behind the stage he is striving to boost burgeoning talent in Africa.
Hoping to give back to Africa’s music industry, Mr. Eazi started emPawa, a foundation that looks to empower African talent.
“I wanted to be a businessman, I never believed I could be an artist, but people kept telling me I could do it. Given the kind of support I got then, I want to give back,” he said.
In 2018 he called on African artists to submit online demo’s using the hashtag #empawa100. Out of 10 000 submissions received from 14 countries 100 were picked with their videos funded $3000 apiece.
Now the incubator helps artists market their music, provides them with access to TV and radio stations and enrols them in business classes- truly emPawaing.
Now, YouTube has joined forces with emPawa to further boost African talent.
Music executive and YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen says YouTube is working to support ten emerging Nigerian music artists chosen by emPawa to help strengthen their craft, increase their fan base and connect with the world.
“New artists need to find their fans, and what’s critical for us is to help them find their audience. They have to grow to the next obvious consumer who will be interested in them,” Cohen told CNN.
It’s all about visibility and widening your audience.
“With emPawa and YouTube, artists have something to open them up to a newer audience. So, they are not only getting their videos funded, but they are getting their brand and music public,” Nigerian music analyst, Dennis Peter told CNN.
“The African music scene is not as structured as we think. US music has charts to track their music, Latin pop has YouTube for that, but in Africa, we don’t have that structure,” Peter said.
“It looks like YouTube wants to position itself as the structure for music visuals on the continent. I think that will be exciting to watch.”
emPawa foundation and YouTube are going the distance to put Africa on par with the rest of the world’s music industry and it’s amazing to see.