Dada, who also serves as the executive producer at AFRIMA, emphasized the importance of collaboration among African artists during a recent visit by Cameroonian artist KO-C and Burkinabe singer Miss Tanya to AFRIMAs’ headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.
Dada highlighted the diverse musical landscape of Africa as a unique platform for artists to collaborate and create exceptional works that reflect the continent’s cultural richness. He urged artists to utilize AFRIMAs’ platform to foster connections and partnerships, contributing to the growth of the creative industry and the continent’s economy.
He described collaboration as a key driver for the growth and global recognition of African music. “We believe in the power of music to bring people together, transcending linguistic, cultural, and geographical barriers,” Dada stated. “AFRIMAs believes that collaborative efforts can contribute not only to the advancement of individual artists but also to the collective elevation of African music on the global stage. We have championed this narrative for years, and we are pleased to see stakeholders across the continent embracing it, as evidenced by the acceptance of our craft by the global audience. However, we believe there is still room for improvement – we can still tell more of our story through increased collaboration, and we can also learn from one another.”
KO-C, renowned for his single ‘Himself,’ praised AFRIMAs’ transparency, while Miss Tanya commended the organization for its role in elevating African music globally.
“African artists possess incredible talent, consistently showcased by AFRIMAs. As an artist, being recognized by AFRIMAs is a tremendous honor,” Tanya expressed. “It’s a platform that allows us to connect with a broader audience and celebrate our unique musical identities.”
According to Dada, AFRIMAs is not just an award institution but a unique platform committed to addressing challenges facing the continent through the implementation of its core values.
“AFRIMAs is built on core pillars that differentiate us from other platforms: the music award, the music festival, the Africa Business Summit, and the music academy. For example, there is currently a lack of proper set designers and music production facilities in Africa. People learn on the job, as there is no proper school or academy where they can gain structured education. We established the music academy to address this issue,” Dada explained.
“Advocacy is another crucial pillar of AFRIMAs. We believe that music is not just for entertainment but also a platform to raise concerns about issues in Africa. We use music to encourage stakeholders to voice their concerns. We also draw attention to issues such as child education and health infrastructure, calling on governments across Africa to take action.”
“Talent discovery and growth are other pillars of AFRIMAs. The main difference between artists in Europe, America, and Africa is the lack of access to facilities. Many artists in Africa have to write, produce, publish, and distribute their music themselves without access to proper facilities. To address this, we have partnered with studios so that artists can record their three-minute songs and make videos for free. We then showcase these videos to the rest of the world through our media platforms, and an investor or record label might hear the music and be interested. We are also advocating for legislation that allows artists to use their intellectual property as collateral for loans to produce and promote their work.”
Victoria Nkong, president of BridgeAfric, who accompanied the entourage to AFRIMAs’ headquarters, reiterated the need for more collaboration among African artists, especially between the Francophone and Anglophone communities.
“These collaborations are crucial for the growth of music in Africa,” she stated. “Through this process, artists can learn a lot from their colleagues in other countries. Governments are unlikely to do much for us, so we have to take the initiative and develop our sector ourselves.”
“I always encourage artists from other countries to follow Nigeria’s example in pushing Afrobeats to a global audience. The success of Nigerian music is the result of efforts from stakeholders, and we can replicate that success across Africa,” Nkong added. Bridge Afric, under her leadership, is creating opportunities for artists in Africa to showcase their talent beyond their respective countries.