Nigerian musician Oluwatosin Ajibade alias Mr. Eazi recently launched the emPawa initiative, a talent incubator for rising African artistes in collaboration with YouTube and BetPawa.
emPawa Africa aims to discover Africa’s emerging talented musical artistes and equip them with the skills to make it to the global music scene.
The goal of this initiative is to find the continent’s next global superstars by discovering independent, emerging talented artists and provide them with resources and exposure to accelerate their success.
By partnering up with iconic figures in the music scene, the artists will be equipped with the tools, in-depth industry knowledge, network and investment.
The music industry in Africa can be a daunting place for new artists, with very little information available online about how to turn music into a business, or how to navigate deals with the different industry players.
Once selected, these change makers are mentored to shape the narrative about Africa through music.
The first emPawa Master class took place in Stellenbosch, South Africa in February 2019. Ten artistes were selected from over 20,000 submissions from Africa. Mentors like Diplo, Raye, Kwesta, and DSK, spent time listening to the artists, providing feedback on their tracks, style, and giving them access to original beats to work from.
During the project, other industry experts provide insights – like approaching radio hosts, dealing with labels, music contracts and common practices, strategies for streaming services, how to segment the market using audience insights, distribution, publishing, branding, social media, PR and marketing.
Further in collaboration with emPawa, YouTube will focus on bringing more African artists to the global stage.
It will support ten emerging Nigerian music artists chosen by emPawa to build their craft, increase their fan base and connect with the world through the video platform.
Mr. Eazi’s music has generated more than 900 million streams worldwide, including over 226 million plays on YouTube.
The afropop star has collaborated with global music icons such as Beyoncé, Kranium, J Balvin and Major Lazer. He has also had successful performances at Coachella and the London 02 Arena among others.