The African music scene as a whole is becoming more visible on the world stage and it’s no longer big news to hear of collaborations between African artists and foreign artists, especially from the music industry in the United States.
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Examples abound from; the most recent signing on of Nigerian singer, Davido to Sony Music, to the much less recent news of songstress Tiwa Savage cutting a deal with Jay Z’s roc-nation and numerous collaborations between foreign and African artists.
Jay Z himself has spoken about roc-nation spreading its reach to the African continent and a recent interview given by a Roc Nation staff gives us a more in-depth look at what is really happening.
Blogger Makho Ndlovu recently spoke with Roc Nation executive Briant Biggs, with the latter revealing the plans harboured by the record label regarding African artists. Biggs explained the approach to doing business with the continent saying;
“It made more sense for us to partner up with the individual artists and their labels out there and work out distribution deals with them. To give them proper distribution in the States and make sure they are getting proper publishing dollars and royalties.”
“So by using our platform that we already built, we are giving them access to everything we have at our office to help them do the same. Build their brands and their companies like we did ours.”
He also spoke about the company focusing on Nigeria first, he said;
“For us, going to South Africa was basically useless because the majors were there. It made more sense to go to Nigeria because that’s where film and music and everything else is happening.”
Other African countries are however not left out as Biggs listed some other countries where roc-nation had already set its sights;
“I am already talking to Sarkodie in Ghana to do something with him, I got something in Gambia, Gabon and Senegal. We have it all spread out. Even in South Africa I am grabbing one artist out of there.”
Biggs also addressed the concept of the new entry as a kind of cultural domination, stating that it is nothing of the sorts; “The goal is not to re-colonize our people by music, the goal is to help uplift them and get us working together.”