NIGERIA – The Midem African Forum recently took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, following similar events in Douala and Dakar.
Now in its second edition, the Lagos forum was attended by music industry stakeholders, tech professionals, entertainment lawyers, talent managers and other members of the entertainment industry.
Afrobeat act Femi Kuti, one of the guests at the event, said the production of good music would lead to more business opportunities for the Nigerian music industry. His view was shared by Midem CEO Alexandre Deniot.
Deniot also said that his establishment had been collaborating with major players in the music scene across the continent. This, according to an official statement, is “to strengthen the exchange between national and international executives and sectors in order to facilitate the structuring of high-potential markets”.
A panel at the forum discussed “the narrative of African music” as perceived across the world and how to change it for the better. The speakers included artists Waje and Wale Davies, entertainment lawyer Yemisi Falaye and Sony Music Nigeria executive Michael Ugwu.
Other topics discussed included managing a career in music and the possibilities of the African digital market. Thibaut Mullings of IDOL, Boomplay’s Tosin Sorinola, MTN’s Oye Akindeinde, promoter Bizzle Osikoya, events organiser Chidi Okeke and marketing strategist Kelvin Orifa discussed the latter topic.
At the event, Taiye Aliyu of Effizie Records, the label managing Yemi Alade’s career, spoke about his work and life as a music executive, giving tips to aspiring talent managers in the audience.
Towards the close of the session, attendees were grouped and tasked with producing “innovative business models (adapted to local realities), embracing technology and digital tools (to reach local and global audiences), structuring the local industry (regulation, building the value chain and a strong ecosystem) and capacity development (educating artists, professionals and creating infrastructures)”.
To close the day’s activities, attendees moved to the New Afrika Shrine, where Kuti and Deniot hosted a media parley.
The organisers of the forum say it was “a huge success”, adding that it helped both attendees and guests with “the right mindset on how we can individually and collectively change the narrative of African music in the global stage”.