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Afrobeats Takes Centre Stage At Midem 2018

Yemi Alade performing at the event Inset: Davido entertaining the crowd

Afrobeats was the major talking point at Midem 2018, the leading international event for the music ecosystem. The genre is a movement of the new generation artists who are setting trends across the globe. It fuses influences from different genres ranging from Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat to Hip-Hop, reggae and R & B.

After organising a successful Midem Africa Forum in Lagos, which focused on High-Potential Growth Markets, Spotlight Entertainment, 6060 Music, Cream Entertainment and Enspire Management teamed up with Midem to put together a thrilling Nigerian/Afrobeats programme in France, including a panel and pavilion exhibition space. The programme took place at Midem’s annual conference event in Cannes, France from Tuesday June 5 – Friday June 8, 2018.

Speaking on the event, Midem Director, Alexandre Deniot said, “the focus on Africa was to strengthen the exchange between national and international music executives and businesses and increase Africa’s participation in the global music ecosystem.”He informed that Midem was passionate about Africa and African music and as an ex musician, he welcomed the partnership with the Nigerian/Afrobeats executives.

With an array of workshops, panels, showcases and activities and thousands of participants from around the globe, the African programming did not disappoint with the Nigerian/Afrobeats team presenting an engaging panel discussion themed Africa: The New Music Frontier, Open for Business.

The panel was moderated by Radio and TV host Adesope Olajide and included African music executives Vannessa Amadi, CEO of high profile PR firm VA-PR and Partner at Stealth Management home to Davido, Chinedu Okeke, Entertainment Entrepreneur and Director of the biggest festival in west Africa, Gidifest; Andre Hackett, Artist-Manager for chart topping artist FuseODG and Co-founder T.I.N.A (This is New Africa); and superstar Artist–Entrepreneur Seyi Shay.

The conversation reviewed the areas in need of the most growth within the African music scene, including distribution strategies, infrastructure for the live industry and education plus the solutions to make the African music scene not just open for business but for partnerships and development.Speaking during the session, singer Seyi Shay observed that, “the help we need is an opportunity for the West and Africa to build a structure that works in line with what is being done internationally.”

Alongside the panel, the Nigerian/Afrobeats Pavilion stand attracted hundreds of delegates from around the world eagerly interested in knowing how to engage with African music. Superstar Nigerian artiste Davido and Yemi Alade showed their support with a meet and greet with industry professionals and fans before their show stopping performances at the Midem by Night showcase events. There was also a surprise visit to the Pavilion from international music mogul Scooter Braun, a keynote speaker of the week and the winner of Midem’s first ever award launched this year.

Speaking on her experience at this year’s event, Vannessa Amadi, said, “It was an honour to join this year’s Midem panel alongside my respected peers, to discuss the growing recognition of African music, and how we as African music professionals can engage on global platforms.

“It’s becoming impossible to ignore the impact that modern African music is making worldwide so it’s great to have seen Afrobeats properly represented through MIDEM’s programme activities. I’m looking forward to next year’s event to discuss how much further we have come,” she noted.As part of Midem’s efforts to support growth within the African market, the Nigerian/Afrobeats team were included in a high-level Think Tank on Africa which brought together 50 tastemakers including the likes of United Nations representatives, Africa’s leading distribution company Africori, pioneering telco MTN, OkayAfrica and Sacem to name a few. The discussion covered a five-point agenda on what is needed for the African market to thrive and charged the group with providing solutions to be taken forward.

As always, Midem offers its guests exclusive opportunities to hear leading international music industry players share their vision on where the music business is heading. In a keynote interview with record breaking South African House DJ Black Coffee he outlined his plans for investing in the industry and in reference to the African dream said, “Africa is ready to create a new Africa, where we create solutions that are by us and for us.”On reflection of Midem 2018 and the plans moving forward for the Nigerian/Afrobeats team, Steve Osagie of Spotlight Entertainment confirmed that, “the plans are to continue to showcase that Nigeria offers immense opportunity for companies, tech firms, labels and international artists open for collaboration.”

The Midem Nigerian/Afrobeats Panel and Pavilion is a partnership curated by 6060 Music Group, Spotlight Management and Consultancy, Cream Entertainment and Enspire Management, with Notjustok, Pulse TV and 360Nobs as supporting media partners.

Midem is the world’s music market. It is the yearly international B-to-B event dedicated to the new music ecosystem, with a tradeshow, conferences, competitions, networking events and live performances, with midem festival and midem off. Midem is the perfect platform to promote music at an international level and build up new deals. Music professionals have four days to familiarise with the upcoming trends, discover new tools and how to use them for their business through training sessions.

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