Over the last two years, I have tried to consistently reach out and listen to music from across the African continent. Our diversity and creativity manifests in so many different ways with contemporary music often fused with residues of the traditional and/or historical. The growth of digital and the explosion of social media has made it easier to both access the music and interact with the artists, as more and more African artists turn to self-creating platforms online for their work.
In addition to this, there are an increasing number of aggregators, exploring and sharing music from across the continent or from specific parts of the continent. One such platform is Museke. Started in 2006, its intention is to become the perennial hub for all things African music with music, videos, biographies, etc. I like that they have tried to go as broad as possible, despite the vast diversity of the continent. It is a daunting challenge, creating a space that taps into all corners of Africa but, if we want to continue to build the music industry on our terms, it must be tackled head on.
Last year, Museke launched the Museke Online Africa Music Awards (MOAMAs) with winners including:
- African song of the year – Yori yori – Bracket – Nigeria
- Artiste of the Year – Lizha James – Mozambique
- Best Male Artist – Ralph Anselmo – Angola
- Best Female Artist – Dama do Bling – Mozambique
- Best Group (tie) – P-Square – Nigeria / Sauti Sol – Kenya
- Best African Collaboration – Put it down – Sasha P/Dama do Bling – Nigeria/Mozambique
- Best New Artist/Group – Sarkodie – Ghana
- Best Reggae song – Africans – Nneka – Nigeria
- Best Artist based in Diaspora – Suzanna Lubrano – Cape Verde
As with most award ceremonies, there will always be differences but I think it is commendable that Museke Inc is back with the second instalment. They have put out a call for nominations of African artists based both on the continent and the diaspora. Music – that has received airplay – must have been released between January 01, 2010 and January 01, 2011. The hope is that artists, record labels, producers, etc. will take up the call and nominate using the following link: Nominate.
Nominations close in 4 days – July 8, 2011.