August 2015 theme: The recording industry

At one time in the past, music could only be heard at live performances or cultural ceremonies. Since the start of the 20th century, rapid technological advances have been made, allowing for music to be recorded and played in the comfort of one’s own home. Today music fans are consuming music not only in physical formats but online, through streaming and downloads. Rapid advances have also made it possible for music to be recorded and copied easily and cheaply. As a result, the role of the record label has also changed drastically in recent years. Many once-powerful labels have closed down or have been bought out by larger multinational companies, while independent labels are having to branch out into related fields such as artist management, events and publishing. Where the industry was once dominated by large, expensive recording studios, today small ‘bedroom’ studios are growing in popularity, particularly for up-and-coming or unsigned artists.

Inside the studio of Golden Touch Music Academy in Nigeria. Photo: www.goldentouchmusicacademy.com
Inside the studio of Golden Touch Music Academy in Nigeria. Photo: www.goldentouchmusicacademy.com

Understanding the evolution of the recording industry and the changing role of labels is a fascinating and important topic for all musicians and anyone taking an interest in the industry. Because of this, our theme for the month of August is the Recording Industry. We have commissioned numerous overview texts, written by local experts all over Africa, to provide an introduction to the recording industry in their countries. These typically provide some historical background before giving details of some of the leading recording studios and record labels in the country at the moment – vital information for anyone looking to record or simply learn more.

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