Panel discussion: How to break into the international music scene

This is a summary of the major outcomes of a panel discussion titled How to Break Into the International Music Scene, which was held as part of the Music In Africa Foundation’s inaugural AGM Plus conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in November 2016.

Mounir Kabbaj from Visa For Music.  Photo: MIA
Mounir Kabbaj from Visa For Music. Photo: MIA

Is there a formula for African musicians to become global competitors? This was the main enquiry of this particular discussion (attached below). The panelists discussed Africa’s positioning in the world music market and pointed out some of the misconceptions many African musicians had about how one could attain international success. The debate also touched on the Ethiopian diaspora and the opportunities available for Ethiopian musicians touring outside of the country, as well as the importance of strong organiser-artist relationships and how musicians should present their product.

The panel included Sony Music West Africa general manager Michael Ugwu (Nigeria), Ben Mandelson of WOMEX (UK) and musician Girum Mezmur (Ethiopia).    

The Music In Africa Foundation takes its Annual General Meeting to a different African country each year, using the opportunity to bring influential music industry players from across the globe together to exchange ideas, discover new talent and accelerate the shaping of the vibrant music sector on the continent.

Attached files


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