Nigerian Afrobeat star, Oliwatosin Ajibade, commonly known as Mr Eazi, has raised $20 million for his Africa Music Fund (AMF) to invest in African music talents.
In a statement released to CNN by Mr Eazi, he revealed the lead investor of the fund is 88mph, a company that provides capital for African businesses. Mr Eazi says one of his primary motivations for funding music is to provide financial support for artists to expand their catalog.
Many investors and financial institutions don’t understand the business of music and as a result, are unable to properly fund musicians, he says.
“Artists cannot go to banks to get money for their music because financial institutions don’t understand how to secure intellectual property. They get it for physical properties but not for music. So, because not a lot of people understand the music business, there is no finance product for musicians,” he explained further.
Selected artists will be given funding depending on their revenue and projected incomes, using metrics such as streaming revenue. They will be given funds upfront based on their revenue to expand their music content. The initial advance invested in an artist’s music will be paid back in instalments as the artist’s earnings start to rise, Mr. Eazi told CNN.
Vydia, a music technology company in partnership with emPawa Africa, a talent incubator founded by Mr Eazi with a mission to help new artists reach their full musical potential by equipping them with knowledge and funding, will be launching Cinch Distro, a music distribution platform for new artists. Through Cinch Distro, artists can upload one song to major music stores for #500 or #4000 for unlimited song uploads.
“The way it works is that they register on the platform and make their music. It has an AI-based tech that will filter their possible revenue based on the number of streams they get on the platform alongside a couple of other metrics. The artists basically use the platform to distribute their music and we monitor their progress. That way we can make data-backed decisions about who to invest in,” he said.
Mr. Eazi, who has more than five million monthly listeners on Spotify says the AMF will also create access to a larger audience for music acts by helping them find and book shows as well as distribute their music.