If you’re a young musician, you probably know how difficult it is to break into the music industry. This is why the Impact Music Conference, which is being held in Accra, Ghana, on April 26 and 27, is so important. Even better, it’s free.
The conference brings together creators, record labels, content platforms (that’s us!) and creative entrepreneurs to discuss how to make best use of digital tools when working in the music industry.
This year, the focus will be on women who are making waves in music, although there should be lots of useful advice for all men out there too. If you’re able to attend, get ready to see the Ghanaian Afro-pop lioness Wiyaala who manages to combine catchy tunes, socially-conscious themes, and a hefty social-media following.
There’ll also be DJ Rachael, who’s part of the Santuri Safari crew and cofounder of Femme Electronic, a movement which supports female DJs and producers.
Okyeame Kwame, the self-proclaimed best rapper alive, will be speaking as well as industry experts Music In Africa editor Eddy Hatitye, ACCRA[dot]ALT and Chale Wot festival co-founder Sionne Neely plus a whole host of others.
So what’s the background? The conference is part of The International Music Council and its African Music Developement Programme (AMDP): ‘This major initiative aims to enhance the music sector in Africa through a series of targeted actions including professional capacity development, job creation and skills transfer in twelve countries in partnership with music festivals, universities, cultural associations.’ Sounds cool.
The conference is held under the patronage of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation. UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova said ‘this conference will bring together national and international artists, as well as professionals from the music sector, to celebrate music, while highlighting the importance of women and their equal access to the music industry. These objectives are consistent with UNESCO’s mission to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, with a special focus on gender equality.’
Last year the conference took place in Abidjan 2016 with Baloji and in 2015, in Harare with M.anifest as the guest speaker.