By: Sallu Kamuskay
When I say the future, I mean how do we create a pathway where Sierra Leoneans will be listening to Sierra Leonean songs, watch Sierra Leone music videos which will, in turn, bring money in the pocket of the very entertainers. When I say future, I mean how we as Sierra Leoneans and Africans, in general, have our own type of iTunes or SoundCloud type of platform where other African countries and the rest of the world would be listening to songs done by Sierra Leoneans or Africans. When I say future, I mean where our entertainment industry now has a hub and platform where they read and listen to songs done by Sierra Leoneans and Africans. When I say future, I mean a country where there is only one platform in the world to listen to SL and African songs. When I say future, I mean a gateway to what some refer to as “going international”. When I say international, I mean SL songs would no longer be sent via Whatsapp with no hope of the artistes getting something out of it. When I say future, I mean when most of the popular entertainers in the entertainment industry embrace and promote local content with the hope of helping themselves and the up and coming entertainers who they have greatly inspired. When I say international, I mean a newfound glory for the up and coming entertainers to sing and gain from what they do. This is the future I mean.
A friend of mine who is a very famous or should I say popular musician in the entertainment industry did a song that went viral, he sent the song to me and told me to download and listen. After listening to the song, I asked him how can I help through listening to his song, like how can he get paid? He was confused and said, I don’t have an idea. I asked if the song was on YouTube, he told me, yes but he is not making money out of it. He said if I want to help him I should meet him in person and give him money, I told him it is a small amount and I was in the provinces. He ended up saying ‘’forget nor moh, jus njoy d music’’. The other day, an up and coming artiste did a love song, he sent it to me via WhatsApp. I listen to it, a very nice song, I must confess, I was very impressed and happy seeing how our up and coming entertainers are doing good songs these days. I later asked him the same question of how do I pay him for his effort. For him, he was confused and told me ”frm wey ar begin sing, porsin neba ask mi hw ar dae make korpor”. He told me he had uploaded most of his songs on YouTube and Sound cloud and some of his songs get over 1,000 or more views but this doesn’t reflect in his pocket. Since then, I have been contemplating on how our entertainers earn from their songs. The few questions I asked were: how do they get money to pay their bills? How do they get money to look after their families? How do they get money to even go back to the studio to record new songs? I have been asking myself these questions, seek answers, and cried for help. The reality is, I have never heard of an artist do a nationwide music tour. So how do they make money?
THE COMING OF AUDIOAFRICA https://audiofrica.com/
When I heard of Audiofrica, a female friend who is an entertainer had joined them and wanted me to listen to her song via the Audioafrica app. I quickly checked the website, I listened to the song. Curiosity looms! I got goosebumps. I wanted to know more about this new platform. I asked my friend the same question I had asked my other friends who sent me their songs via WhatsApp for free. She said, ”I will be paid per stream”. This time, I was happy not only will I listen to her song, but will also share with my friends on social media platforms. Again, knowing fully well that this work was done by a Sierra Leonean and also some few Sierra Leoneans are employed and paid makes me much happier. I finally found the answer for the superstar and the other up and coming artistes who had both sent me their songs via WhatsApp. I reached out to them that I have found them a platform where they can make money from their God-given talents. I had hope that they will appreciate the idea and grab it with an open heart and hope that they can use this platform to break through the entertainment industry and go international. To my dismay, the first superstar I reached out to told me he is bigger than Audioafrica. For the up and coming artiste, he embraced the idea. He quickly went through the website and created his account and uploaded his songs. Today, his songs are making money for him.
Download audiofrica mobile app on Google Play store here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.audio.frica&hl=en OR visit www.audiofrica.com