Midem Launches African Forum 2019 With Afrobeat Sensation Maleek Berry As Ambassador

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Paris, 8 April, 2019 – Midem, the home of the global music community, today announces the second edition of its African Forum. 

Midem’s 2019 African Forum will begin on April 9 with a tour of three key African music cities – Dakar, Douala and Lagos, and culminate in a dedicated day on 5 June during the annual Midem conference. Following the success of the 2018 African Tour, which took place in Johannesburg, Lagos, Abidjan and Brazzaville, Midem returns to Africa for the second edition of this focus on the region’s music market. Maleek Berry, Afrobeat’s sensation, artist and founder of Berry’s Room, Nigeria, will be the African Forum Ambassador.

Despite the African continent’s tremendous influence on music genres across the world, most African countries are not yet significant markets in the international music industry. In total, they represent less than 2% of the global music market. But today, the situation is changing. Digital technology now enables artists, labels and the associated music industry to efficiently reach a large and ever-growing number of consumers across the continent, while simultaneously facilitating the export of local artists.

The African markets, with their diversity and cultural wealth, possess huge potential but still have multiple challenges to overcome. Through its long-term High Potential Markets Programme, Midem is contributing, as a member of the international music community, to the creation of bridges connecting the African territories to the rest of the world. The Programme also supports the structuring and professionalisation of music markets in Africa.

The 2019 African Forum will be shaped by the experiences and insights offered by the inaugural edition. Following last year’s programme, which visited South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Republic of the Congo in April 2018, Midem published an exclusive white paper devoted to the music business in Africa, highlighting key findings of the roadshow and interviews with industry experts. Find out more at:https://insights.midem.com/music-business/africa-undervalued-music-powerhouse/

During last year’s workshops, one of the ideas that emerged as a common and continent-wide solution to the challenges faced in the region was the creation of a pan-African guild representing and promoting music rights’ holders across Africa. This would provide a forum for cross-border discussion within the music business community and be capable of lobbying at an inter-governmental level. Such a guild could create links with existing achievements in the UK, France, Canada and South Korea, where the governments have already understood why the creative industries are critical to a nation’s economic prosperity. As Midem Director, Alexandre Deniot explains,“Creating value for the artist and the region’s heritage in monetary terms should be a priority.”

Midem’s African Forum sets out a range of clear objectives. It provides an opportunity for the international music community to meet African music professionals and artists. This will enable the fostering of connections between African and international professionals. The Forum will host international players interested in growing their presence in Africa, encouraging their participation in the structuring and professionalisation of the African music industries. Alexander Deniot is eagerly anticipating this second edition, saying: “My discussions with African executives since the launch of the Forum in 2018 have been an inspiration. I’m excited to pursue them and to develop the conversation with music communities in Dakar, Douala and Lagos this year. It is essential for us to put the spotlight on the immense African creativity and entrepreneurship, especially when I’m convinced the next “Despacito” will come from Africa…”

Maleek Berry: African Forum Ambassador
As Ambassador, Maleek Berry follows in the footsteps of superstars Davido, Yemi Alade and Black Coffee, who were in the role in 2018. One of the leading figures of the Afrobeat’s movement, he is taking the world by storm. Having produced for some of the most exciting artists today, from Davido to Wizkid, Jidenna and Ycee, he is perfectly placed to deliver an exclusive Q&A session during the African Forum at Midem. This will take place in Cannes in the afternoon session on Wednesday, 5 June. During the Q&A, Maleek Berry will discuss his experience and international development. He will also share his vision on the growth of the African music industries and the opportunities and challenges faced by African artists in the continent and beyond. He is looking forward to his role as Ambassador, explaining: “I’m excited to be taking part in Midem this year, especially to be leading a talk for the African Forum which will put a spotlight on the market back home as well as the UK where I’m based. We’ll have real conversations about the business and finding your truth.”

The Midem African Forum At A Glance
–    2019 African Tour:

o    Dakar, Senegal: 9 April
o    Douala, Cameroon: 12 April
o    Lagos, Nigeria: 15 April

–    2019 African Forum at Midem in Cannes, France: 5 June
–    2020: Launch of Midem Africa in Africa

Content of the African Tour
–    A series of case studies and panels on the current state of the African music markets and their internationalisation
–    Workshops bringing together artists and professionals to discuss their main challenges to find common and mutually beneficial solutions
–    Showcases putting African artists and creativity center stage

Partners of the African Tour
Access, Algam, Brandit, Bimstr, Cream, Enspire, Music in Africa, Sankar, Spotlight, Synamurca and 6060 Music Group.

Notes To Editors

About the Midem High Potential Markets Programme
Midem places a high priority on assisting music professionals from all around the world and encouraging business development and talent discovery. The High Potential Markets Programme seeks to assist with the structuring and professionalisation of the music industry in emerging regions to stimulate its international exchanges.

About Maleek Berry, Artist & Founder, Berry’s Room (Nigeria)
Maleek Berry is a British-born Nigerian singer-songwriter and producer, internationally known for his original African inspired melodies and production. Born in the heart of South London, Maleek (real name Maleek Shoyebi) grew up listening to some of the biggest names in R&B from Tevin Campbell, Boyz II Men and Jodeci. Berry started his career in the Church, forming a group with two close friends. Managing to source a little pre-production setup – Fruity Loops – the group began writing, producing and performing their own songs at the ages of 14 and 15. Maleek continued to work on his craft around his education. Having achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, he became solely focused on his music. Having worked with prominent artists such as Wizkid, Davido, Chip, Rudimental, Not3s and Estelle, Maleek is bringing a fresh and unique sound to the world deriving its deep influence from the Motherland. His biggest hits thus far include, Kontrol, The Matter and Sit Back Down with Not3s, on which he features and produced.

About TRACE: Official Media Partner for the Midem African Forum in 2018 & 2019
Launched in 2003, TRACE is the leading youth-facing music media network and brand in Sub-Saharan Africa, France, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. A global brand, multi-platform media and entertainment company, it engages with 200M viewers, users and listeners in over 160 countries through premium afro-urban music and content across 22 pay TV channels, radio, content, online and mobile services.

About Midem – Home of the Global Music Community, Midem is the world’s leading music business event which brings together, connects, serves and supports the global music community to exchange, create, play, forge relationships and shape the future of music. With a rich 4-day programme of conferences, competitions, networking events and live performances, music makers, cutting-edge technology companies, brands & talent come together to enrich the passionate relationship between people & music, transform audience engagement and form new business connections.

Midem is part of Reed MIDEM , a global leader in the organisation of international professional markets in music, television and digital content industries (MIPTV, MIPDOC, MIPCOM, MIPJUNIOR, MIP China and MIP Cancun) and real estate sectors (MIPIM, MIPIM PropTech and MAPIC).

Reed Exhibitions is a leading global events organiser, with more than 500 events in 30 countries. In 2018, Reed Exhibitions brought together more than 7m event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed Exhibitions’ events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.
www.reedexpo.com

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