In recent months, there has been a relationship between the music and tech industries. Both parties have shown a symbiotic relationship – aiding one to another.
Formerly, the structure between tech and music were built around the grounds of endorsements, some of which include – Cryptocurrency platform Quidax signing Marvins Record boss, Don Jazzy and London-based start-up and digital-only bank, Kuda partnering with YBNL signee, Fireboy; all done to capitalise on its influencer marketing strategy.
Upon the signing of both parties to various companies, there has been brand visibility, patronage as well as trust built on these companies by the fanbase of both artists.
We curated a list of four notable Nigerian artists who are investors, noting their investments and partnerships with renowned tech companies in their home country.
- Mr Eazi
Nigerian afro-dancehall artiste, Oluwatosin Ajibade popularly known as Mr. Eazi is becoming a forerunner of the entrepreneurship field following his involvement in tech.
The artist launched emPawa Africa – an outfit set out to accelerate young African artistes, in 2018. The outfit is a label services company that provides distribution, publishing, administration and marketing for independent African artists and labels. It aims at empowering the next generation of African artists with the tools, knowledge, network and investment to enable them to become independent music entrepreneurs.
By investing in many African artists, the launch of emPawa Africa according to Mr. Eazi was to experiment with the VC model. Some of the offshoots from the outfit are Nigerian artistes, JoeBoy and Ghanian Kwesi Arthur.
Furthermore, Eazi launched an Africa Music Fund (AMF) of $20 million in 2020 for interested platforms whose intentions were to invest in African artists.
In August 2021, Mr Eazi alongside MSA and 88 mph—while acting in the capacity of a venture capitalist, had contributed in PawaPay’s $9 million seed raising round. This round had helped the UK-based and Africa-focused company to scale its operational presence, recruit talent and expand into new markets.
Nigerian rapper, Ajebutter22 had worked at Gamsole – a Nigerian start-up which produces mobile games and Cisco before becoming an angel investor in 2020.
Prior to gaining his investor status in 2020, he had in 2013 floated the idea of owning a platform where persons could easily pay for songs via their phones. This idea never surfaced as a result of zero funding.
He built relationships with Nestcoin chief executive Yele Bademosi, and also Adewale Yusuf, the co-founder and CEO of AltSchool, following his time at Gamesole.
Nigeria’s social crusader and leader of the Bahd guyz, Falz has been one of the key investors in the tech ecosystem. Earlier in January 2022, Falz invested in Altschool Africa – an African program that allows individuals looking forward to building a career in tech by a Nigerian startup during its $1 million pre-Seed fund alongside Ajebutter22.
Nigerian hip hop head, AQ has joined the list of artists to leave their imprint in the Nigerian tech ecosystem.
The artist launched The Connect Head, July 2022. The platform serves as an avenue for music professionals to post their gigs and are hired by people who need their services. According to AQ, “The Connect Head is a tech solution for the music business”.
The platform will be solving the problems young and upcoming Nigerian artists face during the beginning of their careers in Nigeria. The platform also provides artists extra services following the subscription fee of three thousand naira (N3000) for its premium services. These services house publishing deals, distribution and others.
Furthermore, the premium service package comes with a funding feature where The Connect Head will be rolling out cash to artists whose works are impressive.
The Connect Head will also provide artists with a subsided rate of beats and productions.
As these four artists diversify their artistry into the tech ecosystem, we are looking forward to documenting their recorded growth in the future. They have joined their South African counterpart, DJ Black Coffee who provided backing for Andela – a tech talent incubator and unicorn launched from Lagos in 2015.
The DJ and producer who won the 64th Grammy is said to be the first indigenous African Grammy Award-winning artist who is an investor in Africa’s tech ecosystem.