Superstar Nigeria-born artist and music executive Mr Eazi has announced the talent roster for #emPawa30, the latest phase of his emPawa Africa program.
The program will see 30 African artists participate in a talent incubator that provides emerging artists with the tools, startup funding and mentorship to become artist-entrepreneurs.
emPawa Africa launched in 2018 with the #emPawa100, which provided grants to 100 artists from 11 African countries, helping launch African music stars such as Joeboy, Lady Donli, J.Derobie and Karun.
Each artist in the #emPawa30 will receive a $10,000 non-repayable grant to go towards filming their first professional music video, as well as mentorship, marketing services and other support to launch their international recording career.
Artists will be assigned an individual mentor and video director, with whom they will work directly throughout the seven-month program.
Mentors Include Diplo, Dj Maphorisa, Jae5, Fred Gibson, Shekhinah And Harmonize; Afrobeats Producers E Kelly, Guiltybeatz, Killertunes; DJ Neptune; Executives From The African Music Industry, Along With Mr Eazi Himself.
The 10 artists who display the most promise will be flown to a three-week masterclass in Ghana this June, where they will receive business, songwriting, marketing and production training while working in a recording studio.
Of these, two artists will receive additional funding to cover management, marketing and legal fees throughout 2020, as well as to create additional music and videos.
Speaking to MBW about the program last year, Mr Eazi said: “I had always wondered how to mix my tech days [with] VC-type funding [for] music. I saw music artists as startups, and labels – or ‘label services’ companies – as sort of VCs.
“I wondered if I could apply the same thing where I invest in an artist [as if they were] a startup. I just want maybe max 20-30% stake in the artist’s business. I wanted to see if I could do that for music.”
Said Mr Eazi: “emPawa is an initiative I created with one simple mission: Helping new artists reach their full potential musically by equipping them with the knowledge and funding to do so.”
“It’s something I wish someone had created when I first started making music. Sometimes, all it takes is that one person to believe in you.”Music Business Worldwide