Recording studio & school in Northern Ghana
Akwaaba Music is a digital platform and label pushing African music and culture. We are going a step further in our quest to further spread the sounds of Africa, by setting up a permanent studio and music school in the severely underserved north of Ghana. The area has deep, deep musical roots, yet opportunities are scarce, studios are almost non-existent, and as a result a lot of the cultural heritage is spreading dangerously thin.
How did this come about? Here's the full story:
We started Akwaaba to help bridge the gap with African pop music and culture. There is a gap with what is actually going on in Africa today. Homestudios are sprouting up, sound systems are blasting sounds from the US, the Caribbean, Europe or Brazil, and a new generation of artists and producers are reshaping music and culture.??
Yet the infrastructure to spread this music is absent. That's where Akwaaba fits in. We work with artists who have little or no internet access, no bank account, and no cousins in Paris or New York hooking them up. Which is the case for 99% of artists in Africa: local markets are collapsing under piracy (bootleg CDs, not downloads - yet), and the world music industry gets more and more timid, under increasing financial burden.
??We think we started at the right time. We've been pouring African music on the internet for about a year now, and are gathering a nice fan base, as well as some serious recognition from peers and media professionals. 14 releases, frequent iTunes feature placement, plenty of press, plenty of airplay, blogs and DJs.??
That's a lot about what we've been, but here's what's next - and what you may be interested in: we're setting up a recording studio in Northern Ghana in March - April. The area's deep musical roots are barely surviving, and hardly any studios are opening up. No studios, and no schools or structures to preserve the instruments and the playing techniques.??
We are setting up a tiny structure, just big enough to allow for simple music recording sessions, as well as training and music classes. Also big enough to allow for video editing and internet work: uploading, editing, etc.??The ultimate goal is both:?
- to facilitate local music and video production: the structure will offer both training and recording?
- to lube up our pipeline: with this studio Akwaaba will receive a permanent flow of content, which it will funnel into its existing distribution and promotion avenues??
To get there we are teaming up with sponsors and NGOs:?
- we've secured deals with sponsors providing financial backup and gear?- we're talking to several NGOs on the ground in Tamale and Bolgatanga, to best prepare and determine the admin side of the studio??
We're still seeking partners! And we're very curious to hear your thoughts.