Award-winning music artist, Mr Eazi, is launching a fund that will invest in Africa’s stars of the future.
Mr Eazi, (real name Oluwatosin Ajibade) told CNN that the Africa Music Fund (AMF), is worth $20 million. The lead investor is 88mph, a company that provides capital for African businesses.
Through the AMF, the 29-year-old artist from Nigeria says he wants to create a new funding model for the music business on the continent.
Mr Eazi says one of his primary motivations for funding music on the continent is to provide financial support for artists to expand their catalogue.
Many investors and financial institutions don’t understand the business of music and as a result, are unable to properly fund musicians, he says.
“Artistes cannot go to banks to get money for their music because financial institutions don’t understand how to secure intellectual property. They get it for physical properties but not for music. So, because not a lot of people understand the music business, there is no finance product for musicians,” he explained.
Selected artists will be given funding depending on their revenue and projected incomes, using metrics such as streaming revenue, Mr Eazi told CNN.
“For artists who already have footprints in the industry, we will just do our research. We can check how much they are earning or likely to earn from their streaming revenue, for example,” he explained.
Artistes will be given funds upfront based on their revenue to expand their music content. The initial advance invested in an artiste’s music will be paid back in instalments as the artiste’s earnings start to rise, he added.
Mr Eazi, who has more than five million monthly listeners on Spotify, says the AMF will also create access to a larger audience for music acts by helping them find and book shows as well as distribute their music.
“Let’s say we have a two-year contract with someone. In those two years, we will be their representative, helping them manage their music, and as they grow we will be deducting the initial investment from their earnings,” he explained.
Already, Mr Eazi through his Empawa project has helped many African artistes to leapfrog and move forward with their crafts. Notable names amongst these signees are Fireboy DML of Nigeria and Camidoh of Ghana.