Stakeholders in the music and technology industries have explored pathways to leverage artificial intelligence for the enhancement of music production, promotion and accessibility in Africa at the recently held Music Meets Data workshop in Lagos.
Organized by Instig Labs, a business incubation platform, and SLOT Africa, technology outfit, the hybrid workshop featured keynote speakers, panel discussions, a data visualization competition, and networking opportunities.
Moderated by Instig Lab’s Michael Osumo and SLOT Africa’s Susan Tejuosho, the workshop dissected and analysed several issues facing the music industry with regards to data, tech and AI. The facilitators discussed the role of data and AI in the emerging African music landscape, the need for stakeholders to create platforms to utilize the technology trend, and legal issues such as copyright and collaborations in the emerging ecosystem.
Ezinne Okeke, Data Analyst for music marketing at Mavin Global said, “Gone are those days when success relies solely on instinct and luck, now we have an ocean of data and valuable insights that have transformed the way we make and market music.”
Data analysis is like looking into a magical telescope to understand how people access music. Through data analysis we gain an understanding of our listeners, their preferences, and even the emotions they seek when listening to music. Like a map, this data points us in the right direction to create actual music that resonates with our audiences.
Gilbert Bani, a recording artist, founder and music manager, gave insights into a scientific approach to the music business that enables success through a three-stage process; Acquisition, Retention and Revenue.
According to Bani, ‘a music artist should be seen as a brand or a business with a corporate identity.”
Describing a proposed role which he called the ‘Music Product Manager’, Bani urged for the creation of a technology platform that can manage various aspects of the music business.
“AI is an assistive tool rather than something that takes over the entire process”, said Eclipse Nkasi, founder of Wakati Media, an outfit that produces and promotes music utilizing AI. Nkasi described the process he took to produce and market a music album titled ‘Infinite Echoes’ which involved the creation of an AI musician called Mya Blue.
According to Nkasi, “The conversations we have are important but what is more important to me is that we communicate in a way that is relatable and easy to digest. The subject of data as it affects music is one that cannot be overemphasized. The goal is to help more artists grow in knowledge.”
Other facilitators include Aashay Jain, a data and machine learning engineer, who spoke on valuable skills to be acquired for relevance in the AI space, and Lola Oyedele, entertainment property lawyer and Partner, Technolawgical, who explored legal issues arising in the emerging AI-powered music space.
“AI is set to change the way we do several things, including the production and promotion of music. Whilst Africa still lags behind in infrastructure, we must begin to figure out how to stay competitive and succeed in the emerging trend,” said Chukwuerika Achum, founder of business incubation outfit, The Adrenalina, which powers the Instig Labs platform.
Achum added that Music Meets Data is only the first in a series of projects designed to facilitate deliberations on the enhancement of various industries with AI and digital transformation, in collaboration with partners.