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Packed With Electronic Beats: Africa's Next Music

Innovative! That's the sound + visuals dominating all media in Africa. In recent years numerous hot, digital musicians, Hip hop/Afrobeat artists, and DJs are emerging from across Africa, marking the global music scene. Some are based on the continent, some in Europe + North America. They reflect a new generation of socially networked artists who are just as comfortable in the tough areas of Africa's largest cities as they are performing at elite European nightclubs or music festivals. They blend Hip hop, House, Soul, Reggae and Rock with various local musical idioms from around Africa. Some of the their music addresses prescient issues like political corruption, hustle and HIV/AIDS. A great majority of it is packed with rhythmic, dance music beats made electronically. This panel brings together musicians, DJs, video makers, and producers to discuss why some of the most creative digital music in the world is coming out of Africa why it has not been heard by the usual attendees of SXSW.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How has digital technology reshaped music on the African continent, specifically in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Nigeria; and what are the unique ways that digital technologies recording, editing, producing, are used in Africa?
  2. How important are music videos; the music and what kinds of stories do they tell? What have been the popular styles of music coming out of these African countries in the past five years?
  3. How are these music and video productions monetized? Can a person make a decent living from electronic-based music?
  4. How is social networking and the use of internet technology playing a role in reaching the masses of a continent containing 55 countries and hundreds of languages; and how can these styles of music and video be linked to North American audiences?
  5. Where does a SXSW participant go to hear and see this phenomenon of music "packed with beats" emanating out of several African countries?



Rab Bakari, President / Owner, Mixerpot LLC

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