Mr. Eazi, Nigeria’s Afro Pop star, with (real name Oluwatosin Ajibade) has launched a $20 million Africa Music Fund (AMF) with the intent to invest in Africa’s stars of the future.The lead investor is 88mph, a company that provides capital for African businesses.
While announcing the AMF funding, the 29-year-old artist 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 is to provide financial support for artists to expand their catalog.
“Artists 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.
He further revealed that Artists will be given funds upfront based on their revenue to expand their music content. The initial advance invested in an artist’s music will be paid back in installments as the artist’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.