My Life In Tech is putting human faces to just some of the innovative startups, investments, and protection formations riding the technology sector all the arrangement via Africa.
This week, award-winning musician, Bez Idakula is our topic and we discover his life as an unbiased artist and his fling to setting up a home for tune and tech in Africa.
On occasion the things we admire gather us early. Music found Bez for the duration of the bonfire nights that occurred continually when he became once a boy in Jos. Whereas wooden burned he would take a seat by his father and be taught to play the guitar.
A long time later, Bez Idakula, an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, played to crowds of hundreds the enviornment over.
But sooner than the recognition, as a pupil at Covenant University, Bez studied Knowledge and Communications Abilities (ICT), and while this appeared the supreme time to be bitten by the tech computer virus, life had diversified plans for him.
“I maintain in thoughts being in Lagos after leaving uni(sic) with my guitar on my abet, seeking areas to play,” he says over the phone as we resolve into our conversation.
Lagos became once too rapid a city for buskers so Bez found artsy spaces to play bask in Bogobiri within the center of Ikoyi, Lagos Island. Those were the days that preceded his narrative tackle famend Nigerian producer, Cobhams Asuquo.
When Bez speaks of the time spent in Cobhams’ camp, he calls it a hub of creatives.
In this hub, he met fellow writers, thinkers, and musicians who helped him craft his debut album and made tune with him. Areas bask in this would possibly per chance change into something Bez continued to stumble upon at the same time as he played reveals all the arrangement via the enviornment.
One of such spaces he cites is Rubber Tracks – a expert recording studio bustle by American shoe build Talk where artists would possibly presumably narrative tune without cost and catch free sneakers when they were carried out. He found that extra and extra creatives were making spaces for themselves.
In a worldwide that would possibly presumably sooner stifle their voices, they found each diversified and traded label, each serving to the diversified with the sources they’d.
“I wished that form of home,” he says.
In 2019, Bez started Rtist Hub. Combining his experiences with hubs for creatives and his observations of incubators within the tech home, he saw a mannequin that labored.
Bez region out to fabricate a hub for artists but unwittingly region in motion what would change true into a wedding of tune and tech.
His hub closely mirrored tech hubs because as Bez puts it “artists are startups.” And he would possibly presumably appropriate be onto something. In both cases, we maintain entities with orderly possible unable to fund themselves or catch the total tools they need. This is where the hub steps in, with sources and extremely in overall, funding.
So here he became once, a long time after faculty, three fat-length albums below his belt, and Bez became once region to give a home for artists to fabricate freely and catch the sources and monetary make stronger they indispensable. And for a while, this became once all Rtist Hub became once – the tune.
For a individual bask in Bez, “it’s all about innovation.” From his sound to his alternate, his reveal lies closely with the innovative possible of tips. Rtist Hub became once rightfully offering unbiased artists with a local where they would presumably hone their talents and extinct as musicians but it completely slowly dawned on Bez that this alone became once no longer ample.
It didn’t feel ample to give the artists with the tools and residential to fabricate when they were going up against an industry that became once no longer built for them to thrive. The aim then changed. Now that there became once a home to collaborate, what would be carried out to fabricate the industry better so that these artists no longer handiest manufacture tune but originate a appropriate living from their labor?
Bez region up a meeting with Bosun Tijani, founder of noteworthy Nigerian incubation home Co-creation Hub. The premise of this meeting became once that there maintain been many components with the Nigerian tune industry; from a lack of structure to a lack of training on the alternate of the industry. There indispensable to be a home where folk would possibly presumably fabricate innovative alternatives to those issues – now this became once the tech.
Following this meeting, it turned indispensable for Rtist Hub to maintain a popularity that properly conveyed its fresh mission – a home for tune and for tech.
On the agenda for the newly-minted Music and Tech Location (MATS) became once the Music-Tech Innovation Scenario. The anxiousness sought to focal level on four key areas where tech would possibly presumably solve the tune industry’s wants: Event Management, Trace Management, Artist Management, and Magnificent Advisory for Artists.
With each of these highlighted areas, Music and Tech Location objectives to put a marketplace for tune-tech alternatives. With tales of mismanaged artists or artists signed to draconian presents at some level of, Bez highlights that it has change into extra and extra crucial that we discover tech-powered alternatives to those issues.
Bez sees himself represented as an artist in each of these classes.
He admits to the stress that goes into putting on live reveals – he would know, his annual dwell efficiency Bez Are living is terribly the tournament.
He had spent years as an unbiased artist sooner than in temporary signing to a value and then going unbiased all any other time. In all this time he needed to search out out regarding the royalties owed to him and how he would possibly presumably catch them.
“There’s a announcing that you just are going to maintain to catch a lawyer sooner than you catch a supervisor,” he chuckles as he says this gleaming that they are both crucial but very in overall the shortcoming of a lawyer would possibly presumably imply the death of a profession.
When we catch to the topic of the five winners from the actual concluded finale of the anxiousness, Bez says that he is assured that the chosen alternatives would possibly presumably manufacture broad changes within the industry as we value it. Every of the winners is anticipated to catch make stronger and funding from MATS and CcHub.
The complete anxiousness – from ideation workshops to the eventual pitch tournament – became once planned to be physical but with the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic, the anxiousness needed to morph true into a virtual abilities.
Having a glimpse to the longer term, Bez is engaged on fresh tune to thrill his adoring fans and for MATS, he hopes to abet these alternatives scale and slowly factual an industry that would possibly maintain to be arrangement higher than it currently is.
In his unending quest for innovation, it’s trudge that with Music and Tech Location, Bez Idakula is announcing of the African tune industry, “we manufacture the tune, we can manufacture the tech.”