The popular music of the new generation, known as ‘Bongo Flava’ has evolved from being seen as an art for ‘outlaws’-or rather; that’s how the older generation viewed it about two decades ago. Today, the ‘pop’ music genre is the most loved source of entertainment by all, both young and old.
Bongo Flava has today literally transformed the local music scene and also gained international recognition in East Africa, Africa and beyond.
In fact, the ‘popular’ music industry has grown in leaps and bounds and has even become a big employer to most of the talented young Tanzanians who would otherwise have stayed jobless in a country where unemployment is the one of the greatest challenges among the youth.
Though the music has seen unfettered growth in the last decade, the artistes still face challenges. They have cited such challenges as limited breakthrough and exposure to international market, piracy and many others.
There are however, some companies, organizations and even individuals that have recognized the plight of these budding artistes and have come up with ways of supporting them in order to help them to achieve their dreams.
Tigo Tanzania is one of those companies. Being a ‘digital lifestyle company’, Tigo has initiated Tigo Music Platform that seeks, among others, to market local artistes’ work locally and abroad.
Tigo has so far supported over 20 Tanzanian artistes through Tigo Music Platform since it was established in January 2015.
Speaking at various intervals, some artistes who have so far benefitted from Tigo said that through the platform, their music has been known in the international music arena as fans from all over the world have access to their work through online streaming.
“Through exposure to international audience, I now able to promote my music and earn extra money from my songs”, said Christian Bella, the Dar-based Congolese Bongo Flava music star.
“Music streaming is growing rapidly globally and it’s the second most popular mobile phone feature in Sub-Saharan Africa; that’s why as a digital lifestyle brand, Tigo is committed in supporting the local music talent”, a statement from Tigo says.
Tigo Tanzania partnerned with a French based international music streamer Deezer, the service that provides Tanzanians with unlimited music experience that offers access to about 36 million music tracks worldwide.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in Dar Es Salaam, Tigo Music, a local musician, David Genz alias ‘Yangdee’, who is one of the beneficiaries of the support from the platform and is now a famous ‘Bongo Flava” star, said: “Tigo Music platform has helped me to be known at local and international level”.
Yangdee added: “the platform is redemption to young musicians in the country as it has bought us from ‘underground’ to international level. We are very grateful to Tigo for its support”.
He was speaking when he accompanied other beneficiaries of Tigo Music to visit Tigo shops in Dar es Salaam and also exchange their experiences about their activities and Tigo Music platform.
On his part, Christian Bella, in an interview last year, praised the platform, saying that Tigo had ‘shown a keen interest in genuinely supporting Tanzanian artistes”.
In an interview in Dar es Salaam, Bella said: “Am particularly grateful to Tigo and it’s my hope and wish that this support will continue. Tigo has really motivated us!”
A statement from Tigo says that Tigo Music was introduced in 2015 mainly with the purpose of ‘supporting the Music industry of Tanzania by helping local Artists earn more money from Music sales and exposure into the international markets’ through Tigo branded Digital platforms such as Music portal and Deezer, an international web based streaming platforms with over 36million songs all over the world.
It adds: “Currently Local Artists have freedom to sign directly with Tigo or via our registered third party partners. Tigo’s support for Tanzanian artistes includes through the launch of Tigo Music Platform, payments to artistes for their music sales, sponsorship to their various music releases and participation in Tigo related activities, among others”.
“Tigo will continue to invest in supporting the local music industry by ensuring local artists are exposed to the international markets through its available digital platforms, collaborate with artists to participate in various Tigo launches, support artists on their music releases and hence increase their music sales and brand image”, the statement adds.