Posts tagged as: song

African ‘Beyonce’ Thrills Online Audience – VIDEO

RESOURCE: Audrey Iteriteka Cover of Beyonce’s HaloBy Naira Habib

A video of a girl singing a rendition of American award winning singer Beyonce’s hit, Halo , has wowed the online community.

The clip is taken in what looks like a classroom, where the girl sits on a chair and begins to sing the song from Beyonce’s 2008 album titled I Am Sasha Fierce .

The vocal prowess of the girl has prompted netizens to tag the singer, plus encouraging music producers to invest in her talent.

The video was actually uploaded on YouTube in 2015 and has received more than one million views.

Nairobi News has established that the girl in the video is of Burundi origin and goes by the name Audrey Iteriteka aka Beyonce.

Burundi

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STL’s ‘Big Girl’ Chosen as Sound Track for Hollywood Movie

Photo: Ernst Vikne/Flickr

Kenyan rapper Stella Mwangi

By Naira Habib

Singer Stella Mwangi also known as STL, music career seems to be flying high as her song titled Big Girl has chosen as the sound track to Hollywood movie, Rough Night set to be released in June 2017.

The song is off her latest Hollywood EP album called Stella Mwangi. The movie will star award winning actress, Scarlet Johanson, Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell and Ilaa Glazer.

This will be STL ‘ s third project from her EP to be featured on a Hollywood Project.

SOUNDTRACK

STL’s single Set it off > from EP (Extended-Play) Big Girl featured as a soundtrack on the third episode of BET Africa’s show, Being Mary Jane Season 4.

One of her other songs was also clinched by Fox Networks of the single Get Up & Go off the EP (Extended-Play) Big Girl to feature as a soundtrack on the second season of Rosewood .

The song appeared on Episode 15 titled Clavicle Trauma and Closure aired on February 10, 2017.

STL’s EP is a fusion of songs with high energy where she continues to create a diverse sound, fusing Swahili and English while remaining authentic to her African origin and style.

Kenya

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Zimbabwe: Upcoming Musician On Aids Campaign

Tawanda Marwizi — Upcoming musician Jah Victory real name Collette Hodera has roped in Baba Harare for an HIV and Aids song to be released next week. Titled “Wakandibaya”, the song was recorded at Maselo studios.

Jah Victory has since struck a deal with a UK medical doctor Dr Jewel Jacobs who has offered to assist him in spreading the campaign. The musician said the song will feature on his coming album “Kumafaro”.

“I have since realised that several youths are engaging in sexual activities leading to the spread of HIV and Aids,” he said.

He was optimistic that his campaign would reach several youths.

“It is encouraging that we have people like Dr Jewel who have come to assist in the campaign. For now we managed to do it with Baba Harare but more artists are coming on board,” he said.

Jacobs said they will also assist young musicians to create awareness through songs.

“Music is a communication that is powerful and we decided to assist the young musician in the campaign,” she said.

She is hopeful that the song will do justice in educating youngsters who are prone to the disease.

Apart from the song the musician is set to release an album “Kumafaro” that will have several tracks that include “Kumafaro”, “Anotamba”, “Vadzimu Vangu”, “Nherera”, and “Ndakazviparira” among others.

“That is my first album that will be recorded at Maselo productions. I think people will like it as most of the songs are party songs,” he said.

He said he would continue with his sermons on HIV and Aids to ensure a free HIV and Aids generation.

“I believe with the help of other musicians we can take several steps ahead in creating awareness campaigns. I am optimistic that these campaigns will contribute in creating a free Aids generation,” he said.

Zimbabwe

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Nigeria: Group Launches Gospel Music APP

By Ugo Aliogo

ETranzact group has launched a gospel music application known as the Minstrel with a focus to improve the gospel industry in Nigeria and make the content exclusively available to all and sundry.

Disclosing this in Lagos at a media briefing, the Chief Executive Officer of ETranzact, Mr. Valentine Obi, said the application would be a worship lounge where subscribers would have access to exclusive music content and worshippers, adding that it is a platform that provides access to one-stop shop for all gospel music.

He also stated that the content and sales of music on the application is within the control of the Minstrels (artists), adding that this empowers the artists to determine the pricing and the distribution of their work and also curb the issue of piracy.

Obi stated that when a user subscribes to the application, it provides opportunity for the user to choose the minstrel he/she likes and download the ministrel’s songs, adding that it is criminal to download music without paying for it and the application provides a portal for the minstrels and the subscribers.

He added that the application would eliminate the use of conventional means of music distribution, help to keep the music bought by any subscriber until when needed, stating that a subscriber can either buy a single or an album by paying through the subscriber’s bank account.

According to Obi, “The pricing of each song is dependent on each minstrel. You can buy a single or an album. We have plans to do advertising. But we don’t want to clutter the application with advertisement. The platform is available to all minstrels. As time goes on there will be events and plans to assist up and coming artists. You cannot play the song without the application and for a subscriber to play the music, the subscriber needs to buy the song using his bank account and submitting of personal needs such as name, email address and others details in order to create a profile for the individual. The application provides opportunity for the subscriber to chat their favourite minstrel, share songs amongst friends and family members, and create a playlist.”

One of the gospel artists present at the event, Nathaniel Bassey, commended the group for introducing the application, adding that it will promote innovation, growth of the industry and improve the gospel music video content in the country.

Nigeria

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Meet Christopher – Rwanda’s Rising RnB King

interviewBy Sharon Kantengwa

Known for his love ballads, Christopher Muneza is known to be one of the fast rising music artists in the country. He is also currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Finance at Kigali Independent University, amidst his continuous release of hit songs. The RnB maestro had a chat with Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa about his music career and future plans.

What inspired you to do music?

I was always inspired by legendary musicians like Cecile Kayirebwa, and because I used to love her songs since I was little, I chose to use my talent when the opportunity came my way. I am glad that my decision has not been a disappointment as I get to improve musically.

Which one of your songs moves you emotionally?

There’s a song I composed called ‘UwoNinde’ which I wrote as a way of expressing my feelings. The song is about my experience as a senior four student, and the peer pressure that comes with being a student. My friends always used to push me into getting a girlfriend but I always told them, that I wasn’t searching because it wasn’t yet the right time for me.

Where do you draw the inspiration to write your own songs?

I get the inspiration from couples, my friends and people around me. I sing about love mostly, because even if many artists are singing about it, love is a vast topic that can never be exhausted because it is the most genuine feeling ever. Love is a rule from God that people often take seriously.

What has been your lowest point in your music career?

My lowest point was during the Primus Guma Guma competition. I had high expectations in the competition and I was using a lot of effort in the competition but unfortunately I did not make it as a winner.

How has your music life been like since you shifted management from Kina music?

I decided to leave to have enough time to prepare my team.I left because I wanted to achieve big and work out things on my own. We still have a collaboration with the Kina Music team although our work relations are not like they used to be before. The difference now, is that I am in charge of my own projects.

What do you attribute your music career success to?

My focus talent and love for my music. ‘IriJoro’, a song I sang with Danny Nanoneis which sprung me to the limelight was a result of my hard work. I give my music career enough time even as much as I may be busy with school.

What are your future aspirations?

I want to expand my music to the whole of East Africa and also launch a countrywide music tour. I also want to release ‘IjuruRito’ video and will soon be doing a collabo with Meddy. I have a lot that I am preparing for my music career but this is it for this year.

Rwanda

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Yet Another American TV Show Picks STL’s Song as Soundtrack

American TV shows seem to be falling over themselves for songs by Kenyan-Norwegian musician Stella Mwangi better known as STL.

Just days after her song was featured as a soundtrack in Being Mary Jane, another TV show has picked up her song.

Now, Fox Networks have clinched STL ‘ s single Get Up & Go off the EP (Extended-Play) Big Girl to feature as a soundtrack on the second season of Rosewood .

The song will appear on Episode 15 titled “ Clavicle Trauma and Closure ” to be aired this Friday, February 10, 2017.

This deal makes STL one of the most successful East African artistes in the business of music licensing in Hollywood.

This will be her second music project from her EP to be featured on a Hollywood project.

Rosewood revolves around a brilliant private pathologist Dr Beaumont Rosewood (Morris Chestnut) who uses his sophisticated lab to perform autopsies for the Miami Police Department, while uncovering clues unseen by its staff.

STL’s first single Big Girl was featured on an American production company that specialises in producing TV and YouTube content on the freshest car, motorsports, supercars, auto news and car and prank videos every week called Donut Media .

STL’s EP is a fusion of songs with high energy where she continues to create a diverse sound, fusing Swahili and English while remaining authentic to her African origin and style.

Kenya

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Charly & Nina Scoop Hipipo Music Award

By Sharon Kantengwa

Rwanda’s fast rising duo Charly and Nina on Saturday evening, scooped the ‘Song of the Year: Rwanda’, accolade for their song Indoro at the fifth edition of the prestigious Hipipo Music Awards that were held in Kampala, at the Kampala Serena Hotel. The song features Burundi’s Big Fizzo.

They beat fellow nominees DJ Pius, The Ben, Butera Knowless, Ben Kayiranga, Urban Boys and Bruce Melodie in the same category.

Agatako was also nominated for the ‘East African Super hit’ award, although Unconditional Bae by Sauti Sol Ft Alikiba took home the accolade that also won in the category of ‘Song of the Year Kenya.’

The girl group, together with DJ Pius performed two of their songs Indoro and Owooma, for the guests at the event. They performed alongside artistes Bebe Cool, and Sheeba Karungi.

Their manager Alex Muyoboke couldn’t hide his excitement after receiving the award.

“We are excited for this because it is not just a mere award but a reward for our hard work. Uganda has been so supportive of our music and showed it by awarding us. This is an indication that our music is crossing borders and cannot wait to give our fans the best,” he said.

Diamond Platnumz and Ray Vanny took home the ‘East Africa Best Video’ award for their video Salome, while Uganda’s Sheebah Karungi, was the biggest winner of the evening, walking away with four accolades including Artiste of the Year, Best Female Artiste, Best Afrobeat Song, and video of the Year. She was closely followed by Bebe Cool who also took home three accolades including Music Icon of the Decade, Best Male Artiste and Song of the Year.

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Musicians Who Rocked 2016

By Donah Mbabazi

As the year closes in, many surely have a list of who and what stood out for them this year, perhaps in fashion, music, art, business and so much more. Today, in no particular order, we take a look at some of the local artistes who stood out this year.

Benjamin Mugisha aka The Ben

He is arguably one of the biggest artistes in Rwanda. Aside from dropping hit after hit, the singer set a record when he launched his album KoNahindutse in Brussels, Belgium, where fans turned out in masses. He also performed at one of the biggest annual music festivals in Paris, L’Afrique au Zenith and a whole lot of other major concerts that happened in the Diaspora. His songs likeNtacyadutanya, Habibi, KoNahindutse have enjoyed massive airplay. The Ben says that this is his 8th year of music career but he never gets used to the love people show him each and every single day.

“It is exhilarating, it’s beautiful. There is so much pressure on me, positive though,and I have to keep the pace all the way,” he says.

Urban Boyz

When the trio of Safi Madiba, Humble Jizzo and Nizzo Ka-boss met in 2007 in Huye, they had no idea that they would achieve what they have achieved so far. Today, their hard work has paid off after nine years as a band. It is safe to say that Urban Boyz were the envy of many after they bagged a cash prize of Rwf24 million after winning this year’s biggest music competition Primus GumaGuma Superstar.

The trio lost to Riderman in the third edition of the competition and failed to make it through last year, but that did not stop them. “Be humble and disciplined, and then work hard. There’s nothing impossible if you have a goal. However, do not look to us if you want to achieve big; emulate those beyond us,” Nizzo was quoted.

Charly & Nina

This girl duo is certainly heading in the right direction. The year 2016 has certainly been their year and ever since they dropped their hit single Indoro which featured Big Fizzo, they’ve been the artistes to have at any social event. Almost all concerts organised this year featured the duo and from the look of things, 2017 looks to be a better year for the girls.

Songs like Indoro, Agatege and Owooma which featured Uganda’s Geosteady, have captured the hearts of Rwandans and undoubtedly, cemented their place on the music scene. They were nominated in the Artiste of the Year, Best Afro/Pop Singer and Group of the Year at the Salax Awards. Nina says getting this far is certainly not easy but it’s mostly God, hard work and determination. “Having made it this far feels really great but once you have God on your side and you work hard, everything falls in place,” she says.

Yvan Buravan

If it wasn’t for the Kinyarwanda lyrics, one could easily mistake Yvan for an American soul singer. His voice is silky smooth and his lyrics, sensual. He joined the music industry in 2009, but his brand became a household name this year. He was nominated in the Best R&B/Pop Singer at the Salax Awards. Some of his songs include Just a dance, Malayika, Ni njyenawe.

Yvan attributes his growth in the industry to the support of his fans. “I appreciate the love I have been shown by my fans and I thank God for this. I promise to continue with the hard work because I can’t let my fans down,” he says.

King James

He has been on the music scene for quite some time now and has managed to stay afloat mainly because of his endearing talent and exceptional vocals.

The exclusive touch he has given his music has undoubtedly set him apart and the creativity in his videos has definitely kept him in the game. He has also staged and headlined many shows in the Diaspora.

Medard Ngabo aka Meddy

His music is food to the soul. Meddy has always been a darling to Rwandans when it comes to music and one would attribute this to his silky voice and striking physique. He was nominated for the MTV Africa Music Awards in the ‘Listener’s Choice’ category.

Also, the star managed to land himself a collaboration with one of East Africa’s biggest groups- Sauti Soul. His new single Ntawamusimbura is gaining popularity.

Gaby Umutare

He is a fast-rising traditional musician. His song Ayo bavuga put him into the limelight and since then, it has been hit after hit. He has had various collabos with fellow artistes like Yvan Buravan, Social Mula, among others.

The star was also nominated in the Artiste of the Year category at the forthcoming Salax awards.

DJ Pius

The fast-rising star certainly knows his way around the mic, he has proved to the world that aside from him being a top disc jockey, he can actually sing, and this is backed by the string of hits he has released this year, including one of the region’s biggest hits, Agatako which featured one of Africa’s finest artistes, Dr Jose Chameleone.

He has also released another song, Play it again which he did with Uganda’s Radio and Weasel and it has become a massive hit too.

Odda Paccy

Resilience best describes this talented musician; she is Rwanda’s popular female rapper. She is a woman of all genres and sometimes goes for R&B. She is planning to launch her third album next year and her song Nibaariwowe was nominated in the Video of the Year category at the Salax Awards.

The rapper appreciates the journey she has taken and is proud of how far she has come. “I am proud of what I have achieved so far and promise much more in the coming year.”

Knowless

2016 has surely been this diva’s year; she tied the knot, had a baby and even graduated! Aside from that, she has made awesome collabos with some of the biggest artistes in Africa that are yet to come.

Knowless was nominated for the 2016 Africa Youth Choice Award under the ‘Best Female Artiste of the Year’ category and was also nominated among the Best Female East African Artistes of the Year at the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA).Her song Konashize has one of the coolest videos in the industry this year.

Who was your best artiste in 2016?

Gaby Umutare has been the best for me this year. He is naturally talented and when he sings, you can feel that his voice is unique and strong. The guy is actually talented.

Edna Darlene Gasana, former Miss CBE

For male musicians, I would pick Yvan Buravan because he has had nice songs and beautiful videos. And in the women, I would say Charly and Nina; they have worked hard this year and have not disappointed their fans.

Laban Bizimungu, cashier

Yvan Buravan has produced really good music recently, and so far, he has been the best for me this year. He is gifted with such a nice voice and his music is kind of different form what you hear every day.

Fionah Munezero, student

I would choose Oda Paccy among the women because she is the one who has tried to put out nice songs constantly the whole year. She has also tried to invest in her videos, like there was one she shot in Dubai. With the men, I choose Urban Boyz; their music is nice and they were the winners of Primus Guma Guma this year.

Vianney Muhawenimana, stylist

The Battle for Skiza Millions, Who’s to Blame?

By Josephine Mosongo

Top gospel singer Eunice Njeri of “Unatosha” hit recently wrote to Safaricom complaining about her Skiza Tune royalties, which she claimed she had never received despite logs showing her billing at over Sh30 million.

Her letter, which she posted on Instagram three weeks ago, read: “Dear Safaricom. My name is Eunice Njeri. I’m a gospel musician and I love Jesus. Maybe you might remember me from the close to Sh30 million you make every month from my music… or almost a billion shillings you have made in the past one year…”

Njeri wrote that while Safaricom made millions from her music, she continues to struggle to make ends meets. She went on to say that because she is bound by contracts, she may never get any royalties even though Liberty Afrika, a Content Service Provider that collects money on her behalf, got 15 per cent of her money from Safaricom.

Njeri’s story brought back to prominence the raging tussle over Skiza Tune payments between Safaricom (the platform owner), musicians and middlemen — Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) and Content Service Providers (CSPs) — tasked with collecting royalties on behalf of artistes.

Core issues that have resulted in legal drama include copyright matters and who precisely is tasked to distribute royalties on behalf of musicians.

The latest court decision on November 1 by the High Court in Malindi over Skiza payments is that Safaricom should pay all royalties directly to Content Service Providers (CSPs).

But this new judgment contradicts an earlier one by the High Court in Nairobi on May 11 that directed Safaricom to pay artistes through CMOs, according to an agreement they had entered into last year.

COPYRIGHT SHAREHOLDERS

But even before Safaricom made the first payment, it was sued, because the court had challenged the existence of CMOs and their ability to collect artistes’ fees. Never mind that the three CMOs represent the broad spectrum of rights owners. Consequently, Safaricom held a series of meetings between CMOs, CSPs and artistes to find a middle ground.

The idea was to get artistes to self-organise and help Safaricom pass the payments efficiently. They organised themselves, signed consent forms and when the contracts came into effect, Safaricom started making the payouts to CMOs and artistes. Since the agreement, Safaricom says it has paid out over Sh300 million.

Fast forward to this year, a case was filed challenging the ruling by the High Court in Nairobi, hence the recent judgment by the High Court in Malindi. In its findings, the High Court in Malindi declared Section 30A unconstitutional because it limits the manner in which royalties are paid. Earlier on, this section had enabled CMOs such as Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) and Performers Rights Organisation of Kenya (PRISK) to collect royalties on behalf of artistes.

According to rapper Nonini, real name Hubert Nakitare, using CSPs as the middlemen could see artistes taking advantage of each other. When a musician makes his song(s) available to CSPs for uploading on the Skiza platform, Nonini says, he will be the sole beneficiary of Skiza royalties regardless of other right owners on the song — like sound engineers, producers and composers.

“But if Safaricom pays Skiza royalties through CMOs — through organisations like KAMP, PRISK, and MCSK where all copyright shareholders are represented — everybody gets paid. That’s how it works internationally; no one eats the cake alone,” he says.

Nonini adds that CSPs have nothing to do with music. That they are manned by people who have never stepped into the studio — pure businessmen. He therefore supports challenging the court’s decisions and appealing the case, hoping to get CMOs back on board.

Platform owner Safaricom has maintained that it is still eager to work with artistes and ensure that they benefit from their work, but it can do so only within the law.

“The industry is very layered,” says head of corporate affairs Stephen Chege. “Artistes come to us through CSPs, who they give their songs to put on Skiza. We provide the logs to CSPs who then pass them to artistes to check how many times their songs were downloaded and how much they made.”

“There have been problems between artistes and CSPs because they (artistes) feel they are not getting what they are owed. But it’s a transparent process on Safaricom’s end,” he adds.

Chege says they may have to find out who owns what rights to enable them efficiently pay artistes. But he feels the real problem lies with the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) for lacking a database indicating the copyright owners.

“Kecobo, as a regulator, can do better than it is doing right now. It should have a register of all copyright owners in Kenya so that, if I start singing today, I am able to go to them and say: ‘I wrote this song, these are my producers, and the names of all copyright owners are attached’,” says Chege.

He adds that Kecobo should step up and take the lead in self organisation. If it does not have the means, he says, Safaricom could sponsor or work with it to form a database.

“We have provided the platform, we cannot then be the subject of litigation,” he says.

COMFORTABLE ARRANGEMENT

According to the website Hapa Kenya, Skiza royalties are split between artistes and CSPs — depending on the deal they have — the government and Safaricom. In an article by singer Dan Aceda, artistes and CSPs are paid 15 per cent, while 10 per cent goes to the government as Excise Duty and 16 per cent as VAT, with Safaricom retaining 54 per cent.

When asked why Safaricom retains the lion share, Chege says this is a lot of speculation but does not give specific details because there are contracts between them (Safaricom) and the artistes.

“By Safaricom creating the platform, it means it is undertaking a lot of costs. To be able to download these songs, there has to be a network, which costs money. There’s a cost element in the whole equation. As the cost of the portal, network and service is operated over a period of time, we are able to lower that component and it will feed back to what proportions the artistes are getting,” he says.

Nonini believes that with CSPs, artistes are at a risk of being conned of their money. “Don’t just sign anything; hire a lawyer to read contracts for you because they know what to look out for. They can advise you on exit clauses. A lawyer has to be part of your team,” he says.

While artistes like Eunice Njeri spark Skiza royalties conversation because of claims of millions in unpaid fees, Linet Munyali, popularly known as Size 8, has never had problems with either CMOs or CSPs. She says she is totally comfortable with whoever the courts decide the royalties should be paid to.

“The good thing with Skiza is that artistes are able to see the amount of money they made,” says Size 8. She reveals that she has previously received payments through Liberty Afrika, which manages her content for Skiza Tunes. She also has no problem with MCSK concerning her royalty collection.

She says problems crop up when artistes sign contracts blindly. “Don’t sign a contract you’ve not read properly, no matter how broke you are. That’s when you’re most vulnerable and Sh50,000 paid once for the rights to your song sounds like a great deal at that moment but you’ll end up signing your intellectual property rights away,” she says.

Narrow Road Empire Artistes in Collabo

By Sharon Kantengwa

Artistes under Narrow Road Empire, a popular music studio located in Nyamirabo, Kigali, have teamed up for their first-ever musical collaboration, Fantastic.

Narrow Road Empire comprises of music group TBB and artists Gabiro Guitor, Sintex, and Davy Ranks.

The news was announced yesterday when Martin Kasirye (Tino), a member of TBB, revealed that this was the first time that Narrow Road Empire has brought together all the artistes in collaboration.

“As a group under one management, we thought it best to come up with a collabo before we can have collaborations with other artistes. Our fans need to have a feel of a collection of our talents. This is our first song and the video will be out soon,” he said.

Fantastic, according to Tino, is a catchy, danceable mix of afro beat and dancehall. The song was written by the artistes themselves and produced by Papito.

Rwanda

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