An African music intelligence company, Josplay Inc, is launching a first-of-its-kind music database for African Music.
Named African Music Library, the project is a digital knowledge and database built to provide the global music industry with the most accurate and comprehensive understanding of African music.
A statement by the company said the ultimate goal of the library is to match the global acceptance of African music with adequate data by properly documenting the empirical and historical data about music made in Africa or by Africans in the diaspora.
The library, according to the statement, catalogues information about artists, bands, record labels, their works, and how they are made – including instruments and genres. Its information repository ranges from music credits that document who did what on any piece of recorded music to the detailed audio analysis of these works.
“We foresee a future where Africans will be considered priority consumers of music, media, and information in their local contexts,” Emmanuel Ogala, Co-founder and CEO of Josplay, said in the statement.
“Josplay is, therefore, building the data foundation for the music engineers, researchers, and musicologists that will participate in this future.”
“We want innovators in the African music space to have the data needed to build applications that can satisfy every African with their natural taste in music.” Emmanuel says.
The library is launching on 1st September, with data on over 3,000 artists across Africa, and over 10 million data points on recorded musical works. It also tracks over 100 genres – ranging from oldies like Adaha to the new raves like Afrobeats and Amapiano.
The statement said the project is a product of three years of work involving artificial intelligence and a team of researchers and editors across the continent. It said the platform collects, studies, documents and continuously verifies information on the creators and participants (record labels, publishers, writers, producers, etc.) of all recorded music in Africa or by Africans.
“The motivation to publish the library, and make the knowledge base open to the public, came from the failure of existing solutions to codify and classify African music satisfactorily,” read the statement.
Following the launch of the project’s first phase in September, subsequent releases will feature a more comprehensive creators category which will include music writers, composers, sound engineers, and others, the statement said.
“This is aimed at the proper assignment of music credits, and royalty distribution. Other features will include deeper insights and analysis of musical elements from various traditional African genres. The project promises to be fully immersive and enlightening.
“We are convinced that African music is too rich to be side-stepped as world music. We have over 200 genres of African music with various abilities to evoke a broad range of emotions for different groups of listeners. These genres deserve to be studied, preserved and codified for maximum participation in the digital economy.
“The library will be open to the public and welcomes everyone in the African music space – software engineers, creators, researchers, record labels, media platforms, Performance Rights Organizations – to explore, contribute, and share accurate data on music from the continent and in the diaspora,” it added.
As part of the go-live series of events, the company said it is organising a virtual webinar on 1st September that would host major music communities and the public on the essence of the project.
“The goal of this webinar is to create substantial awareness, introduce the AML project to its audiences in the various regions of the continent, and also spark-up meaningful conversations around the need for adequate documentation and easy availability of data of our music,” said the statement.
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