From 28 - 30 November 2019, Reeperbahn Festival visited the African continent for the first time with a delegation and artists and immersed itself in the local music scene of Ghana's capital at the Music In Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES).
With a 30-strong European delegation, Reeperbahn Festival travelled to Accra to dedicate itself full of enthusiasm and curiosity to the African music market, make contacts and get to know existing networks and institutions in Ghana and beyond. The event started with various tours through the local music industry and music scene with visits to various local studios, labels and other interesting companies.
On two panels curated by Reeperbahn Festival, new trends and changes in the respective music markets and European and African partnerships and opportunities were discussed.
The showcase acts Songhoy Blues played in front of an enthusiastic audience on the first day of the opening event, Gato Preto gave an impressive performance on Friday with a lot of energy and Lúcia de Carvalho enchanted the audience on the closing evening of ACCES 2019 with her unique compositions!
Many thanks to ACCES 2019!
Joe Chialo (Senior VP A&R Universal Music Central Europe & Africa and Managing Director Airforce1, DE):
“What we need is a kind of swarm intelligence. I want to learn from people who work in other locations and in other contexts, and I feel that this is one of the most important tasks for us as representatives of the European music industry.”
“The artists here are so passionate and ambitious – I find this very inspiring, and it shows the growing significance of African artists for the music industry as a whole.”
“Particularly for me, representing a music company with global operations like Universal Music, it’s very exciting to travel with a group of artists and business representatives from smaller music companies in order to share our experiences and expectations.”
Björn Mathes (Managing Director, ferryhouse productions, DE):
“I considered going to Accra for ACCES mainly thanks to the Reeperbahn Festival. While there, I was able to get deep down into the local music scene in Ghana and establish a lot of interesting connections, which wouldn’t have been possible without the Reeperbahn Festival.”
„For us it was important to travel with likeminded colleagues from around the industry to Africa at these very exciting times where everybody is trying to understand the chances of the market. Thanks to participating in this delegation we were able to exchange ideas and see where opportunities exist. We met great people during ACCES, got really good insights and believe we definitely made the right decision joining the Reeperbahn Festival International Accra delegation.“
Vanessa Poku (Copyright Manager, Roba Music Publishing, DE):
„My father is a Ghanaian, so I’ve already been to Ghana on my own a few times. But to travel with the Reeperbahn Festival International delegation was a big chance to combine my passion for music, my roots and business. It really opens doors and I’ve learned a lot about the music business in Africa especially in Ghana and have met great and interesting people. Networking was really good. I’ve been in touch with lot of good artists. I‘m very happy to had this opportunity and join the delegation team.“
Kimberly Tanikromo (Head Of Creative, Next Era Publishing, NL):
„We`ve been in contact with ACCES earlier, and when we learned Reeperbahn Festival International is sending a delegation to Accra, two great things came together. The conference and the additional programme Reeperbahn Festival organized during ACCES tremendously helped to get into contact with local artists and producers. Especially the additional company visits and studio tours were so insightful and close to the local music scene that we find us already now in the final steps of closing our first deal here thanks to these excursions.“
Thu. 28 November
Tour into the local Accra music scene and industry
Recording studios, record shops and more
The programme will provide company representatives and artists with an opportunity to delve into the complex African music scene during visits to studios, labels, record shops and cultural institutions, and gain insights into the music business working conditions in Accra, one of the busiest cities of the African continent whose music market is presently the fastest growing in the world.
Thu. 28 November, starting from 7:00 pm, Alliance Française
Official ACCES opening concert night
incl. Reeperbahn Festival International Act Songhoy Blues
starting from 7:00 pm
Songhoy Blues (GB/ML)
Sons of Mali, musical refugees, groundbreaking artists, virtuoso performers, survivors. Unforgettable & undeniable. Songhoy Blues are the future of African rock n’ roll.
Steeped in the deep traditions of classic Malian music and desert blues fused with a youthful and super-charged sound of today, these four young men from Timbuktu continue marching, playing and dancing their way into the hearts and minds of music fans everywhere with their electric, eclectic and kinetic songs. The band’s sophomore album, 2017’s critically-acclaimed RESISTANCE, solidified them as a group to watch, and they’ve followed it up with consistent live touring on five continents, helping to make them a force to reckon with.2019 sees the release of their new album and expectations are high, for good reason – Songhoy Blues make music that is unique, exciting, contagious and paradigm-shifting. The band already counts such luminaries as Nile Rodgers, Gary Clark Jr., Run the Jewels, Iggy Pop, Nick Zinner, Matt Sweeney & Will Oldham as fans, and are poised to put their musical footprint down for years to come.
The band are also proud spokespersons for the charity WaterAID, and have helped to raise money and awareness toward providing relief in their native Mali. They will be appearing in an upcoming documentary on climate change in the Sahara; and were featured in the award-winning documentary “They Will Have to Kill Us First”, about the plight of musicians in war-torn Mali.
Fr. 29 November, 1:45 - 2:55 pm, Auditorium (The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences)
Navigating the recording and distribution industries in a changing environment
Exchange about changes and trends through the digital revolution
Ralph Boege, CEO and founder, Paradise Entertainment & Distribution (DE)
Joe Chialo, Managing Director, Airforce1 Records (DE)
Aibee Abidoye, Executive Vicepresident, Chocolate City Group (NG)
Rob Cowling, General manager, Gallo Music Group (ZA)
Sarah-Jane Nicholson, SJN Agency (NL/ZA)
While empowering musicians, the digital revolution has introduced numerous changes across the music industry value chain. While these changes vary in different markets, there are many similarities that continue to influence the way record labels and distribution platforms function, and plan for the future. What are these changes and new trends? How do we adapt and benefit as musicians and as an industry?
Fr. 29 November, starting from 7:00 pm, The Gold Coast Hub
Showcases by ACCES & Reeperbahn Festival International
Reeperbahn Festival International Act: Gato Preto
starting from 7:00 pm
Gato Preto (DE/MZ/GH)
Gato Preto began 2019 with a bang with show stopping performances at GlobalFest in New York City and Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen with rave reviews from professionals and audiences alike.
Gato Preto has become one of the most vibrant and extravagant, contemporary African musical outfits. Fusing music and culture from Mozambique to Germany, Ghana to Senegal, this group will have you re-thinking everything you think you know about African music. This afrofuturistic live act "doesn't just put on a show; it makes a scene" NPR Music. The band built their name through stunning high energetic live performances - they combine Electronic Beats with powerful live percussions and the intense vocal prowess of MC Gata Misteriosa. Their stage outfits, dancers, visuals and contagious rhythms make up an electric live show that nobody could ever forget.
The music of Gato Preto is the essence of “Favela Funk“ from Rio, "Township Grooves" from South Africa and “Hybrid Tech“ Kuduro from Angola. Half Ghanaian and German producer Lee Bass creates the basis for MC Gata Misteriosa and her portuguese power-punchlines, mixing her Lisbon upbringing and Mozambican roots in a European-African explosion of music unlike any other.
Sa. 30 November, 2:30 - 3:40 pm, Auditorium (The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences)
Fostering collaboration between African and European music markets
Exchanges on European and African partnerships and opportunities for education, cooperation and performance
Roberto Hacaturian, Artlink (CH)
Trond Tornes, NoordRights (NO)
Stefanie Schumann, Delicious Tunes (DE)
Pamela Owusu-Brenyah, Afro x Pop (DE)
Okhiogbe Omonblanks Omonhinmin, Asa Baako One Dance Music Festival (GH)
Andre le Roux (ZA)
The constant rise of technology has blurred geographic barriers and created a global music marketplace. This is sometimes best exemplified by the many collaborations between African and European markets, companies, artists, labels and other players. During this panel, active players from Europe and Africa will discuss the importance of investing in ongoing partnerships and talk about the educational, collaborative and performance opportunities available today.
Sa. 30 November, starting from 8:00 pm, Alliance Française
Showcases by ACCES & Reeperbahn Festival International
Reeperbahn Festival International Act: Lúcia de Carvalho
starting from 8:00 pm
Lúcia de Carvalho (FR/AO)
Lúcia de Carvalho takes full advantage of her mixed heritage: Angola is her native country, Brazil inspired her musically and France is her adoptive country, with a more modern musical edge. This singer, dancer and drum player offers us a music full of freedom and travels, audaciously mixing world music and modern rhythms. Her career started when she was barely 16 years old, after she joined the band “Bia de Assis et Som Brasil”. Lúcia spent 10 years touring with the band and playing a variety of traditional and popular songs to French and international audiences. In 2009, the singer and composer decided to launch her solo career using a more personal repertoire. Starting with traditional Brazilian music, she added pop, funk and reggae—inherited from her French adolescence—to her musical world.
As the years went by, concerts came one after another, and the audience discovered a charming and enticing artist. But in the background, the vital need to reconnect with her African roots started to appear. After first Extended Play released in 2011, it was time for Lúcia to be on the road again, in order to explore her heritage with a new and particularly meaningful album.