We speak with music exec, Tuma Basa about the best ways to find new African music.
Music discovery just isn't the same anymore.
The Spotifys, Apple Musics and Tidals of the world have completely transformed the way we find new music. Gone are the olden days when we'd wait for new music to premiere on the radio or 106 & Park. The feeling of sliding in a new CD to a car stereo has been swapped with simply typing in an artist's name on a streaming app. This has major implications for what music ends up landing in front of us.
Tuma Basa, the Director of Urban Music at YouTube, refers to this as the "democratization" of music, in which choice is king and every artist and genre is available at our fingertips. But it also means there's a lot more "fluff" to sift through. It seems mediocre songs get more exposure than ever, making it harder to land on the actual "good stuff."
"There are so many choices now that you just have to be dope, and you have to be honest," says Basa. "Whereas, back in the day people just didn't have choices, maybe there's only one video channel. Maybe there was only one radio station that played your kind of music in your market. Now because of digital, the playing field has been equalized. I don't have to listen to an official thing, I can make it myself."