There is no more significant drawcard than the award-winning South African producer and "Jerusalema" hitmaker, Master KG, who has been named as one of the keynote speakers for this year's Music in Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES).
The conference is set to be held at two venues in Johannesburg – the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and Constitution Hill – from November 25 to 27.
Reeperbahn Festival has partnered with the Music in Africa Foundation to bring Acces 2021 to South Africa, with an eye on the trade and business-to-business markets.
In addition to South Africa's global blockbuster Master KG, two other artists presented by Reeperbahn Festival at ACCES this year are Australia-based Zambian rapper, Sampa the Great; and, France-based South African hip hop artist, Yugen Blakrok. These two female musicians are at the forefront of redefining the hip-hop genre from a diasporic perspective. They will get a chance at the conference to showcase their art in front of international industry professionals, including festival bookers, event organisers and label executives.
With its two closely interwoven strands, the public festival programme contains concerts and programme items from art, film and literature. The plan for trade visitors, the Reeperbahn Festival, follows the model of cultural-economic events such as the Berlinale/Berlin International Film Festival and the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Evelyn Sieber, project lead for Reeperbahn Festival International, said the festival organisers were excited to be back in Africa for ACCES in Johannesburg.
"After our first successful trip to Accra in 2019, and an exclusive digital pan-African edition earlier this year, we feel our partnership with the Music in Africa Foundation, and in particular the wonderful team behind it, has grown very strong during those difficult times," she said.
Over the past 18 months, the Covid-19 pandemic, which had claimed more than five million lives globally, had left no industry or sector unscathed. The music industry had also suffered, Sieber said, but now more than ever that the connections between Africa and Europe should be forged, and ACCES, like no other access point, should unlock opportunities for the African market.
"We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the support of the German Foreign Office to make this possible and look forward to welcoming many representatives of the African music business at Reeperbahn Festival 2022 in Hamburg," Sieber said.
Explaining the partnership with the Reeperbahn Festival, director of the Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF), Eddie Hatitye, said his foundation’s goal is to support African musicians. One of the projects they have been involved in since 2017 is a trade event for African music called ACCES, which had developed over the years, resulting in partnerships with international collaborators.
"We started a partnership with Reeperbahn in 2019, where they also bring European delegates; they are very much interested in creating partnerships between the European music professionals and other industries. Africa is one of those other industries... also China and the [United] States.
"With regards to access to content, sharing their content to learning... networking and all kinds of things. So, smartphones, that's where the industry is going. And this gives us hope that all the activities that we thought could be done physically. I think naturally we were going there anyway, but now with COVID-19, I think we just been fast-tracked into the new reality," he said.
Acces World Music Conference is set to be held over three days in Johannesburg, from November 25 to 27. There will be two-panel discussions, "Talent Development, Incubation and Investment Models for African Creators" and "Empowering African Artists to Get Their Music Heard", which will take place at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre on November 25 and 26 respectively.
Confirmed speakers for the panel discussions, among other prominent music industry professionals, include: Nø Førmat! label founder, Laurent Bizot (France); TuneCore Germany head Colin Schrinner; Black Major founder and CEO Sevi Spanoudi (South Africa); Unorthodox Media founder Philip Edusei (Ghana); and, The Orchard director of distribution Mpumi Philips (South Africa). In addition to presenting artists and panel discussions at ACCES 2021, Reeperbahn Festival will, for the first time, support the workshop programme at the pan-African music conference. This year, Reeperbahn Festival will present Music Production Essentials, a two-day workshop targeting established and aspiring producers. The workshop will be facilitated by producer and musician 37mph, and singer, songwriter and producer Muzi. They will share their production skills on beat-making, music arrangement, DAWs, plugins, mastering and helpful production tools.
The festival will also present a workshop, "How to Build a Music Brand That Is True to Your Sound", led by hip-hop artist Gigi Lamayne and artist manager Cuthbert Ndlovu. The workshop is designed to take indie musicians through the process of creating a brand that resonates with audiences. Interested individuals can register for the workshops here.
Registration for ACCES 2021 is mandatory and on a first-come, first-served basis. African delegates register for free. For media interview requests, contact JT Comms on +2711 788 7632 or email [email protected]