If you haven't heard of azonto by now, you've probably been hiding under a rock. Azonto is a new dance-cum-musical genre that has exploded out of obscurity in an inner city neighborhood of Accra and spawned a subculture across the world. The azonto craze is just one of the ways that Ghana's long-acknowledged talent for rhythm and dance has been re-emerging more forcefully than ever on the global music scene. Yet despite the talent and popularity on display, according to a 2008 UN report, Africa's cultural exports make up less than 1% of the global trade in cultural goods and services, with a continental music industry that can largely be described as fragmented and lacking the structure needed to produce the kind of star power generated by the music industry in the developed world.
What's the history of Ghana's music industry? How is it changing now in this globalized era? What kind of talent and new genres are being developed? What are the challenges for the development of the industry? What can music bring to economic, social and national development agendas?
Several experts and practitioners on Ghana's music industry will be speaking with us about trends and their vision for the industry:
Kobby Graham, professor at Ashesi University, popular culture scholar and founder of Dust magazine
Benjamin LeBrave, a French producer, DJ “BBrave,” and founder of Akwaaba Music.
A surprise guest musician!