The recent visit of Boiler Room to Nairobi has done much to open the eyes of the global music industry to the creative energy in the city. But ‘scene’ level interest doesn’t necessarily convert into more sales, streams or plays for individual artists.
2 years ago, you’d be lucky to count the number of Kenyan artists on Spotify on one hand, and they were likely to be the established artists with teams who were placing their music on the platform. Even though DIY’ing it onto Spotify has been possible and affordable for East Africans for a while through DDA’s like CD Baby, TuneCore and the like, very few had made it onto the platform.
The whole spotify promotion thing is tricky for East African artists because it’s not available locally, so less visibility, ‘out of sight out of mind’ more floating around in the darkness. This inability to see what’s going on properly and the small number of high end lists featuring EA music, and the limited material (while artists haven’t yet made the jump) – mean that the East African representation on Spotify is small.
On Spotify it’s about volume, real volume, before any money or traction comes. It’s also about playlists, the big ones are the taste makers. But then how do you get on playlists to get noticed, it’s a kind of chicken and egg thing.
With the view that it’s much easier to push a list than multiple individual artists, and that many can potentially benefit from promotion of a single ‘playlist’, this ALT NRB playlist was born.
ALT NRB PLAYLIST LINK
Hoping to follow with ALT TZ, ALT UG, ALT EAST AFRICA.