The vision of three-time Grammy award-winning Zimbabwean producer, Brian Soko, to take local music beyond the country’s borders is fast taking shape.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
Soko, along with his brothers, Prince and Arnold partnered in 2013 to create Anashe Media Group in a bid to build an empire for the enhancement of music in different African countries.
To date, the multimedia group has established their presence in South Africa, Zambia and Nigeria.
Back home, they have so far signed four artists namely, Tatenda Kamera, Reverb7, Tapiwa “Youngnash” Nyagwaya and Jazz Prosper and it is this quartet which is showing signs of a takeover on the continental spectrum.
“We are identifying and developing talent. We believe this will give us a healthy return in the long run and our programme has us on pace to see initial returns on our investment next year,” said Prince, who is the managing partner.
“Our goal was to create a platform for African producers to excel in building their business networks, secure publishing and access new markets.”
South Africa-based producer Mr Kamera is riding high after the release of the remix to his debut single Pamusika, on which he featured Ice Prince, Gemini Major and Bryan K.
The producer-cum-musician never seizes to amaze as he has in the past created hits for accomplished artists, including Yemi Alade, Ice Prince, AKA and Cassper Nyovest.
On the other hand, Youngnash’s production Shisha Pipe was recently selected on the track list for the currently running fifth season of MTV Shuga.
“Brian was also keen to ensure that his success in the United States music market meant expanded learning and commercial opportunities for other African producers,” said Prince.
Reverb 7 (real name John Mahalu) also extended his reach in the region and his recent invitation to South Africa online radio Touch Central FM is testimony to it.
Having begun with a focus to assist producers only, Prince explained how they had added a new mandate to their portfolio which is developing and managing singers.
Currently they are handling Prosper Mutsokoti aka Jazz Prosper who has been out of the country for the last couple of months working on music with foreign artists.
“We think of ourselves as beyond a music label, ultimately we are trying to pass knowledge and springboard any talent we engage to learn and grow,” he said.
“Our criterion is identifying natural music talent, reviewing the artists’ existing body of work and versatility from a genre standpoint.”
He added that they were on the verge of signing a female musician.
The group is working towards securing partnerships with corporate brands to catalyse the continual development of the niche they have carved.
Although they have been expecting to start reaping benefits from their investments next year, they are already impressed with their exploits.
“We are pleased with our move to invest in the Zimbabwe music industry; the challenges are obvious from an economic standpoint but our focus is to penetrate the African market and to get our artist base competing at a Pan-African level.”
According to Prince, the growing demand for Afrocentric content worldwide is a boon for Anashe Media Group as they are looking at the Diaspora as a key market with their goal to “continue growing the brand, creating value partners and competing at an African and global level.”