Global streaming platform Spotify today announced a donation to Vibrate Space, a non-profit organization helping young Ghanaian music entrepreneurs with the tools and skills they need to thrive in the industry, from its Creator Equity Fund to support emerging artists in Ghana.
Vibrate Space, which is operated by Surf Ghana in Accra, is a community recording studio and music business programme, offering education, mentorship and space to young Ghanaian artists, so that they can create, connect and collaborate.
Spotify first partnered with Vibrate in September 2022 with a donation that facilitated the launch of the studio. Over the past six months, Vibrate has registered over 200 studio bookings, and hosted many more creators for events and classes.
To help Vibrate achieve its robust plans to grow and support the creative economy in Ghana, Spotify is making a sizeable donation from its Creator Equity Fund which will be administered over multiple years.
Speaking about the partnership, Phiona Okumu, Head of Music for Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) said, “Since Spotify’s arrival in Africa five years ago, we have worked to identify opportunities to support artists in ways that speak directly to each of our markets. The partnership with Vibrate allows us to continue supporting emerging artists and cultural entrepreneurs in Ghana in addition to the on-platform work we are doing in the country.”
The most recent donation was announced today at an event at Surf Ghana by Spotify’s Global Head of Artist and Audience partnerships Joe Hadley. “Spotify is proud to continue our efforts to support and uplift creatives with our Creator Equity Fund. I’m excited to share that from that fund we’re announcing a donation to the Vibrate Space in Accra, Ghana. They have been incredible partners to us; continually pouring into the local community and creating a space where artists can come together to grow creatively. We’re looking forward to hearing the music, stories, and success that will come out of Vibrate.”
The donation will be administered over multiple years, enabling the organisation to collaborate with and support even more aspiring young artists who seek to kick-start their careers.
Vibrate’s plans to use the additional funding for artist support include a festival at the space, to be held at the end of the year, supporting artists to put on their own events and establishing a youth hostel, where young people can find affordable, short term accommodation while also experiencing the collaborative and community aspects of Vibrate. The organisation is also looking to establish an artist in residency and exchange programme to fuel creativity, collaboration and cultural exchange, as well as a women’s programme aimed at supporting women’s growth in the industry. They also intend to expand their educational offerings, by extending their highly successful monthly masterclasses for another two years and introducing a three month instrument learning programme, starting with piano lessons and expanding into other instruments.
Supporting Emerging Artists
Founder and director of Surf Ghana, Sandy Alibo said: “ We are happy to be partnered with Spotify. They’re really supportive of the alternative scene and not every brand understands that. We work with young, and emerging artists and creators who are looking to make a mark in the music industry and Spotify is a brand that speaks to young people, and has played a significant role in taking African and Ghanaian music to the world.”
Spotify data shows that fans on Spotify are finding and listening to Ghanaian artists all around the world. For every stream in Ghana of a Ghanaian artist, there are 6 streams all around the world, with top international markets for Ghanaian artists including the USA, UK, Nigeria, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and France.
A number of Ghanaian artists have been beneficiaries of Spotify programmes aimed at showcasing local artists on a global stage and increasing discoverability. These include Black Sherif, who is a Spotify RADAR artist, Amaarae, Moliy and Gyakie, have both been EQUAL Ambassadors and Kofee Bean is a Fresh Finds artist. Sincerely Accra, a Ghanaian podcast, was also named as one of 13 African podcasts to receive a share of Spotify’s 100,000 USD last year.
Managing Director for Spotify SSA Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy said, “Spotify is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to promote African music, and celebrate and support its creators. We see ourselves as a global platform with a local focus and we really drill down to understand what is happening across the continent, and how we can support both artists and users in those markets. Our partnership with Vibrate is one way that we are doing this in Ghana, but we have plans and projects in place to support artists both on and off platform across the region.”