A Malawi born entrepreneur, based in London, has developed and launched the country’s first ever music streaming platform, offering people across the world the chance to access and listen to music by artists from Sub-Saharan Africa.
The new website called ‘Mvelani’, which means ‘Listen’ in the national language of Chichewa, has been created to allow fans at home and across the globe to discover, listen and share music which is not currently available through mainstream channels, as many of the popular acts have neither record labels or publishing deals.
“This project is extremely personal to me as the idea for the site originated through my own frustration at being unable to find music from home online. I hated having to constantly rely on asking my family to send it on to me and keep me up to date,” said 29-year-old Dumisani Kapanga, Founder of Mvelani, who noted that the need for Africans in diaspora to be in tune with music trending back at home largely influenced his decision to start the site.
“I also realised there was great potential for introducing the talented artists of my home country to a new international audience,” he added.
This site would provide artists with a much greater level of exposure with people who have either emigrated or are simply international fans.
‘Mvelani’ went live on 23 January, 2015 and aims to create a space where every song recorded or produced from Sub-Saharan Africa is organised and available through desktop and mobile devices.
The website already holds 1000+ tracks from over 100 artists catering for both new and old music.
Within its first four days of operation the site recorded over 50,000 minutes of listening time.
Kapanga expressed surprise that the idea has not been tried already, but said he was delighted with the success it has recorded so far.
“It’s my dream to cultivate the site into the largest music catalogue of its type and to have every song recorded or produced from Southern African artists available for download or streaming online and on mobile,” he adds.
Kapanga is working with the Malawian authorities as the site grows to establish the chance for featured acts to receive payment per play similar to larger music sharing platforms like Spotify.