In a country where artists die even before they try rising, give up on their vision because they can’t find a way through and disregarded in the society, Nges Brian births Muzikol.
The slow-growing nature of the Cameroon music industry is as a result of the absence of marketing and distribution channels. In effect, artists can’t make money from their craft. However, Brian’s passion for music drove him to discover long-lasting solutions to this problem.
What is Muzikol?
Muzikol is an online music market and social network built to meet the needs of African music lovers and artists. Muzikol was created to solve the two major problems faced by all artists in Cameroon: the problem of music distribution and the problem of making money from their craft.
However, the journey to building this platform that connects African music lovers and artists started some 3 years ago. Nges Brian in 2014, started commercial music where he did an album for Saint Bedes College, Ashing – Kom at their Golden Jubilee. The budding musical Brian enjoyed some obscurity upon his admission into the University of Buea.
As a growing youth, trying to build his vision and getting good grades at the same time was not a ride for anyone to admire.
It became a matter of choice – have good grades in school and forget your vision or build your vision and drop the latter. But Brian hoped he could still achieve both.
As an artist, he had a burning desire to solve a problem. Problem solvers are always in short supply in the world. Everyone wants success, but none likes the sacrifice you undergo to get it. However, nothing could stop him from becoming one.
Brian decided to be good in both his studies and his vision. A decision which required blood, sweat and tears, but he was ready to sail through. As life went on, he worked in the studio at night, producing music and went to school during the day.
Multi-tasking is a normal phenomenon in the life of an entrepreneur. Brian could not avoid it and had to start managing a team, running a company while involved in community development (open-source development). Being an artist and a core developer of a great product such as Muzikol was not an easy journey. But aged 20, the young man was too ambitious to give up.
As a computer engineering student, he developed a love for programming which was obvious. He was selected for the Google Summer of Code program to work on a project called “White Box and Regression Test on the Mynewt OS” under the Apache Software Foundation in his second year in the University. His experience in this program gave him a wider scope on how to build his dream product.
“As an artist, a producer, a DJ, a lover of African music, I discovered that there was a need to bring into existence a place on the internet where we can share, maintain, support and grow African music,” says Brian.
According to Brian, music reflects and shapes who we are as a people. The music we listen to can affect how we behave, how we reflect and how we act. We find and share a sense of communal identity in music. Therefore, our music is our heritage and our culture. Through our music, we identify with our people. Music is food for the soul.
There’s an old adage that says; “you can’t know where the shoe pains until you wear it.” As an artist, Brian has felt those pains. the losses, the struggle to find his voice in the industry are experiences he has passed through. He’s is no stranger to the pangs of no returns on investment. You might want to consult him!
The tough practice pushed him to discover the gap. And with every fiber in his joints, he has been fighting to close it. And the birth of Muzikol seems like the perfect gap filler.
How it works
Muzikol is a phenomenal initiative as it connects musicians and music lovers to deepen their relationship and grow the market for the African music industry.
This is achieved by the opening given to share content, sell music, sell merchandise and event tickets, book artists directly, chats, posting, etc, on the platform.
Also, purchases can be done locally using local payment methods such as MTN Mobile Money and internationally using Master and Visa Cards.
Revenue is raised by charging 19.9% of the money paid to Artist over Muzikol
With their huge database, they also do data mining for people willing to invest in music, record labels, etc. They also run adverts.
Since its creation, the product has been blazing the trail with its amazing accomplishments.
The online music market platform was recently shortlisted for the Africa Prize for Engineering and Innovation alongside 15 other projects from all over Africa by the Royal Academy of Engineering from the United Kingdom.
— RAEngGlobal (@RAEngGlobal) December 2, 2017
The only project from Cameroon and the CEMAC region selected this year happens to be Muzikol. The shortlist comes with entrepreneurship training for six months by CiTi in South Africa.
Muzikol is one of the nominees for Best Innovation of the Year at the Bonteh Media Network Awards coming up this December.
Muzikol is rumored to have signed a distribution deal of artistic services for Alpha Better Records.
This product is a ‘dream come true’ for young artists in Cameroon and Africa at large. Profit motives obviously drive anyone in business. If your business isn’t profitable, no matter how hard you work, it’s not worth the sacrifice. Muzikol offers a rare opportunity for Cameroonian artists to enjoy the fruits of their labour.