UNITED STATES-BASED Zimbabwean music producer and consultant, Solyd The Plug, real name Martin Chikomba, has launched a distribution company, Oak Media, to help artistes retain 100% control of their music rights.

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

Solyd The Plug is also one of the owners of Mashroom Media in partnership with ExQ and DJ Tamuka.He has distributed well over 800 music videos to MTV, Trace Urban and Channel O through his music publishing business.

Chikomba told NewsDay Life & Style that he was inspired to launch an independent music distribution company after witnessing a surge in cases of artistes who have failed to realise profits from their projects.

“We have talented artistes in Zimbabwe and after having been exposed to various productions here in the US and receiving complaints from various local artistes that they were realising little profits as some diasporas were taking advantage of artistes and taking a bigger share when they help them upload their music online, I was driven by that gap to say the artistes must have full control of his or her rights and must get 100% of their profits.

“So we decided to venture in this initiative as a music agent and it means we don’t sign artistes, but they go to our sites www.shoutoutsafrica.com and www.mashroommedia.com and they will have to fill in a form and our team will get in touch with them. It depends with the type of contract an artiste is in because we are also able to buy out artistes so that they become independent. Artistes must have the knowledge that you don’t need someone to help you upload your music but they can do it for themselves and we are not launching this as a profit-making organisation but have been driven by the burning desire to bail out struggling artistes,” he said.

He also disclosed that they have also launched another platform Shoutout Africa meant to give artistes an extra income during COVID-19 period.

“Many artistes especially in Africa have been hard hit by the impacts of COVID-19 as they were unable to hold shows, so we have decided to launch Shoutout Africa a platform in which fans can request an artiste of their choice to make them a video they like, it might be a video of birthday wish or any other videos and this means for each video an artiste make they will get US$ 30 or more, so currently we have seen musicians joining and we are hoping more will join and we are there to help them.

“We also have Mashroom Media multimedia company that also focuses on grooming artistes as these are our future and we will groom them as independent artistes who are their own boss and they will have their own labels and by all these we are trying to reshape the music industry through teaching them how to maximise profits and this company I co-own it with ExQ and Dj Tamuka.”

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