The Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC) 2023 was a resounding success, bringing together hundreds of artists, fans, and industry professionals at Johannesburg’s Hallmark House Hotel on May 23 and 24. This female-led event received high praise from delegates, who recognized it as a crucial platform for bridging the gap between Africa and the rest of the world.

Spotlight on Zambia & Germany
This year, the conference highlighted Zambia and Germany, showcasing influential local industry players such as the Music In Africa Foundation, South African Music Performance Rights Association, Basadi In Music Awards, and Trace South Africa. The event also welcomed a delegation of music professionals from Germany, including renowned figures like Owen Ross, Alexis Waltz, Gaurav Narula, Maureen ‘Mo’ Mutheu, Philipp Geffer, Slawjana Ulrich, Peer-Uli May, Karin Mueller, and Thilini Jayawickrama.

Plenary Sessions & Workshops
Over the course of two days, delegates engaged in insightful plenary sessions and workshops, exchanging ideas on how to improve the music industry. Discussions focused on pressing issues and explored new opportunities. Noteworthy topics included the power of music conferences in driving regional music industries and the evolving role of artist-manager collaboration in today’s fast-paced music business landscape.

Renowned Speakers & Pioneer DJ Workshops
The conference also featured renowned speakers like Shiba Melissa Mazaza, Choolwe Chibomba, Ralph Boege, Mangaliso Mthembu, Sebastian Spring, Namakau Star, Tamara Dey, Bwalia Nkumbula, Pfanani Lishivha, and others who shared their expertise and experiences.

Participants had the chance to attend Pioneer DJ workshops, where they learned essential DJ skills from experts. Aspiring DJs also received guidance on how to enhance their revenue opportunities. Showcases provided South African and Zambian artists with valuable networking opportunities and potential collaborations with international partners.

Showcases and Collaborations
The conference was a platform for South African and Zambian artists to showcase talents, forge collaborations, and explore international opportunities. The lineup featured local and international acts like Bholoja, Aka Kelzz, The Planetoids, Natasha Chansa and more. These showcases sparked enthusiasm and fostered connections among artists and industry professionals.

The conference concluded with a fundraising dinner at Marabi club, where attendees gathered to support the Bridges for Music academy. Esteemed musician Zakes Bantwini, an early supporter of the first ARMC event, lent his support to the evening. The event raised an impressive sum of 300,000 rand, contributing to the growth and development of the Bridges for Music academy.

A Platform for Empowerment
Founded in 2018 by SJ Nicholson, Sharon Ramoshaba, DJ La Vita, Jules Spielmann, and Namakau Star, ARMC continued its mission of empowering artists and music executives while fostering connections in the international space. The conference attracted a delegation of over 20 international executives and artists from Europe and hosted the Zambian delegation for the first time.

Namakau Star expressed her enthusiasm about the event, highlighting the positive energy and the representation it provided. Delegates also visited Soweto to gain insights into the opportunities and challenges faced by local artists.

Africa Rising Music Conference 2023 embodied the spirit of unity, collaboration, and empowerment in the global music industry. With its success, the conference reaffirmed the importance of building bridges by bringing together diverse communities and cultures. Mark your calendars for ARMC 24, which will take place on May 28 and 29, 2024.