CollaboNation 2024 Applications Launched in Jo’burg

By Inside Biz

Artist applications for the 2nd edition of CollaboNation, Africa’s premier collaboration portal, are now open!

The call-out for interested artists who wish to participate this year was announced at the official CollaboNation 2024 launch, at AMPD Studios in Johannesburg, South Africa on 6th February 2024.

Founded in 2022, and produced by one of the continent’s leading conscious music and arts festivals, MTN Bushfire in Eswatini, CollaboNation connects and unites the continent through the creation of unique cross-border and cross-genre songs. By linking countries and cultures through unique and innovative artist collaborations, CollaboNation is designed to support artists, capacitate the regional music sector through training and mentorship, and inspire dynamic new African content creation.

CollaboNation is unique in that it facilitates physical meetings and shared studio time for the selected artists to create new, conscious, songs. The songs are debuted in a live performance at one of Africa’s biggest multicultural festivals: MTN Bushfire in Eswatini, which will be held from 31 May – 2 June 2024. The live performances are filmed for music videos to support the international release of the tracks.

At the launch, members of the team presented CollaboNation 2024 to an attentive audience of music industry and media practitioners. MTN Bushfire Festival Director Jiggs Thorne spoke about the need to support South-South interactions and intra-African arts mobility.

“Collabonation connects and unites the African continent – and the world – through unique music collaborations that promote and support the cultural legacies of traditional African music within a modern music context. The entire CollaboNation project is intended to support and validate identity, culture, and heritage in a celebration of Africa’s diverse and unique cultural roots.”

Music in Africa Foundation Director Eddie Hatitye, representing the 2023 CollaboNation funding partner, the Sounds Connect Fund, also spoke, saying:

The Music in Africa Foundation Sound Connects Fund team and all the partners involved in this initiative are blown away by the creative output of CollaboNation. We are pleased and excited to see the emphasis on collaboration exchange and sustainability that has been demonstrated throughout this project. Bringing together artists from different countries and different artistic backgrounds to make such compelling creative projects and performances has never been done in this format before.”

2023 CollaboNation artists Mokooomba, from Zimbabwe, and their collaborative partner Morena Leraba, from Lesotho, spoke about their experience in the 2023 edition.

Mokoomba manager Marcus Gora said: “CollaboNation enabled us with the incredible opportunity to connect and work with Morena Leraba from Lesotho, in an environment of mutual learning and respect. We are extremely proud of the song we recorded, ‘Chisimo’ that speaks to both our musical styles and our cultural traditions. We were very excited to share this new sound with a global audience.  Thanks to MTN Bushfire and the Sounds Connect Fund for making this project possible.”

Mokoomba’s Mosotho collaborator on ‘Chisimo’, Morena Leraba, added “CollaboNation opened whole new horizons – throughout the years, our career has been painted with several collaborations. However, CollaboNation was unique – we travelled to Harare to create magic with one of the most creative and inspiring bands in Southern Africa.”

The other collaboration in 2023 was between Thobile Makhonyane from Eswatini and Hood Brodz from Mozambique. Their song ‘Sek’sedvute’ can be found on all platforms, as can ‘Chisimo’.

The first year of CollaboNation was funded by the Sound Connects Fund, an initiative by the Music in Africa Foundation (MIAF) and Goethe-Institut. The Sound Connects Fund is made possible with the financial contribution of the European Union and the support of the Organisation of ACP States.

How to Apply

Established African artists 21 years and older are invited to apply for the opportunity to collaborate with artists from another African country to record original and inspirational songs, in line with the social and environmental values of the MTN Bushfire festival.

All rights to CollaboNation songs and music videos are owned by the artists; produced and licensed by Bushfire Records, a dynamic record label with an authentic and eclectic focus; and distributed in partnership with Paradise Worldwide, a global distribution agency based in Europe.

Applications open on 7th February 2024 and close on 7th March 2024. Follow this link to apply:

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