Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Beatmaker from Gabon

“My dream is that one day African artists would be able to live from their music -- just like American people are doing right now -- and kind of create a new paradigm. I would like people to say there is an African dream too.” – Micky Badinga, beatmaker and MBA student in the southeastern state of Virginia.

Beatmaker Micky Badinga produces hip-hop music with samples, beats, singing, rapping, keyboards, and a computer.

Badinga started making music to fit his dance style as a teenager. His strongest musical influences have been his Gabonese heritage and the time he spent as a youth in France, where multi-cultural music reigns on airwaves. Now, while studying for his Master’s degree in Business Administration – an MBA -- he dreams of becoming an African Puff Daddy or Dr. Dre, two African-American rappers who went on to very lucrative and successful careers as music producers.

He believes his artistic talents, background and academic studies will help him succeed at the business of music in Africa.

Badinga says musicians trying to make a living from their music in Africa suffer badly from copyright violations. And only a small percentage can earn real money as musicians because there are so few avenues available to help them turn their talents into income -- mainly concert tours, and recording contracts they sign outside the continent.

After he graduates, Badinga hopes to go back to Africa to open his own recording studio. Eventually, he’d like to start his own recording company label to help African artists earn a better living from their music.

Until then, Badinga says, he’ll be working on his dream in the United States, making sure he succeeds in getting his MBA degree first, and learning what he can of the ins and outs of the fast-changing recording industry.