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March 06, 2004



Would that imply that you're interested in receiving more African music that doesn't have that particular problem? I've got some pretty good recordings from choirs in Lesotho that I'd been planning on releasing via mp3.com, but of course they're gone now. They were all friends of mine during my Peace Corps service there, and of course retain full rights to all their work.

John Buckman

I'm absolutely very interested in more African music submissions, but besides their owning the work, I want to make sure they get the money too (it's fine if it funnels through you on its way to them)


Shawn Fumo

Thanks for sticking to your guns on this issue John. :)

John Buckman

The common situation with African music (and South American, frequently as well)
1) a promoter brings musicians from Africa to tour in their country
2) the promoter pays for a few days of "session work" while they record an album
3) the musicians go back to Africa, the promoter sells the album in their market.

The problem with this is that the musicians are actually happy with this arrangement. They got paid to tour, and were paid to record. In fact, they might prefer this arrangement to owning the recording, because if they owned it a) it would probably not get great distribution in that country since they're not there to promote it and b) they probably wouldn't get paid at all as other people in the industry abused them.

The music industry has a long tradition of pay-on-the-spot work, which has translated into this "label owns the music, musicians are paid for session work" situation. This may be fine for true session work (playing on someone else's song), but I have a problem with it when an artist is recording songs they've written. The songwriter should retain rights to it, and if it's a big huge hit, it'd be nice if they saw some of that.

What needs to happen, in the near term, is that labels & promoters need to convince musicians to take a little less cash up front, in exchange for a real stake in the success of a recording. This motivates everyone to make sure the recording does well. The label wins in the near term by paying less to make recordings, and if they're honest and do share a little when there's a hit, talented musicians will come clamoring.


Fred Anguka

John's point is right on the money and that's one reason why I started Rowa Records to empower African artist and help them break away from the preditors who takes advantage of interlactual property.

Currently we are working with a group of seasoned African "Nene Tchackou, Abby Suria, Malege, Nguma Loketto, Shimitta Eldiego and Lokasa yambongo just to name a few" artist. We are trying to instill in them the benefits of royalties verses selling the writers rights and many more for a few thousands one time deal. We currently have two CD,s "Nene Tchakou and Abby Suria) ready for distribution and we need all the help we can get to make these artist realize the fruits of their hard work.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce "Rowa Records" to
you; we are base in Southern California and our forte is Cultural
Music. We are currently looking for distributors for our products which are
ready for release and scheduled for release this year and following
years. Our catalogue ready for release next month comprise of:

1. Nene Tchakou (Sukous)
2. Abby Suria (Rumba Stile of music)

The above products are ready for the market and we are just reaching
out farther to enable the rest of music listeners to have the
opportunity to own a copy of these artist latest work.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to look into our distribution request.

Below are the contacts:

Executive Producer: Fred Anguka
Phone: (909) 947-9417
Fax: (909) 947-9713
Production Engineer: George Ortiz
Phone: (909) 947-9417
Fax: (909) 947-9713
Producer: Nene Tchakou
Phone: (909) 947-9417
Fax: (909) 947-9713

Fred Anguka

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