- Strengthening the relationship between Nordic countries and Africa will be incredibly important going forward

Eric Elvenes is going to Tanzania for this year's Acces conference.

Written by Tina Brodal 10.11.2022

Eric Elvenes is co-founder of the music company JB Music and A&R manager at Idap Music. Photo: Private

ACCES is both a conference and showcase arena which takes place in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania from November 24 - 26. Former Masterclass participant Eric Elvenes, co-founder of the music company JB Music and A&R manager at Idap Music, travels down on a mission from Music Norway to evaluate the conference as an arena for making relevant contacts and to increase the knowledge of how to work with a selection of African countries.

How did you hear about Access and why did you think it sounded interesting?

- I keep myself updated on musicnorway.no and keep a close eye on what is relevant, and when I saw that it was possible to participate in this year's Acces conference in Dar Es Salaam, I just had to show interest. I am incredibly curious about Africa as a continent and African music. In recent years, I've been lucky enough to travel around the world - a lot because of Music Norway's grant schemes, but I haven't made the trip to Africa yet. I'm really looking forward to that!

During the stay, Elvenes hopes to be able to get to know new music industry colleagues, and gain a greater understanding of the market there.

- I also hope to gain insight into what they see as challenges and opportunities globally, he says.

New bases in West, East and Southern Africa
Elvenes describes a big change in the African music industry, where big companies are setting up bases and offices in several countries in Africa. He is looking forward to checking out local artists performing during his trip, as well as feeling the energy and culture of the country.

- Tanzania has incredibly good artists who have made an impact on the rest of the world - everything from Diamond Platnumz, Rayvanny to Zuchu and Professor Jay.

Are there any key people or companies you hope to connect with while there?

- It all depends how accessible they are and whether it can be done, but I have great respect for what Diamond Platnumz has done in East Africa. D.P is the founder of WCB Records, Wasafi Bet and Wasafi Media. He and his team have gone through a very inspiring journey, and he has built a music empire. I also hope to be able to have a chat with everything from distributors to A&Rs, promoters, labels and mgmt.