HIVE INDUSTRY SESSION #01: Mago Hits - Aggregating The Sounds Of Francophone Africa

Cedric Mangosa and Mago Hits are on a mission to unearth Francophone's musical talent.

HIVE INDUSTRY SESSION #01: Mago Hits -  Aggregating The Sounds Of Francophone Africa

Following our report on the opportunities in Cameroon, we had the pleasure of chatting to Cedric Mangosa of Mago Hits - a platform dedicated to unearthing and promoting Francophone talent. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo-Brazzaville descending multi-hyphenate gives us a brief outlook on how he views the region's prospects in the musical space.   

Mayuyuka: Tell me a little about yourself and your journey in the music industry.

Cedric: I'm Cedric Mangosa. I can describe myself in 3 words: young, passionate, and self-taught.

I'm a talent manager, social media manager, community manager, content creator, and music curator. I’m passionate about urban cultures, digital media, and communication. I have experience in digital marketing (strategy, content creation, digital campaigns, community management, influence) and talent management.

Mayuyuka: What different roles have you played across your career?

I've taken on several roles in my career. I've been a graphic designer, community manager, content manager, social media manager, talent manager, project manager, event planner, media buyer, and digital strategist.

Mayuyuka: I know your work at Atalaku involves community - how important is establishing a platform dedicated to unearthing and promoting Francophone talent community around music to you?

Precisely, as my work at Atalaku involves the community. I work on building and managing communities around brands and personalities. Regardless of its size, a community is essential for an artist. Whether it's the accumulated subscribers on social media, the listeners on streaming platforms, or the real fans engaged beyond the digital realm, the whole community established and built around the artist is the very essence of his or her existence. They're the ones who share and comment on his or her publications on social media. They listen to his music on streaming platforms, attend his concerts, and buy his music and merchandise. They're the ones who defend the artist's cause and vision within the community.

Mayuyuka: In your case, your building around Francophone sounds. What space is Francophone music currently in?

I can say that francophone music is still in its incubation phase. Francophone musicians and professionals are in the process of finding their feet, positioning themselves, training, and informing themselves so that they can flourish and be exported. It's going to take time, but it's happening.

Mayuyuka: How does Mago Hits assist in this?

Mago Hits continues to provide training and information on digital music and the career development opportunities behind streaming platforms. Mago Hits also tries to highlight young artists. Hence, our partnership as curator for Francophone Africa for Apple Music and tastemaker for Audiomack. We have also created a new structure called Yo Entertainment. Through this structure, we support young artists in strategy, management, distribution, press relations, and booking, aiming to professionalize career management and raise awareness of the business side of music.

Mayuyuka: How has the journey been?

Mago Hits media has been established since November 2017. Nothing has been easy, but the vision has evolved with the industry. Something that has allowed us to be present until today.

Mayuyuka: What genres does the platform focus on?

We focus on all urban music and Afro sounds: afrobeats, afropop, rap, rumba, coupé-décalé, soukouss, and even urban gospel.

Mayuyuka: What are some lessons you’ve learnt with building such an ecosystem on the continent?

I've learned two things: great things take time to build, and being a forerunner or avant-gardist in a field or sector has never been easy.

Mayuyuka: What role does the diaspora play in this picture?

The diaspora plays a crucial role in this picture. Being the most exposed to digital and the latest technological developments, they have quickly adopted streaming before the locals. That's why more of our artists' streams come from countries like France, the USA, or Canada. It also has greater purchasing power than the locals. That's why it's easy for them to buy tickets and merchandise for Francophone African artists when they perform in the diaspora.

Many members of the diaspora also act as patrons, providing financial support to artists in realizing their projects without expecting anything in return. As a token of thanks, the latter are often autographed in songs.

Mayuyuka: What other factors do you think will help contribute to the growth of Francophone music?

I think that music in Francophone Africa lacks two things on the part of artists and industry professionals: training and information. As a bonus, I'd say seriousness and discipline. I'm not generalizing, but I'd say that's the case for the majority of industry players.

Mayuyuka: How would you describe Francophone artists' relationship with and channels of contact between fans and artists and facilitate the relationship in both directions so that artists can easily talk to their fans at any time and vice versa their fans?

Francophone artists are close to their fans, but I think we still have two points to improve to make this relationship much more beneficial for both sides. We need to multiply the points, occasions, and channels of contact between fans and artists and facilitate the relationship in both directions so that artists can easily talk to their fans at any time and vice versa.

Mago Hits on Apple Music
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Mayuyuka: Congratulations, Mago Hits recently announced that it is an official curator for Apple Music. How does that feel, an excellent, and what does it mean for the platform?

Thank you so much! This is an excellent thing for us and the whole music industry in Francophone Africa. This collaboration allows us to showcase artists on Apple Music who haven't yet had this kind of opportunity.

It's a source of pride for us and means a lot to the platform. It shows that all the hard work we've put in over the years has paid off. It's just one step. We're not going to stop here, but we're going to set up other initiatives to put music from Francophone Africa on the map.

Mayuyuka: What does the future look like for Francophone music?

As I said earlier, Francophone music is still in its incubation phase, but it's only a matter of time before it blossoms! The future looks bright! Let's just be there when it blossoms.

Check out the HIVEWIRE playlist - The Hive

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