Derrick N. Ashong, born in Accra, Ghana, and raised in the United States, is the material developer and business person behind AMP International Technologies and the Reclaim the Mic app, a platform that rewards customers who find and share trending material with ad-supported mobile information.
” Our group at AMP International is dedicated to broadening web gain access to and imagination for neighborhoods around the globe,” states Ashong. Throughout the international pandemic, he introduced and hosted the very first season of The Mic: Africa, a virtual hip-hop competitors based upon his two-time Emmy-nominated digital series, The World Cup of Hip Hop
The Mic: Africa is a multi-platform music competitors where audiences utilize the TBTM app, readily available for Google and iOS gadgets, to pick 18 semifinalists from 6 nations: Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, Mauritius and Kenya.
Those 18 semifinalists contend throughout 5 episodes in front of a worldwide jury from throughout the diaspora, in addition to stars consisting of music artists DJ Maseo of De La Soul, Doug E Fresh, Woman of Rage, Nigerian rap artist M.I Abaga, Indian rap artist Raja Kumari and South Africa’s standup comic David Kau. The very first season simply covered with Nigerian artist Fecko winning the grand reward and title.
For( bes) The Culture spoke with Ashong about introducing a worldwide platform throughout a pandemic and what he’s preparing beside magnify the imagination and voices of artists throughout the diaspora.
For( bes) The Culture: Why did you pick music to combine the numerous nations throughout the continent of Africa?
Derrick Ashong: Individuals discuss music as a universal language. African music is indisputable in the scale and power of its international effect, however a great deal of individuals are uninformed of the core African impacts in music like hip-hop, reggae, the blues, salsa, samba, jJazz and rock-and-roll. Eventually, Africa is where the taste was born, and music is the tapestry that weaves the continent and the diaspora together as an interconnected whole– finding, showing and progressing each other’s voices as we continue to innovate and redefine the architecture of international popular culture. Our company believe that by starting with music, we offer Africans in the house and throughout the diaspora, a typical area where we can find ourselves and each other through brand-new eyes, and welcome the world-at-large to join us there.
For( bes) The Culture: How has the Reclaim the Mic app magnified the imagination of artists throughout the African diaspora?
Ashong: The Reclaim the Mic app assists developers to construct motions around their material. In tandem with The Mic: Africa series, the app is assisting to turn the most appealing undiscovered artists on the continent into international stars. Due to the fact that the TBTM app puts the power in the hands of the audience, it makes it possible for unanticipated developers like graffiti artists, dancers and songwriters to likewise be magnified to a larger phase.
For( bes) The Culture: How is this multi-platform music competitors the very first of its kind?
Ashong: The Mic: Africa is the first-ever interactive TELEVISION format born upon the African continent to be exported around the globe, bring an African cultural structure to audiences around the world.
Unlike conventional mainstream music competitors, the series is really interactive due to the fact that fans cast, curate and identify the result of the program from start to complete.
For( bes) The Culture: How are you continuing to move equipments throughout the pandemic?
Ashong: The pandemic forced us to actually extend our imagination and believe in a different way about how to establish and release a brand-new series. One “pleased mishap” of the covid age was our choice to engage filmmakers on the ground in each of the nations, rather of having one team fly all over. Most likely our greatest remove from the experience was the awareness that while international web usage increased 70% in the early days of the lockdowns, high speed web usage was flat at 7% in Africa. That’s due to the fact that individuals here pay the greatest rates worldwide for mobile web gain access to.
So, we developed a toolset within the app to make it possible for users to make mobile information based upon their engagement, and to utilize that information anywhere on the web. That “entrance to the web” ability motivated a wider effort called 70 x 25, to take Africa to 70% high-speed web usage by the end of 2025.
We have actually had the ability to cause our very first telco partners as part of that moonshot union, consisting of 9Mobile in Nigeria, Kenya Telkom and Liquid Telecom, and are working to broaden the effort with brand name partners throughout a range of sectors, in addition to inter-governmental organizations like the UN, UNESCO and UNHCR.
For( bes) The Culture: What efforts are you and your group preparation on introducing in the future?
Ashong: We will absolutely be doing more seasons of The Mic: Africa, and are currently in speak to broaden the format to other areas. We are likewise dealing with some actually cool media partners in Hollywood and other international markets, to release brand-new material homes that take advantage of our innovation to drive deep engagement in between creatives and their fans. In the coming months we’ll be introducing a series of functions that make it possible for partner brand names to construct direct relationships with fans on the platform, and make it simpler for developers, suppliers and material owners to construct and grow motions around their material.