Music curator and music marketer, Benewaah Boateng’s love for music blossomed from her father, who had a deep appreciation for music of all genres. Her love for music resulted in the founding of Harmattan Rain, a music curation platform to highlight the amazing new music, discovered while listening and searching for music from blossoming African acts. Since its inception in 2017, Harmattan Rain has grown to become a definitive voice on emerging an upcoming music from Africa and the African diaspora. Read more for our exclusive interview with Benewaah:
Tell us about how you started your journey in the creative space?
“I stumbled into the creative space first with poetry. Writing was just a way of self-expression. Whilst in my second year in university, I ended up interning with Publicis Africa Groupe, an ad agency. And that is where my love for marketing and creative writing blended as I worked on copywriting. I dabbled a bit in production work as well while there. While at Publicis, I started Harmattan Rain, just as an outlet for sharing new music I discovered on Soundcloud.
From Publicis and after University I went to Ogilvy and then Universal Music Group and Harmattan Rain followed. The platform has steadily grown and gained popularity among indie and alternative African acts. In 2020 we became an official Apple music curating partner, as well as a Boomplay, verified curators. To be honest, we’re still navigating the African music media space after 4 years but I’m grateful for every step of the journey.”
You describe your platforms as curating the future of African music, tell us more about Harmattan Rain and Rain Labs and how it does this?
“Harmattan Rain is all about discovery. The music we look out for and support are the rare gems in the African music space… the Harmattan Rains. We lookout for the trends before they are even hot. We spend a significant amount of our time scouring the internet; Soundcloud, Audiomack, Apple Music, Spotify playlists, social media, blogs… literally every and anywhere. Trusting our gut and ears for the best new music. So far, we have not got it wrong. We then do our best to support the music through playlists, articles, reviews, and others.
It is from the passion of wanting to see artists do well that I started rain. Labs with 3 other friends. rain. Labs is a music marketing agency that connects brands, musicians and fans through marketing strategies, campaigns, brand work and others. We believe in making earnings from music, and as the world slowly leans into Africa to World, we want to play our part in ensuring our clients are telling their stories how they want, and the earning from it.”
What motivated you to create these platforms?
“My passion for music and desire to see our music in the spotlight and getting its due. Too many times there have been foreign publications leaning into our music and culture, telling the stories quite different from how it really is. Harmattan Rain was birthed specifically to document and share.
Rain. Labs from the desire to just see musicians and artists make a living from their art. It’s such a beautiful gift to know how to create music or contribute to its creation, and it’s unfair to see musicians make next to nothing. My team and I were motivated to help artists get in their bag.”
From taking a look at your progress, no doubt you are doing exceedingly well in this space. How do you navigate in a male-dominated industry, what advice can you give to other young women trying to flourish within the music industry?
“Be yourself, play your cards and constantly be aware that you deserve to be where you are. Many people, especially men, are honestly just finessing things and figuring it out as they go. Don’t cower, be shy or try to act shy “because that is what is acceptable for a respectable young lady”… you are capable and able of any and everything you want. And you don’t have to dim yourself to get there.”
What does the future look like, what can we expect to see from you and your platforms in 2021?
“The future is honestly exciting. I am looking forward to collaborations across the continent and creating some amazing new content. One of which includes a podcast series that I’m super excited about. Can’t wait to hit the ground running!”
Follow Benewaah Boateng on Instagram.