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Bien Aime on board of new association, RIKE, for Kenyan music producers

By Grace Kerongo October 10th, 2023 3 min read

Kenya’s music industry has taken a significant step forward with the official launch of the Recording Industry of Kenya (RIKE), a trade association focused on representing the interests of music producers in the country.

Registered as a not-for-profit organization under Kenyan law in 2022, RIKE has garnered support from major music industry players such as Sony Music Entertainment Africa, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.

RIKE’s primary objective is to promote the collective interests of sound recording producers within Kenya.

The association aims to achieve this by advocating for supportive policies and legislative measures that safeguard the recorded music ecosystem, especially in the face of challenges such as piracy and illegal exploitation of recorded music.

Also read: Music association urges parliament to amend copyright law

The organization also intends to collaborate with stakeholders and policymakers to ensure that collective management practices in sound recordings align with global standards.

Part of its mission is to establish a culture of corporate governance within the industry.

RIKE is set to work closely with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) to align with global best practices. Additionally, it will play a key role in the administration of International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs) in Kenya.

Educational programs are a cornerstone of RIKE’s initiatives, with a focus on educating members about the importance of ISRCs in the efficient management of sound recording and music video rights.

These programs will also emphasize the accurate monitoring and distribution of royalties, particularly in the performance rights sector.

Eric Musyoka, Chairman of RIKE and Executive Producer of Decimal Records, expressed optimism about the future of Kenya’s recording industry.

“Having witnessed the industry evolve over the last two decades, we know the importance of setting a foundation for critical systems and programmes for investors in the recorded music industry. The board and I will use our experience and we welcome like-minded individuals to join us; together, we will build a reliable mark of excellence for the local recording industry.”

Also read: Clemo to fight for music producers and songwriters’ rights

RIKE’s National Coordinator, Angela Mwandanda, highlighted the organization’s engagement with music stakeholders and potential partners who share similar interests.

Ms Mwandanda, stated, “Since its establishment, RIKE has had great engagement with music stakeholders and potential partners whose interests align with ours. It is very encouraging to receive the support from the international record companies and such enthusiasm for progress; I am looking forward to seeing the industry reach its full potential.”

RIKE’s board boasts individuals with extensive experience and success in the music business, including Eric Musyoka, Bien-Aime Alusa of Sauti Sol and Sol Generation Records, Suzanne Gachukia-Opembe of SubSahara Limited, Lavern Thomas of Warner Music Group, John Katana Harrison of Them Mushrooms and Kalakata Music, Manusha Sarawan of Universal Music Group for Southern and East Africa, Japheth Kasanga of Kassanga Music Centre, and Sean Watson, Managing Director at Sony Music Entertainment Africa.

It’s worth noting that RIKE serves a distinct purpose from the Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), which primarily represents the rights and interests of sound recording producers within record labels.

KAMP operates as a collective management organization (CMO) and has been actively involved in collecting license fees and distributing royalties in accordance with Kenyan copyright laws.

Ms Mwandada clarified in an interview with Nairobi News, saying, “RIKE is not a collection management body, but we shall be holding the CMO’s to account when it comes to protecting the collective interests of producers of sound recordings in Kenya.”

RIKE’s launch ceremony on October 9 at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi welcomed Kenyan record producers and marked the commencement of new member registrations.

Also read: Bien: Sol Fest will continue even with Sauti Sol gone