29 October 2017

Rwanda: Famemix, a Rwandan Music Streaming Platform Launched

A free online audio distribution platform that enables users to upload, record, promote, and share their original content: Sounds like Soundcloud, right?

While the Germany-based Soundcloud is a platform open to musicians and artistes all over the world, Famemix, a new local online audio distribution platform is looking to exclusively cater for Rwandan musicians.

Famemix is the brainchild of 21 year old Manishimwe Jean de Dieu, who is studying for a Bachelors of Computer Science at the University of Kigali.

Manishimwe describes himself as "a software developer, CEO and co-founder of Famemix, which he describes as "a platform for Rwandan music only".

"It works in a similar way like Soundcloud, where a musician can register or create an account and upload their songs or albums, and share the songs, their profile, biography and social media links".

He explains that the whole idea for the platform is to create more visibility for Rwandan artists by having a one stop online shop for them.

"Other platforms like Soundcloud and Youtube are good, but they are too wide, with billions of songs from all over the world.

This makes it harder for people looking for Rwandan content to locate it since there are so many songs of higher quality competition for the listeners' attention. So I decided to create something specifically for Rwanda."

Manishimwe's love for computers started to manifest at the tender age of nine.

"I was inspired by my brother who was studying Management and Information Technology and at the time I was so stubborn that I would take my brother's computer and open it up without his permission," he reveals.

By the time he completed high school in November 2015, his mind was already made up and his love for computers sealed.

"I got two jobs in two different companies, one as a system engineer, and another as a software developer but at the same time I was also working on my personal projects."

He reveals that besides the knowledge he acquired in school, personal research on Youtube, Google, GitHub and other online forums has supplemented his skills.

"I trained myself to develop applications, whether mobile or web apps."

Currently, the company has managed to secure premises in Kibagabaga, a Kigali suburb.

"Famemix is platform that helps its users upload, share their songs, like, comment, and chat, and it is here as a tool to help Rwandan artistes both upcoming and established.

It is a convergence point where all Rwandan artistes in the world will find themselves. Think of it in terms of a one stop point for people who want to listen to Rwandan music or need contact information or social media links to Rwandan musicians."

He further reveals that the company has already started working with some local artists.

"Each artiste that we work with has his or her page verified with a blue tick which indicates that we know the artiste and are working with them and that their accounts are not fake.

Artistes, comedians and other entertainment industry practitioners can work with Famemix. It's simple; just visit the Famemix website, upload your music, and Famemix will do the rest for you."

Soon, the company intends to start paying royalties to artistes with many views on their songs, "just to make them proud and motivated in their careers."

Manishimwe describes himself as "a boy who loves programming and to spend time with friends.

"I love swimming and sometimes go to the swimming pool to enjoy the beauty of water but most of my time I spend it on the computer looking, thinking and making something that can change my community through programming and analyzing what to be done in society using technology," he said.


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