Emerging indie artists are about to get the opportunity of a lifetime at one of the biggest global live music phenomenons this summer, and an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) alumni-founded company is behind it all.
Music Breakr — a new platform connecting artists and influencers to help “break” new music — has teamed up with Rolling Loud — the biggest festival brand in Hip-Hop — and digital finance platform Ahead for a two-year partnership to commence “Ahead Start to Rolling Loud,” a contest that offers aspiring artists the opportunity to perform live at Rolling Loud Miami 2021.
This time around, the contest itself — presented in partnership with both Music Breakr and Black content creator house Collab Crib — invited any and all up-and-coming rappers to showcase their talents via Instagram for a chance to submit an original song to be judged by the Breakr team.
All artists who submitted their music were then boiled down to eight finalists before one lucky artist was chosen to make their dream of performing at Rolling Loud come true.
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The partnership serves as a full circle moment for Music Breakr and Rolling Loud, who originally worked together when co-founders Ameer Brown, Anthony Brown, Rotimi Omosheyin and Daniel Ware were throwing college parties in their Florida A&M University (FAMU) days.
“As young party promoters, you know that you’re waiting for any big opportunities to put your logo on a flyer for [big artists coming to town],” Omosheyin tells AfroTech. “A company named Dope Entertainment, which was kind of on a come-up, had a Kendrick Lamar show in Tallahassee, FL and they gave us the opportunity to put our logo on their flyer, promote for them and make some money. Then however many years later, that company ends up being Rolling Loud.”
Working with brands like Rolling Loud is partially what inspired the essence of Music Breakr to fill a void in the music industry and live events space for emerging artists. According to Omosheyin, there has never been a direct and surefire way for artists to get their big break onstage at a music festival without resorting to trial-and-error last resort methods — which is where Music Breakr comes in.
“These kids email, DM and run up on CEOs and founders trying to find out how they can get on stage and the answer is typically, ‘get hot and we’ll find you,'” he shares. “[We knew] that a lot of the biggest acts today got their start at these music festivals so we said let us be the conduit for [artists] and get back to what [these] festivals are known for – which is launching these major acts.”
Identifying what needed to be resolved in the live music space for artists is what Music Breakr was created for — as a solution to help bridge the gap between independent acts and music festivals looking to break new talent in front of crowds of passionate music fans.
“We figured out that there were [key] pillars in music marketing that were broken in the live events space and translated to the digital music marketing space,” Ameer says, “which are music discovery, [monetary] transactions and handling of payments [to artists]. Based on that we were able to come up with the solution that you see today.”
He adds that “getting artists on a stage is something [Breakr] has always wanted to do,” so after teaming up with Rolling Loud and Ahead, the platform knew it wanted to blow this competitive contest up “as big as possible.” The contest not only represents a one-of-a-kind opportunity for artists to reach an early career milestone, it also marks a new day in the music industry that gives these artists a chance to control their futures by leaning on a cultured platform that’s on their side from the jump.
“We [and Rolling Loud and Ahead] are very passionate about wanting the artist to feel like this is their moment or big break,” Ware tells us. “They’re going to be treated like a Travis Scott or Lil Uzi Vert when they get on stage. We want to provide these opportunities and make it so that [these artists] have Music Breakr in their hearts forever.”
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Choosing Collab Crib as a partner was also a part of Breakr’s mission to better amplify artists, according to Ware, who says “in a world where Black TikTokers are on strike because they’re not getting the credit they deserve, it made sense to [partner with] the biggest Black content house to help us put the best indie artists on stage.”
The contest — which will be announcing a winner today (July 16) — is just the start of Music Breakr democratizing the music industry for “all the avenues that currently exist with gatekeepers blocking them,” according to Anthony. As the platform looks to expand to different U.S. cities through a localized approach, Music Breakr is continuing to offer itself as a vessel to “help artists get seen.”
Looking ahead, the co-founders assure us that “Music Breakr is most likely coming to a city near you,” so get ready because “we outside [now].”
For more information about Music Breakr, visit its website.