Global music powerhouse Trace, known for its influence in afro-music, is set to host its inaugural festival and award ceremony in Kigali next month. Additionally, the company plans to introduce a new platform aimed at assisting Rwandan musicians and other African artists in receiving streaming royalties from their music fans, co-founder and executive chairman of Trace, Olivier Laouchez, has said. Laouchez spoke at a press conference in Kigali, discussing the forthcoming Trace Festival scheduled for 20-22 October. The event will be held at the Kigali Convention & Exhibition Village in Kigali. Speaking at the presser, Laouchez said that during the three-day festival, Trace will launch a platform for African musicians to be able to collect royalties in a safe way and track their music consumption. ALSO READ: Trace Awards & Festival to debut in Rwanda “In 2022, there was about 10 billion dollars spent in the world for music rights. In Africa, only 32 million dollars were given to African artistes which is 0.3 per cent of the total of the music rights spent in the world. Why? Because most people in Africa don’t have music rights and they are not aware of how it works,” Laouchez noted. The numbers, he said, are what pushed Trace to create a platform that would multiply the amount of money collected in music rights on the African continent. ALSO READ: How will Rwanda benefit from hosting Trace Awards and Festival? Artists, organisers share their views “During the last two years, based on this reality, we decided to invest in creating a platform and we are going to present it during the festival. The name of the platform is BETTER, and it will give a solution to many aspects of the music industry such as traceability on the collection of royalties, payment of music rights, using blockchain-based technology, and also connected devices,” Laouchez told local media. The co-founder of Trace further noted that with the new platform, most music consumers from club owners, and media, to event organisers and many others, will all be required to pay music royalties, a move that would help artistes give back to their stakeholders including authors, composers, interpreters, publishers, and many others. He said that the platform will also offer a solution to distribute digital music globally with a much more advanced solution than the traditional TuneCore or Bilib, and not only will the artistes be in a position to collect music rights, but they will also be able to monetise their work globally. The decision to launch BETTER during the festival, Laouchez said, is because there is a great opportunity in Rwanda, and that Trace is in discussions with RDB to embark on it and help Rwandan musicians earn more than usual. “They are very interested in potentially bringing this platform to Rwanda. We are also having big discussions to bring the platform to DRC, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde, and many other countries. We believe that this platform will be a game changer for the music industry,” he added. Launched in 2003, Trace is the first multimedia and digital platform in the world solely devoted to Afro-Urban music and culture, as well as to the success of young people and artistes. Trace reaches more than 350 million fans in 180 countries. In line with celebrating its 20th anniversary, Trace’s two-day festival in Kigali will feature performances from music stars like Asake, Olamide, Kiss Daniel, Davido, and many others.