Often, artists are quietly trying out new ideas, experiments and divergent directions in their studios and bedrooms. Budding producers, musicians and DJs are often reluctant to share their new material, citing the fact that ‘it’s not finished’ as a reason not to share with a perceived world of critical peers and audiences.
Fearing alienating their audiences, artists tend to shy away from presenting these experiments, thinking that their networks already have a preconceived idea of what they as an artist represent. It’s easy in this climate to revert to sounds and approaches that has proven successful, veering closer to the artistic middle ground to please dance floors, gig-goers and music consumers generally.
Consequently, this phenomenon kills creativity, and keeps artists constantly preoccupied in churning out “what people want to hear”. Audiences show up expecting what “they want to hear”, and the cycle continues.
In this background, Santuri East Africa, a platform for musicians, DJs and producers pursuing authenticity, innovation and community in the horn of Africa started an audience-building event dubbed Santuri Society. The event started as community platform for celebrating underground music in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2014, but is quickly expanding to the rest of East Africa and the UK.
Santuri Society is gradually deepening its ambition to enabling artists to preview their work to live audiences as well as build alternative routes to reach new listeners. The platform seeks to #bridgethegap between artists and audiences by catalyzing the process of introducing new material, cultivating and building a scene for innovation within the East African music industry.
How it works – Santuri Society will be organizing a series of album previews, listening parties, open studio sessions, and showcases of authentic material – be it finished or work in progress, be it a track, an album, a collaboration or an experimental style.
Artists submit their profile and sample works and technical requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org. The simple guideline is that their works reflect a desire to experiment, push existing boundaries or enrich the musical conversation within the region.
The Santuri curators go through the submissions and invite artists to build an event that brings out the material in the most creative way possible.