Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
― Confucius, The Book of Rites
The internet is a powerful tool which can help individuals tell stories and create content which reaches people around the world in a matter of minutes. Social media and blogs have played an integral part in helping in telling those stories and promoting content creation.
Benewaah Boateng and her team took advantage of social media and the internet to create Harmattan Rain, a platform for curating African music and telling the stories of the culture that comes with it.
We reached out to Benewaah to discuss the origin of Harmattan Rain, the team behind the platform and what they’ve got lined up for the future. Check out the interview below.
Tech Nova (TN): When did Harmattan Rain start?
Harmattan Rain (HR): Harmattan Rain started in March 2016.
Tech Nova (TN): What was the inspiration to create a platform like Harmattan Rain?
Harmattan Rain (HR): The inspiration for Rain came from the love of music. The feeling and strong conviction that everyone needed to hear what was coming out of the continent (Africa) and how widely creative we were as young people and a new generation first, and as a people.
TN: How many individuals make up the Harmattan Rain team? What are their names and backgrounds?
HR: We are a pretty small family. Myself (Benewaah Boateng), Barima Effah (@b3rima) my right and CTO, Lael Dwumah, head editor and writer extraordinaire, Esther Bilson, lead coordinator, and art director, Oluh Darah (writer) & Frank Boye (tech) my small crew together with a few contributors help make Rain stay afloat.
TN: What are the current social media platforms Harmattan Rain runs on and are there are future social media platforms you plan on using?
TN: Have there been any challenges in getting or sharing content? Do you always have to go out and look for content or do people tend to send you their stuff?
HR: It’s a give and take affair really. People send in music, we look for music and we dig out some stories. We work with collaborators. It’s difficult getting people to run with a timeline and your vision but it usually pulls through.
Sample Of the Harmattan Rain Instagram and artists and covers they’ve featured and promoted
TN: Are there any other music sharing platforms that inspire you or that you aspire to reach their levels?
HR: Lucid Lemons (@lucid_lemons) run by Tomisin Akins. It’s a culture blog and she put together an insane music festival earlier this month as well as last year and I love seeing black women win in life. Beatphreaks (@BeatPhreaks) also run by an amazing black woman (here for the black girl glow and awesomeness obviously). There is no one collection I want to be like. But I look up to Joekay and Soulection. It’s an amazing brand and movement. Truly inspiring.
TR: What has been the response from the music community with Harmattan rain? Do you get more attention from Ghana or are there other African countries which show you more love?
HR: The response has been pretty great. I didn’t expect this much love. But it’s only motivation to keep working. Nigeria and Ghana are where I get a lot of attention from, cos that’s where most of our attention is. Hoping to get back the attention we’ll give to other countries soon.
TR: What are the future plans for Harmattan Rain? Do you want to be more than a platform for sharing music content? Or are you comfortable in the space you are in now?
HR: The plans for Rain dier plenty! It overwhelms me. But they say if your dreams don’t scare you they’re not worth dreaming. Rain is definitely not just a music sharing platform. We’re curating and documenting our STORY. The African story. Told our way by how we want it to be told. Soon we’ll grow and that’s definitely something to look forward to.
TN: Are there any up and coming projects/artists you want people to know about?
HR: There are waaaayyy too many for people to know about. Soundcloud.com/harmattanrain is a pretty good place to start if you want to work through our list.
(PS: Check the likes, that’s where all the sauce is. The page is only the juice).
TN: Any other websites/people/events that you want to plug/promote for readers to know about?
HR: If anyone at all is excited about the future of African music and art and what the new generation is up to, @BeatPhreaks is a site to check out, @NATIVEMAG as well as @culartblog, @nKENTEn collective got the music bits down pat! And @morebranches.
Thanks to Benewaah Boateng for taking time out of her busy schedule for helping out with this interview. You can check out Harmattan Rain on their blog, their SoundCloud page, their Instagram page (which has some cool music covers) and their twitter page.