Rapper Entrepreneur Launches S. African Digital Music Store

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Written by Dana Sanchez

South African rapper and entrepreneur Siya “Slikour” Metane has partnered with Bozza Music to launch a digital music store in light of what he says are declining world CD sales, according to Destiny.com.

The 37618 Store (www.37618.co.za) is different from other digital music stores like iTunes in that it sells only local music, according to the report.

“Unlike iTunes, it’s not device-specific,” Slikour told Destiny.com. “Any phone with airtime is able to purchase music on this platform. South Africa’s iPhone users currently stand at 2 percent, meaning the rest of the 98 percent wouldn’t be able to access iTunes even if they wanted to.”

The 2-month-old digital store charges a standard rate of 7.5 rand ($0.68 US) for each single and has 25 of the hottest local hip-hop tracks available. Dj Dimplez, Ricky Rik, Reason, L-Tido and Ice Prince are some of the artists whose singles feature on the store’s track list.

Users go through the list of tracks available on the digital store’s website, then send a text message to 37618 with the name of the track they wish to purchase.

Slikour, a working musician, said he felt the need to launch this business instead of sitting back and waiting for record companies to come up with a solution for dwindling CD sales, Destiny.com reports.

“I’ve seen the music industry get swallowed up by piracy,” he said. “America came up with iTunes, so I wanted to create a platform that will be a solution for African artists going forward.” He said he plans to expand the store’s concept throughout Africa.

He said he believes it’s every musician’s responsibility to protect and contribute to the industry’s growth. “I don’t mean to come across as someone who has made it but I hope this digital store will be received as the beginning of my contribution to the African music industry as a whole. I hope that through this platform, artists will find it worth their while to sell music again. I’m also hoping that people will start seeing the value in buying music.”

Slikour launched a music blog — Slikouronlife — in 2013, where he hopes to document successes of the music industry and music history for future generations.