We Are Millennial Culture

#ImbaliLive: Phiona Okumu talks to Helen Herimbi about amplifying African artists

Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Artist and Label Partnerships for Africa recently joined Helen Herimbi, a South African music journalist on a new edition of her brainchild, imbaliLive.

Referred to as the evangelist for African creative communities, Okumu has been at the forefront of promoting African artists and music on the global stage.

“It came from knowing your lane. Kind of landing upon a niche. And the other thing I always tell people is that, yes, I am now known for being the African plug or whatever, that’s not how I started,” disclosed Okumu to Herimbi.

Phiona Okumu (left) and Helen Herimbi (right)

“Nobody was doing it and there was an interest in it.”

Okumu previously worked with Apple Music as the editorial, label and artists relations led for sub-Saharan Africa.

The Ugandan music industry professional was also the editor of AfriPOP Magazine, and has bylines in The Fader and The Guardian.

Watch interview below.

ImbaliLive seeks to “give key players in the South African music landscape their flowers while they can still smell them. Furthermore, it was important to hear their stories straight from their own mouths. So, a live interview series called i(m)bali LIVE was born,” shared Herimbi in a 2019 interview.

The likes of AKA, Slikour, Stogie T, Spikiri and Lee Kasumba have been interviewed on the platform.

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