Is There a Future for World Music Albums?

You have recorded it, now what are you going to do with it?

Patrick Lee-Thorp by Juliana Volz
Scott Cohen
Ninde Johal, by Jas Sansi
Carolina Vallejo, by Mikkel Heriba


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  • event type:WOMEX 16 Conference Session
  • date:21 Oct 2016
  • time:15:15 – 16:00
  • city/area:Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
  • venue:Conference Room 2, Level 0, Building 2, Cidade da Cultura
  • country:Spain
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts


Chaired by Patrick Lee-Thorp (South Africa/Germany), Templit Entertainment Ltd.
with Scott Cohen (UK/Japan), The Orchard
Carolina Vallejo (Denmark/Greece), One World
Ninder Johal (UK), Nachural Records

Recording an album is a dream of every artist, but how can a producer justify the time and expense? As performers strive for better but more cost-intensive artistic and technical standards, sales revenues barely cover the manufacturing costs of a CD or LP. Download and streaming revenues have become weaker in world music in recent times.

So why do we continue to record, manufacture, package and market these items? What is the future of the recorded album, and is it an indulgence or an essential artistic goal? Should we present more modest productions for the physical album in future? Will the album become just a promotion tool in the media, a calling card or merchandise item for shows? To what extent are specialist genres like world music different from mainstream repertoire?

These are some of the questions the panellists from four different sides of the music business hope to address.