Out on a Limb

Injecting relevance into global club music

Francis Gay
Benjamin Lebrave
Piriye Isokrari by Lakin Ogunbawo
Pamela Owusu-Brenyah


Chaired by Benjamin Lebrave (France/Ghana), Akwaaba Music;
with Francis Gay (France/Germany), COSMO;
Mensa Ansah (Ghana/UK), M3nsa Music;
Piriye Isokrari (Nigeria), The Aristokrat Group;
Pamela Owusu (Germany), Airforce1, Universal Music

Global club music has been a recurring theme, yet it continues to struggle for relevance. Meanwhile afrobeats, dembow or baile funk are taking over, both culturally and economically: pop stars are embracing these genres and selling out huge venues, accumulating millions of streams and signing deals with major labels. Why do such genres – which have been followed, sometimes even detected by regular WOMEX attendees – remain underrepresented?

This divide doesn’t need to exist. In fact, at a time of mounting political xenophobia across the planet, it is crucial that we find ways to develop more dialogue between the aforementioned music genres and their circuits, in an effort to bring their audiences closer.

This panel brings together players from both sides of the divide, at three crucial levels of the industry: live, digital and PR.