Killertunes, E Kelly, and Dëra on emPawa Africa and building a record label

We’re excited to share that we’ve partnered with emPawa Africa, a talent incubation initiative that nurtures and supports up-and-coming artists in Africa.

Together, with the release of original sample packs, we’re bolstering the careers of three of the most promising Afropop producers today: Killertunes, E Kelly, and Dëra. In the video above, the three sat down with us to discuss their creative journeys in music, how they’ve shaped a record label through emPawa Africa, and more.

“EmPawa Africa is kind of like my baby,” E Kelly tells us. “Mr Eazi called me some years back and told me about wanting to have a label services and music company that provides services for Africans, by Africans. Our African industry has different dynamics, and we wanted to do things to cater to the needs of creatives over here—writers, producers, artists, etc. I wanted to bring in services that could hit international standards. To me, emPawa is about bringing out talent and getting them to the best positions possible with their craft.”

“To me, emPawa is not like any of these publishing houses or labels where they dictate to you, ‘This is what we’re making; this is what we should put out,'” Killertunes responds. “EmPawa is basically freedom. This is why I love working with emPawa… The freedom and space for me to be me and do my stuff.”

“EmPawa is like a family,” Dëra adds. “I feel like they gave me the opportunity to realize my full potential on how far I could go with my music. I’ve been able to produce so many songs that I never expected to ever make, from the likes of [collaborations with] Bad Bunny to J Balvin—so many amazing artists outside of Africa, and it’s an opportunity that emPawa has given me. I’m really grateful for that.”

Learn more about emPawa and how you can get involved with them here, and get sounds from Killertunes’ sample pack here, E Kelly’s sample pack here, and Dëra’s sample pack here.

Incorporate original sounds from Killertunes, E Kelly, Dëra, and countless other innovative artists into your own music:

August 28, 2022

Harrison Shimazu

Harrison Shimazu is a composer, content strategist, and writer who’s passionate about democratizing music creation and education. He leads the Splice blog and creates music as Namaboku.