“Woe is thou if you are still out there struggling to find lyrics of your favorite African songs. Or even further, trying to ask someone in the song’s video Youtube comments to translate what a specific line means.
We’ve all been there.
Decoded, an African music lyric platform, is here to do all the hard work for you. Founded by Julius Sea and one of our AfriPOP! Socialites Chika Uwazie earlier this year, the site fills a void in the growing African music industry ecosystem. After six months of planning and building, the duo launched the Decoded platform earlier this year.
A number of things make Decoded a standout venture already, including the fact that they work in full collaboration with the artists themselves, a rare thing, to bring the correct artist- approved lyrics to their audience. Nigerian soul singer Bez was the first artist to provide his lyrics to the site. Singer Omawunmi (pictured above) also followed suit.
As of mid April, about 3000 people had accessed their site; the most popular artist at the time being M.I. with his “Chairman” release. They also have lyrics from musicians in Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana and currently working with South African artists.
We sat down with COO Chika Uwazie to discuss Decoded.
What is decoded about in your own words?
Decoded is a music platform and we are publishing lyrics of African artists. The reason why we started it was so that other people, not just those in Africa, but those outside Africa as well, can understand what we’re saying. And understand the slang as well as be able to see the English translation. So basically, decoded publishes the lyrics of African artists.
It’s easy enough just to publish the lyrics, but you take it to the next level by actually translating the words. Why?
Because we are beginning to see African music take its place on the global stage. As you saw recently, African music was represented at SXSW (Editor’s note: see AfriPOP!’s coverage here). And, also recently I also attended Social Media Week Lagos, where there was a whole day dedicated to African music. Definitely, we are seeing people want to understand African music better and why we say what we say. Plus, there are so many different languages throughout the African countries that we are trying to break that barrier of people actually understanding it? . . .”
AfriPOP! Magazine has the full interview.