A Message From Our Founder.
Property Of Africa was founded on a simple premise: to empower artists of African descent to reach their highest potential and aspirations in the United States music industry, and to assist these talented artists in sharing their lovely music with the world.
My name is Dumisani Maraire, Jr., also known as Just Lyphe. As a Founder and Executive Director of Property of Africa, I believe African artists can achieve the highest of the highest of honors in the world and beyond if we simply promote more togetherness.
The U.S. music industry is as competitive as it is rewarding. It can literally take years and years of dedication and sacrifice for even the greatest of musicians to break through. Even with all the complaints about financial turmoil in the industry, I believe it is a great time for African artists to establish themselves in the hearts and minds of listeners in the United States as more and more people are looking for a fresh and different sound that is not simply what they hear everyday. I believe this is not only a great opportunity for African artists, but also a great opportunity for major American labels . Many labels are starting to realize that current formulae for success are out-dated and the American market is willing and able to support more organic home-grown music, as opposed to what they have been continuously bombarded with in the mainstream for years without end.
How POA Helps
Africa has a surplus of extremely talented artists who may never live to see their true potential attained for simple reasons like a lack of funding for recording & marketing expenses including web hosting to build and maintain a strong on-line presence, graphic design for CD covers and other promotional materials, and final mastering of these projects. Aside from financial constraints (which just about every emerging artist has to struggle with), African artists are also faced with social, political and cultural boundaries which all too often brand their music ‘unmarketable’ in their countries of origin, and infringe on their freedom of speech and human rights.
Property Of Africa promotes artist freedom and togetherness. We hope to be known for being at the forefront of educating audiences the world over on both the plights and struggles of day to day life in Africa, and the tremendous beauty that is all over the African continent. Our primary medium of delivering this message is music as we know that good music is a universal language like mathematics, a smile or love.
Although the artists we work with are all deeply inspired by African music, our aim has always been to push the envelope and help carry African music to greater heights. In the spirit of togetherness, I personally have always enjoyed mixing and matching genres, and encourage it to all the artists I have worked with. The POA Warrior will expect to go from Chinyakare Hip-Hop, to Dance Hall, to Instrumental Gospel, to Afro-Pop, to some soulful Munsana and back to the ghettos of Mbare and South Central in 60 minutes. The vision is to someday see major artists like Snoop Dog, Jay-Z, Madonna, U2, and the likes to collaborate with the tremendous talent that is in the African continent. This will happen some day, and this spirit of togetherness is where Property Of Africa derives it’s motto, “African. Culture. Today.” Done correctly, it would be amazing to see the results of such collaborations, both culturally and financially.
Dreams Can Come True!
If you are still wondering, “So, what exactly is Property Of Africa?“ Property Of Africa is the culmination of all my dreams. As a child, I can remember my father returning to Zimbabwe from a trip in America with some of the latest fashions, clothing that other kids my age in Zimbabwe didn't even know existed... yet. And what was the first thing I would do? I would paint over them. I would put a big Malcolm X patch I cut out of another pair of jeans right across the back of a brand new jacket. I always wanted something that was one of a kind. I always wanted something that made a bold African statement, while simultaneously strengthening the fascinating thread that is urban fashion.
It was natural, therefore, that Property Of Africa came to develop the Classic Apparel clothing line, which is now available online, and the Limited Edition t-shirt line, which are one-of-a-kind, hand-painted t-shirts that are only available at Property Of Africa’s live appearances at festivals and shows. Proceeds from Property Of Africa’s clothing and music are pumped right back into the graphic design etc mentioned above, and so the cycle continues.
I cannot reveal the full extent of what is being put together at this time, but it is something that I hope every person who respects human rights, culture, and loves to dance, sing and shout will appreciate!
Together, we can achieve true freedom.
Dumisani Maraire, Jr.