Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfege’s "Million Download Campaign" Excedes 50k Dowloads With Innovative Open Source Music Business Model
New York, NY: Since its inception in January, Ghana-born Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège’s Million Download Campaign (MDC) has generated over 50,000 downloads from more than 50 countries and had blogs translated into ten different languages, using an “open-source” approach to music promotion and distribution. The MDC’s mission is to offer a million free downloads of songs and remixes from Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège’s recently released and highly successful CD, AFropolitan, by Christmas of 2012. In a recent interview for Fast Company DNA outlined his entrepreneurial philosophy: “You have to hustle, be smart, and be honorable. Integrity is something you can control.”
Additional early campaign successes have included AFropolitan debuting in the Top 50 on the Jazz Week World Chart; album downloads in countries on every continent in the world; the competitive selection of their animated short film Love Rain Down (a cut from AFropolitan) for an April screening at the prestigious Palm Beach International Film Festival; successful events tying art and technology at Social Media Week NY and DC; DNA’s recent speech and performance at Google HQ in Silicon Valley; and the band’s recent selection to perform at the upcoming NXNE Festival in Toronto, featuring headliners like The Flaming Lips, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah of Wu Tang Clan.
Challenging the traditional proprietary music industry model, the Million Download Campaign makes a simple, but revolutionary argument—artists should give away their music for free and encourage fans to download and share it. This approach is based on the statistical reality that fewer than 10% of artists signed to major labels ever make money from their record sales. In contrast to the Mainstream Industry’s ongoing campaign of suing fans for downloading music, the MDC harnesses the advance of technology and the power of social-media to empower fans to become the promotional engine for the artists they love. Since the overwhelming majority of musicians don’t make money from selling downloads, DNA & Soulfège are proving that both artists and fans can benefit from an open source approach to music promotion—one that encourages fans to do what comes naturally: share the music they love.
“...[Soulfège’s] members realized they had the platform to reach ears not only with their music—a fusion of thumping African music and rhythms, sweet reggae breezes, funk, and hip-hop—but also with their message.” —The Boston Globe
As former host of Oprah Radio’s The Derrick Ashong Experience and Al-Jazeera English’s cutting-edge social media TV show The Stream, DNA scooped some of the biggest social change stories in the world today, winning a Webbie & a Royal Television Society (RTS) Award for Innovation. For years, Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège’s music has presaged power rising from “the streets and the Net,” as Vanity Fair’s Creative Development Editor wrote on VanityFair.com: “Here are musicians, poised with a positive vibe and with lyrics so uplifting that you actually believe, if only for one night, that . . . a new world mood may emerge from the street and the Net, somehow defying the odds—a spirit of promise and hope and harmony, a spirit that denies dissonance. Soulfège lets us dream such sweet dreams, in vibrant colors.”