An Industry Nite

The best music party ever? International stars make Houston their first U.S. visit

The best music party ever? International stars make Houston their 1st

Seyi Shay musician
Industry Nite Houston June 2013 Mark Redguard
Industry Nite poster

Looking for a party this Saturday night?

The Ayva Center on Richmond Avenue will be a rockin' host to a top Industry Nite. The set list features up-and-coming and established international artists who plan to own the stage for fans. Not to mention the leading industry heads in attendance searching for the next international star.

Performers will include 2Face, DJ Neptune, Ice Prince, D'Prince and Seyi Shay.

 No newbie to show biz, she was once in a girl band produced by Mathew Knowles called From Above. 

The Spinlet sponsored event has toured the United Kingdom and various places in Africa, but this weekend marks its first ever venture to the United States. What better place to start than Houston?

Not only is Houston the most diverse city in the country, but it also has one of the largest African immigrant populations in the nation according to 2010 Census

Pioneer music producer Matthew Ohio first started Industry Nite in Lagos, Nigeria. Over time, the event has grown more popular by featuring local artists and allowing sponsors like Spinlet to enhance a major movement in the African music industry.

A Unique Mission

Mark Redguard, chief marketing officer has been a major creative force behind the success of Spinlet, a Nigeria-based music distributor.

"Think of Spinlet as a hybrid form of iTunes in Africa," Redguard said. "Two years ago in August 2011 there was an idea to launch a mobile music app that Spinlet uses as a platform to build report with artists and to track their fan base. You download Spinlet to any smartphone and it gives you access to a vault of music. This creates wide exposure for new and upcoming artists.”

 "They want to celebrate the way we celebrate. So, the initiative is to carry out this demand . . .  to put on shows in places like New York and Houston."  

Before joining Spinlet, Redguard worked with big names like Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith, on projects for various record companies. Spinlet now tries to keep the focus on local artists. The company works to get this music heard not just in Africa, but around the globe.

"By signing these artists up it allows them to sell their music outside of the country or area and prevents problems with piracy," Redguard said."A major problem in Africa is that there is no music distribution."

Industry Nite, Spinlet and of course the performers will make some kind of profit. However, Shay the only female touring with Spinlet, sees the show as an initiative rather than just pure entertainment. 

“I think there is a strong demand in Houston from the African population," Shay said. "They want to celebrate the way we celebrate. So, the initiative is to carry out this demand . . .  to put on shows in places like New York and Houston." 

Shay was originally raised in the United Kingdom and is what she calls an "Afro-Pop" artist. No newbie to show biz, she was once in a girl band produced by Mathew Knowles called From Above. The band opened for H-town's own Queen Bey in Beyonce's I Am . . .World Tour, released one album and starred in a MTV (UK) reality series in 2011. During this run, Shay lived in Houston for six months. 

Now, she stays busy touring and promoting her solo tunes. "Loving Your Way" is one of her best (take a listen). 

"The more in demand in contemporary music those artists become, the more Industry Nite will become more popular,” Shay said. "It’s a Nigerian initiative, but not only for Nigerians."

Tickets for Industry Night are $30 ($70 for VIP) and are available at the door. The show starts at 8 p.m. at Avya Center (9371 Richmond Ave).