A university student has developed a mobile software to help musicians curb theft of their songs.
This comes hot in the heels of the heated online conversation started by Khaligraph Jones dubbed Play Kenyan Music.
Khaligraph Jones’ main aim of starting the hashtag was to ensure that Kenyan music gets a huge chunk of the airplay quota in all media houses.
The conversation still continues.
Now, Dennis Irungu, 20, has come up with an app that will ensure the artistes don’t get a raw deal when it comes to earning when their song is played.
Dennis says that with the Virtual Media Security app, all the musician has to do is upload his/her song on the app before releasing it to the public.
Every person who receives it on their devices afterwards will have to pay Sh5 to be able to play the song.
Irungu is a second-year-student of Mathematics and Computer Science at Kenyatta University.
The Kamahuha village-born says he developed his talent as a very young boy.
“When not in school, I work in my father’s cyber café in Maragua,” Irungu told the Star on Monday.
He said he was inspired by the many musicians complaining about meager returns from their songs.
Piracy has left many artists surviving on money raised from concerts. Musicians will receive Sh2 of the Sh5 charge with the rest going into maintenance of the software.
“This software will be able to track every sale or sharing the song and ensure the artist is paid,” Irungu said. He said he had no prior knowledge of developing the software.
Irungu said the software currently has a small server to store uploaded songs. “It may not be sustained for a long time especially if many artistes upload their songs so we will have to upgrade it in future,” he said.
The VMS is the beginning of a good change in the music industry, Irungu said. “It will ensure artists reap from their sweat by making it hard for others to shortchange them,” he said.
His father Thomas Mwangi praised him, saying his son loved technology from childhood.
“He would take my mobile phone and computers and do things that often shock me. I’m happy with him and will continue to support him,” Mwangi said.