March 14, 2014
By Karin Francisca
Anwar Jamal Najmi is an award-winning singer-songwriter, composer and producer who has recorded five albums, placed songs in the international top ten, and secured song placements in Hollywood feature films and hit television series.
As an artist, he witnessed firsthand the decline and collapse of the record business, brought on by what he describes as two decades of endemic corruption, exploitation and overall lack of regard for the creative individuals who had built the record business into a multi-billion dollar industry.
In 2008, Anwar and his wife Roujeanne reached into their own pockets spending $1 million to found The Akademia. The mission of The Akademia was simple: To identify talented musicians throughout the world who were passionate about developing their art and to give those artists the support and resources required to make their artistic visions a reality. Having cultivated numerous industry contacts through the years, Anwar persuaded six senior record executives, handpicked for their integrity, to lend their knowledge and expertise to The Akademia cause.
The result has been a quiet revolution. From its relatively small endowment, The Akademia has grown rapidly, using innovative thinking, new technology and an artist-centered approach to build a new platform for developing and commercializing the work of an exciting cadre of talented artists. At its core, The Akademia offers an impressive suite of services to its members in the areas of radio, press, video, global DJ servicing, live performance and publishing. In all respects, it looks a lot like a major record company- with the key exception that artists keep 100% of the rights to their creative product.
Having accomplished many of their own creative goals, it was natural for Anwar and Roujeanne to begin reaching out to help other artists navigate through the new music environment. ‘We made the costly mistakes so that other artists don’t have to,’ states Anwar. Judging by the increasing number of Akademia entrants, the new generation of artists appreciates the guidance and support.