Apple has entered the world of charity with a new project from a record label called Modiba Records. The labelis first CD is called The Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project (ASAP), with all proceeds from the album going to a charity that helps victims of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan. BusinessWeek reports that Apple agreed to host and sell the music through the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) free of charge, the first such charity endeavor for the iTMS.
From the article:
Q: Starting a record company is a huge endeavor in itself. Why choose to do your first album based on the music and culture of a foreign country?
A: We have been studying African-related topics at school and studied abroad there, and the ethnic violence has reached such a level in Sudan that some are calling it ethnic genocide. I studied culture and social and economic development in Sudan, and Eric Herman, my partner and co-founder, studied music and culture in Mali.
Both of us knew we wanted to do something related to Africa, and we had both been into African music for a while. So when we came back, we said we should really use the richness of African music to serve as a development tool.
We started formulating ideas for companies in the vein of social entrepreneurship to find ways for Africa to use its vast and rich cultural resources as a tool for development and social-economic improvement. We learned a lot when we spent the summer in Brooklyn working for Afropop Worldwide, a not-for-profit multimedia organization thatis dedicated to bringing African music to the world. And then towards the end of the summer, more and more press came out about the situation in Darfur, and we decided to do it.
ASAP is currently #81 in the iTMSis Todayis Top 100, and BusinessWeek reports that it has broken the Top 30 in the past. You can find ASAP at the US iTMS, where it is priced at US$9.99. You can find the full article on the project at BusinessWeek.