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Erykah Badu did not dawdle when it came to finding new ways to keep her fans fed during the state-wide shutdown — and she says that her plan to create her own livestream company is still on track.
“My livestream company project is very much underway. It’s ambitious, but I think I can do it. I think I can help artists build a platform very similar to mine where everything lives there. We are driving all the traffic to our socials, to our chat rooms, to our merchandise, and to our art, whether it’s performance art or comedy or visual art or fashion. We don’t have to abandon our other social media outlets, but we can incorporate them into our worlds and in ways that make it very easy for the user,” she said during a recent sitdown with the New York Times.
“I’m also trying to convince the user or the audience that it’s OK to pay the artist directly. Because they’re so used to using the streaming services to do that, and we only get pennies [from the services]. But we’re also living in an era where capitalism is one of the enemies. So you have to be very careful to not become something that you didn’t intend to become.”
During the quarantine, Badu launched her intimate live concert series, filmed in her bedroom. Badu charged just $1 for fans to tune in and see the neo-soul legend perform.
The singer says her plans for the future are far broader than just the Erykah Badu brand — the world is hers for the taking.
“As a woman and as a nonconformist, building something outside of that network, is always going to be difficult. I know that already. Now, they’ve got to figure out how we’re going to count my streams and deliver on time, and the publishing company had to get involved. I’m building a new machine. I may face a few obstacles,” she says.
“People are used to seeing Erykah Badu, the brand. But they’re going to have to start getting used to seeing Badu World, the company, because that’s what I’m building.”