CEO`s desk



CEO`s desk
From the
CEO’s desk
What a privilege and honour it is to be taking over as CEO during such exciting
times at SAMRO. I am truly humbled by the task, and hope to serve the interests
of you, our members, to the very best of my ability.
But there are massive shoes to fill, and
here I pay tribute to my predecessor, Nick
Motsatse, who has not only been an able and
inspirational mentor over the past several
months of the leadership transition, but has
been pivotal in the building of a strong and
dynamic organisation. His insights will be
missed, but his legacy is still felt every day,
in every corridor, at SAMRO Place.
I hope to continue with the realisation of
SAMRO’s broader vision, which is to reinforce
our standing as a high-performance global
asset management organisation that is
focused on protecting and growing the value
of copyright.
It is no secret that in today’s wired society, copyright protection often falls by the
wayside in the consumption of content – including music – and we need to be
smart to keep pace with our changing operating environment. But I’m confident
that we have already made great strides in this direction, and are well on track
to chart new territory as a global copyright administration society rooted firmly in
the realities of the African music consumption landscape.
SAMRO does not operate in a vacuum, but is committed to developing its
stakeholders and associates, while investing in highly skilled and committed
staff with a high service ethic. Collectively, we are forging a credible and
accessible organisation that prizes innovation and rewards creativity.
Having said that, there is still much work to be done. We have done well in
getting the ball rolling on updating and streamlining our internal processes
and business systems, with a view to making the way we do business easier
for music users, music creators and our own staff. But there is still quite a way
to go before we function at optimal levels, all with a view to promoting easy
accessibility and maximising income to our members.
On a final note, I would like to congratulate all the winners of our inaugural
Wawela Music Awards, held in June. You truly epitomise the pinnacle of
achievement in the arena of original music and are an inspiration to future
generations of composers.
We hope to further grow these important industry awards in 2014, in profile and
prestige, to show our appreciation for those who create the musical magic we
hear around us on a variety of media platforms every day.
Sipho Dlamini Chief Executive Officer
On the cover: Wawela Musi Awards. Photos courtesy of SAMRO
Editor-in-chief: Tiyani Maluleke | Editor: Kgomotso Mosenogi | Project management: JT Communications Solutions | Sub-editor/Writer: Christina Kennedy | Contributors: Rami Nhlapo, Annette
Bayne, Atiyyah Khan, Steve Leach, Nadia Neophytou, Nikki Temkin and Xolani Zulu | Guest writers: Arthur Goldstuck, Thebe Ikalafeng, Yoel Kenan and Nick Matzukis | Additional research and
photo sourcing: Dee’s Harilal | Design and layout: Mortimer Harvey | Printing: Lebone Litho Printers | Photography: All photos courtesy of SAMRO, unless otherwise specified.
August 2013
Letter from
the editor
We at SAMRO are still floating on cloud nine
following the very successful hosting of our
inaugural Wawela Music Awards in June –
what a night; what a celebration of South African
composing talent!
6 Angélique Kidjo clinches top international job
7 Nick Motsatse on the value on copyright
8 Composers toasted at the 2013 Wawela Music Awards
14 Meet SAMRO’s new CEO, Sipho Dlamini
17 Outgoing CEO looks back on a fruitful tenure
20 Chairman’s note on the leadership transition
In this edition of SAMRO Notes, we bring you all the “blue-carpet” glamour
as well as the low-down on all the big winners on the night.
This is a flagship project that is very close to our hearts, because we truly
believe in the quality of our hard-working music authors and composers, and
know that they so often go unacknowledged. That’s precisely why we resolved
to remedy the situation with the annual Wawela Music Awards.
Suffice it to say that our country need not step back a single inch when it comes
to producing home-grown musical compositions of an international standard –
we rock!
Also in our pages this month, we bid a very sad but fond farewell to the longserving captain of our ship, CEO Nick Motsatse. He has been instrumental in
carving out a niche for SAMRO as a respected copyright asset management
company to be reckoned with on the global stage, and we will miss his steady
guiding hand at the helm.
But in the same breath we welcome Sipho Dlamini as SAMRO’s new CEO, and
are confident that he will build on the solid foundation his predecessors have
laid as we take further steps into a bright and promising future for our business.
You can read interviews with both outgoing and incoming Chief Executives in
these pages.
The magazine is also jam-packed with fascinating feature articles that are sure
to both entertain and enlighten you – on music-related subjects such as the
digital revolution, publishing, streaming, branding and festivals.
21 Joe Niemand joins the SAMRO Board
There’s also a selection of internal news from
the SAMRO Foundation, DALRO, Rights Holder
Services and the joint Mechanical Rights
company being set up by SAMRO and NORM.
Plus, we catch up with internationally lauded
soprano Pretty Yende and Freshly Ground, who
recently topped the iTunes world music chart
in the USA.
22 Wawela spotlight on: Trevor Jones
24 Wawela spotlight on: Johnny Clegg
26 Freshly Ground take the world by storm
A special word of congratulations goes out
to the incredible Grammy-winning singersongwriter Angélique Kidjo, who was recently
announced as a Vice-president of SAMRO’s
global parent body CISAC (the International
Federation of Societies of Authors
and Composers).
27 SAMRO and NORM form single Mechanical Rights society
Kidjo hails from Benin and is a committed
music rights advocate and humanitarian,
and SAMRO is proud that Africa has a strong
presence in the top echelons of CISAC, with
Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow also
clinching a leadership position. We also send
our best wishes to the other newly elected
leaders, including electronic music pioneer
Jean Michel Jarre, who is the new
CISAC President.
34 Should musicians fear or embrace technology?
28 DALRO launches online licensing system
30 Introducing DALRO’s dynamic new Managing Director
32 A year of plenty for the SAMRO Foundation
36 All you need to know about publishing agreements
38 Pfanani Lishivha’s vision for Rights Holder Services
We hope you enjoy this edition of SAMRO
Notes. Our marketing and communications
team strives to continue to add value to
your interactions with SAMRO through
this magazine and other platforms, such as
our monthly Beat Bulletin e-newsletters,
our website and our 24-7 Communication
Hub. Please feel free to get in touch with
us and share your thoughts, comments and
suggestions for future editions.
Tiyani Maluleke General Manager: Marketing
25 Wawela spotlight on: Dorothy Masuku
40 Time for the digital empowerment of Africa’s talent
42 The day the music arrived
44 Why talent alone is not enough
46 How to make the most out of the festival circuit
48 Soprano Pretty Yende dazzles at the Met
50 SAMRO and Moshito news
51 In memoriam
Know your
Kidjo to champion
African music rights
on global stage
SAMRO 24/7 Communication Hub:
Telephone: 0800 247 247
(toll-free from Telkom landlines
and for Telkom Mobile subscribers)
International: +27 11 712 8000/8039
SMS: 45141 @ R1 per SMS
E-fax: 086 688 3616
Email:[email protected]
Handy online links:
SAMRO home page
SAMRO forms
Free event listings
Licensed to Play (e-newsletter for music users)
Beat Bulletin (e-newsletter for music creators)
Contact SAMRO
For more information on the
Wawela Music Awards:
Wawela home page
Wawela email
[email protected]
Wawela Twitter
Wawela Facebook
Wawela contact number
+27 (0)11 712 8505
SAMRO extends its warm congratulations to the new leadership
of CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors
and Composers, and particularly to the first African singersongwriter to be elected to a senior position on the global
authors’ rights parent body – Beninese world-music star
and humanitarian Angélique Kidjo.
On 6 June 2013, Kidjo was ratified as one of four Vice-presidents
of CISAC, the others being Senegalese sculptor (and fellow
African) Ousmane Sow, Indian poet, scriptwriter and lyricist
Javed Akhtar and Argentinean film director Marcelo Piñeyro.
French electronic music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre was
appointed as the new CISAC President, following last year’s
tragic passing of Robin Gibb, who had previously held
the position.
The new CISAC leaders are culturally diverse artistic
ambassadors representing disciplines including music, cinema,
visual arts, theatre and literature, and will be speaking on behalf
of more than three million creators around the world.
Kidjo is a renowned Grammy Award-winning music creator who
has captivated audiences around the world with her Afro-pop
that melds West African, Latin and European music traditions
with elements of R&B, jazz and funk.
She has, however, become as well known for her hands-on
philanthropy as she is for her infectious music and dynamic
performances on the world’s stages. As a UNICEF Goodwill
Ambassador, she has a particular passion for raising awareness
of the issues facing women and children around the world.
As a global citizen firmly rooted in Africa, Kidjo is ideally placed
to understand and advocate for the rights of musicians in
developing countries within the broader international context.
SAMRO wishes her and her fellow CISAC leaders all of the best
as they embark on this new and exciting journey.
‘Value your
copyright highly’
– Motsatse
“Copyright is an asset.” So says Nick Motsatse, former CEO of
SAMRO. This was his opening statement at the 2013 Music Exchange Conference,
which took place in Cape Town earlier this year.
He went on to say that copyright is an important asset class
that has trended upwards over the last 50 years. “It has had a
steeper performance gradient than other asset classes over the
last 10 years, is less volatile than most asset classes and is
a posterity asset,” he explained.
In other words, copyright is something to be valued very highly
and not to be treated lightly by musicians, producers, publishers
and others in the music industry.
Motsatse posed the question: “How well do you manage
the value of your copyright?” Some aspects that must be
taken into account when managing your copyright are your
income mandate, as well as royalty fees, licence fees and
commissioning fees.
“Other areas of value are catalogue trading, publishing
advances and chain of title,” asserted Motsatse. He added:
“All of these and licensing, selling, collection, usage monitoring,
data processing and accounting should have high focus as they
will reap value.” Information management, administration and
legislation must also not be ignored.
Finally, Motsatse’s keys to success in the music industry are:
• Be prudent with your signature;
• Think “long-term” as opposed to “overnight”;
• Sign nothing in perpetuity;
• Seek advice;
• Assess your advisers and service providers; and
• Be lucky – in other words, let opportunity find you prepared.
He concluded by reiterating that “copyright is an asset that
must be managed wisely”. Furthermore, he said, SAMRO,
as your copyright asset management services organisation,
takes a professional approach in making your copyright work
best for you.
Photo: Angélique Kidjo – sourced from
Cost to be established
Best Soundtrack in a Feature Film or Theatric Documentary: Philip Miller for Leaving Father
Best Song or Composition in a Television Production: Gregory Reveret for Loxion Kulca Roots
Best Song or Composition in a Television Commercial: Jeramy James Barnard for the Bell’s commercial
Best Song or Composition in a Radio Commercial: René Veldsman for the Shoprite commercial
Best Creative Album of the Year: Black Porcelain for Invincible Summer
Songwriter of the Year: Lira
THE 2013
Best South African Duo/Group: Tumi and the Volume
Best Female Artist & Composer/Co-composer: Black Porcelain
Best Male Artist & Composer/Co-composer: Daniel Baron
Statistical Award: JB Arthur
Special Awards: Wawela Inaugural Recognition Awards
Alan Lazar
Mbongeni Ngema
Lebo M
Trevor Jones
Composers bask in well-deserved
glory at the Wawela Music Awards
The enduring value of original music was celebrated
at the first-ever Wawela Music Awards, at which the shining lights
of South African songwriting were celebrated
On Friday, 28 June 2013, a constellation of the country’s music stars gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre to pay tribute to an elite
group of music composers and authors whose work has made a significant impact locally and abroad.
Presented by Gareth Cliff and Azania Mosaka, the event aptly illustrated the power wielded by creators of original, home-grown music
as guests were entertained by the eclectic sounds of The Soil, Phuzekhemisi and Koos Kombuis, with one of the highlights of the
evening being an electrifying duet between Dorothy Masuku and Mafikizolo.
The isiZulu word wawela means “to go beyond”, and this SAMRO initiative was launched to give credit to local music creators who
have achieved excellence in their craft across various platforms, including composing for film, radio and television.
The awards ceremony – the first of its kind in the country dedicated to honouring composers – saw the industry uniting to applaud the
leading lights, trailblazers and unsung heroes of the South African music scene.
The Standard Awards were open to SAMRO members, who were
required to submit entries accompanied by motivations online.
The major winner on the night was Kgomotso Mashigo, also
known as jazzy-pop songstress Black Porcelain, who walked off
with two awards: for Best Creative Album and Best Female Artist
and Composer.
She paid tribute on the night to sublime Lira, who she said
inspired her to start singing. Lira, who was crowned Songwriter
of the Year, drove home the true value of the original composition
when she revealed: “Ten years ago, when I started my career
and things were tough, I survived on my SAMRO money.”
Tumi and the Volume were named Best South African Duo or
Group. The multi-talented, self-taught musician Daniel Baron
took home the trophy for Best Male Artist and Composer – his
first music award, he revealed, and SAMRO is confident that it
will not be his last.
Other winners were celebrated composer Philip Miller, whose
score for the film Leaving Father was voted Best Soundtrack in
a Feature Film or Theatric Documentary, and former Via Afrika
vocalist René Veldsman, whose music for the Shoprite advert
was judged Best Song or Composition in a Radio Commercial.
Composer and sound designer Gregory Reveret took home the
Wawela Award for Best Song or Composition in a Television
Production, for Loxion Kulca Roots, while Jeramy James Barnard
bagged top honours for Best Song or Composition in a Television
Commercial for his work on the Bell’s advert.
Dream; world-renowned writer, composer and producer
Mbongeni Ngema, whose Sarafina! musical took Broadway
by storm; keyboard player, composer, producer, and studio and
record label owner Sizwe Zako, who has taken local gospel
music to dizzying heights; Golden Globe-nominated film music
composer Trevor Jones, who went from District Six to the bright
lights of Hollywood thanks to his twin passions for cinema and
music; and Lebo M, the celebrated singer, songwriter, composer
and musician whose music for The Lion King scooped a Grammy.
Jones also won the Breaking Through the Borders Award in the
Special Awards section. Lazar confessed that “without SAMRO,
I would not have had a career”, while Lebo M dedicated his
award to the music legends who inspired him: Johnny Clegg,
Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and Ray Phiri.
In fact, Clegg, one of the country’s most beloved musical sons
who has sown the seeds of South African music around the
world while producing work of a consistently high calibre, was
also honoured on the night – and received the Prolific Catalogue
of Works Award.
JB Arthur, a South African Music Award- and Emmy Awardwinning composer, musical arranger and producer, was
rewarded for his international success with the Statistical Award
for Broadcast and Live Performances.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to the evergreen Dorothy
Masuku, a pioneering force in Southern African music who
continues to perform, enchant and inspire.
The judging panel, comprising respected names drawn from the
industry, also handed out a number of Special Awards on the
night. Among these were five Inaugural Recognition Awards
that honoured the immense contribution made by South Africans
whose groundbreaking work has enriched the reputation of the
South African music industry.
Here’s to the 2014 Wawela Music Awards –
and SAMRO members are urged to start thinking
about their submissions now, so that they, too,
have a chance to be honoured for their sterling
The five awards went to Los Angeles-based film and television
score composer and production music library pioneer Alan
Lazar, who famously composed the Vicky Sampson hit African
for more information.
A man for all seasons – that’s SAMRO’s new CEO,
Sipho Dlamini. Despite only being in his late 30s,
he has already amassed an impressive grounding
in multiple facets of the music business, from
concert promoter and live event producer to record
label business strategist and artist manager.
Now, as he steps into the shoes of his long-serving
predecessor, Nicholas Motsatse, Dlamini is facing arguably
his most challenging role yet: as captain of Africa’s largest
royalty collecting society at a time when the world, and the
entertainment industry, is in a shape-shifting state of flux.
But it’s a prospect he’s approaching with enthusiasm: “I’m
confident and excited by the challenge,” he says. “Although I
must say it is bittersweet, as Nick is a great leader who is very
dynamic in his thinking, and is innovative and a marketing guru.
The bitter part is him leaving; the sweet part is having been able
to learn from his experience to help me to grow and gain the
confidence to lead with my own vision.”
From there, he never paused to look back, evolving into a
concert promoter and being among the first to fly in South
African artists to tour the UK after the end of apartheid in the
1990s, including TKZee, Boom Shaka, Brenda Fassie and
Arthur Mafokate.
Bringing business savvy to music
Critically, when Dlamini moved to South Africa in 1998 to
manage TKZee and help grow their brand, it marked a turning
point for the local industry in how to devise business models
around performers’ brands. He has since gone on to chalk up
several personal and professional milestones, both here and
internationally, key among which was serving as co-event
producer on the opening and closing ceremonies of the FIFA
Confederations Cup and the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010.
All of these experiences, on both the creative and corporate
sides of the music business coin, have served as valuable
preparation for the journey he is embarking on now.
Meet SAMRO’s
dynamic new CEO
Smooth transition
Dlamini started at SAMRO at the beginning of 2012 as the
General Manager: Marketing and Business Development.
When Motsatse gave the Board of Directors notice of his
intention to step down in 2013, Dlamini was elevated to
Deputy CEO on 1 January 2013 to enable a seamless and
natural transfer of power and knowledge.
“The way in which Nick and the Board have handled the
transition [from one Chief Executive to another] is great –
very systematic and organised,” says Dlamini. ““By the time
I become CEO in July, we had been working on this for six
months, making for a smooth and steady changeover. It’s been
great succession planning and transfer of historic company
knowledge, as well as knowledge of certain areas of
the industry.”
It’s an industry with which he is already very well acquainted
– both at local and international level. Schooled in the UK,
Dlamini’s musical journey started when he and his partners at
Back 2 the Future Productions discovered acclaimed English
singer-songwriter Craig David.
Sipho Dlamini has the business smarts, vision and
experience to help our music creators derive maximum
value from their most precious assets – their songs
“In a very natural way, all those things have come together to
prepare me for the role of CEO,” he reflects. “I’ve had first-hand
experience of all the roles and environments our members
experience, from the performing side to the signing, booking and
developing of artists, the production and marketing of shows,
as well as building their brands, showing them how to manage
themselves as a business and dealing with the publishing and
broadcast sides of things. It’s been a good grounding.”
Getting the basics right
When it comes to his vision, Dlamini is adamant that he is not
about to start reinventing the SAMRO wheel. He has been
absorbing the nature of the business from working closely
with Motsatse and the management team, observing what is
working while reflecting on what aspects could perhaps be done
differently, with some tweaking here and there.
This includes ensuring that internal systems and processes roll
out as efficiently as possible, so that distributions are accurate
and run on time, and that service is faster and more accessible.
SAMRO has already gone a long way towards streamlining
its operations, thanks to the recently implemented business
He has steered and steadied the SAMRO ship through waters
both choppy and calm, but now Nick Motsatse is bidding a fond adieu
to the business he has played a key role in transforming
systems upgrade and the introduction of the 24/7 Communication
Hub, and Dlamini wants the organisation to continue along that
path, further improving how it interacts with both music users
and music creators.
“Getting our basic operations to function at optimal levels means
that we will be able to drive costs down and have a better,
more competitive cost-to-income ratio and thereby increase
distributions,” he explains.
Considering that SAMRO’s mandate is to deliver and maximise
income to its members, the coming year will see a renewed
focus on updating music usage tariffs – some of which have not
been revisited for a while – to ensure that licensees pay fees
that are an accurate reflection of the music’s inherent value.
“There is no point trying to grow our business if tariffs are not
priced correctly,” Dlamini points out. “It’s about recognising the
true value of the asset – being the song or composition.”
What does SAMRO actually do?
Furthermore, an important area of focus for Dlamini is to clarify
to members what SAMRO’s mandate and scope is. “There are
huge misperceptions about what SAMRO is responsible for.
At times we are judged on things that are not within our ambit –
such as how often their songs are played or performed, which
affects their earnings – so we need to make it clear to our
stakeholders what we do.”
But mainly, he will be continuing to work towards the existing
five-year plan and vision that culminates in 2016, focusing
on getting the basics right before venturing out into other
areas. “We need to get the foundation right. We have a great
foundation, but some tweaks and improvements may be called
for. It’s like laying the concrete before you can start building
the bricks on top.”
A good manager, Dlamini believes, does not hog the limelight:
“He or she is someone who gets results and makes the talent
shine. My role is behind the scenes, working in the background
to ensure composers get the glory and reward for the works
they create.”
He is awed and excited about his new role as Chief Executive:
“SAMRO has been fortunate to have a number of great leaders
over the last 50 years… It is my goal to continue on the sterling
and careful path that this business must continue on.
“I’m committed to ensuring that we offer more efficient and
better service to our members and stakeholders, and provide
services and products that directly cater to members’ needs
and allow them to continue creating works of the soul.”
New CEO’s
to-do list
Work towards achieving his three key mandates:
income, growth and preservation.
Improve the efficiency of internal operations
and processes.
Continue to support anti-piracy initiatives.
Leverage his existing close relationships with South African composers and musicians to remain closely attuned to industry needs and challenges.
Iron out restrictions caused by SAMRO’s conversion to
a not-for-profit organisation that was necessitated
by the amended Companies Act. This includes lobbying
government to ensure that members can continue
to receive benefits such as the SAMRO Retirement Annuity Fund, the SAMRO Funeral Benefit Scheme and
the annual Non-Royalty Revenue distribution.
6. Clarify SAMRO’s mandate to members.
7. Further strengthen ties with local and international
8. Recognise the true value of the asset that composers
and music authors create, and ensure they are equipped
to extract maximum value from it.
9. Continue to create a favourable environment for the
creators of music to practise and benefit from their craft.
Farewell to an astute captain
For the seven years he has been SAMRO CEO, Nick Motsatse has practically eaten, breathed and slept
copyright administration. Having overseen great change and progress within the organisation, he believes the
time is now right to step down, spend some time with his family and strike out on his own in the business world.
At the end of June 2013, Motsatse handed the leadership baton
to Sipho Dlamini, the former General Manager: Marketing and
Business Development and, more recently, Deputy CEO.
It was a bittersweet farewell for the man who had largely been
tasked with continuing the transformation of SAMRO started
by his predecessor, Rob Hooijer, and bringing it firmly and
emphatically into the 21st century. Bitter, because of all the
friends, colleagues and associates he knew he would be leaving
behind, and sweet, because it has long been a dream of his to
open his own business.
“One of my goals,” he relates, “has always been to do something
entrepreneurial before I turn 50. Last year when I turned 47, I
started seriously thinking about it and, with time ticking, I made
the decision [to resign as Chief Executive]. It wasn’t a sudden
decision, but was made over time.
“I knew there was the necessity to manage the transition
and also that there were important projects in the pipeline
that I didn’t want to leave in the middle of – such as the
implementation of the new IT business system. Once it was on
track, and the new Chairman [Abe Sibiya] was elected, it was a
question of when and how – and of grooming a successor.”
Motsatse started working at SAMRO in 2002, as Marketing
Director, before being promoted to Deputy Chief Executive and
then to the hot seat itself four years later. Since then, he has
distinguished himself and placed African music rights on the
global map by serving two terms as the Vice-chair of CISAC’s
Board of Directors as well as on its African committee’s exco
– CISAC being the International Confederation of Societies of
Authors and Composers, the global umbrella body of which
SAMRO is a member.
Shaping a sustainable business
Coming to the position with business and administration skills,
he was tasked with building SAMRO into a corporate entity
– something he has achieved with aplomb, but not without
overcoming some hurdles along the way. “We’ve come through
difficult times, including a recession. It’s been tough, but we’ve
created and sustained a decent business to see us through the
hard times. And members have gained throughout.”
Reflecting on his time at SAMRO, Motsatse says that while
several things have changed over the past decade, others have
remained reassuringly constant. “We’ve stuck to the values
SAMRO has always espoused – concern for writers of music,
and ensuring that they derive value and benefit out of what
we do.
“At the same time, in terms of operations, the environment in
which we operate, the way of doing business and the way in
which music is consumed – that was rapidly changing, so we
had to improve and change with the times as well. I think we’ve
responded fairly well.”
The “old” way of doing things included the outdated SAMRO 4
business system from the 1980s, which was recently replaced
with the sophisticated new Apollo 12S system with its enhanced
capabilities. The organisation has also completed its evolution
from a family-run enterprise with knowledge centralised in the
minds of a few to a more corporatised entity with specialist
areas and a more equitable spread of intellectual capital.
The fine art of transformation
Apart from helping transform the organisation, Motsatse has
fulfilled his mandate of growing the business for the benefit
of stakeholders – its members – and has succeeded in
repositioning SAMRO within the music industry and the
broader business community.
“It had previously been seen as secretive and clandestine, and I
think we’ve transformed it into a proper business entity. In many
ways it’s now an organisation people can relate to – we’ve made
great strides in making SAMRO more accessible, and a brand
that’s a player in the social media space and plays a key role in
the industry. But there’s still a lot to be done.”
Highlights of his tenure as CEO
Complicating matters is the constantly shifting operating
landscape, with the trend towards the digital consumption
of music moving the goalposts and reinventing the game.
But Motsatse believes that SAMRO is keeping pace with
developments, has a firm understanding of the evolving
landscape and is preparing for a new era in collective
“I really hope I’m leaving an organisation that will be around
for another 50 years, despite the changes in the environment,”
he says. “The future of collective administration will be very
different in the years to come, and we’ve spent the last few
years trying to get the organisation ready for that – so it can
withstand the storm, but benefit and ultimately emerge a winner.
Our planning and business strategy to prepare us for that future
is very good, and hopefully SAMRO will emerge as a model for
how things should be.”
The future is now
Among the issues that will have to be confronted is the fact that
music creators are becoming increasingly impatient with waiting
for their royalties to filter through the collection and distribution
system to them, particularly if they are able to track exactly how
and when their music is being played via a cloud-based system.
“That future is coming very fast – putting control in the rights
holder’s hands,” Motsatse predicts. “Our challenge as a rights
management society will be how we add value to that.” He adds,
with a grin, that he’s confident that SAMRO is ready to face
such challenges head-on – and says he hopes to be around to
celebrate the organisation’s centenary when he’s in his 90s!
• “We’ve built relationships that are useful and, in some cases, we’ve taken leadership on issues in the industry.”
“It’s been a privilege to be part of the music business. I’ve
enjoyed it,” he reflects, a glimmer of nostalgia creeping through.
“It was a privilege to meet and work with fantastic people, but
it’s a chapter that’s now coming to an end. I’m looking forward to
setting out on a very different path – a quieter lifestyle, spending
more focused time with my family. But I will miss the people and
the great relationships I’ve formed.”
No doubt Nick Motsatse will not be completely lost to the
creative industries now that he steped out of SAMRO Place for
the last time as CEO – he has two musically gifted daughters and
an abiding affinity with the arts that will ensure he is never far
from the fulcrum of South Africa’s creative fire.
• “By experimenting and moving people around, I’ve built a really great, transformed executive team in terms of race and gender –
I think I can take credit for that. What we’ve done in the past seven years has been a team effort, and I’m proud of that.”
• “We’ve changed the image of SAMRO – from being a fairly okay business to being a recognisable business in the corporate sphere.”
“Part of growing SAMRO into a corporate has been the administration of other rights [in addition to Performing Rights]. We have
encountered some fundamental problems with Needletime and Mechanical Rights, but have persevered and there are important
fundamental changes afoot. For example, we are in the process of setting up a company jointly with NORM (the National Organisation for the Reproduction Rights in Music in Southern Africa) to look after Mechanical Rights
[see story elsewhere in this edition of SAMRO Notes.”]
• “We’ve had a mixed bag of successes regarding our government interactions, as attitudes towards copyright administration
are changing and there are a lot of voices in the mix. But one area where we have been victorious has been in terms of the new
Companies Act, with the introduction of exceptions to Schedule 1, which means that non-profits [SAMRO’s new corporate form] can
distribute income. We lobbied to createthat clause, and in the greater scheme of things I consider that our most important victory.”
• “With that and other legislation, such as the Protection of Traditional Knowledge Bill, we have been strengthening our voice
as a lobbying force.”
• “The acquisition of SAMRO Place was controversial at the time, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I have no regrets – it was
the right decision. When we moved into this building, we enabled employees to work and members to be served in a fairly modern
and decent environment.”
• “A very personal highlight for me was the Builders’ Awards last year, as part of SAMRO’s 50th anniversary celebrations. It was a
very fulfilling experience to honour people who had played a role in making SAMRO what it is today. I was sitting at the awards and
thought: ‘I think I’m done.’ Looking back and acknowledging the history of the organisation, it felt like the completion of a cycle.”
Personal message
from new CEO Sipho Dlamini to Nick Motsatse:
From the SAMRO family, as we bid farewell so you can begin your new journey in business, we wish you the best and
thank you for the hard work and sacrifice you have put into SAMRO over the past 10 years. Your leadership and vision in
growing the company, and the relationships and reputation that you’ve created for SAMRO in the international arena,
stands as a true testament of your business acumen and ability – and for that we salute and thank you.
God bless you and your family.
A bold exit,
a strong
Abe Sibiya, Chairman of the SAMRO
Board of Directors, bids farewell to
Nick Motsatse and welcomes new
CEO Sipho Dlamini on board
I also know that he will use the time to rest: his work ethic
drove him hard beyond the call of duty, and he needs this break.
I would suggest the calming effect of fishing and golf, sir!
SAMRO has benefited from his years of service in many ways.
He cultivated a deeply committed executive core as well as
entire staff complement. He introduced global ideals in terms
of a high work ethic. SAMRO’s steady revenues over the years
have been noticeable and the company was governed firmly
while giving many of the employees the opportunity to grow.
It cannot be easy to run SAMRO – I think the previous CEOs also
had their own stories to tell about the sheer magnitude of this
task. However, he leaves behind a strong legacy. While the world
is changing fast, SAMRO has a membership in the region of
12 000, and growing. This is one of his legacies.
It has created a name in South Africa and internationally as a
strong, reliable copyright administration organisation in terms of
its governance and its relationships with affiliates, and continues
to seek more open ways to deal with members’ needs.
There are a few initiatives that will no doubt be part of that
legacy, such as Moshito, the Wawela Music Awards, the thriving
SAMRO subsidiaries and a building that affords composers the
dignity to meet in surroundings that show we take the business
of composing and music rights seriously. On behalf of the Board,
I would also like to congratulate Sipho Dlamini on succeeding
Mr Motsatse as CEO, and wish him well. This is not an easy task
by any means, but my interactions with him have proved he is
equal to the task.
To be a CEO of SAMRO, you have to have the personality mix of
astute management and executive insight, and be a thinker and a
negotiator. You require old-fashioned wisdom and graciousness,
and to be adept at following what goes on in our political
landscape and among the vast and diverse people of this great
land without forgetting our painful past.
All I can say to Mr Dlamini is: “Strength to your arm, sir – your
task is, indeed, great.” I wish him good health, since the strain
and enormity of this responsibility can wreak havoc with a
person’s physical well-being. I know he prays and he is young,
so he will be all right.
As incoming CEO, he will have to balance building on SAMRO’s
past wins, steering the organisation through change and giving
assurance and comfort to the composers and members that they
are in good hands.
As Nick Motsatse steps down as CEO to pursue
other interests, I wish him a pleasant time away
from the hustle and bustle and knowing him,
his family will come first. I do know that when
he decides to finally take on another challenge,
he will do so in sterling fashion.
Sound leadership, great insight and the ability to listen – and
listen well – will stand him in good stead. The fact that SAMRO
has a number of powerful international affiliates means that
wise, out-of-the-box-thinking company is always at hand.
While we do things in a way that fits our part of the world,
Mr Dlamini will have to strike a balance between that and
maintaining healthy relations. He is fortunately inheriting a
great team of committed executives and systems that work.
I have had a keen interest in ensuring we get to a point where
our cost-to-income ratio is at a plausible level even in these
economic times, but then I have included this as part of our
deliverables and we are driving hard at achieving this goal.
These things take time, but our new CEO will no doubt shine
in his new role. I wish him well.
Joe Niemand
to the Board
Joe Niemand was still at school when he first applied for
SAMRO membership – having written his first song at the
incredibly young age of 11. But even when he did eventually
become a member, in 2001, he could hardly have predicted he
would be representing the interests of his fellow musicians on
the Board of Directors one day.
Niemand, who hails from the Eastern Cape and studied music
at the then Pretoria Technikon, was inducted as a new SAMRO
Board member earlier this year. “I was so thrilled back when I
was accepted as a member and now, to serve the industry on
top of that, is very exciting,” he says.
“To find you have this gift, and then be able to join others
in a society that promotes the value of compositions, is just
awesome. I hope to serve SAMRO members well and help build
a future for generations of composers to come.”
As the former frontman of South African Music Awardsnominated rock band Niemand, and as a solo artist with
Afrikaans and African gospel albums to his credit, he is
a seasoned singer, songwriter, producer, publisher and
international performer whose powerful compositions are often
rooted in his Christian faith. His work has been heard in almost
100 countries worldwide.
This prolific musician has already released eight albums –
including five in the past four years – several of which have
gone gold and platinum. Last year, Niemand co-produced,
starred in and wrote the music for the theatre production
Ester – The Musical at the State Theatre. He has also made a
name composing the music for films such as Hansie, Faith Like
Potatoes and international teen horror film Slash, as well as
managing his own label, Nomansland.
In 2012, he celebrated a decade in professional music with a
massive concert titled Night of Light, featuring a symphony
orchestra and a 500-voice mass choir. It all adds up to an
impressive CV for someone who is only 35 years old!
He says: “I aim to do whatever I can to help younger people
break through, as there’s an incredible amount of talent in this
country. I used to be that kid who had a bunch of songs and
didn’t know what to do with them. If it wasn’t for an organisation
like SAMRO, my road would have looked very different.”
He is also one to embrace the changing technological landscape
rather than shy away from it: “The music industry needs to face
the challenges that come with the digital revolution, and see
them as opportunities rather than recoiling from them. We need
to move with the times and not just against them. We have to
find solutions.”
This optimism also shines through in his approach to being
a professional musician in South Africa. As someone who is
involved with music on so many platforms, he advises fellow
musicians to focus on their strengths, cast their nets wide
and work hard – because there are opportunities out there
for the grasping.
He relates that in his experience, every musician who has
stubbornly refused to give up has ultimately “made it” in some
shape or form. “Younger musicians dream about making it big
somewhere else. My advice is: try to make it where you are,
and let the music be the focus. All too often, fame and money is
the only goal. There is no such thing as instant fame that lasts.”
Niemand is a passionate believer in the power of the composer/
songwriter, who is often left in the background while performers
and recording artists receive the glory. “Without a song, there
wouldn’t be a singer,” he says simply. “Music outlasts popular
culture, and you’re left with composers. Singers pass away,
but music endures.”
Trevor Jones
Celebrated South Africanborn composer Trevor Jones,
who was recently honoured
at the inaugural Wawela
Music Awards, shares his
experiences and insights
with SAMRO Notes readers
Son of the soil comes
home to inspire
Trevor Jones held the enthralled audience in
the palm of his hand during the recent Music
Exchange conference in Cape Town. His talk
focused on encouraging young artists to be brave
enough to pursue their passions and break into the
international market – and he should know, as he
did exactly that and is today a renowned film score
composer and arranger with Golden Globe, BAFTA
and Emmy nominations to his credit.
Born in Cape Town’s District Six in 1949, Jones has spent most
of his life abroad pursuing his studies and furthering his career.
At the height of apartheid, he left Cape Town on a ship heading
to London when he was 17 years old, and didn’t look back for
many years.
He has since worked with several major figures in the music
industry, including David Bowie, Sting, U2, Sinead O’Connor,
Britney Spears and Elvis Costello. He has composed music
for several films; most notable is his work on The Last of the
Mohicans, In the Name of the Father, The Mighty, Mississippi
Burning and Notting Hill.
When Jones left South Africa after studying music at the
University of Cape Town (UCT) in his teens, it was on a
scholarship (thanks to the generosity of UCT) to the prestigious
Royal Academy of Music in London. There, he studied
composition, orchestration, conducting, piano and organ.
He recalls fondly how he had to write an exam in the Cape Town
City Hall in order to qualify for the scholarship and many,
many years later, he came full circle when the same venue
hosted the 2013 Music Exchange conference, at which he
was the keynote speaker.
“Hard work will earn you big breaks”
He says: “Success comes in the form of hard work and big
breaks. I found the harder I worked, the more breaks I got.”
Since his passport wasn’t viable in the UK, he was effectively
stateless – and so couldn’t travel or get his passport renewed.
He later worked for the BBC, reviewing music for four years,
and in the process received British citizenship. Thereafter, he
studied film at the University of York and general filmmaking at
the National Film and Television School. Throughout the 1980s,
Jones composed music for several films, but his highest acclaim
came from his score for 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans.
Thanks to the degrees he had pursued, Jones had the advantage
of a background in both music and film – giving him an incredible
understanding of both image and sound. He says: “I always
wanted to write film scores. I see myself more as a filmmaker
who is working in music. The whole point of my job is to bring out
the meaning of the film and try to understand exactly how the
director is telling the story. It’s my perspective of his vision.”
When asked how his love for cinema developed, he tells vivid
anecdotes of how he used to sneak into an old movie house
during the 1960s, becoming a regular fixture at the Gem Cinema
in Woodstock.
Marrying music with images
“I played truant for almost 15 months and nobody knew. I’d go
to school in the morning, then sneak into the cinema and stay
there all day. That’s where I learnt more about film than at any
film school. The projectionist was always drunk. Sometimes the
image would disappear and you’d be listening to the sound in
the dark. The relationship between image and sound began to
dawn on me then: realising the music and soundtrack is just as
important as the image.”
Considering that he has been away from South Africa for so long,
it is always strange for Jones to visit the country, with memories
of apartheid still fresh in his mind. He recalls: “In a country that
I didn’t feel comfortable in, film for me was a window on the
world. It raised my consciousness. It made me realise there
was more to the world than what apartheid offered, so I took all
of that in. Cinema was a big escape in a lot of ways – and the
biggest teacher was the drunkard projectionist.”
Jones continues: “Music is a direct emotional line to an
audience. You sit in the cinema, it’s all dark and you’re almost
on the verge of going to sleep [until you’re taken on a cinematic
journey]. People pay me to be part of that process. How lucky
am I to have that as a job! Just to be able to do this on a global
scale and spread a universal language. I always wonder: why is
it that just by instinct, a human being will respond to this image
or sound in this way?”
Three of Jones’ children are involved in filmmaking and he says
that although it is a challenge for any parent, he has tried to
teach them by example. “I love working with the next generation
of filmmakers. They’ve got such a great feel of things. It’s a
different time and different era.”
‘Get an education’
Speaking of role models, he relates: “The reason why I did
anything in this life is because of my mother. She worked at a
clothing factory in Salt River and she’d give me 10 pence at the
end of the week to go to the cinema on a Saturday. She knew
I was obsessed with film. If she hadn’t made those sacrifices,
I wouldn’t have been where I am. She was a phenomenal
The sound alchemist
Even after all these years of being in the film industry, Jones
remains incredibly passionate about the work he does. Talking
about his inspirations, he says: “What keeps me going is a
passion and obsession with film and music. It’s like going to
work in the morning, which is at a studio in my house, and being
an alchemist with sound and image and watching something
change form before your very eyes. To use rhythm as a heartbeat
and play and mix – that, for me, is magic. To be able to do that is
a pleasure.”
Jones’ inspiring story of success roots itself in education
and the importance of mentors. His industry advice for those
interested in going into film composing is: “Do not take shortcuts.
It depends on what you want to do. If you want to work at an
international level, you’ll need to be quite clued-up and know
as much as possible.
“When you come from the background I did, as a young coloured
kid from District Six, the only thing that had value for me was my
education. My teachers were formidable examples,” he says.
Recalling the many afternoons when he used to walk to the
library in town, he points out: “Remember, it doesn’t always take
money to learn. It just depends on how big you want to be. But
nothing is impossible. We have loads of examples of brilliant
South Africans doing brilliant things in the world. We have
produced an extraordinary level of talent.”
Cape Town will always remain one of the most beautiful places
in the world to Jones and will certainly always be home for him.
He is currently completing finishing touches on a house here,
with plans to relocate back imminently to the place of his birth.
Special awards
for South Africa’s extra-special music magicians
SAMRO congratulates Johnny Clegg,
who was honoured at the Wawela
Music Awards for his prolific catalogue
of works, and Dorothy Masuku,
who was presented with a lifetime
achievement award for her
remarkable career in music
White Zulu and true-blue African
Johnny Clegg is one of South Africa’s most celebrated sons.
A singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist and musical activist,
his infectious crossover music, a vibrant blend of Western pop
and African Zulu rhythms, exploded onto the international scene
and broke barriers in his own country. In France, he is fondly
called Le Zulu Blanc – the white Zulu. Over three decades, Clegg
has sold over five million albums worldwide. He has wowed vast
audiences with his audacious live shows and won a number
of national and international awards for his music and for his
outspoken views on apartheid.
Born in England in 1953 to an English father and Zimbabwean
mother, Clegg was raised in what was then Southern Rhodesia
until the age of seven, when his mother married a South African
journalist and moved to South Africa. Between his mother (a
cabaret and jazz singer) and his stepfather (a crime reporter),
who took him into the townships at an early age, he was exposed
to a broad cultural perspective.
While lecturing in anthropology at Wits University in
Johannesburg, Clegg decided to try and blend English lyrics and
Western melodies with Zulu musical structures. South African
producer Hilton Rosenthal signed Clegg and his performing and
songwriting partner, Sipho Mchunu, to his independent record
label. They called their band Juluka, which means “sweat” in
isiZulu. At the time, their music was censored and their only
access to an audience was through touring. This brought
them into conflict with the Group Areas Act, but they played at
universities, church halls, hostels and even in private homes.
Many shows were closed down, but still they garnered
a substantial following of students and migrant workers.
In 1979 their debut album, Universal Men, a musical journey into
the life of Zulu migrant workers, was released. Two years later,
the groundbreaking African Litany was greeted with critical
acclaim, but was largely ignored by the SABC
(South African Broadcasting Corporation) because of the mixing
of languages. However, it developed a following through word of
mouth and sold-out live shows. In 1982 and 1983, Juluka toured
the USA, Canada, Germany and Scandinavia and in 1983, they
released Work for All and, a year later, Musa Ukungilandela. In
six years, the band recorded two platinum and five gold albums
and became an international success. Juluka split up in 1985.
Mchunu returned to cattle farming, while Clegg formed another
crossover band, Savuka (which means “we have risen”). His
concept was to mix African music with a wider music base and
international rock sounds.
Third World Child (1987) broke all international sales records in
France, Switzerland and Belgium. This was followed by Shadow
Man (1988), Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World (1989) and Heat, Dust &
Dreams (1993) and then the best-of album, In My African Dream
(1994). Savuka toured extensively internationally, but disbanded
in 1993. Three years later, Clegg and Mchunu re-teamed to
record Ya Vuka Inkunzi (also released as Crocodile Love). Since
then, Clegg’s solo projects, including New World Survivor (2002),
A South African Story (2003) and One Life (2007) have all been
resounding successes.
Clegg continues to play at festivals and tour locally and
internationally. Songs like Impi (meaning “Zulu warriors”)
and Great Heart have achieved anthem status in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela has joined him on stage during Asimbonanga,
a song about Madiba’s incarceration. Other notable hits include
I Call Your Name, Scatterlings of Africa, African Sky Blue, Take
My Heart Away, African Shadow Man, December African Rain,
Kilimanjaro and Fever.
Clegg has won many local and international awards for his
music, his record sales as well as his humanitarian work and his
promotion of racial harmony. He lives in Johannesburg and has
been a SAMRO member since 1985.
A polished gem that still sparkles
A true African treasure, Dorothy Masuku is one of the continent’s
most loved vocalists, performers and songwriters and has spent
her life dedicated to her craft. This year, she celebrates 60
years in music. She was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in 1935,
then called Southern Rhodesia. The fourth of seven children,
Masuku’s mother was Zulu while her father was a Zambian hotel
chef. Her family moved to South Africa when she was 12 due to
her poor health.
By the time she was 16, she had become a top recording star
and after running away from her Catholic boarding school
several times to join bands like the African Ink Spots, she was
permitted to leave school and pursue her singing career. She
was attracted by American jazz and also the South African music
scene. By the time Masuku was 19, she was already touring
South Africa with singers she had admired as a girl. One day,
during a train journey to Johannesburg, she composed the song
Hamba Nontsokolo, which launched her career as a professional
musician. It has since become regarded as a South African
By the age of 20, she had already appeared on magazine covers
and toured the country with a musical revue, in which Miriam
Makeba also took part. Masuku became a top pin-up and
glamour girl, and starred in Alf Herbert’s popular African Jazz
and Variety show. Many of her performances were as a jazz
soloist, accompanied by close-harmony groups and other 1950s
big bands. By composing her own songs inspired by events in
the townships, she provided insight into socio-political issues
of township life. As result of this, she was forced to leave South
Africa abruptly and go into exile.
The song Dr Malan, which references “difficult” apartheid
laws, was banned in 1961, and she was advised not to return
until it was safe. Between that time and 1965, Masuku travelled
to Malawi, Tanzania and London, performing and singing in
support of the African cause. After returning to Zimbabwe, her
life was threatened as a result of her political affiliations, and as
it became too dangerous, she fled to Zambia. There, her musical
career took a backseat and she worked as an air hostess, while
raising a family. After 16 years in exile she returned to Zimbabwe
in 1981, after independence. She started to sing professonally
again and only returned to South Africa after Nelson Mandela’s
release. Her exile lasted 31 years.
The songstress recorded Pata Pata in 1990. Two years
later, she returned to her favourite city, Johannesburg, and
released Magumede and, in 2001, Mzilikazi. That year she also
participated in a special performance with Don Laka in London
and 2002 saw her joining the Mahotella Queens on stage in
New York.
In 2013, Masuku’s Ultimate Collection CD and DVD was released.
It includes tracks that she recorded on two albums in 2001 and
2003, demonstrating her remarkable, still-intact vocal skills and
her composing ability – she was still writing fresh, new songs
with that distinctive Dorothy Masuku touch.
The DVD derives from a marvellous 2010 concert where, even at
age 74, Masuku proved that she is still the consummate vocalist,
entertainer and performer, totally at ease with herself and the
audience. Her many hits through the years include Hamba
Nontsokolo, Into Yami (a 1950s standard), Khanyange
(written while in exile in Zambia) and Mandela.
A SAMRO member since 1999, she currently lives in
Johannesburg with her grandchildren and has recently
released a new album.
Local Afro-fusion band Freshly Ground
has to have scored a coup by topping the
iTunes chart in the United States with their fifth
studio album, Take Me to the Dance, in April.
take the US charts by storm
The US iTunes world chart, which ranks the country’s top
10 most frequently downloaded online items, including
songs, albums and bands of various music genres, listed
the band’s latest album at number one. This is a massive
feat for a South African group.
Freshly Ground toured the USA to promote the new album,
and lead vocalist Zolani Mahola says: “Our years of
performing live in the States and our more recent trip to the
east coast of America contributed hugely to this milestone.
Chiefly I think [this chart success happened] because the
album really showcases who we are, which is a South
African band that is very much globally musically aware.”
new Mechanical Rights society
The album has been receiving incredible airplay in the US,
and has been embraced by the country’s National Public
Radio broadcaster in particular. This spells good news for
the band when it comes to its Performing Rights royalties,
which are collected in that country and distributed to the
songwriters through SAMRO.
SAMRO and NORM have come together to establish a new,
independent Mechanical Rights company, simplifying and strengthening
the administration of these rights in the music industry
SAMRO and NORM form
“SAMRO has signed reciprocal agreements with over
143 collecting societies from around the world,” explains
Xolani Zulu, Mechanical Rights Accounts Executive at
SAMRO. He explains that thanks to these agreements,
SAMRO members have the benefit of receiving their
international royalties via SAMRO, no matter where
in the world their music is consumed.
“These agreements are a vote of confidence in our
ability to look after international music used in South
Africa. It also gives our members peace of mind in the
knowledge that their music can be commercially exploited
in international markets with the same protection that is
afforded to South African composers.”
He adds: “Music usage data from digital music providers
like iTunes is analysed to compute streaming and download
statistics used in royalty allocation and distribution.”
Freshly Ground’s collaboration with Shakira for the
2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup helped to bring the band
international attention, which they have now cemented
with regular tours to foreign shores.
The new album is packed with the band’s signature
elements of honest lyrics and Afro-pop guitar, including
dance anthems such as the title song. The wildly diverse
material offers catchy songs with layers of guitar, rich
strings and multi-part harmonies.
Photo by Jonx
Mahola says: “It feels great to have been at the top of the
US world music chart, especially knowing how much music
is actually out there. The fact that people heard about
us, checked out the music and loved it enough to buy it
is a special thing – not least of all because it’s so hard to
encourage people to buy music rather than get it by other
means in this modern age.”
For bands wanting to break into the international market,
Mahola advises: “Get a lot of hours in. Practice makes you
really good at your craft and brings you closer to your real
musical identity. Keep playing and believing in yourself and
what you have to offer. Work your hardest to get to where
you want to be; this will lead you further than you thought
you could get!”
For a long time, the issue of the administration of Mechanical
Rights has not been acceptable to many industry stakeholders.
Until recently, both SAMRO (the Southern African Music
Rights Organisation) and NORM (the National Organisation for
the Reproduction Rights in Music in Southern Africa) shared
this role, with SAMRO administering the rights of composers
and NORM performing the role for music publishers. This
arrangement has long over-complicated this area of rights
administration, with neither party able to work effectively in the
interests of Mechanical Rights and music users as a whole.
The idea for a single body to administer Mechanical Rights
in South Africa emerged in 2009, when SAMRO and NORM
began initial discussions around forming a single Mechanical
Rights society. This initiative was given further impetus in 2011
when the Copyright Review Commission outlined the need for a
single organisation to administer each rights type, i.e. a single
Performing Rights organisation, a single Mechanical Rights
organisation and a single Needletime Rights organisation.
SAMRO and NORM subsequently began the process of forming
a new non-profit company to act as the single Mechanical Rights
entity in South Africa. The formation of this new entity offers
many benefits to both composers and publishers alike, but it also
presents a number of legal and operational challenges for both
Bronwen Harty, Chief Operating Officer of SAMRO, is one of
those responsible for overseeing the formation of the new
company. She explains: “Constructing a deal of this nature is
complex, as it involved taking two different business models to
create a single entity. NORM was created by the publishers to
suit the publishers’ needs, so it’s very specific to the publishers,
while SAMRO’s model is more optimised for the composers.
“Our approach aimed to retain the best of each, taking the
convenience and ease that the NORM model presents and
combining it with the organisational maturity that the SAMRO
organisation brings to the table. The choice to establish a nonprofit company makes sense because the new company will
only be distributing royalties.”
Recently, NORM and SAMRO issuing joint licences for
Mechanical Rights, which has already gone a long way towards
making the licensing process a lot simpler for users.
The next step is to create a new company, independent of the
two organisations, which could perform this role.
Harty says: “We plan to get the new company up and running by
the fourth quarter of 2013 and we’re working very hard to meet
that deadline, when we hope to have the company registered
and the new board of directors appointed. We have already
begun the process of staff appointments and as soon as the
details are finalised, it will be able to start functioning as
an entity.”
The new company will be registered with the Companies and
Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and will become a
member in good standing with BIEM (Bureau International des
Sociétés gérant les Droits d’Enregistrement et de Reproduction
Mécanique – the international umbrella organisation for
Mechanical Rights administration organisations). Once it is a
member of BIEM, it will be in a position to negotiate reciprocal
agreements with the international Mechanical Rights bodies.
Harty says that SAMRO’s role in this process has been to ensure
that composers’ rights are protected in the new company. “The
most important issue for us during this process was to ensure
that the rights of our composers were given equal weight in
relation to the rights of publishers. SAMRO has 4 500 Mechanical
Rights members to consider and while we support the move
to a single Mechanical Rights organisation, we naturally
want to ensure that the interests of our members are
properly represented.”
She points out that the formation of a single Mechanical Rights
company to represent the interests of both composers and
publishers is an important step forward for the industry. “Not
only will it simplify the process of compliance for music users,”
Harty explains, “it also places music creators in a much stronger
negotiating position.
“In today’s world, where music proliferation via the internet is
creating new challenges for the safeguarding of intellectual
property, this single entity means the South African music
industry will present a united front that will allow composers
and music publishers to pursue their interests more effectively,”
she says.
Dalro launches
DALRO is making it easy for
licensees to comply with copyright
licensing requirements with an
innovative web-based automatic
licence-generating system, which
licensing system
went online in January
One of the major challenges facing DALRO, the Dramatic,
Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation, is the widespread
lack of education and understanding about the rights of
literary works, especially in the online space. The ease with
which articles and literary works can be shared, copied
and passed around on the internet means works can be
reproduced unlawfully hundreds of times in just a
few minutes.
which it emails out to people. If you think about it, in sending
out these articles directly, the sender is depriving the website
of web traffic that would [drive up its hit rate and consequently]
add to its bottom line.”
Because reproducing copyright-protected works is so easy on
the web, there is a pressing need to make the process of issuing
and paying for usage license just as easy. RightsPortal is an
Australian browser-based licensing system that is being used for
just this purpose. For DALRO, it made perfect sense to use this
existing platform, which has enjoyed success internationally,
adapting it for the South African market.
Often, those who reproduce these works are not even
aware that they are doing anything wrong. Yet at the
same time, technology is making it easier for licensees to
comply with copyright legislation, which is why DALRO has
implemented an international web-based licensing platform
for published material, launching
in January 2013.
The South African version of RightsPortal offers a convenient
online system for efficiently purchasing, clearing and licensing
the rights to reuse text material from newspapers. Further down
the line, this will expand to include journals or books. The new
system has been loaded on to many news websites, such as the
DALRO is a wholly owned subsidiary of SAMRO and is
responsible for managing the rights associated with
dramatic or artistic and literary works. Just as SAMRO
works to protect musicians and composers, DALRO looks
after the rights of authors, publishers, visual artists and
writers. Unfortunately, while music copyright is a wellunderstood concept in general circles, DALRO’s sphere
of influence does not enjoy the same level of appreciation.
Mail & Guardian Online. It appears as a button at the foot of each
news article, stating “login to clip”. Once clicked, it opens up a
form, which prompts the user to fill in their details and the type
of use they require. The system then automatically generates a
licence and directs the user to their preferred payment method.
While this user-friendly service is available on most news
portals, there is still work to be done to make users aware of
it. “DALRO will be conducting advertising campaigns on these
websites to point people to the service,” explains Bosch.
“We need to let people know that this is available and why
it’s important to use it.”
Simple, quick, friendly: RightsPortal SA makes it just as easy to
comply with copyright law as it is to share the great content that
is out there. Visit and learn more about
South Africa’s first web-based rights portal for dramatic and
literary works.
As such, DALRO is embarking on more education initiatives
to make people aware of the facts when it comes to this
type of licensing. These will highlight the need for users of
this type of content to apply and pay for usage licences if
they wish to use literary, artistic or dramatic works, much
the same as they would if they were utilising music. DALRO
also understands the need to make compliance as easy as
possible, especially in this digital age.
Sarah-Jane Bosch, Manager: Business Development at
DALRO, explains some of the misconceptions surrounding
the use of articles on the web.
“If an article is hosted on a website, people assume that
it is in the public domain and therefore can be copied,”
comments Bosch.
“While it is true that it would be in the public domain, it’s
not quite as simple as that. For example, it is acceptable to
send the article’s URL to a friend, since they will then visit
the website. However, consider something like a media
monitoring agency that maintains a large bank of articles,
Photo courtesy
3. What, in your opinion, are the biggest issues or challenges
facing DALRO and its members today?
I am of the view that the general lack of knowledge in respect of
issues around copyright is a significant challenge. What I now
realise is that people (both the general public and the creators
of the works that are the subject of copyright) are simply not
aware that copyright compliance applies to them. For example,
if an employee in a marketing department of a company sends
out a copyrighted article to the executive team or executive
management, that copying and distribution requires a licence
obtainable from DALRO. Another example is that the creators
of the works that are protected by copyright are not aware
that their works are protected by a copyright. DALRO’s work in
the education and theatre sectors has ensured that the users
are licensed, but outside of that, there is a general ignorance
about copyright and all the obligations imposed on a user of
copyrighted works. This situation has been exacerbated by the
usage of the internet, as users believe that copyright simply
does not apply to the content found online – a complete myth,
of course! DALRO aims to address this lack of knowledge
through education on copyright and copyright compliance.
SAMRO Notes catches up with
Advocate Nathi Gaisa, DALRO’s
new Managing Director, to find out
more about how the organisation
plans to keep pace with the rapidly
4. How can society in general be persuaded to value copyright
more highly – or is that like fighting a losing battle?
evolving environment of artistic
and literary copyright protection
a true man
of letters
Congratulations on your recent appointment as DALRO
Managing Director. Could you briefly outline what this
position entails and how long you have been associated
with DALRO?
Thank you very much; I am humbled by the appointment.
The position I now occupy requires that I provide leadership
and guidance, at a strategic level, to this dynamic and innovative
copyright asset management company. The position is a
challenging role in a complex and yet exciting environment
wherein, while working closely with the highly skilled Board and
energetic and innovative staff, I am responsible for shaping a
vision and future success of the company to enable it to continue
to grow and prosper. I assumed my current position in the middle
of February 2013 and it has been an exciting few months that
have seen me on a steep and exciting learning curve.
2. Having practised law and having also been involved in
communications, how will these capabilities assist you
in your task at the helm of DALRO?
In my capacity as an advocate of the High Court, having
practised for a number of years as a member of both the Port
Elizabeth Bar as well as the Johannesburg Bar, I have the
benefit of the practical and legal knowledge and understanding
around the complexities of law. This is critical in my role, as
the core principle of what DALRO does – royalty collection and
distribution – is based on the principles of intellectual property
law and, more specifically, the Copyright Act (No. 98 of 1978).
In royalty collection and distribution, communication is key.
DALRO exists to maximise the assets rights holders entrust to us.
Perception is reality. I hope that my communications background
will enable me to leverage experience and relationships to drive
the DALRO brand and ensure that key and relevant messages
are delivered about the value that copyright, collective licensing
and the pivotal role that DALRO plays in these areas.
It is interesting that, when I talk to people and ask how they
would feel if their work was stolen, it becomes a lot clearer.
Obviously we can’t talk to everyone, though, and have to find
other ways of showing the value of copyright, such as the
number of jobs the publishing industry creates, the rights of
authors and playwrights who have poured their hearts into
creating a work to receive royalties – and the alternative in
terms of poor-quality educational material that is not peerreviewed or edited. Basically, we have to place a tangible value
on copyright for users to understand that it “costs” something.
5. Are there any new DALRO initiatives in the pipeline
to maximise the value of creative assets on behalf
of authors and publishers?
DALRO is in a very exciting growth phase and we have many
new projects happening. You have mentioned RightsPortal SA
elsewhere in the magazine, the groundbreaking online licensing
portal that allows users to get a quote, pay online and receive
their licence to reproduce local newspaper content. We also
have the DALRO EduPortal that will provide online subscription
access to school textbooks across all grades and subjects on
any device. We are moving into new licensing sectors such
as business licensing and other education sectors, and have
been very successful in signing a number of significant media
monitoring organisations (MMOs) on to our media monitoring
licence. These initiatives will ensure that our rights holders will
receive due compensation in areas where they previously were
unlikely to.
A new reporting system for university licensees is in the
pipeline, which will make compliance that much easier and will
streamline our own internal processes. Increased engagement
with licensee institutions has been a key focus for me, and the
reprographics team has done an excellent job of facilitating
workshops and interactive sessions for us to address the
concerns of our licensees.
If we make things simpler for the user to comply with, our rights
holders will most certainly benefit.
Much has been said about technology compromising
copyright protection. Do you believe the digital sphere can,
in fact, be used to the benefit and advantage of rights holders
by (for example) making creative property more accessible?
Once it is established that the internet doesn’t abolish copyright
protection, then yes, certainly. I don’t believe that rights holders
have a choice but to make their content available online, at a
cost where applicable. The user must be given a way to comply
with copyright laws while using the internet; for example, DALRO
licences cover the copying of digital content. There would
always have been the people who photocopied textbooks and
there will always be people who steal digital content, but we
are in a position to ensure that the majority of users find it easy
to comply.
7. Could you provide updates on the progress of a) the licensing
of news clipping services; b) the EduPortal; c) the expansion
of DALRO’s visual arts footprint?
The media monitoring licence has progressed significantly, with
a number of MMOs on board. The next step here is to licence the
downstreaming activity for the clients of the MMOs.
The DALRO EduPortal is being piloted in two schools in
Johannesburg, Reddam Bedfordview and Greenside High, for the
duration of 2013. The pilot projects have been a success thus far,
with invaluable feedback that will enable us to refine and perfect
the final offering when we roll out to schools.
Our visual arts footprint is rapidly expanding. We currently
have mandates from 18 prominent visual artists and the team is
always working to increase this and the collection around the
use of the works.
8. What are your aims and vision for DALRO during your tenure as MD?
To ensure that DALRO retains the reputation it holds, both locally
and within our international network, for being a forwardthinking organisation. We are further ahead than many of our
international counterparts in terms of product development,
and I aim to keep us there. Growth is a key mission for me. The
company is capable of great things and I plan to “shake it up” a
lot to make sure it is flexible and ready to deal with change in our
rapidly evolving environment. We cannot go about business as
usual and my vision is to have a highly-skilled team that drives a
company focused on efficiently delivering as much as we can,
and more, to our rights holders.
DALRO seems to have a very tight-knit and committed
team working there. Could you expand on the importance
of the relationships they build with authors, artists,
publishers, licensees, etc?
I definitely inherited a great team! Everyone is committed
to ensuring the best results for rights holders through their
various positions in the company. Critical to this is, of course,
the relationships they build with the various stakeholders,
rights holders, licensees and even suppliers. The team works at
building relationships that will enable the most efficient workflow
processes and that, along with this, will garner the support of
the people in the industry – those we collect from and those we
distribute to. Both the team and the people with whom they have
relationships are staunch advocates of copyright and the role
DALRO plays in appreciating and gaining value from copyright.
Photo courtesy of DALRO
A year of plenty
for the SAMRO Foundation
Now in its second year, the SAMRO Foundation
has seen considerable growth and change in
its corridors. Its Board – with its vibrant mix of
diversity, talent and energy – has comfortably
settled into its role, bringing what was the SAMRO
Endowment of the past into a more revelant,
focused present
The SAMRO Foundation is living up to its vision of investing in
the value of music through its various activities. This includes
providing much-needed music education funding through a
range of scholarship and bursary awards, as well as staging live
music events like the popular Cape Town and Gauteng Big Band
Jazz Festivals.
The SAMRO Archive continues to grow, supporting a number
of projects that meet the industry’s needs in an exciting way.
The recently established Stakeholder Hub has already
facilitated some innovative partnering with fellow music
and arts organisations.
Music education projects
With a roots-up ethos, the SAMRO Foundation has spread its
support across all genres and generations in music education.
Gathering the finest music talent at junior level, this year’s
Hubert van der Spuy National Competition celebrates 25 years of
music excellence. Professor Hubert van der Spuy and the South
African Society of Music Teachers launched the first competition
in 1989 and SAMRO became the principal sponsor of the event
three years ago.
This year, candidates will compete in four categories: piano,
strings, woodwind and brass instruments, and other instruments.
The final round will take place at the Hugo Lambrechts
Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town, from 16 to 18 September 2013.
In 2013, the SAMRO Foundation awarded R1.22 million in music
study bursaries to students at 11 South African universities.
That represents a total of 122 undergraduate and postgraduate
bursaries, covering various categories of music study such as
music education, music performance study, indigenous African
music research, music technology, music composition and
community music study.
The 2013 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition will see
South Africa’s most talented keyboard players competing at the
gala event on 31 August 2013. There, they will let their passion
pour into their fingers, in the hope of bagging one of the two
R170 000 scholarships for international study in the Western
Art Music and Jazz/Popular Music categories.
It’s a double dose of jazz for the SAMRO Foundation as it gets
into the swing with its two Big Band Jazz Festivals. The first, the
Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival, was held in Cape Town at the
end of May. Following its successful inaugural event at St Mary’s
School for Girls in Waverley last year, the Gauteng Big Band Jazz
Festival takes place from 16 to 18 September 2013.
SAMRO Archive
With its growing collection of music scores, CDs, paintings,
photos and instruments, the SAMRO Archive continues to
fulfill its mandate of protecting, preserving and promoting
Southern Africa’s rich musical heritage. With the launch of the
online archive database due to take place later this year, this
heritage will become a firm part of the growing digital space and
accessible to a much wider audience.
The SAMRO Archive recently published the third volume of
the ever-popular South Africa Sings. This growing collection
of indigenous African choral music, which uses dual notation
(staff and tonic sol-fa) for greater accessibility, has become a
firm favourite in the repertoire of many of South Africa’s choirs.
This year, the SAMRO Archive will be reaching out to South
Africa’s young musicians with its newest publication, SAMRO
Scores for Young Players. For this series, SAMRO has
commissioned more than 20 composers to compose over 30 new
works, on various instruments. The first two books, Violin and
Piano and Guitar and Piano, will be published during 2013.
Researchers visiting the SAMRO Archive will have access to
a well-appointed and accessible reading room that will ensure
comfort as well as peace and quiet during their visit.
Mentorship programme
In a response to the need for more significant South Africancomposed orchestral works, the SAMRO Foundation has
launched its first orchestral mentorship programme.
This year, eight young, emerging composers from across South
Africa are being mentored by established composers in the
art and discipline of writing work for orchestras or symphonic
bands. Prof Peter Klatzow has been paired with Amy Crankshaw
and Andrew Hoole, Noel Stockton with Andrew-John Betheke
and Mandla Mlangeni, Prof Stefans Grové with Bernette
Mulungo and Evans Netshivhambe, Dr Rexleigh Bunyard with
Jessica da Silva, and Allan Stephenson with Laura Stevens.
Stakeholder Hub
The Stakeholder Hub was developed as a specialised support
unit for emerging and established arts organisations, assisting
with seminars and workshops, technical and organisational
development support, administrative and secretariat support,
facilities and equipment, company registration, governance and,
in some cases, seed funding.
The Stakeholder Hub works in three spaces: internal
partnerships, external partnership and international
Internally, the Stakeholder Hub has partnered with the
Composers’ Association of South Africa (CASA), the Music
Managers Forum of South Africa (MMFSA), the Arts and
Culture Trust (ACT) and the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’
Association of South Africa (ANFASA). During 2013, the hub
facilitated various workshops for these organisations, including
a workshop on music composers’ contracts for CASA and a
corporate governance master class.
The hub’s external partnerships have already resulted in a
number of critical industry events, including a public forum
regarding the state of arts funding convened by the Arterial
Network and BASA.
On the international front, the Stakeholder Hub has been
involved in some exciting projects in partnership with the British
Council and Casa África. Together, the SAMRO Foundation
and the British Council have established the South African
International Music Mobility Fund. Grants have been made
available for professional South African musicians and
industry stakeholders to build links with artists, organisations
and professionals in other Southern African Development
Community (SADC) countries and the United Kingdom.
In a bid to promote South Africa’s diversity of talent and musical
styles on Spanish stages, the SAMRO Foundation and Casa
África, with the support of the Spanish Embassy in South
Africa, hosted the Johannesburg Vis-à-Vis initiative, the first
music contest and business meeting between Spanish music
producers and South African musicians.
From the 89 groups that entered the “battle of the bands”
competition, 12 were selected to perform live at the contest.
The prize, an opportunity to tour prestigious Spanish festivals
like Pirineos Sur, La Mar de Musicas and Mumes Tenerife in July
and August, was won by Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness
(BCUC), a five-piece that integrates indigenous African rhythms
with funk and soul, and Touchwood, a four-piece outfit that
makes use of instruments including cello, ukulele, violin
and marimba.
The Spanish judges came away from the competition impressed
by the diversity and professionalism of all the bands entered,
and excited by the potential of the South African music scene.
As the SAMRO Foundation’s support continues to grow and
encompass all genres of South African music, so too does the
very tangible sense of commitment, enthusiasm and energy
that pervades SAMRO’s hard-working music education and
corporate social investment arm.
Pictured, from top left: Mandla Mlangeni and Laura Stevens, who are part of the SAMRO Foundation’s mentorship
programme; Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness and Touchwood won the Spanish-South African “battle of the
bands” contest; and composers turned out in their numbers for the CASA workshop in March.
Photos courtesy of the SAMRO Foundation and Suzy Bernstein
The times they are
a-changin’… and nowhere
more rapidly than in the
music industry. SAMRO’s
Xolani Zulu, Accounts
Executive for Mechanical
Rights, believes that the
digital revolution presents
music creators with more
opportunities than threats
Should musicians
fear or embrace
Technology knows no borders. Take IT and
infuse it with music… you are guaranteed
a lifestyle so big, it created the Gangnam
Style and, more recently, the Harlem Shake
But this is a new era. Long gone are the days when
the music industry was paralysed with fear at the
mention of Napster and other illegal F2P (free-to-play)
sites. Times are changing. Megaupload and other
Napster mutants are being shut down, fighting court
cases or running for cover. File-sharing website The
Pirate Bay was even rumoured to have run to seek
asylum in North Korea.
Photos of Xolani Zulu from SAMRO
to the recent Digital Music Report 2013, published by the
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
used by the music industry to turn the threat of technology into
revenue-generating opportunities.
According to the report, technology in the form of digital
music piracy is the greatest single enemy of the music industry.
Again using the example of the two Koreas, in 2012 the
technology-savvy South Korea had 82.7% internet penetration.
Is it a coincidence, then, that in 2012 the same country took
the world by storm, musically and technologically speaking, by
introducing Psy’s Gangnam Style, the world’s first online music
video to achieve one billion views on YouTube? Without digital
music’s vast reach, it would take an estimated 8 017 years
or 119 generations to achieve such a feat!
Music streaming is as good for consumers as it is for music
creators and for the industry as a whole. In Sweden, for
example, sales of recorded music – which had long been
stagnant or in decline – grew by almost 14% in 2012, and
by 7% in Norway. This growth can be directly attributed to
positive developments in the licensing and regulation of
music streaming services.
The music industry fortunately has legal and copyright
systems in its corner of the ring. Last year, the UK
High Court ruled that internet service providers
must censor the Pirate Bay. Search engines like are finally joining the fight
against piracy by, for example, down-ranking sites
such as The Pirate Bay in their search results.
Psy had released six albums in South Korea before Gangnam
Style took the world by storm in July 2012. The track’s recordbreaking online popularity on streaming sites started after
Robbie Williams challenged followers of his blog to “TRY
A LIP CURL)”. He then posted a YouTube link of the song. Well,
as they say, the rest is history, and Psy has a Guinness World
Record certificate and a healthy bank account balance for
his trouble.
As a result, the music industry continues to ride the
technology wave across cultures, classes and income
levels. Music consumption is higher than ever. The
momentum is driven by consumer demand, according
For Psy, then, technology proved to be a valuable friend and ally
in getting his music heard on a global scale. In marketing circles,
they call it “conversion” when threats or risks are turned into
opportunities. Streaming is one of the tools being successfully
Video streaming is the most popular form of streaming. On
YouTube, for example, 90% of the most popular videos are musicrelated. The channel’s 800 million-plus viewers have diverse
tastes and cultures, but the discovery element helps
the service to meet these varied musical needs.
Satisfaction with legal digital music services, including
internet radio, sits at 77% globally. This is a compelling
customer satisfaction rating, achieved by what many
thought was a failing industry.
Audio or video streaming can take many forms. Webcasts,
podcasts and on-demand streaming are just some of the betterknown music streaming services available. Each of these – and
other related uses – is licensed by SAMRO.
Contact Xolani Zulu at [email protected] for more information on online music licensing and royalties.
The IFPI report is available for download at
The low-down on
Nick Matzukis
Photo by Suzy Bernstein
In its most basic form,
a publishing agreement
is a copyright transfer
contract. In the agreement,
the publisher is assigned
certain designated
copyrights or categories
of copyrights (for example,
everything written by the
writer) for a particular
period or in perpetuity (for
the life of the copyright).
In part two of his series on the role of the music
publisher, Nick Matzukis, Executive Director
of the Academy of Sound Engineering, explains
to SAMRO Notes readers the ins and outs
of those all-important contracts
These contracts can vary hugely – either the publisher “owns” the copyrights
assigned to him in perpetuity or he effectively “rents” them for a particular
period only, as a licensing deal. The latter option is, of course, preferable from
the composer’s perspective since it keeps his/her future options open, but this
is often not what publishers want.
The copyrights that are subject to the agreement also vary hugely. They can
range from a “single song assignment” to total transfer of everything the writer
will write (and, perhaps, has written). Generally speaking, in the full publishing
agreement, the publisher will want exclusive control over the writer’s
entire output.
The publisher’s duty is to administer and exploit the copyrights on behalf of the
writer to create as much royalty income as possible. In order to do this, the
publisher will require the writer to assign his or her copyrights to the publisher.
It’s a lot to be signing away, isn’t it? So when a writer is contemplating entering
into a publishing agreement, he or she should want to know the answers to many
questions about the contract, including this one: Why do I need a publisher?
Some songwriters show resistance to ever signing a publishing agreement.
Instead, they want to “publish themselves” (so-called “self-administration”) by
joining the collection societies, including SAMRO, directly, without any publisher
involvement. By doing so, the writer cuts out the “middleman” (the publisher)
and therefore enjoys the potential to earn higher royalties (at least in term
of percentage).
While this argument does, indeed, hold water for established songwriters, it
cannot be denied that a young composer, new to the scene, generally does need
the help of a publisher to make his or her mark.
Eight reasons why you might wish to enter
into a publishing agreement:
1 Publishers often invest in the writer’s career. In particular, publishers may
be a supply of vital funding for an emerging composer. But, like record labels,
publishers will recoup any advances paid to the writer from his or her royalties. In general, publishers will put their own money at risk in this way, albeit with some form of return on their investment if – and only if – the writer
is successful. Most publishing agreements with new composers these days do not provide for advances.
2 Publishers should try to nurture and develop the writer’s talent. Not all
publishers take this “creative” role, but the better ones do.
Above all, publishers should be “connected” in the industry. They should
know the A&R (artists and repertoire) departments at all major and
independent labels, they should be alert as to which film producers and
broadcasters require music soundtracks and they should also be in a
position to link the songwriter to industry players in other ways. Their most
important function, therefore, is to know what music is required, and where,
in the industry, and have their composers’ music used there.
Naturally, it is in the publisher’s interests that the writer’s music appears
on recordings (the biggest source of Mechanical Rights royalties).
Importantly, therefore, the publisher will help the writer to secure a recording
contract if he/she does not have one, and may even arrange the release of
some independent records on the writer’s behalf.
5 In some cases, publishers may make money available for tour support,
equipment, demos, independent promotion or marketing.
6 Publishers will collect the writer’s earnings and royalties and help negotiate
fees for licensing rights in the songs.
7 Publishers should, as an ongoing daily practice, be “song-plugging” –
encouraging the exploitation of the writer’s songs, including cover
recordings, synchronisation, public performance and use on compilations.
Publishers should handle the tracking, administration, calculation and
recovery of royalties payable. This is while remembering that SAMRO will
pay the publisher his or her share and the writer his or her share directly, after the publishing agreement has been registered with SAMRO. This is to
ensure that any unscrupulous publisher does not deprive the composer
of his or her share.
In general, a publisher who has made an
investment in the writer (by paying possibly
significant advances) will want to recoup
his investment by encouraging the maximum
use of the songs. Clearly, the publisher
has a vested interest in ensuring that the
writer is successful, because only then will
the publisher earn money from the writer’s
songs, by way of his or her percentage of the
mechanical, performance and synchronisation
It is vital, when negotiating a publishing
contract, to have the future in mind. Some
composers are happy to be signed to a
publisher for the rest of their days, but many
reach a point of success in their careers
where they simply do not need the publisher
any more. This is because they are sufficiently
well known to open doors for their music
themselves, they understand the business well
enough to handle their own royalty collection,
and they require no further creative input.
Many successful composers have left their
publishers at the end of their contract cycle
and opened their own publishing houses,
simply because it makes financial sense to
do so. Such composers might, at this juncture
in their careers, be sorry that they have
signed their previous compositions away in
perpetuity, because they can never get those
copyrights back unless they buy them.
For a young composer, it would be better to
assign the copyrights for a limited rights period
only. Regardless, the publisher’s role in getting
such composers to a point of independence
and success should not be discounted.
To contact the Academy of Sound
Engineering to enquire about its Music
Business Masterclass course, with
lectures presented by Nick Matzukis, email
[email protected] or visit
Proof of copyright
One of the very first steps Lishivha took was to do away with the
SAMRO requirement that all notifications made by members and
applicants had to be accompanied by proof of copyright in some
form. This requirement was scrapped from 1 April 2013.
When Pfanani Lishivha took over the role of
Executive General Manager for Rights Holder
Services, he set a lofty goal for his tenure: not only
does he want happy customers, but when it comes
to service and customer care, he wants SAMRO
to be counted among the top companies
Ensuring that the SAMRO
customer is king
“This was not an April fools’ joke,” laughs Lishivha, before
adding, more seriously: “Like all international music rights
organisations throughout the world, we would prefer to rely
on honesty. The proof of copyright has never been used to
settle claim disputes; it is a cumbersome requirement that
is unnecessary.”
With proof of copyright no longer necessary, the notification
of works has become easier for musicians.
“All these measures will not only speed up the process
of joining and notifying works, but will also reduce the
confusion that incorrectly captured data can cause when
tracking royalties,” says Lishivha.
Already the Executive General Manager for the Performers’ Organisation of
South Africa (POSA) Trust, Lishivha will run the two divisions concurrently.
Although he has only been in this joint position since March this year, he has
already started implementing changes and strategies that will take SAMRO
forward with tangible benefits for members.
Undocumented works
Future outlook
“We are going out of our way to follow up with members and
non-members to make sure that any undocumented work is
now properly notified,” says Lishivha, speaking about another
important development in the division.
When it comes to service, it is all about forging good,
strong relationships and building on existing relationships
with clients. Composers and publishers are central to the
improvements that Lishivha has made and envisages for
the future.
He explains that works are often recorded by broadcasting
licensees as having been played, but if these works have not
been notified with SAMRO by the author/composer of the
musical work, royalties accrued cannot be paid until the
musical works have been linked to the author/composer
through notification.
By tracing works in this way the division has, since March 2013,
been able to ensure that members get paid royalties for all their
works that are being performed publicly. This process has also
been beneficial to SAMRO in educating non-members about the
benefits of joining the organisation and notifying their works.
Although this process only began recently, Lishivha is happy
with the positive feedback they have received from members
and non-members alike.
Customer care
With his vision of achieving excellent customer care and
customer service, Lishivha is ensuring that the very basics are
being met. Personnel in both Rights Holder Services and POSA
have been retrained to be as flexible as possible and are able to
assist clients in either department.
When joining SAMRO or notifying works, members
are now personally assisted by a consultant. Member
information is checked for accuracy, new data is captured
directly onto the system and any questions from the
member can be addressed immediately. To further reduce
waiting periods, all walk-in clients’ documentation
is initially checked to confirm that all is in order. This
eliminates any unnecessary time wastage where a
member/applicant may have been told, after waiting to be
assisted, that certain documents were missing and the
process could not be completed.
He is looking forward to the roll-out of SAMRO’s online
portal to all members. He believes that this will further
assist members in regularly notifying their works. It is
hoped that once the portal is fully operational, the option
of self-help service centres will also be available.
Lishivha is also in the process of establishing SAMRO
contact centres around South Africa. Working in
partnership with musicians in the various provinces,
SAMRO has already been able to establish the first basic
contact centres in Limpopo (Thohoyandou), KwaZuluNatal (Durban) and the Eastern Cape. In the future, it is
hoped that these centres will be internet self-service hubs
where members can log their information without the
hassle of sending documents via “snail mail”.
With Lishivha at the helm, Rights Holder Services and
POSA are on the move, with invigorated staff, happy
members and exciting developments on the horizon.
Time for the
digital empowerment
of Africa’s talent
Digital music entrepreneur Yoel
Kenan predicts a bright, connected
future for the continent’s musicians
Yoel Kenan
Photo courtesy of Music Exchange and Andrew Brown
The time has come for Africa to
build a music industry infrastructure
that is on par with the continent’s
amazing creativity. And the time is
right, because never before have we
had the correct tools to allow for the
true empowerment of Africa’s music
Let’s put things in a global context. In the last 15 years the
music industry has gone through its most drastic changes,
with its recorded music revenues declining from $42 billion to
$17 billion in 2013. Africa always represented a very small share
of this market as the continent suffered from endemic piracy and
severe economic constraints.
However, the creativity of African artists has never been in
doubt. In each and every country that I have visited in the past
10 years, I have been impressed by the quality of the local
music scene. Over the years, many African artists have become
international stars. From Miriam Makeba – the one and only
Mama Africa – to Angeliqué Kidjo, Youssou N’Dour, Ali Farka
Touré, Tinariwen and Manu Dibango, the continent has been
a colossal creative force to be reckoned with.
But rarely have local infrastructures followed the path of these
creative trailblazers. Major record companies, like EMI and
PolyGram (now Universal), were actively present in markets
such as Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Ivory Coast, but the
rest of the continent had little to no infrastructure to record,
produce and distribute music.
Even if sales were good and generated significant revenues,
the potential for African artists was rather limited. Most of the
aforementioned artists found fame and wealth by becoming
expatriates. They registered their works with Western authors’
societies, since they had little faith in the local ones to really
defend their rights.
New digital infrastructures
Over the past decade or so, I have been actively involved in
developing new business models to help generate new revenue
streams for artists and record labels. I was head of digital at
Universal Music Group International, launched in
Europe, and was head of business development in the UK
for Sony BMG.
However, it was in 2003, when invited by MTN Nigeria to Lagos,
that I realised the potential of the new African music business.
A couple of years later, I relocated to Cape Town with my family
to become part of that new revolution, working with artists,
producers, telecoms companies and advertising agencies
across the continent.
In the last couple of years, I have seen a real change in the
African music landscape. Telecoms companies are now
generating millions of dollars in revenues from the use of music
(mostly through ringback tones or caller tunes) and major record
labels are looking at the opportunities on the continent while
new digital stores are now popping up.
Music is the number-one form of entertainment in Africa. It has
been for decades, but unfortunately for the industry it has been
a challenging environment in which to grow a healthy recording/
publishing business due to piracy and lack of intellectual
property protection.
While the rest of the world is still looking at ways of stopping the
decline in sales and working out how to grow its digital business,
in Africa the new digital ecosystem is providing the backbone to
help us develop a new music business.
With Africa’s fast-growing population, set to reach two
billion people by 2040, half of which will be under age 25,
the emergence of a new middle class, and – most importantly
– the access to digital infrastructures, content owners (music,
film, books) can’t afford not to do business here. There are also
societies like SAMRO in South Africa that have become a model
for the rest of Africa in terms of management and in seizing the
new digital opportunities and licensing new digital platforms.
A change in the music landscape
In the last few years, I have noticed and experienced a real
transformation of the music scene in Africa with the emergence
of a new wave of local producers who are not afraid to invest
into great local talent. Today, local music represents close to
70% of the music consumed on the continent. This trend is
growing as not only are African consumers enjoying music
from their own country, they are also embracing talents from
neighbouring markets. Artists from Africa are collaborating on
new songs, sharing stages and featuring in each other’s videos.
Artists, producers and independent labels can now have the
opportunity to be in control of their own destiny. They are:
- producing singles and albums locally instead of having to
travel to London, Paris or Johannesburg;
- shooting music videos of international standard on
small budgets;
- reaching and interacting directly with their audience locally
and internationally via the web or mobile; and
- getting their music distributed digitally to hundreds of stores
in Africa and internationally through music aggregators like
Africori, the digital platform that I have been developing.
With a landscape that is rapidly changing, the African music
industry can have access to tools and platforms to help digitise,
ingest, report and distribute the music to tens, if not hundreds,
of stores. We have an opportunity to develop a vibrant music
business in Africa by making our music available digitally in a
professional manner and by creating a healthy and transparent
digital ecosystem.
The music business in Africa is happening now – and its future
looks more promising than ever.
Today, various legitimate digital platforms have been launched,
offering African consumers access to ringback tones, ringtones
and download stores on mobile or web, as well as streaming
services such as Deezer, simfy, Spinlet, Waabeh and Iroko.
Africa is now the second most connected continent in terms
of mobile handsets, with over 700 million devices, up from
240 million in 2008. Most of the handsets (85%) are feature
phones, however, the smartphone segment is growing year
on year and currently amounts to 100 million. With the launch
of new, cheaper smartphones (retailing at $60), we should see
this trend growing.
What a change in just 10 years! And it affects not just
infrastructure but also the people behind the music.
Yoel Kenan is the CEO and founder of Africori, a digital music
company that provides digital infrastructure solutions and
support to local artists, composers and producers in Africa.
The music industry succeeded, giving it the confidence to
resist any attempt to embrace the concept of digital or to find
new ways to add value to a disenchanted public. It insisted on
sticking to a business model that was decades old: selling an
album of about 10 songs to give fans access to the one song they
wanted to hear.
Then came iTunes, an online music service integrated with
Apple’s iPod, a digital alternative to the Sony Walkman. Apple’s
charismatic CEO, the late Steve Jobs, was able to convince most
major American music labels to allow digital tracks to be sold on
iTunes, and also played on computers.
Overnight, the album died.
iTunes has finally arrived in South Africa
a decade after demolishing the traditional
music industry, but simfy Africa offers
another legal alternative,
The music industry, for all its culture of revolution,
has always resisted change, and almost always
to its enormous cost. When a program called Napster
arrived at the end of the 1990s to allow online sharing
of digital music files between individuals, the industry
took to the courts to shut it down.
Arthur Goldstuck is MD of World Wide Worx and
Editor-in-chief of Gadget. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee
Individual tracks at a dollar a time made so much more sense to
consumers. But it also meant that the music industry imploded –
from a $33 billion business in the 1990s to $16.2 billion in 2011. In
the USA in 2011, digital sales overtook physical for the first time,
taking 50.3% of the market. Ironically, along with that landmark,
album sales grew for the first time since 2004, as new artists like
Adele gave the mass market a more compelling reason to buy a
full set of songs.
In all this time, the South African music industry tried to fend off
the digital revolution, or at least hide from it. It was helped along
by iTunes, which paid little attention to this market. As part of
its deal with the music industry devil, Apple still maintained the
entertainment industry’s fiction of geographically defined rights
to music. So, despite how illogical it is in the boundary-free era
of the internet, a South African could not officially buy music
from an American or European online store – until December
2012, when iTunes launched in this country.
But months before that, South Africa’s digital isolation had
already ended. A German alternative to iTunes called simfy
struck a deal with eXactmobile in South Africa to bring its
service to this country. It is branded simfy Africa, underlining
its intention of expanding northward.
Simfy was originally modelled on the online radio station Spotify,
which offers unlimited access to a vast catalogue of songs at no
cost. The latter is all paid for by advertising, which may work in
markets with deep internet penetration, but is a non-starter in
South Africa.
The South African adaptation is an all-you-can-eat model, for
R60 a month. That, coincidentally, comes in at the same level
as the BlackBerry Internet Service’s unlimited access option
(excluding streaming media like video and music). It is also,
according to eXactmobile founder and simfy Africa CEO Davin
Mole, a price point that gave the major music labels in South
Africa a sense of comfort.
It’s not the first unlimited music offering in South Africa.
Nokia pioneered the concept, but only for purchasers of specific
phone models. That service turned the Nokia Music Store into
the biggest digital music outlet in South Africa, but made little
dent in the overall music industry.
Both services offer millions of songs, but simfy Africa takes the
concept a few steps further, opening it to all computer and most
smartphone users. Through an app on BlackBerry, iPhone and
Android phones, the music can be downloaded or played directly
off the data stream. Ironically, Nokia is not part of this mix, as its
Symbian operating system is not supported by simfy.
For the rest, as long as the monthly subscription is active,
customers can build up unlimited music libraries on their own
phones or computers, within the simfy app. The music can’t be
played on other devices without using the app – another element
that persuaded major labels to tolerate the service.
The four major music labels in South Africa – EMI, Sony,
Universal and Warner Music (Gallo) – are all represented. The
independent music aggregator The Orchard, which was started
15 years ago to give independent music producers access to
mainstream outlets and pioneered legal digital downloads, is
part of the line-up. Two other aggregators, finetunes and Merlin,
are also in there, and more are expected to join, giving unsigned
artists a variety of options to access simfy Africa customers.
Users can build playlists, make them public, and share their
music tastes with other users.
The beauty of the unlimited option is that it opens music fans to
the concept of discovering new music. When you don’t have to
pay $1 or R10 a time just to find out if you like a track, music truly
arrives in your life.
Why talent
is not enough
Reputation guru Thebe Ikalafeng
explains why musicians should take
branding and entrepreneurship seriously
Musicians are renowned for being
passionate about their craft, often at
the expense of everything else. In days
past, their talent alone was enough
Brand and reputation
guru Thebe Ikalafeng
explains why musicians
should take branding and
entrepreneurship seriously.
The market and the media were limited,
giving an artist the time and space to
focus solely on their passion
But even then, the likes of Miriam Makeba and Brenda Fassie
knew – whether by nature or nurture – that to succeed they had
to be distinctive, in content and/or style. They stood out and have
remained relevant and profitable – some even posthumously, as
in the case of Elvis Presley, Tupac Shakur and Michael Jackson.
Jackson, according to Forbes, is the highest-earning (deceased)
musician – earning $145 million in 2012. Elvis Presley, who died
in 1977, earned $55 million last year, more than teen sensation
Justin Bieber and many other living artists.
Many of these musicians have leveraged their talent and appeal
to diversify their income streams. It’s not uncommon for artists
to endorse or partner with brands for mutual benefit, such as
Pharrell and Kanye West’s collaborations with Louis Vuitton.
These artists are not just creative geniuses, but entrepreneurs
who understand their value. Global megastar Beyoncé, for
example, recently signed a $50 million deal with PepsiCo to
be its official brand ambassador.
Others have leveraged their appeal to make the world a better
place for all, extending their brand beyond the arts or creative
industries. Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who once churned out
bubblegum pop hits, and global rock star Bono have extended
their reputations to become respected humanitarians. Multiple
Grammy-winning singer Youssou N’Dour is now tourism and
entertainment minister in Senegal. Makeba was the first African
artist invited to speak out about the injustices of apartheid at the
United Nations.
That’s the power (and benefit) of branding. Branding is no longer
the preserve of corporations, services and products. It is now
the ultimate differentiator of talent. Musicians now talk about
themselves as brands.
Marian Salzman, Executive Vice-president of American
advertising firm JWT, observed: “As a brand, you’re instantly
recognisable and respected.”
The musician as a brand
A brand is simply a promise made and a promise delivered.
Followers of a musician are attracted by their artistry (and
packaging) and the implicit promise of delivering on that promise
on each record and public engagement. Jackson’s genius – his
brand promise – was established by his inimitable moonwalk
and the bestselling album Thriller, just as Weekend Special
established the diminutive but impossibly talented Fassie. Before
she became a brand ambassador for Nedbank and the like, we
were introduced to Zahara through the magic of her voice on the
600 000-plus selling Loliwe.
In today’s brand-driven, multimedia, multi-artist world, it’s not
easy to stand out as easily as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba,
Brenda Fassie, Angeliqué Kidjo or Salif Keita did. To a large
extent, these artists benefited from being pioneers of their
generation in a relatively isolated world with few media options.
In today’s borderless world, where one 140-character tweet
can reach 40 million people in a second, it’s harder to stand out
– even though it’s easier to be heard or seen. Today, for every
Zahara who cuts through the clutter, there are millions of others
who never get a chance to record a demo. To stand out, artists
have to brand themselves. They have to package their talent and
deliver it in a unique and memorable way that distinguishes them
from their competition – and, more importantly, in a way that
makes money.
complement your brand – where your mutual brands are
always in sync. It’s the same principle that guides successful
music collaborations.
The overarching assumption is that as a musician, you have
a talent on which to build a career. It sounds obvious, but the
world is littered with “shower” or “karaoke” superstars who
mistakenly fashion themselves as talented. With talent in the
bag, it is easier to build a brand.
Finally, your brand is your reputation – your biggest asset.
Reputations are built on trust. And trust is built over time.
As business mogul Warren Buffett put it: “It takes 20 years
to build your reputation and five minutes to destroy it.”
To create enduring brand value, it must be built, enhanced,
protected and remain relevant over time.
This requires investment and patience, like a bird builds a
nest. Enduring acts such as Bon Jovi, the Rolling Stones and
Masekela have built and invested in their brands over a long
time. Have a realistic goal, a strategy, a network of collaborators
and advisers, and media channels – Twitter, Facebook, websites
– to tell your story and reach your community.
To succeed today as a musician, talent is not enough. An artist
must be as passionate and aware about their brand as they are
about their craft. Long after you have been prolific in writing new
and relevant music, the brand will take care of you.
Musicians today are businesses. As Jay-Z put it: “I’m a business,
man.” Forbes magazine estimates that Beyoncé and Jay-Z
earned a whopping $78 million combined in 2012. Their peer,
rapper 50 Cent, is reputed to have made $500 million when,
instead of taking a fee to endorse Glaceau Vitamin Water, he
opted and ultimately sold his stake when Glaceau sold the brand
to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion.
Thebe Ikalafeng ([email protected]; @ThebeIkalafeng) is a
global African brand and reputation architect, adviser and author,
founder of Brand Leadership ( and
Brand Africa (
Artists are building their brands and visibility and making
money not only (and less so) from their craft, but also through
sponsorships, endorsements, investments, merchandising and
appearances – in which their music doesn’t necessarily feature.
a great brand?
Know what you’re signing
It is important for musicians to understand the medium of doing
business – contracts. Many an artist has been left a pauper or
disillusioned, and has blamed their record company, while the
truth is that they didn’t understand what they signed up for in the
first place. Thus, one of the most important investments for any
artist is to surround themselves with trusted advisers – and to
understand the business of music as well as their craft.
Consequently, it is important to understand that a contract
means there’s a two-way responsibility – mutual obligations.
When musicians engage with other businesses or brands, they
are essentially leveraging each other’s images and reputations,
and have a responsibility to protect them. Hip-hop artist Rick
Ross learned the hard way when sportswear company Reebok
dropped him for using offensive lyrics that the company believed
were inconsistent with Reebok values. Similarly, Lil Wayne was
fired as a Mountain Dew spokesman amid controversy over his
crude lyrics in the song Karate Chop.
To mitigate risks, it is important to understand not only what your
brand stands for, but to align yourself with brands that reflect or
What makes
Clarity: Be clear and focused on your craft, your values
and your market.
Authenticity: Be true to yourself rather than conforming
to others’ expectations of you. The fastest way to fail is
to try and appeal to everyone.
Distinctiveness: Stand out or step out. It’s important
to be differentiated from your peers or within your
genre, e.g. Brenda Fassie (township pop queen), Bob
Marley (dreadlocked reggae pioneer) and Whitney
Houston (the voice). As the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia
put it: “You don’t want to be the best in the world at what
you do, but to be the only one in the world who does
what you do.”
Consistency: It’s important to understand your core
attraction or value and to deliver on that over time.
Accessibility: Be available and accessible to your
community of followers, e.g. Lady Gaga and her
40 million “little monsters”. Communicate, connect
and build a relationship.
Photos: Thebe, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Salif Keita
Forward festival thinking
Festival fever is infecting South Africa… but how can musicians capitalise on this
golden opportunity to get their music out there and exposed to the masses?
When it comes to live performance, one of the most exciting places to play is at a festival. Over the last
20 years, South Africans have seen a proliferation of these events, from the classics like OppiKoppi, Splashy
Fen and Joy of Jazz to the more unusual alternatives like Up the Creek and Rocking the Daisies. For the savvy
musician, festivals not only offer enormous audience-building opportunities, they are also the perfect place to
get down to some serious industry networking.
Festival audiences are often different to audiences at other gigs.
The very nature of festivals means you have a captive audience,
but in general they are people who are far more open to new
music experiences than, for example, a strictly radio audience.
YouTube clip of your killer set will go a long way towards making
your brand sticky.
Festival-goers seldom purchase their tickets with one act in
mind. Of course the bigger the line-up, the better the chance
of good ticket sales, but generally revellers are purchasing the
experience as much as they are the music. There is also more
planning and financial commitment involved on the audience’s
part, since many of these festivals are in out-of-the-way places
and require people to travel and stay over. Festival audiences
take their music seriously!
Make sure you are ready for your performance. Let the audience
experience you at your very best and let the festival organisers
see you at your most professional.
What this means for musicians, particularly those new to the
industry, is not only do you have the chance to reach a far larger,
more receptive audience than usual, but also one that is looking
to discover something new and different.
Getting on the line-up
“The first step is to make sure your performance is top class
when you play at any gig,” says Tholsi Pillay, Manager at
Kellerman Music and Deputy Chair of the Moshito Music
Conference Board. “You never know who might be in your
audience and production companies usually prefer to book
musicians who they or their colleagues have seen perform
She advises to take it even further: be proactive and invite the
festival decision-makers to hear you perform. “Ensure you
provide them with a good-quality demo CD, some great visual
material and a well-written bio to get them interested,” adds
Marketing magic
Photos courtesy of JT Comms Archive, Michael Glenister and Eugene Goddard
“If the band has traction, promoters will take notice and if there
is buzz around your band from the audience, festivals will want
to book you again,” says Pillay.
Avoid taking the partying aspect of the event too far and keep
it professional before and after going on stage. A potentially
reputation-making set can be ruined because the singer drank
his voice away in the campsite the night before.
“A lot of guys get caught up in the wrong idea of what it
means to be a musician. Drinking can have a terrible effect
on the performance – and even insurance ramifications if
equipment is ruined,” says Loeb.
Network, network, network
The music industry is proof of the adage that it’s not what you
know, but who you know – and festivals are the perfect place
to get plenty of networking done. Make use of the opportunities
presented by a green room full of producers, promoters,
managers, journalists and other musicians – you never know
where those contacts and relationships might end up taking you.
According to Pillay, festival directors and staff tend to know
each other, so making a good impression, both in your
performance and in your professional attitude, can a be
key to subsequent bookings.
Festivals generally have big marketing machines behind them,
so use that to your benefit. Don’t end up being a name tucked
away at the bottom of a press release; rather contact the festival
and discuss ways in which you can work together to market your
performance and the festival jointly. Don’t rely on them to do your
publicity for you, but be a part of the process.
“It’s a good idea to enlist a friend in public relations to help you,
or to spend some of your budget on a PR service to organise
interviews on radio, television or in the press in the run-up to the
festival. They can also help you by selling merchandise and CDs
during your set,” says Lisa Loeb from About Entertainment, who
is the agent for Lira, Unathi and Louise Carver, to name but a few.
“Timekeeping is critical,” says Loeb. “It is completely
disrespectful to get to your set late. Festivals run on a very strict
time schedule, so being late causes problems for the organisers,
musicians and audiences.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media: YouTube,
Facebook, Twitter and the like are all very effective in building
an expectant buzz and providing the necessary platforms for
fans to access you and your music after the festival. Audiences
love to relive the experience of the festival, so use the
technology now freely available to make this happen – a short
Peak performance
Look after your image both on and off stage: basic etiquette,
or lack thereof, is what builds your live-performance reputation.
Little things like keeping rotational dressing rooms clean can
make a difference.
“You want to make the experience of working with you so
pleasant that the organisers want to work with you again,”
she adds.
Festivals can be very lucrative events and many musicians and
bands are able to build their careers on successful appearances
on the festival circuit. For the best results, it’s advisable to plan,
perform well and keep it professional.
‘Effervescent’ South African soprano
wows the opera world
This has been a year of note for 27-year-old South African
soprano Pretty Yende, who is rapidly scaling great heights,
both at home and abroad
It got off to an incredible start when she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera
in New York, one of the world’s most revered stages. In Le Comte Ory, a comic opera
by Italian composer Rossini, Yende sang the part of Countess Adèle and went on to
receive high praise for her role from critics at publications like the New York Times,
which highlighted the standing ovation the singer received, and the Wall Street
Journal, which lauded her “effervescent voice”.
But even greater praise came when Yende was honoured with a National Order, from
President Jacob Zuma, for her “excellent achievement and international acclaim in the
field of world opera and serving as a role model to aspiring young musicians”. And all
this happened even before the year was halfway done.
Ever since she started studying music at the University of Cape Town’s College of
Music, Yende, with her beaming smile and approachable nature, has been attracting
attention and acclaim in a field that, for the most part, has traditionally been seen as a
European art form. But Yende hasn’t let any preconceived ideas about who should be
singing opera stand in her way.
Born in Piet Retief, the young Yende, after watching a British Airways advert with
a snippet of opera (probably the Flower Duet from Lakmé by Léo Delibes) as its
soundtrack, discovered a desire to sing and share her voice with the world. After
attending UCT, she was accepted into the La Scala opera house’s young artists
programme, where she became fluent in Italian within six months and began focusing
on works by Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini.
Accolades have always been Yende’s for the taking – while in Italy, she won the
prestigious Operalia Competition, founded by one of the Three Tenors, Placido
Domingo, as well as a number of other awards. She’s become established as a young
African to keep an eye on, an artist who is injecting a lot of buzz into a traditionally
Western music genre.
Yet 2013 wasn’t supposed to be so busy; in fact, it was meant to be a year of study
for Yende. But when the Met Opera called, asking her to fill in for the singer Nino
Machaidze, who dropped out of Le Comte Ory because she’d fallen ill, Yende says
there was no way she could turn it down. “This has been one the most exciting
challenges I’ve ever come across,” she says, “and I’m very grateful to have had the
courage and the drive to actually do it. Otherwise, I don’t think we would have been
here today.”
But there was more work than she’d anticipated. Problems with her visa and travel
issues left her with only 11 days available to learn the opera – as it was one she’d
never sung before – and rehearse with the cast. But Peter Gelb, general manager for
the Met Opera, says nothing the singer did gave away that fact. “She did remarkably
well,” he says. “Especially when you consider that before this time, she’d never ever
starred in a major opera in a leading role. It’s nothing short of miraculous that she had
this triumph.”
For Yende, it was a triumph she “enjoyed immensely”. She told the New York Times
that singing at the Met “takes a lot of courage, but also a lot of humility, because
people come from all over the world just to hear you. God knows why; people are going
through a lot of things. We have this gift of music, and to be able to share that takes a
Photos courtesy of ZimbioDotCom, Alma Boulevard Photography, Presidency of SA
and Zemsky Green Artists Management
huge responsibility. And probably I had to be reminded that I am
entering a zone where I am actually going to be carrying that
responsibility, and I should just remember to keep my feet on the
The Met, where so many established names have performed
before her, has helped Yende’s star burn brighter. “The
realisation that it’s an historical stage and so many singers have
been here, and that I get to share that at the age of 27, is such a
blessing. I’m very grateful,” she says.
Yende isn’t the only South African opera singer to “crack it” in
a field usually dominated by European surnames, not African
ones. She joins the tradition of greats like tenor Johan Botha and
sopranos Mimi Coertse and Sibongile Khumalo, the latter being
the first person to sing the title role of Princess Magogo in the
first full-length African opera, Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu.
More recently we have witnessed the ascent of Pumeza
Matshikiza, a soprano who has performed at Covent Garden in
London and now works at the opera house in Stuttgart, Germany.
And, she observes, music doesn’t see colour or country.
“Music is something that we are born with,” she says. “It’s like
the African rhythm; it’s like a heartbeat. In Sunday school you
will have to sing one song, and a little girl will start harmonising
it. Just like that, just by hearing. It’s that kind of world.”
And there’s a new crop of singers coming up through the ranks,
too. In 2012, Mthetho Maphoyi song at the TedXTeen conference
in New York City, and Bongiwe Nakani and Thesele Kemane, also
graduate students at the University of Cape Town Opera School,
sang at a special United Nations event honouring
Nelson Mandela.
Ever humble and focused, Yende has credited her upbringing
and education in South Africa with giving her that solid attitude.
“When you are young and hungry to learn, it is easy to lose
your way if you don’t have the root already. Virginia Davids, my
singing teacher, gave me a good backbone. As we know, singing
is a mind game. If you mess up with the mind, it is really hard to
crack it.”
Meanwhile, Musa Ngqungwana, a third-year resident artist at
the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, recently became one
of six winners in this year’s Metropolitan Opera National Council
auditions, considered the most prestigious competition in the
United States for singers looking to make
that leap to the coveted stage. Perhaps one day he and Yende
will share that international stage together.
In memoriam
New Moshito Board toasts
10 entrepreneurial
SAMRO pays tribute to the following SAMRO
members who passed away. SAMRO’s condolences
go out to their families and loved ones, and may they
find comfort in knowing that the creative legacy of
each and every one will live on.
Feast your eyes
on new SAMRO
The Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition
is preparing to celebrate a decade of cuttingedge insights, music know-how and industry
accomplishments with a newly elected Board
of Directors.
Taking place from 21 to 23 September 2013 at the Sandton
Convention Centre in Johannesburg, Moshito aims to offer
a more focused programme that features a compelling mix
of both local and international speakers, but also allows for
better audience engagement.
This year Moshito welcomes Sipho Dlamini, SAMRO’s
new CEO, as the Board’s new Chairman. A seasoned
member of the music business, Dlamini brings his
knowledge and experience to this dynamic team of
entertainment industry professionals.
Dlamini is joined on the Board by Moshito Vice Chairperson
Tholsi Pillay (MMFSA – Music Managers Forum South
Africa), Treasurer George Lusenga (AIRCO – the Association
of Independent Record Companies South Africa) and
members Sipho Sithole (SAMRO), Simon Sibanda (NORM –
National Organisation for Reproduction Rights in Music in
Southern Africa), Steve Mashiya (SAMPA – South African
Music Promoters Association), Samuel Mhangwani (SAMPA)
and Vusi Leeuw (AIRCO).
Over the past 10 years, Moshito has become an event
of choice for those serious about achieving success in the
music industry. The business of music is continually evolving,
with the digital revolution transforming the marketplace.
Industry challenges are only likely to increase and as an
educational initiative, Moshito prides itself on helping
prepare musicians for the business realities of their
chosen career.
“We are creating a staging ground for record labels, film and
television production companies and musicians to promote
themselves alongside the corporate brands that also have
an interest in the entertainment industry,” says Pillay.
For more information and to register, visit
Moshito Board: Front: Steve Mashiya (SAMPA), Sipho Dlamini (SAMRO CEO), Tholsi Pillay
(MMFSA) and Vusi Leeuw (AIRCO). Back: Sipho Sithole (SAMRO), George Lusenga (AIRCO),
Simon Sibanda (NORM) and Samuel Mhangwani (SAMPA). Photo courtesy of Moshito
The history of the Southern African Music Rights Organisation
mirrors, to a large extent, the history of contemporary music in
South Africa – and will be reflected in a new documentary to
be aired on SABC1 in September 2013.
Titled Notes 2 Notes, the SAMRO documentary, commissioned
to commemorate the company’s 50-year anniversary, is due to
be aired on SABC1 on Sunday, 1 September 2013 at 6.30 p.m.
Produced by renowned production house Rapid Blue,
Notes 2 Notes charts the story of SAMRO from its modest
beginnings in 1961 to the global copyright asset management
society it is today, protecting the intellectual property rights
of over 12 000 members.
Positioned as a “warts-and-all” account of the organisation
origins and evolution, the documentary steers clear of
portraying the SAMRO story in isolation, but instead takes a
holistic look at the history of music in South Africa over the
past 50 years. It charts the socio-political progress of the
country through its music scene, as seen through the eyes
of several major industry players.
With award-winning director Sara Blecher as the creative
voice behind the project, it promises to be riveting viewing.

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