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  • The Beat Bulletin
  • December 2013

Dear SAMRO Music Creators

It’s hard to believe this is the last Beat Bulletin of 2013. Looking back on the year, we’re thrilled to have given life to our commitment to support, celebrate and develop our music creators. 

This has happened through a number of new initiatives, the most important being the inaugural Wawela Music Awards, which took place in June.  Taking its inspiration from a Zulu word meaning “ go beyond”, South Africa’s newest awards aimed to honour our homegrown composers and authors whose original musical works have made an impact beyond our borders. The response to the awards was gratifying and we look forward to hosting our second event in 2014.

The Wawela Music Awards are not the only initiative aimed at putting the spotlight on South African creativity that is breaking borders. In 2013, the Spain-South Africa music initiative, supported by the SAMRO Foundation, and the Music Mobility Fund, a SAMRO-British Council project, were two partnerships that saw us looking for new and innovative ways to bridge gaps in the global music industry.

Here at home, we welcomed new CEO Sipho Dlamini, saw SAMRO Board member Joe Niemand initiate a pilot writer’s camp and we opened a new  contact centre at Durban’s BAT Centre to serve our KwaZulu-Natal members.

Over the past few months we’ve stepped up our commitment to fighting music piracy as well our efforts to trace UnDoc notifications as part of our customer service to music creators and users. You can read about both of these initiatives, as well as gain some insight into the work of some of our music creators, in this issue of Beat Bulletin. 

Would you like to be profiled in a future newsletter? Do you have any news that you would like to share with fellow SAMRO members? Please contact us at online@samro.org.za – we look forward to your comments and ideas for possible inclusion in The Beat Bulletin.

I’d like to wish you all a festive season filled with peace and happiness and a New Year in which your creativity moves to new levels. Rest assured, SAMRO will partner you every step of the way.

 

Yours in music,

Tiyani Maluleke

General Manager: Marketing

 

In this issue
A Message from the CEO
SAMRO committed to tracing Undoc Notifications
Phumuza “Mojapooh” Zindela is the king of Kwa-Zulu Natal
SAMRO Salutes Nkosi Dalibhunga Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)
SAMRO tackles piracy through public education campaign
SAMRO’s festive season closing dates
Mama Dance! Music Solutions’ busy year!

A Message from the CEO

Here's wishing you all a safe and happy festive season!

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish our music creators well over the upcoming festive season.

I know this is a busy time of year for many of you, especially those who are performers, but it’s also a time to look back and reflect on another year gone by. When I do, I’m amazed at the diverse outpouring of worldclass creative works by our members – all of which point to the healthy state of music creation in this part of the world. 

There are also many SAMRO music creators who have been inspired to compose songs in honour of our former president, Nelson Mandela, many of which have been played or listened to since the evening of December 5th when the world learned of his death. Like you, everyone here at SAMRO has been filled with a sense of loss and sadness at the passing of Madiba - and we’ve spent time in reflection on the legacy and lessons of his extraordinary life, a process that will continue long into the holiday season. 

In closing, it remains an honour for me to say that it has been a privilege to take the reins at SAMRO. We have made some important strides in 2013 and I look forward to working together in the coming year.

Wishing you all a good festive season and a New Year that’s everything you hope it will be.

 

Yours in music,

Sipho Dlamini

CEO

SAMRO committed to tracing Undoc Notifications

More than R35-million has been paid since SAMRO began proactive efforts to track down UnDOC notifications

In June this year, SAMRO’s Rights-Holder Services Department embarked on a proactive initiative to trace music creators whose works have been used by licensed  music users, but who had either not notified  their works or registered with the organisation or, in some cases, their details were outdated or missing. 

To date SAMRO has paid R35-million in royalties to music creators through this UnDOC notifications process. 

“Many of these composers and musicians did not even know that they had royalties due to them. We would really like to ensure that they receive the royalties due to them,” says Pfanani Lishivha, Executive GM: Rights-Holder Services.

Where composers and musicians are a SAMRO member, the customer services team has helped them correctly register these works and have ensured that their address and contact details are up-to-date. Non-SAMRO members have also been contacted and signed up with the organisation. There will be another distribution in December and Lishivha is hoping that many of the UnDOC royalties owed can be distributed at this time.

In an effort to be as thorough as possible, SAMRO has used all available avenues to track down and notify music creators affected, including the newspapers. According to Lishivha there are just over 800 works still needing to be tracked down. SAMRO will keep finding and contacting the creators of these works. Where that becomes impossible, due to a change in details or other event, SAMRO will look to using professional tracing services. 

 This process is part of SAMRO’s commitment to provide greater customer service to music creators and users. Lishivha believes the process will be wrapped up by June 2014. 

Please contact SAMRO on 0800 247 247 or 24-7@samro.org.za for more information. 

 

 

Phumuza “Mojapooh” Zindela is the king of Kwa-Zulu Natal

Mojapooh was recently crowned King of Kwa-Zulu Natal at the South African Hip Hop Awards (SAHHA)

Make no mistake; Mojapooh is an underground artist with his sights set on making an impact on a much broader scale. Not that he’s going to forsake his underground status, but when the Izingolweni, South Coast raised artist was named King of Kwa-Zulu Natal at the South African Hip Hop Awards (SAHHA), it was confirmation of the genuine talent behind an array of acclaimed mixtapes.

And the SAHHA isn’t the only accolade that Phumuza “Mojapooh” Zindela has earned in 2013.  He took home the Best Vernacular Hip Hop Award at the 8th South African Traditional Music Achievement Awards (SATMA) in October for his work with MC Tshatha on the album Indumezulu.

“A group that had started out as joke to some industry critics gave me a chance to work with the likes of Mtshengiseni Gcwensa, Thokozani Langa, iHashi Elimhlophe, Big Nuz, Maqhinga (Shabalala Rhythms) and many other amazing artists,” says Mojapooh. 

Mojapooh’s music love affair began after 1995 when he relocated to Gamalakhe Township, also on the South Coast. “It was here that my love for music began after performing at Port Shepstone High’s talent contest,” he reveals. A few years later, he began studying at Durban University of Technology and got his “lucky” break when Lucky Sefatsa, an Ukhozi Fm DJ, started mentoring Mojapooh. 

Before long he was attending shows at Durban’s BAT centre and recording jingles for Ukhozi FM and the Durban youth radio. In 2005, the ambitious musician started his company, Mojapooh Productions, and began recording underground artists like Shon Gee and Zulu Boy. 

It hasn’t always been easy. After releasing the mix tape Isipetho in 2010, Mojapooh wanted to quit.  “But then Khathide “Tshathugodo” Ngobe from Ukhozi fm   started a hip-hop feature on his Friday night show that was aimed at uplifting upcoming hip hop artist and he asked me to assist,” he confides. “I have a love for Zulu culture and only rap in Zulu so it was a perfect combination with Tshathugodo who also does a Maskandi show on Ukhozi fm.”

Since then, Mojapooh has been in demand – and making a significant mark with acclaimed mixtape releases. “Shon Gee’s mix-tape Umagawula was the first mix-tape to break industry boundaries without being playlisted for any radio station. The music was heard on taxis, buses, in the townships and at house parties,” says Mojapooh. 

Mojapooh is busier than ever, producing background music for Usuthu TV on Supersport 4, producing jingles for Ukhozi fm’s Vuka breakfast show, Vukamzansi, Jabulujule, and Clever-unga Give and co-hosting a hip-hop feature on Ukhozi fm every Friday. Also part of the hip-hop group DC Crew with Shon Gee, Sufi Dun, DJ Da Dee and Masta T, Mojapooh produced and performed an intro on lvovo’s album, The Heavy Weight, in 2009.

 

SAMRO Salutes Nkosi Dalibhunga Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

“It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world, and at peace with myself” - Nelson Mandela

 Sacrifice…forgiveness…reconciliation…honour…These are a few of many words that one cannot but mention when remembering the iconic and legendary man, affectionately known by his clan name Madiba. The words capture the essence of what this great son of South Africa fought for and will forever be remembered for the world over.

 The words also lay at the heart of the choices that guided his life’s path. The choice to speak peace in the face of turmoil; the choice to see light when many of us saw only darkness; the choice to use the bricks before him as building blocks and not weapons, as one would assume may have been a natural instinct, deep within.

It is these choices we salute, for it is the choices a man makes that set him apart.  Hard choices are not foreign to SAMRO and are, in fact, deeply rooted in its 50 year history. Starting with founder Gideon Roos’ decision to defy the apartheid government’s laws by creating a music right’s organisation that afforded music creators equal opportunity and status. This fighting spirit continued to characterise SAMRO on its journey to become, today, one of the most respected and revered collective management organisations the world over.

 The path that Nelson Mandela chose as a young man was a path that would test his conviction, his bravery and his principles; tests that he would ultimately conquer. This is not to say that cowardice, doubt or fear were not shadows he had to contend with. To the contrary. As a man like all men, he too surely had to face these and other shortcomings. However, as said in his own words, “…(t)he brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

 SAMRO salutes your choices, your courage and, ultimately, your conquering spirit Madiba.

 We salute the choice to dedicate your life to the principles of justice and equality when you took your first steps into student politics at the dawn of the 1940s.

 We salute the painful decision to dedicate your life to the people and freedom of South Africa at the expense of watching your children grow, play and blossom.

 We salute your steadfastness, your integrity and your grace in the face of pre- and post-apartheid opposition and criticism.

 As SAMRO continues to strive to be a corporate citizen with a conscience, a citizen that uses its stature and position of influence responsibly, we can only hope to mirror a fraction of the dignity and sobriety you unwaveringly displayed when consciously and conscientiously choosing the high road over the easy, common road. We hope to bring honour to your legacy by seeking to live up to your ideals of democracy, freedom, harmony and equality.

We honour your life and your legacy Nkosi Dalibhunga. In the words sung by the late, great music creator, Brenda Nokuzola Fassie, we salute you and bid you a hero’s farewell, qhawe lama qhawe:

“Let us rejoice for our President

Let us sing for our President

Let us pray for our President

Let us sing, let us dance

For Madiba, Madiba's freedom”

SAMRO tackles piracy through public education campaign

The campaign aims to educated music listeners, especially school learners, about what piracy does to the music they love

As a creator of music, you know all-too-well the impact that music piracy can have on your income as well as your ability to feel inspired and innovative.

SAMRO takes the issue of music piracy very seriously, and we’re embarking on an intensive public education campaign to fight music piracy by changing the mindset of music lovers.

The decision to focus on public education came following research conducted by SAMRO into various strategies that could best approach the issue within the scope of the organisation. The anti-piracy education campaign that we have chosen to implement is similar to the public education campaigns successfully mounted in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweden. 

The campaign aims to educate music consumers, particularly school learners, about the negative impact of piracy on the music they love. 

According to Pfanani Lishivha, Executive GM: Rights-Holder Services, ignorance is one of the key issues fuelling music piracy.  “Many people have no idea that copying music CDs is illegal, nor do they have any understanding of how the illegal burning of CDs, the illegal downloading of music and buying CDs from music pirates  affectspirates affects the musicians themselves.

“I like to compare their act to walking into a book store and stealing a book, or a music store and stealing a CD, most people wouldn’t dream of doing that, yet those same people would copy a CD without the same consideration!” says Lishivha.

“We’ve already partnered with a number of schools and universities and are emboldened by the positive response we’ve received from students, learners, parents and teachers. To support the public education campaign, SAMRO has produced four booklets aimed at different age groups that approach the topic from the varying perspectives of young learners, students and the general public.” 

This is a long-term project and Lishivha confirms that SAMRO is willing to partner with any organisation in the fight against music piracy. In 2014 SAMRO will also start partnering with popular music artists, whose own experiences of piracy will drive  the message home.

Please contact SAMRO on 0800 247 247 or 24-7@samro.org.za for more information.

 

 

SAMRO’s festive season closing dates

This year SAMRO will be closing from Tuesday 24 December 2013 at 1pm and we will re-open again on Thursday 2 January 2014.

What a wonderful year 2013 has been!  We would like to thank you, all our valued members, for your continued support  and creativity.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with you in 2014 which is already promising to be a good one, filled with exciting developments and much music.

SAMRO would like to wish you and your families a blessed and safe festive season and a prosperous New Year.

 

Yours in music

SAMRO 

 

Mama Dance! Music Solutions’ busy year!

Music supervision of ‘The Long Walk to Freedom’ film score is among Mama Dance! Music Solutions’ achievements in 2013

It’s been a busy year at Mama Dance! Music Solutions. The company’s production music library grew by 17 albums to a total of 63 albums with compositions from over 50 of South Africa’s most talented composers. 

Alongside expanding their already large library of music, Mama Dance! also worked on original scores for Sunlight, Vicks and Afro Coffee to name a few. And to top it all, the company took on an eight-month project, supervising the music for the much anticipated and lauded biopic of Nelson Mandela, The Long Walk to Freedom as well as the HBO movie Mary and Martha. 

“Mama Dance has been a big player in the South African music industry for almost 20 years,” says Mama Dance’s Craig McGahey. “We have had to re invent ourselves a few times as the sector has evolved. I was flogging kwaito in London in the early 90’s, ran an edgy studio in Obs from 1997 that led to Mama Dance Records and launched chart- topping acts like Dantai, Jerusha and KB. As the traditional music industry became less financially viable, we quickly shifted our focus to advertising, film and TV and have never looked back.” 

Over the past 10 years the company has composed jingles for hundreds of TV ads and has been very busy with music searches, licensing and music research. The Mama Dance! music library has grown to over 2500 tracks from over 50 top South African and African composers and is distributed worldwide by SONOTON. It is available to South African users on hard drives or from the fantastic search and download site, www.mamadance.com.

“I think our greatest achievement has been the success of the Mama Dance! Music Library,” says Craig. “It’s really rewarding to work with our super talented composers to create high quality music specially crafted to work with picture or to evoke specific emotions from the viewer. I get a lot of joy seeing who’s earned well when we make our bi -annual composer payments.”

For example, last year a track that was released 12 years ago on Mama Dance! Music Library’s first library album earned enough money for the composer to set up a new home studio in Gugs. Craig believes that production music is an important revenue stream for composers and artists who have seen other music royalties diminish drastically due to piracy.