Dear SAMRO Music Creators,

The past month in music has been an eventful one. Sadly it has not all been good news. In this issue, SAMRO pays tribute to some great musicians who passed on in the past month: mbira musician Minister Collins Chabane, rapper Nkululeko “Flabba” Habedi, Kwaito icon Senyaka Kekana as well as the legendary Zayn Adams. Chabane had a close association with SAMRO and was a strong advocate for musician rights and had a passion for indigenous South African music. He will be greatly missed.

In our artist profile, we had a sit down with poet and SAMRO member Ntsiki Mazwai who shared with us her plans for 2015, thoughts about South African music and told us about her work outside of music -– her passion for poetry.

Marketing has changed a great deal and has allowed musicians a chance to promote themselves as brands as well as punt their work. Read some useful tips from Ticky Box Media on how to get more attention to your music.

There are many ways to get your music to the people you want to get it to.  Are you a musician starting out and wondering if it is a good idea to send unsolicited demos to record labels?  We spoke to David Gresham Records and they had a lot to say about where and when to send samples of your music.

We round off this exciting BB edition with a list of awesome events that you can enjoy in the coming month.  We are also giving away a set of double tickets to attend the HOLI ONE Colour Festival. The festival brings together partygoers of all ages, races, cultures and personalities to experience an unforgettable festival of light, love, and colour. To stand a chance of winning, all you need to do is answer this question: On which day is the 2015 HOLI ONE Colour Festival taking place?

Email your answers to by 15 April 2015. Winners will be announced on 28 April 2015. Please continue to interact with us on and let us know if you would like to be featured in Beat BUlletin. We look forward to your suggestions and feedback. Would you

Yours in music,

Tiyani Maluleke

GM: Marketing


SAMRO recently briefed Parliament on the huge amounts of potential revenue that is due to international musicians every year.

SAMRO CEO, Sipho Dlamini, presented alarming facts and figures, including R469 million in royalties that had left the country over the past five years.

Dlamini said that local radio stations’ failure to stick to local content quotas was costing local musicians and composers dearly and limiting the contribution made by music industry to the South African economy.

The creative and arts industry in Europe contributes significantly to GDP because of tightly regulated policies on local content.  In South Africa, although similar policy exists, there is not a strong enough emphasis on enforcement and as a result, radio stations simply do not comply.

The table below gives a breakdown of these figures for the past five years.

Year  Royalties paid to local artists  Royalties paid out to international artists
2009 R134 m R78 m
2010 R133 m R83 m
2011 R 136 m R86 m
2012 R133 m R72 m
2013 R121 m R72 m
2014 R138 m R76 m



In addressing the issue the portfolio committee recommended a review of regulations and taking steps to ensure that they are complied with.

This is an issue that SAMRO and the portfolio committee on arts and culture will continue to drive. The good news for local musicians is that the issue is being looked into and we will keep you informed of developments.


We were greatly saddened to learn of the passing of some of our valued members over the past month.

The legendary Zayn Adams who gave us memorable songs such as Give a Little Love died from a heart attack late in February. From humble beginnings in the Cape Flats, Adams started his professional music career in the 1960s when he left Cape Town for Johannesburg and joined a calypso trio led by Majiet Omar. Adams went on to establish a band called The Pacific Express with other musicians in the early 1970s.  After a long and successful solo career Adams was to be reunited with his band for performances at this year’s Cape Jazz festival.

The death of Nkululeko Habedi – more popularly known as Flabba of Skwatta Kamp fame – was another great loss to the industry. Flabba and his group were once at the forefront of local hip-hop and shared stages with global hip-hop acts such as Snoop Dog, Ludacris, and Will Smith. Flabba will long be remembered by family, fans and us at SAMRO.

SAMRO was also saddened by the sudden death of Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane earlier this month.  Chabane was a member of SAMRO, and his impact in the industry extended beyond just the music he made. Collins Chabane passionately championed issues facing musicians and engaged often with the Ministry of Arts and Culture on issues affecting them despite his busy political life.  Chabane’s history in music goes all the way back to the years he was imprisoned on Robben Island, when he studied music. He later established a band that specialised in mbira music. In 2010, SAMRO celebrated Chabane at a gala dinner in Polokwane for his dedication to the preservation of indigenous South Africa music.

Musician and actor Senyaka Kekana died from a lung infection recently. He was known for popular kwaito hit songs such as Chesa Mpama, Fong Kong and Romeo wa Nkolota. He also acted in a movie called Moruti was Tsotsi which was later adapted into a hit television series. Senyaka is considered to be one of the founding fathers of kwaito having started in the industry in the 1980s. He was 58 when he died.

We would like to take this opportunity to pay special tribute to these great artists who left an indelible mark on South African music. They have left a void that can never be filled.


Ntsiki Mazwai has carved out a unique place for herself on South Africa’s music scene with her powerful combination of musical and poetic talent; and ruffled a few feathers in the process..

Q: How long have you been in music and how did you get into the industry? 

A: My first song to be released into the mainstream was a song called Light Up My Life in 2004 on a compilation alongside Brenda Fassie, Lebo Mathosa and Rebbeca Malope. That is when I got lost in music. Then my next song was a year later – uWRongo which was on DJ Fresh’s album which went on to be best-selling song that year. Before that I had been an underground artist since 2002.

Q: Do you view yourself more as a poet or a musician?

A: I view myself as more of a musical poet. My poems come in melodies and can be translated into songs. I am a lover of words and a lover of melodies.

Q: How has the country responded to your free spirited poetic views?

A: At any given point in time, somebody is mad at me. That takes some adjusting. However, I am such a happy-go-lucky spirit that I’m too busy picking flowers in the garden or writing open letters to let it consume me.I have come to the conclusion that what matters most, is how I feel about myself. I have also decided that they must simply ignore me if I ruffle their feathers.

Q: Do you think South African music is poetic?

A: Yes! There is a lot of South African music the masses are not exposed to. SA music is very deep and poetic. There are times where I am exposed to music which is from here which I thought was from somewhere else. But because our radio stations play so much American music, we as South Africans don’t know our own music. We only know the music of ‘celebrities’.

Q: Who writes your music and what inspires the content of your songs?

A: I write my own music based on my feelings about the world. My poems and songs are an expression of what is going on around me.

Q: What do you think are the most important human rights issues that we should always be cognisant of it? 

A: I think the most important human right is the right to dignity. In any space, when a person is treated with dignity, it benefits the whole society because that person feels like they matter. In any work environment, if everybody is treated with dignity then morale and productivity will be high.

In a home, when everybody is treated with dignity then people have respect. I try to play my part by promoting human rights every day. I use my speaking platforms to address pertinent issues about matters that affect our society.

Q: How do you think Human Rights Day should be celebrated in South Africa?

A: By having more programs and messaging around the principles of “Ubuntu” throughout the year, not only on commemoration dates.

Q: How was the year 2014 for you as a musician and poet, and what can we expect from you in 2015?  

A: 2014 was a very good year for me. It is the year I started fitting into my own skin. I am starting to understand myself more, which means it’s getting easier for me to express myself. In the year 2015, I am in a good space spiritually, mentally and physically. It feels like another great year is up ahead. I have started a radio gig on Radio Junto. I am on air weekdays from 8 to 10am. On my show, I play strictly South African music. This is my new form of expression. I provide a platform for local music.

Q: How long have you been a SAMRO member and what have been your best and worst experiences with the organisation? 

A: I have been with SAMRO since 2004. I have always received great and respectful service from the organisation and for this, I am thankful. I really have not had any bad experiences, and trust that the organisation will continue in its professionalism and respectful service.

Q: What’s your take on the importance of Copyright in music? 

A: I believe that a musician’s right to own intellectual property is very important, and one that should always be enforced. I am glad that there are organisations such as SAMRO  that help to protect our rights as music creators, as more often, our rights to own intellectual property are always abused.

It is comforting to know that SAMRO is able to help protect our works, and enhance our right to intellectual property.


Music marketing is a challenge for every musician – new and experienced.

Do you remember when you solely relied on journalists and radio presenters to get attention for your music? That is no longer the case. Music marketing has taken a turn, and has been completely transformed over the past few years. Nowadays, to become a successful musician you have to make sure that your music is consistent with your brand across the different communication platforms.

South Africa has a great number of musicians, and everyday a new one pops up into the mainstream. That is why having an album is not enough. You need the right music marketing methods to help you get more attention to your music. This will help you get your music to the right audiences and the right audio channels both traditional and digital.

“Every musician needs a different level and type of marketing aimed at the level of their career,” says Joanne Oliviér, Music-Marketing Director at Ticky Box Media, one of South Africa’s biggest music marketing agencies.

Oliviér notes that musicians should be aware of the platforms available to them for marketing their music. “Your main marketing avenues would be radio plugging, social media profile building, print marketing, and TV / music video plugging,” says Oliviér.

Prior to the release of his album Levels, Kiernan Jordan Forbes, popularly known as AKA; performed at Universities around South Africa and would prompt students and his followers on social media networks to take a picture of themselves holding his album Levels. Once the students and followers shared this with AKA on Twitter, he would re-tweet the shared tweet and take the follower’s picture and put it up on his Instagram page. This got more people to buy his album, as everyone wanted to be on AKA’s Instagram page.

Oliviér says there are different marketing methods that a musician can use, depending on their popularity and status. An established musician will need a different level of marketing aimed at the more popular mainstream outlet radio stations and TV stations, while a newbie needs to start at the bottom.

As a musician, you may sometimes feel as though you are getting entangled in the day-to-day business of the industry. It’s well worth the effort and don’t hesitate to get assistance from a professional music-marketing consultant when necessary.

A marketing consultant can help you with the following music marketing platforms:

•Public relations can help you deal with the interview process and building a public profile, and also help you get the interviews.

•Social media is the interaction you will need to have with your fans, so that they know what you are up to.

•Advertising is an area you need to know in order to find legit advertising agents to get your brand across the country.


Getting your craft noticed is more than just having good music, it is a process that requires you to provide and promote it to the right people, in a structured and well-thought through manner.


Applications for the 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships, which focuses on the singers this year is now open.

Singers are invited to apply for the SAMRO Foundation’s music scholarship.   Recipients of the overseas scholarships – each worth about R 170 000 – are selected through a competition process adjudicated by a panel of music experts.

The scholarships are rotated every four years among keyboard players, instrumentalists, composers and singers and offers scholarships in two fields: Western Art or “classical” music and Jazz music.

Winners of the scholarship have gone on to achieve great successes in their musical careers and have brought back invaluable knowledge to the country following their musical studies.

For more information please visit the SAMRO Foundation website or click here for the online  application forms as well as the rulles and regulations.


Even in the age of do-it-yourself, some musicians still prefer the traditional way of sending music demos to music companies.

Recording labels receive loads of demos from musicians. There is a better chance of recording labels rejecting your demo when it is unsolicited than when it is solicited. A solicited demo refers to a piece of music or music production (song writing/beat creation) that has been specifically asked for by recording companies.

Andrew Mitchley, Head of A&R (artist and repertoire) at David Gresham Records shares insightful information that every musician should know.

“Yes, you should send unsolicited demos to record labels; it’s the best way for musicians to get noticed. Although you shouldn’t send in a lot of music, your best chance of getting called in is by choosing music that best represents your craft. When labels like what they hear, they will contact you for more music. Quality always trumps quantity,” says Mitchley.

David Gresham Records is one of the biggest recording labels in South Africa. “We listen to all we receive, good or bad. Our company isn’t necessarily genre based, if there is somebody we believe we can work with, we call them up,” he says.

Believe it or not 99.9% of artists signed on by record labels got noticed through emailed demos. This means that every song that you have heard on the radio was once pitched to a record label and went through a judging process.

So how do you send demos to recording companies?

•Select the track you consider to be the best. Ensure that it isn’t just noise and is quality music, as record labels always go for quality over quantity.

•Check what size/length the record label is able to receive. Have it in an MP3 format and make sure that it is a minimum of 128kb/s.

•Upload it onto the label’s website or email it to them (remember some record labels have a website system where you can upload your music directly). Also note that record labels will reject submissions if they have already been shared on social media websites like Facebook, YouTube or Soundcloud.

•Write an email. In the body of the message you need to introduce yourself, be friendly and mention how it felt when you produced the track. You can also include a short bio. But be careful. Record labels do not want to hear sob stories. Tell them about your background in music, and your experience.

•And before you send the email, mention how the Head of A&R can reach you as that is the person who will be the receiving your mail.

•Lastly, you can send your track.

There you go. Don’t expect a response in an hour. It could take days, weeks or even months. The bigger the record label, the more demos they receive on a daily basis and the longer it takes for them to respond to each demo submission.


We all know what it takes to put on a live performance or concert. Not only is it no mean feat in terms of logistics – it can be quite costly too.

Concert SA’s Music Mobility Fund is project aimed at supporting the growth of the live music sector in South Africa It also aims to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools.

Initiated by the British Council’s Connect ZA programme and The SAMRO Foundation, the Music Mobility Fund received 66 applications in 2013 and 118 in 2014, and provided support to 30 projects during these periods.

The initiative is open to artists who have already become established in their local markets and helps them further develop connections, markets and audiences for their work. The Music Mobility Fund provides support towards travel and transportation, material costs such as hiring of backline and sound equipment and accommodation and visas.

The types of projects that may be financed are tours and concerts (performances; regional, country or provincial tours; participation at festivals and showcases, etc.) and collaborative projects (artistic collaborations between musicians based in different provinces of South Africa or SADC countries).

For more on application guidelines visit the Concerts SA website on 


We are excited to offer our readers the chance to win tickets to some amazing gigs that are coming up!

Amel Larrieux live in Johannesburg

Amel Larrieux – the Neo-soul/Jazz/Folk superstar, formerly in the group Groove Theory, described the feeling she got, when told she was coming to South Africa, as ‘indescribable’. She will be performing live in Jo’burg on the back of an inspired showing at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. To add a local flair to the festivities Afro-soul jazz sensation Khethukubonga Zasemgazini Ntshangase (Khethi) will set the bar on the opening night, April 2nd, while SAMA nominee and Male Artist of the Year Kabomo will kick things off on the 2nd and final night, Friday April 3rd. The line-up also features a host of local DJs including: DJ Hamma, DJ Bubbles, DJ Satori, DJ Tha Muzik, DJ Medicine and DJ Vardz.

Date: 2 – 3 April 2015
Time: Doors open 8 pm
Venue: Carfax | 39 Gwigwi Mrwebi Street | Newtown | Johannesburg|
Price: R 350 advance | R 400 at the door
Tickets available on

The shows will be followed by an official after party


Stand a chance to win  one of the set of double tickets to attend the Amel Larrieux live in Johannesburg

All you need to do is answer this question: On which days is the Amel Larrieux live in Johannesburg?

Email your answers to Winners will be notified by close of business 2 April 2015


HOLI ONE Colour & Neon Festival 2015

The HOLI ONE Colour Festival brings together partygoers of all ages, races, cultures and personalities to experience an unforgettable festival of light, love, and, colour. This year’s line-up promises to be even bigger and better than ever before, with a line that includes DJ Fresh, Mark Stent, Ricardo Da Costa, Essential Groove, Vin GrooVin, Houseshaker, Royal K, Household Funk, SauBomb, Paul Bingham, Rocca & Martini, Jade Hanna, Eugene Le Grand, Sammy Dee, Peter Booth, JC, and Jason La Roux among others.

Date: Friday 1 May 2015
Times: 12h00 – 22h00
Venue: Huddle Park Golf & Recreation, Club Street, Linksfield, Johannesburg
Ticket prices: R250 – General Access; R350 – General Access plus five bags of powder.


Stand a chance to win a set of double tickets to attend the HOLI ONE Colour Festival.

All you need to do is answer this question: On which day is the 2015 HOLI ONE Colour Festival taking place?

Email your answers to by 15 April. Winners will be announced on 24 April 2015.



Splashy Fen

Splashy Fen has been growing since 1990, and every Easter holiday it attracts thousands of people to a farm near Underberg in Kwazulu-Natal. Fans can indulge in a long weekend of live music in a natural setting.

Venue: Splashy Fen farm, Underberg, Kwazulu-Natal
Date: 2-6 April 2015
Ticket price: R625


Life’s Good U19 music festival

It is the biggest teenage event of 2015. The event will also include dancing and DJ visuals.

Venue: Kenilworth Race Course
Date: 10 April 2015
Ticket price: R180-R300

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