Beat Bulletin April 2017

Dear SAMRO Member

Welcome to another edition of the Beat Bulletin. We are speedily approaching winter, waking up to chilly mornings and braving the icy evening wind. But worry not, for in this issue we have hot news and interviews that will be sure to fire up your mood and keep you warm.

KZN, are you ready? The latest leg of the SAMRO CEO Music Industry Roundtable discussion will be held in the fun-loving city of eThekwini on Friday, 19 May 2017. We hope members and aspiring musicians alike will gather at the Durban Playhouse to take part in the information-sharing session and engage with our expert panelists on industry matters.

Young Mzansi folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla, who is readying to release his second album, “Mangaliso”, has undergone tremendous growth since his debut five years ago. In this interview, he talks about the music industry and what it took for him to get to where he is.

We look in depth at “The Mornings”, the debut album of 2014 SAMRO Songwriter of the Year nominee Josh Kempen. The album makes the listener feel like they are taking a whirlwind trip across the world, or listening to a truncated audio version of this young indie musician’s personal journal.

We also have a quick chat with house music hitmaker Prince Kaybee, who has proven that small-town roots needn’t stand in the way of big-time ambition. After winning the top prize on the second season of SABC1 talent show “1’s and 2’s”, the Free State-born DJ hasn’t looked back. Spending a moment with us, he shares his plans of wanting to give back to the community by mentoring aspiring musicians in his home province.

Royalty collecting societies play a crucial role in the collection and distribution of music royalties. They also protect the intellectual property of music creators. If you are a recording artist or a studio producer who makes a performing contribution to a recorded performance, then you need to read about POSA and SAMPRA. These two collecting societies oversee the administration and distribution of Needletime Rights royalties.

Lastly, we have a great line-up of music events happening around the country in the next few weeks that you can indulge in. Remember: buy legal, buy original and support South African music.


Tiyani Maluleke
General Manager: Marketing and Communications


Here’s a list of our top talent picks for live performances this month in conjunction with the Concerts SA #venuecircuit and #mobilityfund initiative.

Kgalagadi Soul
Wits School of Arts
2- 3 May 2017 @ 4:00PM – 7:00PM

Vuma Levin
Afrikan Freedom Station
4 May 2017 @ 8:00PM – 11:00PM

Linda Sikhakhane Quintet
Luthuli Museum
5 May 2017 @ 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Vuma Levin
Alma Café
10 May 2017 @ 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Mike Rossi Project
NMMU South Campus Auditorium
11 May 2017 @ 7:30PM – 9:30PM

Ményatšô Mathôlê
The Headroom
19 May 2017 @ 7:00PM – 9:00PM

Spha Mdlalose
Hard Rock Cafe Pretoria
7 May 2017 @ 6:00PM – 9:00PM


Are you a recording artist – a lead vocalist, backing vocalist or instrumentalist (such as a guitarist, drummer, pianist, saxophonist, violinist or keyboardist) – or a studio producer who makes a performing contribution to a recorded performance?

Then there are two key organisations you should be aware of that oversee the administration of Needletime Rights in South Africa. These collecting societies representing those rights are the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) and the Performers’ Organisation of South Africa Trust (POSA). Both these organisations are copyright collecting societies whose focus is to ensure that composers, publishers and performers are compensated adequately for their creative works.

POSA and SAMPRA have recently partnered to ensure the effective administration and distribution of Needletime Rights royalties. This partnership will ensure that artists, musicians and recording companies reap the full benefits of their works and that recording artists are remunerated for the public performance of their recorded performances.

POSA is a trust that was established to administer Needletime Rights on behalf of recording artists/musicians who have assigned their Needletime Rights to SAMRO. Needletime Rights make sure performers and recording artists get paid when their music is played in public. These are the people who were in the studio playing the instruments or singing the lyrics when the recording was made. As long as they contributed to a recorded performance that was captured on CD, tape, MP3 or any other recording device, recording artists have Needletime Rights over that recording.

SAMPRA was established to serve the needs of copyright owners of music sound recordings, with a mandate to collect and distribute Needletime royalties to the members of the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA).

Needletime Rights are distinct from Performing Rights, which SAMRO administers on behalf of the authors and creators of music – composers, songwriters and publishers.

Collecting societies play a crucial role in the collection and distribution of music royalties. They also protect the intellectual property of music creators.

“The importance of registering works with the relevant collecting organisation cannot be overstated. These organisations play a crucial role in further ensuring value for the works of musicians,” says Tiyani Maluleke, SAMRO’s General Manager: Marketing.

She adds that SAMRO encourages all musicians, members of the recording industry and performing artists to have a full understanding of the various collecting bodies and their functions. “These bodies actually exist for musicians’ benefit. However, a number of musicians have missed out on collections and royalties because of a lack of knowledge and not realising the importance of registering with a collecting society,” notes Maluleke.

For more information on these collecting societies, visit their websites:

POSA:  or call +27 11 712-8000
SAMPRA: or call +27 11 789-5784


Kabelo Motsamai, better known as Prince Kaybee has proven that it’s possible to make it in the industry no matter where you come from. Hailing from the small town of Senekal in the Free State, the house music producer who doubles as a DJ burst on to the music scene when he took part in, and won, the second season of popular SABC1 talent search programme “1’s and 2’s”.

Coming from humble beginnings, Prince Kaybee has certainly proved his talent, skill and ability to get any crowd on the dance-floor with his smashing beats. He solidified his place in the industry with his first album, released in 2015 called “Better Days”. He continues to showcase the best talent in the industry with his latest single, ‘Charlotte’ which features female vocalist Lady Zamar.

After monitoring his rise since he entered the mainstream industry, we decided to have a chat with this hitmaker about when we can expect the second installment of the Prince Kaybee magic.

Question: Your talent is undeniable – with the numerous hits you’ve produced in a relatively short period, you’ve become known on a national scale. What inspires your music?
 Firstly let me say, I draw my inspiration from God and my mother. God has given me the opportunity to live out my dream and my mom has always believed in me. My fans always expect a hit from me and that drives me to excel even more.

Q: You’ve got a banger of a single, ‘Charlotte’ on high rotation at the moment. How did this hit come about? You have everyone wondering who this Charlotte is…
 After I composed a song, still with no title at the time, I called the talented Lady Zamar, who is featured on the track. She came in and wrote the lyrics for the track and ‘Charlotte’ was born. Charlotte represents insecurities that people have.

Q:  What is your favourite track of your own to date?
 I have produced a number of tracks and they all are my favourite because of the hard work that went in, but I have to say ‘Better Days’ holds a special place in my heart.

Q:  What can we expect from you this year?
 I actually finished my second album last December and am currently finalising its release. Look out for it. It will be a banger of an album.

Q: If not music, what else would you be doing?
 Grooming and mentoring young, up-and-coming Free State artists. Music is my life and I have recently founded a record label called Low Key Records to fulfil what I believe is my purpose.

Q: What advice would you give musicians or DJs trying to make it in the industry?
To never give up and give every opportunity you receive your very best. No matter how small a gig or opportunity, act professionally and see how God rewards your hard work.

Q:  You always look well put together, whether it’s at awards or gigs or on social media. Do you have a team that ensures you always look your best? Is how you present yourself important to your brand?
: People buy you before your product and the way you present yourself becomes important. I can produce good music but if I’m not presentable, people will not take me seriously. You always expect the chef to be neat before you indulge and if he is not neat, you cannot enjoy the meal.

Q: Who’s your favourite DJ, locally or internationally?
 I have always drawn a lot of inspiration from Black Coffee, with no exclusion of the likes of DJ Fresh, who actually paved the way for us. It’s these gentlemen who I have looked up to.


The lyrics on Josh Kempen’s single ‘Everybody Gets Older’ encapsulate his debut album, “The Morning Show”, perfectly.

Relating one of countless episodes he refers to throughout the album, he croons in his signature raspy vocal: “You know, last night I came home and I walked into my room and there was my girl, sitting there with another man, and I said: ‘Baby, what’s going on?’ and she said: ‘Oh, honey. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s just you’re always running around with that guitar and singing your songs and I want a steady man; I want a real man.’”

It was clearly lost love. So is the sparse, gorgeous ’Ysabel Lola Pt. 1‘, on which he sings in Italian and English about a girl he enjoyed a romance with while living in Italy five years ago.

“The album was inspired by my experiences,” he says. “The title track I wrote for my current girlfriend. Then ‘Ysabel Lola’ (which comes in two parts) was about a girl I met when I was living in Italy in 2012. I messaged her, told her I’d made a song and asked for her thoughts and she was fine about it. She said it was a good moment to immortalise. It was a really good Italian romance,” he laughs.

Listening to this lively album resembles taking a whirlwind trip across the world, or listening to a truncated audio version of his personal journal – including detailing the struggles of being a musician. It’s a soul-baring 15-track album to follow his “Midnight Ship” EP, released two years ago. The oldest of the songs, according to Kempen, was written three years ago, which gives the listener “a really good thumbprint of who I am now”.

But where did that big and raspy Paolo Nutini-esque voice come from?

“My voice is the product of singing every day. Even when I was 14, I realised I had a voice people wanted to hear but I couldn’t sing the way I do now. I always tell people that voices can be learned; you can practise,” the rocker says.

Kempen was born in Johannesburg, but when he was eight years old his family moved to Brisbane, Australia, where he completed his schooling. After school, he went travelling around Europe with friends and ended up working in Italy. He says his family unexpectedly moved back to South Africa after his father took on a contract job in the country.

Fast forward to 2017 and he has become a permanent fixture at some of the country’s biggest music festivals, including Oppikoppi, Splashy Fen and Lush – the last two he played in April. He was named Apple Music’s Favourite Artist of the Month after “The Morning Show” debuted at number three on the local iTunes chart. He was also a 2014 SAMRO Songwriter of the Year nominee.

Reflecting on his journey, Kempen says: “A few years ago, I thought I had given up music entirely. Now I feel like a child again. I just put everything aside and listen to my heart. I can’t express how much that changed my life.”


It is said that success is no accident. Instead, the most successful people are those who work the hardest at their craft in pursuit of their dreams. Young folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla, who is readying to release his second album, “Mangaliso”, has undergone tremendous growth since his debut five years ago. Here, he lets us in on what it took to get to this point in his career.

Question: You’re an acoustic guitar-playing singer/songwriter. Which do you consider to be your best instrument – your voice or your guitar?
I still struggle with my voice, but singing comes far more naturally to me than playing the guitar – it can get quite technical and very complicated. I don’t know if one can ever perfect playing a guitar.

Q: Do you remember when you first picked up a guitar?
: Yes! I was in Grade 11. I had always been curious about the guitar but didn’t have access to one. I went to an art school in Lady Grey, Eastern Cape, where I once heard an announcement about a new teacher who was a guitar specialist and was willing to teach us. I didn’t have a guitar but borrowed one from the teacher and played. I still didn’t have a lot of hope in my skills back then because it was really something I saw as a hobby. I was sure then that I wanted to be an actor.

Q: Do you remember the first song you learned to play?
 It was ‘Love Is All Around’ by Wet Wet Wet. I was so fascinated that I may have learned it in two weeks. I couldn’t shut up after that and quickly started singing with the guitar.

Q: What’s your all-time favourite album, and what did you learn from it?
 It has to be Lauryn Hill’s “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0”. That album was released shortly after I started learning to play the guitar. It was at a time when I was finding and defining myself. I listened to it like it was the Bible. I felt like that music defined who I was, and I loved the message contained in that album.

Q: You’re now getting ready to release your second studio album. Tell us what has changed in the time between “Umlilo” and the upcoming “Mangaliso”.
 I have grown so much. I am completely different from the person I was during my first project – I was still finding myself then. I listen to that album now and I can hear how safe my words were. I was less damaged on the debut album. I was also hopeful and a little naive. This album is perhaps a little more darker and more honest. I have more words and ways to describe my feelings.

Q: We’ve heard the first single, ‘Ndokulandela’. Is this the kind of sound we can expect from the rest of the album?
 I guess the new album is very much like the first single. Perhaps the journey from acoustic to more urban sound is a more consistent throughout the album.

Q: You worked with Zuluboy and Nosisi on your first project. Do you have any collaborations this time around?
I worked with the incredible Spoek Mathambo. I am such a fan of his work. I remember the first time I met him and I was telling him how much I love his work, and he turned around and told me how much he loved what I was doing. He is a really humble person, with such a good heart – that’s the main reason I wanted to work with him.

Q: Finally, do you have any advice for up-and-coming guitarists/singers/songwriters on what it takes to break into the industry?
Do things that you are passionate about. Music can be very difficult and without passion and love, it can all be pointless. What motivates you should be bigger than just ego or stardom.


After the success of another Southern African Music Rights Organisation NPC (SAMRO) CEO Music Industry Roundtable discussion in Mpumalanga, we are pleased to announce that the latest leg of this information-sharing session will be held in eThekwini on Friday, 19 May 2017. The session will take place at the Durban Playhouse from 10H00 until 14H00.

Durban takes the baton from Nelspruit, where SAMRO held a successful session in March on music consumption and the latest available channels for music promotion.

The concept of rotating music industry roundtable events was born out of a need to host nationwide conversations that could elicit meaningful input and help develop the South African music industry. SAMRO saw a great need for such a platform, to facilitate regular engagement among those who contribute to the wellbeing of the local music industry.

Since the roundtable discussions began last year, industry representatives including the SABC’s Kaizer Kganyago and Nomvuyiso Batyi of the Independent Communications Authority of SA; music legends Ray Phiri, Gabi le Roux, Arthur Mafokate and Sipho Makhabane; and representatives from Kaya FM, Ligwalagwala FM and Rise FM have been among the participants.

“Hosting this session just two months after a successful stop in Nelspruit suggests we are on a roll, and we are delighted to be taking the forthcoming meeting to Durban. We hope for an even larger turnout and we promise to have another great panel of experts to share their know-how on issues affecting the industry,” says Tiyani Maluleke, SAMRO’s General Manager: Marketing.

As was the case at previous gatherings, in eThekwini, SAMRO will address members’ concerns and the topical issues of music airplay and local content quotas. SAMRO’s acting Group CEO, Rev. Abe Sibiya will once again take part in the discussions and share his vast knowledge of the industry and of SAMRO’s operations.

If you are based in or around Durban, this is also your opportunity to engage with SAMRO on topics relating to membership and royalties.

For more information, contact the Marketing Department on 011 712 8521 or email

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