Beat Bulletin July 2015

Dear SAMRO Member,

Welcome to another edition of the Beat Bulletin. We hope all of you have been keeping warm this winter season.

In this issue, we take a look at the importance of finding the right management team that will support your career aspirations in the music industry. This is a great read for anyone looking to jumpstart their music career or looking to have a broader understanding of what it is exactly that managers do in the music industry.

Have a look at the incredible story of up and coming Hip Hop artist, Killah Gee who against all odds has been building a name for himself in the music industry.

We are also excited to announce that we have produced a series of animated videos with simple step by step guides that explain how the SAMRO processes work. This month we present you with the animated video on how SAMRO distributions work.

In an exclusive interview with Beat Bulletin, we spoke to one of the hottest music producers and publishers in the country, Thabiso ‘Thasman’ Tsotetsi. Look out for the podcast and vidcast of the interview!

SAMRO Foundation recently announced twelve semi-finalists for the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition. Good luck to all the talented vocalists who will be competing live during the intermediate round set to take place on 27 August 2015.

On a sad note, we bid farewell to two late SAMRO members, David Masondo – founding member of the legendary Soul Brothers and well-known Afrikaans musician Fredi Nest Esterhuizen. May their souls rest in peace.

As we head towards warmer weather, check out the upcoming events for August and remember you can submit your upcoming gigs to be featured on our website.

We hope you enjoy this edition of The Beat Bulletin, and we look forward to your feedback, thoughts and comments. If you would like to be profiled in our newsletter please send an email request to


Yours in music,

Tiyani Maluleke

General Manager: Marketing


Musicians are often so excited about making music that they don’t take time to learn about how SAMRO’s royalty distributions work.

It’s important to know that by simply registering for membership and notifying your works, it does not automatically qualify you to receive royalties from SAMRO.

Royalties are calculated based on how active your song/s have been in different mediums including but not limited to broadcast, film, live performance, restaurants, pubs, clubs and shopping malls. A huge part of SAMRO’s ability to do its business of administering music creators’ copyright is the music licensing aspect of the business.  We licence music users and the licence fees collected will thereafter be distributed as royalty income to music creators.  For details on how we licence the users of music please click here  .

Another important factor for members to note is that royalties are calculated retrospectively, meaning that if your songs were used/active in 2015 you will only be eligible to receive royalty income in 2016.

As you can see from the above, these processes can seem daunting to those not in the know and that’s why we felt it was important to develop this simple animated video to give members a snapshot of how some of our internal processes work.  It is our aim as SAMRO to empower our members with knowledge that will assist them with the business of their music.

According to Pfanani Lishivha – Executive General Manager for Rights Holder Services, the move is to make it easier for members and applicants to understand the membership application process and how royalties work. “We hope that through this initiative, our members and the public will understand what SAMRO does as a rights administration society,” said Lishivha.

Remember, you can always check your previous payments on our portal by following this link or clicking here

You can also use this platform to keep your personal details up to date without having to visit the SAMRO offices.

To view the video please click here or visit our youtube channel – SAMROMusic


In general, there are various types of music managers that play a vital role in the career of a recording artist.

Some musicians, especially those who are not signed to a major record label, choose to limit this to one or two managers. But those individuals who are signed to major labels, will likely be assigned an in-house team of experts including management, who have a wealth of experience within the music industry to assist the artist.

In this piece, we will focus mainly on artist managers, as this is the most common type of management in South Africa. Artist managers take a more hands-on approach to assisting an artist with the day to day administrative side of things. They may assist with booking performances, compiling contracts on behalf of the artist, ensuring that the technical riders are done properly and finalising travel arrangements etc. The manager would also assist with negotiating recording & publishing deals, publicity, merchandising and any other task that might need to be dealt with.

In South Africa, artist managers also take on the role of tour or road manager, these individuals traditionally take care of the logistics while the artist is on tour. Duties include making sure that everything is provided for as agreed upon, following up on items promised as part of the contract such as accommodation, payments, tour routing and  communications with the person who booked the artist.

A good manager is one who is able to further develop their client’s career. One of the critical roles that a manager plays is to provide advice on all areas of an artist’s professional life, forging relationships within the music industry in order to create opportunities as well as sourcing the best service providers such as accountants, lawyers, booking agents and publicists. Simply put, artist managers are best viewed as a collaborative partners in the ongoing career progress of an artist, band or music group. During difficult times, it is their job to keep the ship afloat by keeping business flowing.

As an artist, one needs to understand that managers work on commission. So whatever your manager negotiates on your behalf, they are going to take a percentage based on what you have agreed upon. The figure is usually around 10 to 20 percent. Often, this percentage is calculated on the total gross income received from gigs, merchandising, music used in movies or commercials and any other source of income generated by the artist.

Artist managers have to be informed about a lot more things than they used to in the past including music copyright, music licensing, sponsorships, branding, crowd funding, endorsements, social media and direct-to-fan strategies. Putting together a persuasive strategy for an artist requires the right information, a salesmanship attitude and a go-getter spirit.


Ready to unleash 16 bars, lyricist Killah Gee has a positive story to tell and it is in music that he finds comfort – a skill he uses to share his thoughts in Tshivenda (Venrap) hip-hop.

Born, Mpfulufhedzeni Gideon Mamuthamani, the talented lyricist has seen it all, from being looked down upon because of his disability, to fighting for his music to get recognition. But against all odds, Killah Gee is still at it, releasing songs that talk to the inner soul and spreading message of hope.

We recently caught up with the artist to talk about life and his music journey as a Tshivenda rapper.


Q. Who is Killah Gee?

A. I’m a Tshivenda hip-hop (Venrap) artist. When I was 5 years old I was diagnosed with poliomyelitis which left me disabled. My career started in 1997 when I used to free-style and record demos.  When I got to matric, I formed a group called Mad Dog with four friends. We used to organise our own shows mainly on weekends in Pretoria and its surroundings. Since then, I haven’t looked back.


Q.You had a challenging upbringing having to deal with disability. How did being physically challenged inspire you to pursue music as a career?

A. If you are passionate about something, you will find a way to get to where you want to be despite any challenges you are faced with. I’ve always been determined to achieve my goals regardless of my physical challenges.


Q. How difficult was it to be discovered and release your first album?

A. It is always a challenge to find people who will believe in your ability and invest time to document your craft. Recording songs and getting the music out was not the only challenge I faced.  I also had to deal with the fact that rhyming in Tshivenda was not popular when I started recording back in the day.


Q. You have performed in many places, how has the experience been as a recording artist?

A. It’s been amazing, every time I perform I’m able to meet new people and that broadens my stage performance skills. I used to be scared to do live performances because I didn’t know how people would receive me, as a person with a disability.  But it’s been great to see that my fans appreciate me for my talent and can look past my physical challenges.


Q. You have a manager, who has been with you for a while, how important has he been in your musical career?

A. Stanley Mulaudzi is my longest serving manager, I have been working with him since 2010. As a manager, Stan has helped me to expand my market reach and to unearth different opportunities for my growing brand. He’s more like a brother to me and he’s helped me a lot even in my personal life. That’s how our relationship has grown and this is important to me because in him I have someone who always represents my interests in the best way possible.


Q. What do you hope to achieve as an artist going forward?

A. I have now built a considerable following for myself in different parts of the country and my music continues to be used in television shows like SABC 1’s Come Again.  Now I also want to open my own recording company and sign artists that can achieve even greater things than I have.


Q. Message for other up and coming artists who look up to you?

A. People should know that easy come, easy go. Up and coming artists should not get into the music industry because of the fame, they must do it for the love of music. The industry is changing every day, so those who want to enter the industry should come with their unique flair because that’s going to help them solidify their place in the industry.


Q. You recently became a SAMRO member, why did you decide to apply for membership?

I have spent a lot of time with people who have been in the music industry and they always advised me to apply for SAMRO membership. Now that my music is playing on radio and being used on television, there are royalties I am entitled to receive. Also, I took this step because I wanted to protect my intellectual property.


12 young vocalists advance in the country’s most prestigious SAMRO competition for overseas study awards in music.

The SAMRO Foundation administrators and a distinguished panel of adjudicators completed an intensive selection process – narrowing a pool of 35 applicants to 12 semi-finalists. On 27 August 2015 these talented South African vocalists, six in Western Art (“classical”) music and six in Jazz, will compete live during the intermediate round of the Foundation’s annual Overseas Scholarships Competition. One singer in each category will claim the ultimate prize: a R170, 000 study award and the opportunity to accelerate their journey towards artistic and creative excellence.

The SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition has evolved much over 53 years. This evolution has followed South Africa’s compelling journey towards a unique cultural identity that reflects our history, our struggles, triumphs and visibility on the global stage.

“We are now starting to hear a truly South African sound” notes Andre Le Roux, Managing Director of the SAMRO Foundation. This year, SAMRO Foundation administrators and adjudicators took note of and were impressed by several candidates who chose South African compositions for their competition repertoire. Compared to previous years, “there seems to be increased appreciation of South African composition. For us as a Foundation within Africa’s largest music rights organisation and composers’ society, this is proof that we’re doing impactful work to preserve our rich heritage and shape the new inclusive voice of our country” said Le Roux

All 12 semi-finalists are between 22 and 30 years of age (average age 25) and are pursuing their passion as top achievers in the music world. Many have already honed their musical prowess as professional performers.

This year’s top six in the Jazz music category are:

Ms Amy Campbell (UCT)

Ms Mikhaela Kruger (UCT)

Ms Palesa Modiga (UCT)

Ms Nelmarie Rabie (TUT and UP)

Mr Kwena Ramahuta (UKZN)

Ms Amy Walton (UCT)


The Western Art music category’s semi-finalists are:

Mr Khanyiso Gwenxane (TUT and UCT)

Ms Andiswa Makana (TUT)

Ms Nombuso Ndlandla (NWU)

Mr Levy Sekgapane (UCT)

Mr Makudupanyane Senaoana (UCT)

Ms Victoria Stevens (UCT)


Four finalists – two in each category – will compete for top prizes on 29 August at the Linder Auditorium. This thrilling final round is open to the public, features live accompaniment, special guests and performances of a selection of musical works including a South African composition specially commissioned for the occasion.

The SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition rotates every year between awards for vocalists (2011, 2015), instrumentalists (2012, 2016), keyboard players (2013, 2017) and composers (2014, 2018). At least three SAMRO Overseas Scholarship winners have been recognised as Standard Bank Young Artist Award recipients, and countless others have gone on to pursue successful professional careers as internationally renowned Western Art and Jazz musicians. Each year, candidate submissions are evaluated by a panel of adjudicators appointed from the top echelons of music academia and practice.


We were sadden by the recent passing of two SAMRO members and legendary South Africa musicians, David Masondo of Soul Brother fame and Afrikaans music composer Fredi Nest Esterhuizen.

Their contribution to music over the years will be remembered by their fans for years to come.  Here are their stories.

Fredi Nest Esterhuizen

Singer and songwriter, Fredi Nester Esterhuizen popularly known by his stage name Fredi Nest passed away on Friday, 3 July 2015 after a battle with cancer. Nest, who was 56 at the time of his death, had been hospitalised since May 2015 at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria after falling ill.

Just before he was hospitalised, Nest had just completed a tribute album to John Denver – an American singer-songwriter, actor, activist and humanitarian.

With 14 albums under his belt and hits such as Sê My, Getoor, Meer En Meer, Hey DJ and Bly Net Naby My, Nest proved in the early days of his career that music was his true calling.

In 1995, he released the album, Memory Train and a year later he won the IBA Prize – most played song on radio stations for the single, Listen To Me. This achievement fuelled Nest to work even harder. In 1999, he expanded his footprint to the African continent with the release of his album, Who Are You.

After years of being in the music industry, he finally settled in Pretoria where he also built a recording studio, a place he recorded his last album, Desperado.

David Masondo

At 67, David Masondo, co-founder and lead singer of the popular mbaqanga group, Soul Brothers was still active as a performer, wowing fans across the globe. Masondo collapsed on stage during his performance in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape and was subsequently rushed to the hospital where he was treated for fatigue and exhaustion.

After spending almost two months in hospital the Soul Brothers’ frontman succumbed to his condition on 6 July 2015.

Looking back at his life, he was known as a humble man who never allowed his celebrity status to affect his daily life. Born in Hammersdale, Durban in 1950, Masondo started his musical career as a member of Groovy Boys – a group known for their gigs in the neighbourhood.

In 1974, Masondo joined forces with bassist Zenzele “Zakes” Mchunu, guitarist Tuza Mthethwa and keyboardist Moses Ngwenya to form Soul Brothers. As a member of the group famously known for their mbaqanga ballads, Masondo worked tirelessly as lead vocalist, guiding the group to greater heights.

Since its formation, Soul Brothers have released more than 40 albums and sold millions of copies throughout the African continent. Over the years, the group has remained relevant and successful advocates of the mbaqanga sound which is still appreciated today.


In the South African music fraternity, producer Thabiso Tsotetsi best known as Thasman is a brand that is associated with greatness.

The long list of hit songs that he has produced and his undeniable consistency are two pillars of the kind of brand he has grown to become. But like everyone else, Thasman had to pay his dues to get to where he is today. It is the lessons he learned as producer that have helped him stay relevant. Armed solely with a passion to produce beats, he started making music in 1993.

His persistence finally paid off in the year 2000 when he left his hometown of Mafikeng for Johannesburg where he started working at independent record label, Ghettoruff. This is where the talented producer got to work with a host of musicians who were at the peak of their careers including Zola, Spykos, Unathi and Bravo.

“When I joined Ghettoruff, I was intimidated. It was more challenging because of the artists I had to work with like Zola. But working on his album gave me an opportunity to give Zola a new sound and showcase my own artistic flair,” says Thasman.

He mentions that the key to his success in the ever-evolving music industry is that he makes it his business to know everything he can about the art of music production and the landscape of the music business in SA.

After the success of Zola’s third release, Bhambatha Thasman moved up in the ranks of music. His name became synonymous with music that dominates the airwaves. With all the success he was getting, the talented producer opted to use the platform to help other up and coming artists that he had been working with from his home town, Mafikeng. Some of the hip hop artists he started putting out records with included HHP and Morafe. He used his relationship with music industry executives to introduce Tswana rap to the hip hop game.

Ever the entrepreneur, the Tswaka hit maker left Ghettoruff to pursue music independently. From this move his independent label, Impact Sounds was born “When I left Ghettoruff, it was the right time and I used the relationships I had made from my time there to fast track my move to building an independent label,” said Thasman.

Standing on his own, also came with its challenges and he had to do a lot of adjusting to keep up with the continuously changing music landscape. “Now that I was running my own business, my responsibilities increased. Not only did I have to be creative in the studio, I now had to also look after the business side of things, to keep it running,” he added

“Work like a slave to live like a King” is the motto that keeps this hit maker going, even during the most challenging times. He runs Impact Sounds from his home studio and this grants him the ability to put in more overtime.

As much as he is passionate about the art of music production, Thasman also takes it upon himself to keep up with understanding the business side of the music industry. “Keeping my studio relevant is as important as knowing how the music business works. When your studio is up to date, people are able to hear the kind of sound you can put out.”

What makes Thasman one of the best in the business is his versatility. He’s able to produce songs for different artists in different genres without giving an artist what many would call, “signature sound”. “When I produce for an artist, I look at who they are and what they do, and create music that suits them instead of music that identifies myself in their sound.”

Issues he experienced with the administration of his copyright prompted him to establish his own publishing company in 2005. He felt that it was important to ensure that he was rightfully compensated for the use of his music not only on the radio but also on TV and film. Establishing his own publishing company allowed him to do so more effectively. “I found myself in a position where I had great hits on the airwaves, music being synched to advertising but because I wasn’t clued up on the business side of things, I was left in the dark by my old publishing company. From my initial publishing company and my massive works that were active at the time, I only got R2 000”

“I never got what was due to me until I decided to learn more about the different types of rights out there and how publishing works,” he said. He also credits his relationship with SAMRO for helping him get what is due to him over the years whenever his music is used or performed in public.  From humble beginnings to the man he is today, Thasman’s undying quest for knowledge and business savvy are all key parts of his ever growing music empire.


The Southern African Music Rights Organisation NPC (SAMRO) hosted the 1st annual Members’ Function and Showcase in Cape Town on 29 July 2015

The event took place at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC). The aim of this event was not only to showcase Cape Town based SAMRO members’ talent, it was also a chance for SAMRO to have face-to-face interaction with its stakeholders in the region and bring them up to speed with organisation’s yearly program.  Stakeholders in attendance got a chance to engage with SAMRO’s executive team, including the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sipho Dlamini.

According to Tiyani Maluleke, SAMRO’s Marketing General Manager, this function is one of many to come designed to serve as a vehicle for the executive team to get to know SAMRO members in the Western Cape region and other parts of the country.

“For many years, we have not fully interacted face-to-face with our Western Cape members. Through this gathering, we hope to further solidify the relationship with these members and also to assure them that we are doing our outmost for them to easily access the society,” says Maluleke.

SAMRO members were also given much needed insights into SAMRO’s operations including issues such as how royalties are collected and distributed. The collecting society also addressed the need to find effective solutions for important matters that affect the members.

“We felt that this would be the opportune time for us to meet with our members in the Western Cape.  All our members in the province were invited to come and dine with us as we provide them with important information on how SAMRO works as a copyright administrator. It has really been a very fruitful experience for us as SAMRO.” Maluleke said.

The entertainment for the evening consisted of special performances by some of the Western Cape’s up and coming artists who are also SAMRO members.  SAMRO felt it important to give this prestigious platform to the region’s rising stars who have not yet made it into the mainstream.

“It is imperative for us to give up and coming artists a platform to showcase their artistry in music through events such as this, with the hope that they will be catapulted into mainstream,” concludes Maluleke.

The evening’s line up of performances included: Kyle Shepherd, Ernie B. St. Clair, Delft South Origins (DSO), Andrei Damane, Jonathan Simons, Jitsvinger and Wawela Music Awards nominees – Blackbryd and Sam & Calla.



From Kwaito to Classical, here’s a look at some of the hottest events that will be taking place in the month of August.

Johnny Clegg Live – Johannesburg and Reef

One of South Africa`s most prolific musicians, will be performing once again at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.

Date: 30 August 2015

Time: 17h00

Price: R190


Business Premium Jazz Festival

Carnival City, Big Top Arena, Johannesburg South African musical talents will grace the Big Top Arena stage for the 3rd Annual Business Premium Jazz Festival signature event.

Date: 22 August 2015

Time: 20h00

Price: R150 – R400


Ndakunceda Wena with Heavy K – Buyel Embo Village, Cape Town

The Drumboss brings you amazing drum beats that will get you dancing until the sun comes up.

Date: 1 August 2015

Time: 14h00

Price: R90 – R250


Nelson Mandela Bay Cultural Festival – St Georges Cricket Ground, Port Elizabeth

An uninterrupted 12 hour music explosion of an electric mix of the hottest local and international artists.

Date: 1 August 2015

Time: 15h00

Price: R200 – R900


Jimmy Nevis – Mossel Bay

Jimmy Nevis brings you a night filled with beautiful R&B music to ease the heart

Date: 7 August 2015

Time: 20h00

Price: R100


Young Women Concert – Pretoria National Botanical Gardens

Come with your loved ones and friends to enjoy some live music in the garden. Bring your picnic baskets and camp chairs to enjoy the best of Ms Lira.

Date: 8 August 2015

Time: 11h00

Price: R350 – R1000


A Night with the Queens – Kingdom Ministries, Welkom

Women`s Day Concert Nigh With The Queens on the 09 August at the Kingdom Ministries Auditorium (Welkom)

Date: 9 August 2015

Time: 18h30

Price: R350 – R500


Mi Casa – Hemingways Casino, East London

After a sold-out event in 2014, Mi Casa`s lead singer J Something will again be taking to the stage at Hemingways to celebrate his birthday and homecoming to his province.

Date: 28 August 2015

Time: 19h30

Price: R150


Moretele Park Tribute Concert 2015 – Moretele Park, Mamelodi, Pretoria

The key objectives remain to honour and pay tribute to South Africa`s musical icons and other people who have made a major contribution to the arts, and to offer a platform for the development of local talent.

Date: 29 August 2015

Time: 11:00

Price: R250

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