Beat Bulletin June 2017

Dear SAMRO Member

We are halfway through the year – how is your “glass” looking? Half full or half empty? Whichever way you look at it, there’s no turning back. We can only take a moment to reflect and re-evaluate the goals we have set ourselves. And if we have not done so already, re-look at our game-plan on how to achieve them in the second half of the year. Don’t let your season pass you by – get up, get ready and go chase your dreams! The world needs to hear your talent!

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation NPC (SAMRO) together with the Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO) jointly announces the appointment of Nothando Migogo as the incoming Chief Executive Officer of SAMRO, from 1 July 2017. The new CEO will certainly inject a dynamic and focused energy into the copyright administration society.

We spend five minutes with local hitmaker Donald and find out more about his songwriting skills and also chat about his new album. With close to eight years in the music industry under his belt, his latest release, Something More – a visual album – signals his staying power and creative genius, as well as how he nurtures his brand.

Have you ever fallen in love with a song even though you had very little idea what the singer was saying? We all have and so we search for the lyrics, and struggle to find them. Are there online apps catering to Mzansi song lyrics? We find out in our Where Have All The (online) Lyrics Gone? article.

Like a precious gem, copyright can be an extremely valuable and enduring asset to the owner. We discuss the value of copyright and the importance of protecting your intellectual property to leave a lasting legacy.

Also, we have some exciting news for Mzansi’s artists. South African music promoters and musicians can now access a handy online toolkit to help them with funding applications, marketing, concert production and other essential skills to help them get ahead in the industry. This is a proud initiative by Concerts SA.

Lastly, check out our July gig guide, which is packed with details of phenomenal live performances.

Till the next issue – keep making magic.


Tiyani Maluleke
GM: Marketing


The Southern African Music Rights Organisation NPC (SAMRO) together with the Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO) this week jointly announced the appointment of Nothando Migogo as incoming Chief Executive Officer of SAMRO, from 1 July 2017, saying she will inject a “dynamic and focused energy” into the copyright administration society.

“The Boards of SAMRO and CAPASSO are  pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Nothando Migogo as the Chief Executive Officer of SAMRO”, the two bodies said in a joint statement.

Nothando has been CEO of CAPASSO since January 2014 and has led that organisation, together with a dynamic team, to triple digit revenue growth and crucial licensing breakthroughs. Importantly, CAPASSO initiated two key strategies: first, the integration of rights holders (composers and publishers) in the field of mechanical rights administration following years of fragmented administration and secondly, the licensing of digital music platforms in South Africa.

The SAMRO Board said that Migogo would succeed the acting Group CEO, Reverend Abe Sibiya. Sibiya will return to the chairmanship of the organisation once she assumes office in July, and acting chair Sibongile Khumalo will resume her position as his deputy.

Migogo, who was appointed following a lengthy recruitment process, is no stranger to SAMRO. She previously served as the managing director of DALRO, a SAMRO subsidiary that administers literary, artistic and dramatic rights, serves on the board of SAMRO Foundation and more recently spearheaded the establishment of mechanical rights collecting society CAPASSO.

“It was at CAPASSO where Nothando’s skills, knowledge and her visionary, and strategic insights became abundantly clear,” Khumalo noted this week.

A lawyer by training, Migogo has previously worked in educational publishing and as a tax consultant, and during her DALRO stint was named by the Mail & Guardian as one of its Top 200 Young South Africans to watch.

Sibiya, who was appointed to chair the SAMRO Board seven years ago, assumed the mantle of acting Group CEO when Sipho Dlamini stepped down in March 2016. He reflected that he has had to dig deep into his experience as a media executive and fuse it with lessons from the “SAMRO University” to carry out the role.

Over the past year, he and the executive team have focused on improving efficiencies, while accelerating transformation and BEE within the organisation. Their achievements include improving the royalty tariff payable by the public broadcaster, thereby increasing performing rights revenue for SAMRO members.

“Ms Migogo is an astute and intelligent executive and a tried-and-tested professional who is credited with setting up CAPASSO from scratch. She has proved her mettle and will no doubt give a good account of herself as she steers this 55-year-old organisation with its 15 000 members. I know she will prove to be an asset to SAMRO,” commented Sibiya.

Added Khumalo: “Nothando is one of a growing cohort of astute young executives with a values-based attitude to leadership. We look forward to her moving SAMRO firmly along on its quest to remain an ethical and forward-looking modern organisation, and a vital player in our industry’s digital space.”


Donald Moatshe already has close to eight years in the mainstream music industry, but with his latest release, the visual album Something More, he is signalling his intention to dominate for the foreseeable future.

We sat down with the multi-award-winning performer for a brief chat on his songwriting prowess and his first visual album, which features a music video for every track and includes stars such as Tiwa Savage, Abdul Khoza and Masechaba Ndlovu. He’s also released his Red Mic Xperience (RMX) live DVD.

Question: Do you remember the first song you wrote or completed?
Answer: Yes. The first song I wrote and completed was titled ‘Tell Me What You Want’, and I wrote it back in high school for a group I used to be a part of called Image Voices.

Q: Which do you think is the best song you have ever written?
A: I think the best song I’ve ever written would have to be ‘Raindrops’ featuring Tiwa Savage off my new album, Something More.

Q: What’s the shortest time it has taken you to write a song – and did it make it onto any of your albums?
A: The fastest it has taken me to write a song would have to be an hour on the song called ‘Know You Better’ from my first album, Just Donald. It was also my first ever song to be played on radio.

Q: Is there a song out there that you wish you had written?
Yes, I would have loved to have written Nathi’s ‘Nomvula’, and ‘Her Heart’ by Anthony Hamilton.

Q: How has Donald Moatshe’s songwriting changed from your debut to your latest album?
My songwriting has changed in that I have a whole lot more to say, so there’s more lyrics in my songs than before. But the approach of my songwriting is still pretty much the same – easy and relatable.

Q: Finally, tell us how making a visual album impacted, if at all, on how you wrote the album. Did you have to think about how it would translate on video or did you have to mould the visuals to fit the lyrics?
Writing the new visual album Something More was slightly different in that I had to definitely envision the music video while I was still writing the songs, to make it easier to have songs that tie easily together at the end of the day.


Have you ever fallen in love with a song even though you had very little idea what the singer was saying? We all have and so we search for the lyrics and struggle to find them – or, when we do, the lyrics still somehow sound way off the mark. Truth is, it’s quite hard to find complete lyrical content for South African songs on music streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Deezar and Google Play Music.

On Apple Music, which charges South Africans R59.99 a month for access to a library of more than 30 million tracks, music lovers can read lyrics while listening to songs in the Apple Music app – or in iTunes (on devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phone, Mac, PC and even Apple TV).

But almost all the South African music on that platform is not accompanied by lyrics, while the lyrics that do appear are riddled with inaccuracies.

We tried to find answers, but Apple did not respond to queries and we were left even more bemused. It appears that Apple has left the updating of lyrics to fans and individual musicians. Calls to some local labels showed that not many of them even know how the process works.

Alternative singer-songwriter Nakhane Touré said his lyrics aren’t available on the Apple Music app, but was keen to see that changed.

“It’s very important to me for my listeners to have access to my lyrics – sometimes my diction is not the greatest! Words are a huge part of my songwriting,” he said.

As it stands, South African music fans are able to add custom lyrics to songs in iTunes on a Mac or PC. So, if you don’t find the lyrics to your favourite jam next time, make sure you fix it for the next listener!

There is a saying that a diamond is forever. Copyright in an original work may not last forever but, like a precious gem, it can be an extremely valuable and enduring asset to the owner.

This is because not only does the composer/author of a music work profit from its use while he or she is alive, but their family, estate or beneficiaries will keep on earning royalties from the music for 50 years after the music creator’s death.

Copyright is an exclusive set of rights granted to a music creator – someone who composes original music or writes original lyrics. These rights ensure that the songwriter receives fair compensation in the form of royalties when a work is used in any form. This includes performing the work in public, or broadcasting, adapting, reproducing, publishing, distributing, synchronising to video or electronically transmitting it.

In South Africa, the intellectual property that goes into creating a song is protected by the Copyright Act (No. 98 of 1978) and the Performers’ Protection Act (No. 11 of 1967). These laws ensure that whoever created the composition owns the copyright in it while they are alive, and for 50 years after their death. During that period, anyone who wants to reproduce the work in any form must seek permission from the composer or author, his/her heirs and any other rights holders – and must pay for using it.

After the 50-year period has expired, the work becomes part of the public domain and may be used without compensating the author or composer’s heirs.

You may cede part of the copyright in your works to other parties while you are alive – such as publishers and producers. Such rights should not, however, be given away lightly and it is in your best interests to do your homework before signing on any dotted lines.

So the fruits of your creative spirit are protected by copyright in theory – but how do you enforce it in practice? Unlike trademarks or patents, legally, a composer or writer does not need to register copyright in their creative works. But as long as the work exists in physical form – in other words, not only as an idea in your head – it is automatically copyrighted. So it must be written down or recorded in order to be eligible for copyright protection.

Remember though, that when you notify your works with a collective administration society such as SAMRO, you are protecting your copyright. So be sure to value your copyright – the gift that keeps on giving!


South African music promoters and musicians can now access a handy online toolkit to help them with funding applications, marketing, concert production and other essential skills to help them get ahead in the industry.

Concerts SA, as part of its exchange programme with Norway’s Kulturtanken, has partnered with the Norwegian Live Music Association to adapt its online toolkit for South African music professionals to use and draw benefit from.

This web-based resource is now available for free public access by South African music professionals here.

Primarily aimed at emerging and budding musicians, event organisers and promoters, the toolkit also offers useful tips for established artists and other players who may be unfamiliar with some aspects of the industry.

The seven chapters include user-friendly guides on:

  • How to apply for funding and grants from various industry bodies;
  • How to book and manage artists (including the role that agents, publicists and record labels play in the artist’s team);
  • How to work with finances and calculate budgets for events, operating expenses, crew wages and other overheads;
  • The importance of brand building and marketing, including using flyers, posters, press releases, advertising and platforms such as social media to market your event;
  • The technical aspects of concert production, such as selecting a venue, crowd management and safety, acoustics, lights, PA systems and so on;
  • How to ensure safety and security at concerts and events, including emergency procedures and risk assessments; and
  • How to approach potential sponsors to buy into you, your brand or your products, and how to compile a sponsorship strategy.

“We realised that many South African promoters and musicians, while having the necessary talent and the drive, are being disadvantaged in the music business by not having certain professional skills that could accelerate their progress,” said Nailla Dollie, Concerts SA Project Manager.

“We hope that this user-friendly toolkit, which has been slightly revised to reflect the South African music context, will equip practitioners with an arsenal of essential knowledge that will help to instil the confidence required to take their professional lives forward.”

The Concerts SA project, which is administered by the SAMRO Foundation, was started in 2013 to reinvigorate live music performance in South Africa. This is being achieved through direct, targeted interventions aimed at building capacity and stimulating a thriving live music circuit primarily through its Venue Circuit, School Circuit and Music Mobility Fund programmes.

Concerts SA also drives research initiatives as a public resource, for use in its own development, for engagement around art-related policy issues, and as a public lobbying and advocacy tool.

To learn more about Concerts SA, visit


July 1: Benjamin Dube Live DVD Recording, Carnival City, Brakpan – Gauteng
Tickets from R250 @ Computicket

July 8: 4th Annual Umswenko the Experience, Winter Rose Rugby Football Stadium, Mdantsane – Eastern Cape
Tickets from R100 @ Computicket

July 8: Jaziel Brothers: Out of the Box, The Venue @ Hemingways, East London – Eastern Cape
Tickets from R120 @ Computicket

July 18: Kahn & Karen Zoid, Sand du Plessis Theatre, Bloemfontein – Free State
Tickets from R180 @ Computicket

July 20: Chris Chameleon: Bokkie Bybie Liefie, Kopanong Auditorium, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein – Free State
Tickets from R125 @ Computicket

July 21: Dan Patlansky, Kopanong Auditorium, UFS, Bloemfontein – Free State
Tickets from R130 @Computicket

July 21: Judith Sephuma: My Worship Live, Mandela Theatre at Joburg Theatre, Johannesburg – Gauteng
Tickets from R200 @ Webtickets

July 29: An Evening with The Herbie Tsoaeli Quintet, Blue Theatre at Soweto Theatre, Soweto – Gauteng
Tickets from R150 @ Webtickets

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