Beat Bulletin March 2013

Dear SAMRO Music Creators

It’s every musician’s dream to crack the international market, and we’re proud that many South Africans do just that – often against formidable odds. That’s why SAMRO is thrilled to introduce the inaugural Wawela Music Awards, to honour our homegrown composers and authors whose original musical works have made a mighty splash outside our borders.

Read on to find out how you can enter these prestigious awards. But hurry – the closing date for submissions is 2 April 2013.

In keeping with this month’s focus on all things international, we also detail how you can make sure you earn all the royalties due to you from your performances abroad. Plus, we unveil an exciting new Spain-South Africa music initiative, supported by the SAMRO Foundation, which is poised to create new opportunities for local musicians to have their music heard internationally.

In our membership focus, we profile two SAMRO members who are making their presence felt in dynamic ways – Gloria Bosman and RJ Benjamin – and we are reminded of the importance of safeguarding our own intellectual property by the cautionary tale told in the Oscar-winning Rodriguez documentary Searching for Sugar Man.

Would you like to be profiled in a future newsletter? Please contact us at – we look forward to your comments and ideas for possible inclusion in The Beat Bulletin.


Yours in music,

Tiyani Maluleke

General Manager Marketing: SAMRO


Vocalist, composer and teacher RJ Benjamin was among the high-profile speakers at the recent Music Exchange Conference, which took place from 21 to 23 March 2013 at the Cape Town City Hall.


Music Exchange is an independent music conference that brings together industry luminaries, with a strong focus on education and knowledge sharing.

A number of SAMRO members were included in the programme. Speakers included Benjy Mudie (A&R consultant for Universal Music and Idols mentor), Rashid Lombard (founder of the Cape Town Jazz Festival), internationally acclaimed musician Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Lance Stehr (CEO of music label Ghetto Ruff), renowned producer Gabi le Roux and Miles Keylock, editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone SA magazine.

Benjamin, who has been invited to be a vocal coach for the upcoming season of Idols and will be composing SABC2’s new signature tune, presented a discussion on his experience of the music industry thus far, working as a composer and singer. He continuously urged delegates to make use of social media platforms to reach new audiences.

This versatile musician is known for delving into a cross-section of genres such as soul, pop, hip-hop, funk and house. Furthermore, Benjamin’s skills extend beyond music to being a teacher: he has been instrumental in coaching singers such as Lira and Toya Delazy.

His most recent release was the album Inside, blending his love for soul and house while working with producers like Dr Duda, DJ Kent and DJ Fresh. He says: “I’ve taken 13 house tracks I’ve sung on over the past five years and reinterpreted them. So house has been transformed into funk, soul, rock, flamenco, samba, jazz and various other styles that may be a little hard to describe.”

Benjamin’s 2009 track Change the World received critical acclaim as well as Channel O and SA Music Awards nominations for Best dance video and Song of the year, respectively. The song also marked his introduction to the house music industry and solidified his position as a crossover artist with a wide appeal.

Prior to this release, his music had been mainly soul-based, with his 2004 debut album Who am I featuring collaborations with Tamara Dey, Ishmael, HHP and Pitch Black Afro.


•Visit and for more information.


South African music is entering an exciting era of opportunity and progress as new markets open up for homegrown sounds. This was one of the key messages emerging from the 2013 Music Exchange Conference, which saw industry moguls and musicians congregatin


For three days, from 21 to 23 March 2013, the City Hall was abuzz with the sound of music – with a full programme of workshops and panel discussions on making it, marketing it, getting it heard on various platforms and ensuring that it moves with the times.

This independent music conference, now in its third year, attracted hundreds of experts and delegates from across the music spectrum – from composers and publishers to record company executives and media – to share knowledge and ideas, network, perform live showcases and identify opportunities to boost South African music locally, regionally and abroad.

Among the high-profile music creators spotted at the conference were Vicky Sampson, Mynie Grové, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, RJ Benjamin, Chad Saaiman, Jimmy Nevis, Mark Haze, Dub Masta China and Arno Carstens, as well as industry heavyweights such as Universal Music A&R consultant Benjy Mudie, Cape Town Jazz festival founder Rashid Lombard and Rolling Stone SA editor-in-chief Miles Keylock.

The international speakers on the programme included acclaimed house music producer and remixer Charles Webster (UK), music promoter Doug Davenport (USA) and Africori CEO Yoel Kenan (France).

One of the conference’s undisputed highlights was the keynote address by Trevor Jones, moderated by Universal Records managing director Randall Abrahams. Now based in the UK, Jones was born in District Six and is considered one of the top five film score composers in the world, with several Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations as well two ASCAP Awards in the bag.

Jones has made an indelible mark on the global entertainment industry, scoring international blockbusters such as Notting Hill, The Last of the Mohicans, Mississippi Burning and The Mighty and working with the likes of U2, Sting, David Bowie, Sinead O’Connor, Britney Spears, Elvis Costello and Charlotte Church.

Jones became overcome with emotion after being given a standing ovation by delegates, who warmly welcomed him back home.

During his inspirational talk, he spoke about the importance of music education and his desire to give something back to South African music industry: “Key to South Africa’s success is hard work and building a positive perception of our country and us a nation,” he said.

Award-winning local singer, songwriter and guitarist Arno Carstens, who spoke at the conference about the song that made him famous, said it was an honour to be part of Music Exchange and it was encouraging and inspiring to see so many enthusiastic people attend and share their experiences and knowledge.

Joining Carstens on the stellar line-up of artists speaking about the song that made them famous, Vicky Sampson acknowledged songwriter Alan Lazar (formerly of Mango Groove, and now a successful composer based in Los Angeles), who wrote African Dream. “I am grateful that Alan gave me the song and did not pass me up for Mango Groove’s Claire Johnston,” Sampson quipped. She spent every minute of the conference absorbing and learning, as well as reconnecting with her mentor Benjy Mudie and her old friend RJ Benjamin.

Versatile singer, composer and teacher Benjamin, who has been invited to be a vocal coach for the upcoming season of Idols and will be composing SABC2’s new signature tune, continuously urged delegates to make use of social media platforms to reach new audiences. Benjamin stood out as one of the speakers to whom delegates were drawn and his presentations proved to be extremely popular.

After the weekend’s proceedings wrapped up, local music legend Hotstix tweeted: “What a conference; what great speakers and delegates – wow!”

Added a delighted Music Exchange founder and board member, Martin Myers: “We have been completely overwhelmed by the positive feedback we’ve received, and the animated conversations on social media platforms about the success of Music Exchange.

“Recording and performing artists, as well as composers and other industry players, have complimented the conference for being relevant, engaging and thought-provoking. There was a strong focus on the business side of music, which elevated this event above a mere talk shop: they left with useful, practical information that will undoubtedly be of immense value in their various professional ventures.”

Visit to find out more about next year’s Music Exchange conference, or follow @musicexchange on Twitter.

Issued by JT Communication Solutions on Behalf of Music Exchange – 


SAMRO would like to congratulate the makers of the exceptional documentary Searching for Sugar Man on winning an Oscar, a Bafta and more than 20 other industry accolades.


The film, an engrossing account of how two persistent South African music lovers tracked down the enigmatic folk singer Sixto Rodriguez and resuscitated his career in the late 1990s, has captured the imagination of audiences and film critics around the world, and in particular here at home.

Many fans of the cult singer, whose memorable songs such as I Wonder and Sugar Man formed the soundtrack for a generation of disaffected and disillusioned young South Africans during apartheid, had thought him dead – he had vanished without a trace after recording two albums in the early 1970s.

The multi award-winning documentary, written and directed by Malik Bendielloul, follows the remarkable quest to track down a humble folk poet turned construction worker from Detroit – a man whose talent has been compared to that of Bob Dylan, but who was totally unaware that he was massively famous in a far-off land.

But for SAMRO, arguably the most important lesson that the film imparts is the need for music creators to take the time and effort to ensure that their intellectual property is properly looked after, and for music users to ensure they are properly licensed to prevent a repeat of this state of affairs that has seen so many talented musicians not being paid their royalty dues.

Heightened awareness of the legal ins and outs of the music industry could help avoid situations such as that of Rodriguez, whose music was freely bootlegged and exploited for years without him earning a cent from it, oblivious to its popularity.


The Spanish institution Casa África and the SAMRO Foundation have announced the Johannesburg Vis-a-Vis initiative, a groundbreaking music contest and business meeting between Spanish music producers and South African musicians.


From 11 to 13 April 2013, Johannesburg will play host to this exciting new project to promote a greater presence of African music on Spanish stages.

Recognising the unique energy and dynamism of the City of Gold, Casa África, a public diplomacy institution linked to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has chosen Johannesburg to host the fourth edition of its Vis-à-Vis festival. Spanish producers will meet with African musicians in this exciting new collaboration between the SAMRO Foundation and the Spanish Embassy in South Africa.

The aim of Casa África is to take a formula that has already worked successfully in three previous editions in Senegal, Cape Verde and Ethiopia to South Africa. It is hoped that the Johannesburg Vis-a-Vis festival will help boost the presence of South African music in the Spanish music market, facilitating the direct contact of Spanish producers/programmers with African musicians and creators with a view to boosting sustainable development in the continent’s musical sector.

The way in which the Vis-a-Vis initiative works is that it issues an open public invitation to musicians and artists of the chosen country (in this case South Africa), from any musical genre, to submit samples of their work.

Spanish cultural producers will then identify their top 12 favourite songs to listen to live in Johannesburg, of which two will be selected to embark on a concert tour around Spain.

•South African musicians can send in their submissions via before 4 April 2013. Visit and for more details.


Great news for contemporary jazz fans is that singer-songwriter Gloria Bosman is recording an album of duets with composer and pianist Nduduzo Makhathini – a collaboration featuring Makhathini as a solo pianist, backing a host of original tracks


Over the past two decades, the decorated and acclaimed Bosman has graced a number of local and international theatres, stages and performance spaces with her simple yet affecting African melodies.

Having started out as a gospel singer, the Soweto-born and -raised Bosman embarked on a career as one of South Africa’s most prolific musical performers after receiving a scholarship in 1993 to study opera at the then-Pretoria Technikon.

She has since entertained audiences around the world and shared the spotlight with the likes of Hugh Masekela, Moses Molelekwa, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Vusi Mahlasela, James Phillips, Victor Masondo and Sibongile Khumalo – proudly taking her place among these pioneering forces in African music culture.

With six solo albums under her belt, Bosman has collected a number of SA Music Awards nominations and awards for her skill as a vocalist and composer, including taking the award for best female composer (Nature Dances, 2004) and best newcomer (Tranquility, 1999). The Many Faces of Gloria Bosman, Stop and Think and Emzini have also earned the singer-songwriter countless nominations.

Her theatrical musical performances in SA Love, Jubilation, Woman in Spirit, Hugh Masekela’s Songs of Migration and John Kani’s The Lion and the Lamb have showcased Bosman’s talent as a dynamic vocalist and stage artiste. She has also collaborated with the Cape Town Opera on projects such as Love & Green Onions, African Songbook, The Mandela Trilogy and Lost in the Stars.

Her regular performances at various music festivals around the country have helped Bosman break into the Afrikaans market and led to her taking part in a project called Al Daai Jazz, a jazzy interpretation of Afrikaans songs.

Bosman’s exceptional talent has seen her touring to various locations abroad, including South America, Australia, Amsterdam, France, London, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Angola and Finland.

As a long standing SAMRO member, Bosman says that she supports the Wawela Music Awards as a step in the right direction in terms of celebrating national pride and supporting SA musicians and composers who break into international markets.

“It’s about time we recognise the work of our champions flying our national flag in global markets,” said Bosman. “There’s no magic! Hard work & channeling energies correctly pays! Keep planting those seeds, some will blossom”


•Visit to find out more.


Were you aware that remembering to notify SAMRO of your international performances is as important as remembering your passport? That’s right – SAMRO will help you get paid for making waves overseas.


When you’re planning to take your music on the road and perform on the international stage, there’s a lot to think about. But while you are getting caught up in all the excitement of travel, it’s just as important to notify SAMRO of your international performances.

That’s because all music creators who perform abroad are entitled to Performing Rights royalties from all of their public performances. These royalties are in addition to any fee you may be paid by the venue directly, which means valuable extra income for SAMRO composers and authors.

When notified, SAMRO’s International Affairs Department facilitates the collection of these royalties through collecting societies affiliated to SAMRO in each country in which you perform. SAMRO has reciprocal agreements with over 200 music rights societies worldwide. Through this network, royalties are collected on behalf of musicians wherever they perform on the globe.

SAMRO will contact the relevant society, check that appropriate licence fees are paid by the venue and ensure they are passed on to you during the next foreign distribution cycle.  Please note that the latest distribution cycle is available on the SAMRO website in the music creators section.

So, it’s critical that members, managers, publishers and booking agents take the time to notify SAMRO’s International Affairs Department of these performances. Please provide the dates and venues of all the performances planned, along with the contact details of the organisers. You should also submit a detailed set list for each performance.

•Email the team at or phone 011 712 8299.


The wide-ranging list of categories for the inaugural Wawela Music Awards means that more Southern African music creators can gain local recognition for their international success, regardless of the nature and mainstream appeal of their music.


The Wawela Music Awards, proudly brought to you by SAMRO, take place on 28 June 2013, celebrating South African music that has enjoyed success and recognition abroad.

SAMRO members are invited to submit their entries in a number of categories – and there are a few interesting surprises in the list. If you thought this would be another awards ceremony featuring the “usual suspects”, think again. The Wawela Music Awards categories reflect the uniqueness of the event, with many of the awards looking beyond pure commercial achievement as a barometer of success.

The range of categories levels the competitive playing field, enabling new and rising composers and authors to compete with established musicians.

In certain categories, judges will evaluate each musical work in the context of the medium in which it is featured. For example, in the category for Best soundtrack in a feature or theatrical documentary, judges will assess how well the music enhances the visual content and the emotional impact. And the Best song or composition in a television commercial category will be judged on the music’s ability to enhance the visuals and complement the tone and feel of the advertisement.

The categories have been divided into three broad groups, namely Standard Awards, Special Awards and Statistical Awards.

Standard Awards are those categories in which SAMRO members may submit their works for consideration. Special Awards are determined solely by nominations from the judging panel. The Statistical Awards are judged using SAMRO’s statistical data regarding each work’s usage and performance. No submissions are required from members in the latter two categories.

Here are the Wawela Music Awards categories for which SAMRO members may be eligible:

Standard Awards 

Best soundtrack in a feature film or theatric documentary

Best song or composition in a television production

Best song or composition in a television commercial

Best song or composition in a radio commercial

Best creative album of the year

International hit song of the year (outside SA)

Songwriter of the year

Best South African duo/group

Best female artist and composer/co-composer

Best male artist and composer/co-composer


Special Awards 

Lifetime achievement award

Breaking through the borders/Frontier award

Publisher of the year

Prolific catalogue of works award


Statistical Awards

SAMRO award for broadcast and live performances

Wawela award for best-selling song via digital and online platforms

You can find out everything you need to know on the website Members can enter the relevant categories online and upload their music, using their SAMRO account number. Entries close on 2 April 2013. Don’t wait in the wings – go beyond!

Wawela Music Awards in brief:

Awards ceremony:28 June 2013

Entries close:2 April 2013

Telephone:        011 712 8505



Twitter:        @Wawelamusic


SAMRO is proud to introduce the annual Wawela Music Awards, honouring South African musicians who have chalked up success in international markets.


The word “wawela” means “go beyond” in isiZulu, and in this spirit the first ever Wawela Music Awards will celebrate South African music that goes beyond our borders and puts our tunes on the international agenda.

SAMRO has initiated this event to fill a gap in the South African music awards landscape, whereby musicians who have made an impact on international stages have not historically been afforded due recognition on home ground. Furthermore, it is the first awards ceremony to recognise the accomplishments of the composers and authors of music, who are often left in the background when it comes to accolades.

The Wawela Music Awards will also pay homage to the legends of South African music that have paved the way to this point through their extraordinary lifetime achievements.

So how does it work? The awards are open to SAMRO members (composers, authors and publishers) whose works made an impact outside the borders of South Africa between 1 January and 31 December 2011.

Certain categories will be judged on statistical performance in terms of sales and radio play in international markets. Other awards will be judged on merit by a panel of respected industry professionals. The winners will be those creative composers and authors who have taken South African music to grand new places, but whose roots are cultivated in South African soil.

The initiative has been warmly received by players in the local music industry. Antos Stella, managing director of Content Connect Africa, said: “I believe it is high time South African and African musicians are recognised for their international achievements as well.


“Many of our musicians, both past and present, work tirelessly to shatter boundaries and present our music and culture to the rest of the world. Having had the privilege in my heyday of working around the world with legendary artists like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lucky Dube and Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, I believe it is high time these and our younger generation of musicians are recognised for their efforts,” Stella added.


Have your original musical works flown the SA flag high abroad? SAMRO members who believe they qualify for the Wawela Music Awards should visit and enter. Entry is free, but all nominees must be available to attend the awards, should they make the judging shortlist. Attendance is by invitation only.

The Wawela Music Awards – internationally embraced, locally awarded!

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