Beat Bulletin March 2016

Dear SAMRO Member,

2016 is well underway and in this edition of the Beat Bulletin we will continue to unpack the ins and outs of the South African music landscape, including SAMRO’s business. The music industry is a complex business and our mission with these newsletters is to pass on critical music industry insights to you our readers.

The school calendar is now in full swing and some of you might be interested in taking music lessons in your spare time or may want your children to learn to play a musical instrument. In this edition of the Beat Bulletin we will look at the many avenues aspiring youth can look into for music education from, extramural music centres to music development initiatives.

It is with great sadness that we also bid farewell to SAMRO CEO Sipho Dlamini, who recently announced that he will be retiring as the head of SAMRO at the end of March 2016. We wish him all the success in his future endvours.

We also catch up with acclaimed sound engineer, Vaughan Phillips – a sound engineer who has worked on a number of big South African productions. In this article he talks about the importance of sound engineering to television, film and much more.

Wawela fever is back and entries are pouring in, read all about how you can put you music in motion to be one of the 2016 winners of the illustrious Wawela Music Awards!

Looking to further your studies in music? SAMRO Foundation recently announced that applications for the 2016 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition for Instrumentalists are now open. Don’t waste any more time, apply today!

A huge congratulations goes out to the self-proclaimed #3rd world boss AKA whose recent collaboration with Diamond Platinumz has racked 1 million views in 10 days! A true example of how SA artists can take advantage of the digital age to conquer the music game.

As always, don’t forget to check out the SAMRO SA gig guide for all the upcoming events in March and remember to keep supporting live music!


Yours in music,

Tiyani Maluleke

GM: Marketing


After nearly three years at the helm of Southern Africa’s leading copyright administration organisation, SAMRO CEO Sipho Dlamini is stepping down at the end of March to pursue other business interests.

The Chairperson of the SAMRO Board, the Reverend Abe Sibiya, has been appointed by the board to act as interim CEO, for the hand-over period effective from Monday, 22 February 2016. Deputy Board Chair Sibongile Khumalo will take the reins as Chairperson during the transitional period until a new chief executive is appointed.

Dlamini joined SAMRO at the beginning of 2012 as General Manager: Marketing and Business Development following an illustrious career in international live event production, artist management and the record industry. He was promoted to Deputy CEO at the beginning of 2013 and was appointed CEO in July that year. In that capacity, Dlamini was an active member of CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers), sitting on its Board of Directors as well as its Executive Governance Committee.

“Sipho has been a revelation and a great find for SAMRO,” commented Sibiya. “His hunger to win, his strategic focus and his keen interest in innovation, as well as the importance of building strong relationships, has been part of the mix in him leading SAMRO to various breakthroughs during his tenure.

“However, it was evident that such talent wasn’t going to dance on just one stage for a long time. Having said that, his inspired leadership will remain with SAMRO for posterity. I am confident South Africa will soon be hearing more from this man, especially in the world of business, for which he is ideally equipped.”

During his time at SAMRO, Dlamini presided over SAMRO’s difficult but successful conversion to a non-profit company without negatively impacting on either members or employees. At a time of economic difficulty and radical changes in the way people consume music, under his watch SAMRO increased its revenue collection from licensees (and therefore its music royalty distributions to members), improved its member benefits and brought down its cost-to-income ratio.

The collecting society also made some much-needed improvements to its information technology infrastructure, moving to a new portal system that enables SAMRO members to manage their accounts and notify their works online. At the same time, it has improved members’ access to SAMRO by establishing contact centres across the country.

“Having been closely involved in the record industry myself, one of the highlights of my time at SAMRO has been the resolution of the long-running Needletime rights impasse,” said Dlamini.

“Thanks to an agreement being reached, recording artists and session musicians who were members of our subsidiary POSA [the Performers’ Organisation of South Africa] were finally able to access millions of rands in unpaid royalties for the public performance of their recorded works.”

Dlamini said he is sad to be leaving SAMRO, but believes the organisation rests on a solid bedrock and is being left in capable hands. “I have full confidence that Rev Abe Sibiya will continue to fly the flag for our music creators to receive fair remuneration for their hard-forged intellectual property. Under his stewardship, I have no doubt that SAMRO will continue to thrive.”

Sibiya, an ordained priest, has been in the local entertainment industry for more than 25 years. He was instrumental in setting up two television channels – including ONE Gospel – and a commercial radio station, and is a decorated composer, publishing executive and media entrepreneur.

“I am humbled to have the opportunity to add value to an organisation that I have grown to love as a composer member, Chairperson of the Board and now acting CEO,” said Sibiya.

“The first order of business will be to begin the process of searching for a new chief executive to be appointed by the board, who will continue to lead the organisation. I will also study the internal workings, interrogate historic assumptions, go through the current strategy and check on the efficacy of implementation. I have always admired Sipho’s focus on building a high-performance organisation, and will be looking to continue that.”

Sibiya intends to focus on strategy and on maintaining local and international relationships, to “create a vibrant, transformed, dynamic and successful organisation that continues to innovate. Ultimately, money must flow to our hard-working members – composers and publishers.”


Music education in South Africa encompasses a broad range of disciplines, genres and cultural influences, reflecting an immense amount of diversity as a result of the country’s mix of people groups and languages.

Traditional African music exists alongside the music of immigrant cultures from around the world, much of which arrived as the result of South Africa’s colonisation by Europeans from Holland, France and Britain, as well as from people groups who were brought into South Africa from Asia by the colonisers as labourers, from countries such as India, China and Malaysia.

Before the arrival of Europeans on the continent, Southern Africa experienced an earlier wave of colonisation by the Bantu peoples, who migrated south from central and east Africa, and on arrival in Southern Africa encountered the earliest known inhabitants of the region, the hunter-gatherer Khoisan peoples.

As such, South Africa’s contemporary music scene is one which has been shaped by great diversity, which is reflected today in its eclectic mix of musical styles and influences, and in the co-existence of both Western and indigenous knowledge systems and methodologies in music education at all levels of public and private, as well as formal and informal, education and training.

Extramural Music Centres

Besides formal music education at schools, there are a number of music centres in South Africa’s major cities. Some of these centres are non-profit organisations and others are run privately.  Pricing varies depending on the private or public status of the centre. The centres generally employ roving music teachers. These centres include the Beau Soleil, Hugo Lambrechts and Frank Pietersen Music Centres in Cape Town and the Music Academy of Gauteng in Johannesburg.

Music Development Initiatives

Young South Africans who want to study music can also rely on a variety of development initiatives run by non-profit organisations that use music to train, empower and uplift those from poor communities. Some of the music development initiatives active in South Africa include: MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment), which trains young classical, jazz and indigenous music performers and arranges music events, workshops and international tours; Buskaid, which runs a music school in Diepkloof, Soweto; the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company, which runs orchestral music tuition and ensemble groups for schoolkids in Johannesburg and surrounding townships, as well as teacher training and mentorship programmes; the Hout Bay Music Project outside Cape Town and the Music van de Caab at the Solms-Delta wine farm in the Franschoek area of the Western Cape.

For all musicians of school-going age, the National Eisteddfod Academy (NEA), established in 1997, holds an annual national round of events in performance disciplines including music, speech and drama and dance, during which the top candidates in each discipline progress from local rounds to a national competition. In its music section, the Eisteddfod includes choral, indigenous, classical, crossover, stage and contemporary music. The NEA also has a social development initiative known as the Di Konokono Arts and Culture Festival, which offers participants from previously disadvantaged communities the opportunity to perform in a national festival of the performing arts.


Article courtesy of Doug Rodger.


You may ask – what is the importance of having a sound or audio engineer to work on a song or do a final mix for a television show that is about to be broadcasted?

An audio or sound engineer is a trained professional who works with the mechanics of recording, mixing, and reproducing sound. Audio engineers are not the same as sound producers, writers, or performers, as they deal specifically with the technical and the mechanical aspects of music and sound; nothing else.

Vaughan Phillips is one indivudual who has made his mark in South Africa as a sound engineer, having worked on a number of big projects including Mzansi Magic drama series, Isibaya. Recently, we caught up with Phillips to talk about his line of work, it’s importance in the making of the song and what it entails to be a sound engineer.

Q: Tell us about your journey in music to becoming a sound engineer?

A: As a young kid I was fascinated with tape decks, turntables, headphones, speakers, microphones and musical instruments. Basically I could be found near any piece of sound equipment that had buttons, sliders and lights, as well as tinkering on the piano. I was making mixtapes and recording “radio shows” as far back as I can remember.

I have many great memories visiting my dad’s workplace at the big sound studio where he mixed feature films and many legendary TV commercials on these huge analogue consoles and supersize reel-to-reel tape machines – a totally different world to today’s ‘in the box’ software setups.

We also used to smuggle diskettes in and out of the computer expos in the 90’s to download (now primitive) software and music files. I would spend hours almost every day sampling just about anything and making songs. These experiences most definitely paved the way and set a solid foundation for my career as it is today.

Q:  How did you get into sound engineering?

A: After several years of I.T. helpdesk work, I knew it was time for something new! After a brief stint as a laser engraving operator, I was fortunate enough to land a permanent position in the Music and FX department at a well-known post-production house in Johannesburg. At the time, Audio Matrix was operating there. My dad and I set up a basic mini studio in the recording booth and over time bought new hardware accessories and upgraded it to a fully-kitted audio suite.

In between bookings, I would spend my time learning Pro Tools and creating backing tracks for infomercials, as well as my own music compositions. In 2007 I completed a part-time certificate at ASE which was a great experience. In 2008 I officially joined Audio Matrix as a junior sound editor and mix engineer. I gradually started taking on more projects and assisting my dad with sound effects editing and dialogue clean-up. Over time I started taking over the final mix for our TV drama projects and soon established direct relationships with our clients.

Q:  Why do you think that music education is important in your field?

A: I think it is important to have some form of basic musical training or background to understand how a song is put together on the creative as well as technical levels. Music is integral to most TV shows, films and commercials as it enhances the narrative and evokes the appropriate emotional response from the audience. One should listen to music often and develop an appreciation for a wide variety of styles.

On occasion you will be required to select appropriate songs for a production. As a mix engineer it is definitely advantageous to have musical and ear training as it allows one to ‘deconstruct’ the soundtrack, identify critical frequencies and correct potential issues with a mix (or enhance it!). To have a musical background will most certainly complement one’s audio post-production skills, particularly in music mastering (which in itself is a specialised field.)

Q:  How did you create meaningful relationships and network in your line of work?

A: It took a fairly long time for me to gain the trust of our clients. In the early days of my career, I was ‘unofficially’ working behind the scenes. It took a few years for my name to start appearing on the credit roll. When I obtained my own studio space, I was able to host sessions and interact directly with clients, producers and voiceover artists. This elevated my confidence greatly. If one takes an active interest in the productions and consistently delivers quality work, it will strengthen the reputation and attract potential clients and contacts.

Always be courteous and professional. Be prepared to put in extra effort and time (within reason of course!) It is also important to attend industry-related events and year-end functions to engage on a social level and to network with like-minded people.

Q: You have worked on some of the biggest productions including Isibaya, how did such projects come your way?

A: Many of the productions we work on are new creations from our well-established clients. Projects are also referred to us via word-of-mouth and through colleagues within the industry. Always deliver the best quality possible and be professional with every interaction because it may lead to future work, sometimes years down the line.

Q:  What are the most important lessons learned in your field?

A: Learning how to plan and work towards often tight deadlines is important. One needs to have great interpersonal skills. Post positive content on social media platforms as you are representing yourself as well as your brand. All it takes is one careless tweet to undo a career, so choose your words carefully!

System crashes and computer nightmares are inevitable. Being able to get back up and running ASAP is critical, especially when your client is present and the show you are working on is broadcasting in a few hours. Always back up your work and have a fall-back plan! Invest in an inverter-UPS system for those annoying power outages. Maintain your system regularly and avoid installing dodgy software.

Q:  What advice would you give to aspiring sound engineers?

A: Spend as much time as possible learning and experimenting with the tools of the trade. Get hold of software demos and determine what is worth investing in. A formal qualification will serve you in good stead but ultimately it is your practical skills that will impress. Most abilities are self-taught through practical experience. Read the manual! Watch lots of mixing tutorials and get hold of related guides and reading material – Google is your friend!


AKA, has done it again, setting yet another milestone with his latest hit collaboration with Diamond Platnumz – Make Me Sing.

His latest music video with Diamond Platnumz, Make Me Sing, has reached the impressive 1 million views mark in 10 days, making AKA the first South African artist to reach this milestone in such a short space of time.

AKA and Diamond Platnumz’s Make Me Sing is tipped to be the next continental smash hit single from two rising African Stars. The single is already enjoying rotation on both TV and radio in West, East, Central and Southern Africa.

“We are extremely proud of AKA’s achievement in the continent and the U.K.  No one can ever doubt his talent, brand power and recognition. We are pleased to see his fans showing their love by viewing this exciting video. Diamond Platnumz and AKA combo are a force to be reckoned with for 2016,” expresses Benza, Vth Season Managing Director and co-founder.

AKA’s collaboration with The Rolls Royce Musician from East Africa, Diamond Platnumz, shows his versatility as a musician who is able to use his craft to deliver expertly to a sound outside of his comfort zone. The reviews of AKA on Make Me Sing have been extremely positive and highlight exactly why he keeps receiving award nominations in categories for Best African Artist and not just in categories highlighting his talent as a hip hop artist.

Social media has taken on a #MakeMeSingDanceChallenge where fans have uploaded their 15 seconds dance video to AKA and Diamond Platnumz hit single. Join the challenge by sharing your video and tagging the respective artists.


Due to popular, demand entries for the 2016 Wawela Music Awards have been extended to 31 May 2016. Don’t wait get your entries in today.

The fourth annual Wawela Music Awards (WMAs) ceremony will take place at a prestigious gala event in Johannesburg on Friday, 24 June 2016. These awards are inspired by South African music creators’ accomplishments in South Africa and on the international stage. They also pay homage to the legends of local music who have paved the way to this point through their extraordinary lifetime achievements.

So how does it work? The awards are open to SAMRO members only, and only those whose music was active from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014. Composers will be selected across a range of genres, styles and categories. The judging panel will also hand out a number of special awards.

The winners of the 2016 WMAs will be those musicians who have truly reached ‘the new beyond’ – whose music has broken through and made an impact. Entries will be judged on merit, based on the quality of composing and songwriting, by a panel of respected and experienced

Do you fit the bill? SAMRO members who would like to submit their entries for the 2016 WMAs should visit the new and improved Wawela website and submit the simple online entry form. Entry is free, and entrants are required to have certain content available (MP3 files of the song, 3 hi resolution photos and a profile) and must be available to attend the awards, if nominated.

Entries have been extended to 31 May 2016. So join us as we celebrate South Africa’s songwriting and composing talent that have reached the new beyond. To enter today please click here


SAMRO invites instrumentalists to compete in this year’s scholarships competition with a chance to win R200k to support overseas studies.

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) invites applications for the 2016 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition for Instrumentalists. Musically gifted Southern Africans are encouraged to take this opportunity to compete for a scholarship to further their postgraduate studies or attend master classes overseas.

The SAMRO Foundation is an independently registered non-profit company that manages the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programmes on behalf of SAMRO, including this competition which rotates between instrumentalists, composers, keyboard players and singers.

Over the past 54 years, the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition has produced a gallery of illustrious alumni including internationally acclaimed performers and composers such as Abel Moeng, Magda de Vries, Kesivan Naidoo, Tutu Puoane, Ben Schoeman, Kesivan Naidoo, Vuyo Sotashe and Bokani Dyer.

The previous scholarships for instrumentalists (2012) were won by trumpeter Darren English (Jazz) and violinist Avigail Bushakevitz (Western Art Music).

Darren English is presently based in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is enjoying a flourishing career. He has been travelling all over Europe and recently launched his debut album Imagine Nation on Atlanta’s top jazz record label, Hot Shoe® Records. Darren has also been the youngest signed artist with this record label.

Avigail Bushakevitz, a Julliard graduate, continued her post-graduate studies in Tel Aviv and Berlin. She won several other competitions and continues to build an impressive career as soloist and orchestral player. She currently lives in Germany and is a member of the 1st violins of the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin. This exceptional violinist’s most recent accolade is receiving the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music.

What are the prizes?

The competition has two main awards, one for Jazz and one for Western Art Music (classical). These two awards are currently valued at R200 000 each, and there are a number of subsidiary prizes also available for exceptional candidates. The combined prizes amount to just under R600 000.

Who can compete?

To participate in the 2016 competition, you must be

– a music student or professional instrumentalist (excluding keyboards),

– between the ages of 20 and 32 (born after 15 May 1983), and

– a citizen of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho or Swaziland.

How does the competition work?

To enter, aspiring candidates must download the regulations and the application form from the SAMRO Foundation website ( Applications should be emailed to on or before 16 May 2016.

The competition takes the format of three rounds which will culminate in a final round in the form of a public concert at the Linder Auditorium on Saturday, 20 August 2016. There, the two finalists for Jazz and for Western Art Music will perform a selection of prescribed and individually selected compositions accompanied by professional musicians.


Here’s a look at all the upcoming events for the month of April and remember to keep supporting live events!

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Date: 01 April 2016

Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre

Time: 18h45

Fee: R590 – R895


Nadine 20 Jaar

Date: 01 April 2016

Venue: Carnival City, Big Top Arena

Time: 20h00

Fee: R100 – R150


CTIJF – Rosies Show 2 – Cape Town

Date: 01 April 2016

Venue: C T I C C, Auditorium 1

Time: 21h15

Fee: R30


Glamorous All White Party

Date: 02 April 2016

Venue: Rustenburg Showgrounds

Time: 13h00

Fee: R80 – R200


Mika Singh Live

Date: 02 April 2016

Venue: I C C Durban Arena

Time: 19h30

Fee: R250 – R1500


One Night Stand with Bongz 

Date: 02 April 2016

Venue: Chippas Place, Paarl

Time: 18h00

Fee: R50 – R100


Rocco De Villiers Amazing Grace

Date: 06 April 2016

Venue: Pieter Toerien Main Theatre  – Johannesburg

Time: 20h00

Fee: R100 – R170


Jazz And African Music Nights

Date: 08 April 2016

Venue: SA State Theatre, Rendezvous – Pretoria

Time: 20h00

Fee: R100


A Very Special Evening With Josh Groban

Date: 08 April 2016

Venue: Ticketpro Dome

Time: 19h00

Fee: R565 – R1190


Chris De Burgh and Band Live

Date: 12 April 2016

Venue: I C C Durban Arena

Time: 20h00

Fee: R395 – R625


Pretty Yende in Concert 

Date: 14 April 2016

Venue: Linder Auditorium

Time: 20h00

Fee: R250 – R400


The Parlotones Orchestrated

Date: 15 April 2016

Venue: Artscape Opera House

Time: 20h00

Fee: R220 – R280


Albert Hammond – The Songbook

Date: 16 April 2016

Venue: Teatro At Montecasino

Time: 20h00

Fee: R400 – R700


Reality 7 Live Concert

Date: 16 April 2016

Venue: Civic Centre, Nelspruit

Time: 19h00

Fee: R130


The Mega Worship Concert

Date: 16 April 2016

Venue: Banquet Hall, Middelburg

Time: 19h00

Fee: R200 – R350


The Mega Worship Concert

Date: 16 April 2016

Venue: Banquet Hall, Middelburg

Time: 19h00

Fee: R200 – R350


Soulful Night with Maxhoba and Friends

Date: 22 April 2016

Venue: Carnival City, Big Top Arena

Time: 20h00

Fee: R150 – 550


The Roll Up Tour with Emtee

Date: 23 April 2016

Venue: So What Lounge, Mthatha

Time: 19h00

Fee: R100 – R300


Mafenya ya Xitsonga Picnic 2016

Date: 23 April 2016

Venue: Tswelopele Sport Centre – Johannesburg

Time: 14h00

Fee: R80 – R200


Mariah Carey – The Sweet Sweet Fantasy Suite

Date: 26 April 2016

Venue: Cape Town Stadium

Time: 20h02

Fee: R3750


Lira Live

Date: 26 April 2016

Venue: Emerald Resort & Casino – Vanderbijlpark

Time: 19h00

Fee: R200


2nd Annual Jazz In The Bush

Date: 30 April 2016

Venue: Burgersfort Laerskool – Burgersfort

Time: 18h00

Fee: R100 – R650


Abdullah Ibrahim Solo

Date: 30 April 2016

Venue: The Fugard Theatre – Cape Town

Time: 20h00

Fee: R120 – R250


Hammanskraal Comes Alive Fest

Date: 30 April 2016

Venue: Temba Stadium

Time: 15h00

Fee: R100 – R650


Etwatwa Uprising Picnic

Date: 30 April 2016

Venue: Etwatwa Recreation Centre

Time: 11h00

Fee: R60 – R150


Worship House Project 13

Date: 30 April 2016

Venue: Christ Worship House, Shayandima

Time: 19h30

Fee: R100 – R400

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