Beat Bulletin November 2017

Dear SAMRO Member,

The festive season is finally upon us! A lot of us will be preparing to drive off to our holidays, while many musicians will be offloading their luggage from one tour bus and packing their instruments on to another – with myriad events, festivals and gigs to appear at this December.

No doubt many of you are gearing up to enter next year’s South African Music Awards (SAMAs) – we give you the lowdown on submissions opening and all the eligibility criteria for the 2018 awards ceremony. A friendly reminder: SAMRO is not the organiser of the SAMAs, so for any queries please liaise with your record label and the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA), the organisers of the awards.

In this issue, we also look at some of the country’s favourite musicians and how they have diversified their image and brand to forge sustainable, multi-faceted careers. In a similar vein, we also show you how to optimise your music to get it to make money for you.

We also celebrate the awarding of R1.2 million to the SAMRO Foundation by the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. In the coming two years, the grant to complement the work of the SAMRO Music Archive’s I AM project will focus on transcribing and documenting indigenous Southern African music to further the research, performance, conservation, preservation and promotion of the region’s rich musical heritage.

We hope you enjoy our final edition of the year, and wish you a safe and joyous festive season!

Until next year,

André le Roux
Executive GM: Brand and Marketing


Gone are the days of sticking to only one form of artistic expression. Nowadays, musicians have various platforms and options available to them to spread their wings and showcase their many skills in showbiz. The opportunities are endless but with so much competition in the entertainment industry, lucrative deals can sometimes get dirty, causing some serious rivalry in celebrity circles.

But, managed correctly, branching out may not only serve as a creative outlet for an artist’s multi-faceted talent but may also prove valuable for their brand and career advancement. This move can help them reach a wider and more varied audience, generating multiple revenue streams and, more importantly, remaining relevant and at the top of their game in the industry.

We’ve put together a list of some of the musos who’ve managed to make a successful transition pursuing other interests within the industry and, in some instances, in unlikely places… Who knew they could do that?

J- Something

Joao da Fonseca, better known as J’Something, was born in the Algarve in Portugal. His family immigrated to South Africa, where he later met Mo-T and Dr Duda, forming the hit-making house music trio Mi Casa. Their first two albums, Mi Casa Music and Mi Casa Su Casa, topped music charts and reached triple-platinum-selling status.

But amid the success of the group, J’Something had other ideas brewing. If you were to browse through his social media pages, you would realise that he loves to cook and eat good food.

In 2014, Something’s Cool (J’s creative agency) announced a cooking show titled Something’s Cooking on Mzansi Magic. This was followed two years later by What’s For Dinner? on SABC 3 – a partnership that extended into radio, print, cooking classes and a digital strategy.

Currently, he’s a judge on yet another cooking show, M-Net’s My Kitchen Rules SA, and launched his Something’s Cooking cookbook in November.

Between working on his music and shooting cooking shows, he also managed to partner with various brands as well as appear at Taste of Cape Town and the Good Food and Wine Show – and has recently opened his own restaurant, Something’s Cooking with J, at Time Square, Menlyn, in Pretoria. Besides that, J designed the South African Airways business class menu and is a regular feature in the media for his soulful recipes – cooking up great food alongside Mi Casa’s soulful vibes.

Unathi Msengana

Unathi Msengana is a singer, actress, and TV and radio personality best known for hosting a show on Metro FM’s drive-time show with Glen Lewis (a show she left in early 2017) and for being a judge on M-Net’s popular reality singing competition, Idols, since 2011. But she has also spread her wings as a media entrepreneur and was the first African woman to voice a Walt Disney Junior character – on the TV show Doc McStuffins.

Over the years, she has collected a string of accolades. In 2003, she walked away with two awards at the Metro FM Music Awards, for Song of the Year and Best Dressed Artist. With two South African Music Awards nominations, she has also shared the stage with musicians such as John Legend and Youssou N’Dour. In 2004 and 2005, she was named as one of the Top 10 people in Media by The Star newspaper and as the Most Promising Woman in Media at the MTN Media Awards.

She may have recently left Metro FM, leaving fans shocked and confused, but her followers can rest assured that all is not lost as this multi-talented powerhouse is exploring new horizons. In a recent interview with Gareth Cliff on CliffCentral, Msengana confirmed she is now an author, with a book on health and self-acceptance due for release soon.

Naak Musiq

Anga Makubalo is a diversely gifted entertainer. He is a popular actor, model and singer best known for his starring role as MJ Memela, the son of the vicious Mawande, in the SABC1 soap opera Generations.

Makubalo, also known by his stage name Naak Musiq, is also athletic. When he was younger he relocated with his mother from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg and, in 2003, was accepted at Edenvale High School on a sports bursary, participating in soccer, cricket, athletics and rugby.

He attended acting and presenting classes at Talent International and later became a part-time teacher at the same school, coaching and mentoring young people. In 2009 he studied contemporary music at Damelin in Bramley, being taught by the likes of Benjy Mudie and RJ Benjamin.

He made a guest appearance on the SABC1 show Mmino Mania in 2011, as a singer. From 2008 to 2009 he was a presenter on SABC2’s Hectic 9 Nine.

Having claimed victory for his team in the Tropica Island of Treasure reality TV show earlier this year, he has of late appeared in the crime drama Z’bondiwe: The Chase on and in SABC3’s Isidingo, and is currently in the popular telenova Igazi on Mzansi Magic. As if that weren’t enough, Makubalo recently announced plans for his own retail clothing line.


The South African Music Awards (SAMAs) is a premier music showcase hosted by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA). This annual event honours the country’s finest music talent over two days in key categories, as nominees battle for arguably the South African music industry’s highest honour – a SAMA statuette.

Nominees also take the stage by storm with a series of epic, never-to-be-repeated performances, as the nation watches its finest talent strut its stuff on stage.

The entries for the 2018 SAMAs officially opened on 1 November 2017 and close on 31 January 2018. To be eligible to enter, artists should have released an album commercially between 1 February 2017 and 31 January 2018.

The SAMAs seek to honour excellence in music by South African artists who have released new material across some over 25 categories encompassing various music genres.

Comments RISA chief executive Nhlanhla Sibisi: ‘We have seen a year-on-year increase [in entries] over the past two years and we await with great anticipation to see the calibre of entries for SAMA 24. The SAMAs have proved their resilience and mettle as the most coveted music honour South African artists aspire to receive. This is a call to everyone who is a qualifying artist to submit their entries for our consideration and not wait until the last day.”

The entries will be put through a stringent verification process, followed by a robust judging process by industry experts, as determined by record companies. They will then be whittled down to the top five nominees in every category. The winner of each will be announced at a star-studded ceremony later in 2018.

For more information on the rules and categories for SAMA 24, please visit


Multi-award winning songwriter and SAMA 22 Best Pop Album winner, Tresor, has written a soundtrack for the new Ford Everest car campaign.

With the new Ford Everest TVC campaign, Tresor has proven once again why he is an award winning songwriter. The soundtrack tells a story of an extraordinary journey and captures the viewer’s emotive senses through poignant lyrics and Tresor’s signature African beats.

“I am truly thrilled and honored to be given this glorious task of writing the soundtrack to the new epic Ford Everest campaign – A Journey Extraordinary. I had so much fun with the writing, composing and recording process of the music. I am really glad we managed to design the perfect sound matching this incredible and inspiring story.

The soundtrack to the Ford Everest car campaign is the third TVC soundtrack Tresor has written this year. He has provided soundtracks to the Hunters Dry and Mugg ‘n Bean TVCs this year.


Gone are the days of musicians making lots of money, only to lose it all within a short period due to financial naiveté. Today, armed with knowledge and a passion for expanding their reach beyond their obvious talent, musicians have several ways to sustain a thriving career or revive a fading one.

Any musician should know that talent is a gift that should be enhanced with skill and know-how in order to succeed in the music business. While not all musicians are trained in the business of music, it is important to acquire such knowledge, bearing in mind that the possibility of becoming a one-hit wonder and being forgotten is always there…

To forge a sustainable career in music, it is advisable that musicians develop business strategies to make sure that their music translates into a successful going concern. From the outset, musicians should think of themselves as potential brands to have longevity in the entertainment business.

One of the ways in which musicians can make their talent profitable is in music synchronisation – where music is used in films, TV shows, games or adverts.

There are a number of companies, including publishing companies that specialise in identifying music to use for synchronisation purposes.

Tips to help you go beyond talent: 

  • Don’t be a one-hit wonder – expand, explore, make mistakes, get up and try all over again, and never give up!\
  • Stay up to date with business trends and information. Knowledge will sustain your career. Know what’s going on in the world around you, and tailor your offering accordingly.
  • Position yourself as a brand, identify your target market, and brand or rebrand yourself to attract your target market.
  • Identify ways in which your brand can expand into other areas of business.
  • Draw up a business strategy outlining how you will reach your goals.
  • You don’t have to be Jay-Z, but you can identify your unique offering and market it well.
  • It’s what you can do beyond your talent that will set you apart.x


On 1 November 2017, United States Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jessye Lapenn and Executive GM: Brand and Marketing, André le Roux hosted a signing ceremony at Johannesburg’s iconic Orbit jazz club.

This was to commemorate the launch of the partnership under the auspices of the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), a powerful initiative that has a legacy of “restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.”

The SAMRO Foundation is proud to be supported with a grant of just over R1.2 million, as one of the projects handpicked to receive funds provided by American ambassadors in more than 100 countries.

In the coming two years the grant, to complement the work of the SAMRO Music Archive’s I AM project, will focus on transcribing and documenting indigenous Southern African music to further the research, performance, conservation, preservation and promotion of the region’s rich musical heritage. Transcription will preserve compositions at risk of being lost and/or forgotten, and ensure indigenous musical works are available to future musicians and scholars.

“This project is called the ‘I AM’ project, not only because I AM is the acronym for indigenous African music. But it makes a strong statement about our African identity and heritage in connection with our famous spirit of Ubuntu: I am … because of who we all are, or I am because of you,” said Le Roux.

“Ubuntu is so often quoted and the definitions vary so much that I had to consult my own personal living archive, my gogo, my wife’s grandmother, who said: ‘It’s about being human and our humanity. From birth we are moulded, by our parents, by our community to become human beings appreciated by our elders and society.’”

Addressing the music industry leaders present, Lapenn said: “To preserve indigenous music and song is to recognise the significance of how people throughout history have used their imaginations to interpret and express what it means to be human. Those compositions and songs – whether they are individual celebrations or laments, or parts of larger cultural rituals – represent the best of the human character. They should be protected and cherished. Projects like this with SAMRO ensure that our grandchildren will be able to play the music of our African ancestors as easily as we can play the symphonies and operas of our European ancestors.

“One day my son, who is now just a young boy, will be a man. He will inevitably recall his time in South Africa and, I like to believe, his curiosity will lead him back to this country’s history and culture. It’s inspiring to think that in discovering himself and his history, he may discover someone performing an old South African traditional song, one that would otherwise have been lost were it not for the vision and passion of SAMRO. I am so glad that we are able to play a supporting role in this.”

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