Beat Bulletin October 2015

Dear SAMRO Member,

It’s another edition of the Beat Bulletin and spring is well under way. As the temperature rises and Spring sets in, it looks like we are in for a hot festive season.

In this edition we focus more on publishing and what music composers need to know should they wish to appoint a publisher for their music. We also take a closer look at what film makers need to consider when using certain songs in their films. If you are a film maker and always wanted to find out about the legal implications of using already released music, then this article is worth a read.

SAMRO members please take note of two key dates in November for the SAMRO Retirement Annuity Fund (SRAF) and SAMRO annual general meetings (AGM).

We also caught up with songstress, Tshedi Mholo who will be celebrating 20 years in the music business with a live performance at the Roodepoort Theatre, reflecting on her achievements and success thus far.

Also look out for our interview with the dynamic Cole van Dais – a talented singer-songwriter who has been singing from a tender age.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and Concerts SA, under the auspices of the SAMRO Foundation, will host ‘Know Your Music Rights and Responsibilities’ workshops this November. Musicians, promoters, venue owners and music professionals in the live music sector are invited to apply to participate in one of the upcoming six workshops.

Don’t forget to check out our gig guide for the month!

Yours in Music,

Tiyani Maluleke

General Manager: Marketing


SAMRO members please take note of two important dates that are coming up in November for the SAMRO Retirement Annuity Fund (SRAF) and SAMRO Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Notice of SRAF Annual General Meeting (AGM)

You are invited to the SAMRO Retirement Annuity Fund (SRAF) Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is set to take place on 20 November 2015. The meeting will be hosted at SAMRO’s head offices in at, 20 De Korte Street, Braamfontein at 10H30.

Notice of SAMRO Annual General Meeting (AGM)

You are invited to the SAMRO Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is set to take place on 27 November 2015. The meeting will be held at SAMRO’s head office – 20 De Korte Street, Braamfontein at 10H30. All members will be sent the relevant forms and documentation in due course.


With the steady rise of South Africa’s film industry, film makers need to be reminded and made aware of the legal implications that come with the use of music in a film.

Over the years, the South African film industry has seen a resurgence with some films gaining international acclaim, such as the Oscar winning film, Tsotsi.

Can you imagine a movie without music? Music in film is an important component that enhances the visuals, adding to the emotional dimension of the film. Many composers/producers have made a career for themselves, in writing music for film and television. One such composers is South African born international film score composer, Trevor Jones who has worked on some of the biggest international films such as Last of the Mohicans. Another noteworthy film score composer is Phillip Miller who was nominated for an Emmy ward in 2013 in the category Best Original Dramatic Score for a Mini-series or Movie for his soundtrack to the film, The Girl.

Today, more and more South African musicians are seeing the value of licensing their hit songs for movie soundtracks. Rock legend Karren Zoid, Kwaito star Zola, rapper Reason and Spoek Mathambo are just a few artists who have taken advantage of expanding their business by placing their music in films.

But what is it that filmmakers need to know about the intricacies of licensing their music for film productions? Firstly, there are four main types of music that are used in film, namely: the titles music, mood/dramatic underscore, the character theme and source music.

The title music is used to establish mood, including sense of expectation in the audience, place, period and style etc. while mood music powerfully establishes or supports the mood of a scene. The character theme is music that is connected to the characters in the film and source music is when the source of the music is visible on the screen (e.g. someone singing from a karaoke machine.)

In most cases, if the piece of music you are intending to use has been published, you will need to get in touch with the publisher to investigate who owns the rights to the music. You will find that the rights of a song you want to use for your film are held by the artist, artist’s record label, record producer, the songwriter, publisher, the owner of the master for any samples in the song, the publisher that owns the song that was sampled, and the list goes on.

It is extremely important to evaluate the song’s owners and popularity prior to including it in the film. Keep in mind that, the more artists, songwriters, publishers etc. involved, the more approvals and money will be required for the use of the song. Once you’ve determined who owns the publishing and the master, you must contact them separately and ask for permission to use the song.

If your budget for acquiring music that’s already been released is tight, you might have to consider hiring a composer or use up-and-coming talent not yet signed to a label to write music for your film. Another alternative route is to use library music. This option is more financially viable because these music libraries have vast catalogues of pre-cleared tracks that you can access at a more affordable rate.

So what do you need to get this music cleared? There are two types of licences that are potentially needed for each song that you include in your film. The first licence is called a synchronisation licence. A “synch” licence allows you to use the underlying music composition of the song. The songwriters, composers or their publishers, grant this licence. The second licence is the master use licence. This particular licence is granted by the artist’s record label and gives the film company the right to use the recording of the song. In the event that the artist is unsigned, this licence is granted by the artist.

This is “music licensing for films” in its simplest form. There are many more factors that may need to be considered and the licensing process can get much more complex. In any event, it is always best to consult an attorney or someone who has had experience with music licensing to assist you in getting the relevant permissions to the music.


Tshedi Mholo, is a singer – songwriter who has been in the music industry for over 20 years and has used the many lessons she’s learned during this time to forge a successful career.

As she reflects on the past two decades in her career, Mhlolo looks back at her experiences as part of the hit making group Malaika, where she learned about the ups and downs of being part of the ever evolving music game.  This is also the time when she discovered the importance of having a holistic view of the industry, rather than solely focussing on the creating and performing aspects of music.

“It’s been nothing short of amazing so far.  Some of the challenges that I have been faced with have equipped me with the industry knowledge I needed to have a sustainable career in music.” Mhlolo said.

As part of the highly successful afro-pop group Malaika, the songstress got the opportunity to share her musical prowess with the rest of the world. “As tricky as the industry still is, as a group we challenged ourselves to always work hard. I was able to solidify my unique voice, ideas and creativity, which have all shaped me into the person I am today.” She said.

After Malaika had run its course, Mholo decided to take a break from recording new material. She found herself in a new situation where she had to do things on her own. Thankfully the vast industry knowledge she had acquired over years in her group helped her make the difficult transition to becoming a solo artist.

“Honestly going solo is never easy. When I went solo, people were not happy seeing me doing it on my own but I kept singing. It was hard but I fought to be recognised as Tshedi Mholo. I had to do a lot introspection.”

After the release of her first solo album Victory, she went on a UK tour and travelled to Paris with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) where she learned about trade and the power of social media in the music industry. Even though she’s had a successful career in music, the songstress revealed that learning more about the industry is never an easy task because information is not readily available.

“It’s so important to empower yourself as an artist with the necessary information about the industry, because people can take advantage of you very easily if you don’t.”

“I’m thankful to SAMRO for always being accessible with regards to protecting the music rights of musicians, and their works. Being a SAMRO member safe guards and values my compositions and guarantees me a second income stream whenever my music is used.” Mhlolo said.

Being a female in a male dominated industry also brings its own challenges but Mholo is quick to mention that she was lucky enough to have Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Abigail Kubeka as her mentors to guide and support her through it all.

On Saturday, 21 November 2015, the songstress will host a show themed 20 Years of the Leopard Queen at Rooderpoort Theatre, Johannesburg to celebrate her achievements thus far.

“The concert is aimed at celebrating my life’s journey, telling my story my way through music. I’m taking it back to where it all began. I can’t wait for my family and fans to see the other side of me.”


When I started my journey into the music industry, music publishing and what a music publisher did – was somewhat of a dark, mystical art to me.

I think what confuses most people is the blurry difference between publishing a record (a CD, MP3 or perhaps a “stream”) and publishing music itself. Now, this blurry difference comes down to what one has the right to control: a record company controls the recording of a performance of a piece of music, while the music publisher controls the use of music and lyrics. A music publisher licenses the use of their music, collects the licence fees, defends their rights against unauthorised usages, pays out the songwriter their share, and promotes their catalogue as best they can.

The authorisation that a publisher gives to make the recording of their music is called a Mechanical Right in industry jargon and is often passed on to an organisation commonly referred to as a Mechanical Rights society. In South Africa, the society that administers Mechanical Rights is called the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO). SAMRO on the other hand administers Performing Rights (music is either performed in public or broadcast on mediums such as TV or radio)

One of the things that music publishers do really well is taking care of administration and ensuring that they, firstly, have the rights to the music by signing a deal with a songwriter. Often this includes taking ownership of the music but it’s not uncommon that a songwriter licenses, exclusively, their music to a publisher. This however may mean the publisher pays less attention to music they don’t own outright or the deal is limited to administration only. Next, all the details for the music publishers’ new songs are now checked and this information is relayed to the collective societies mentioned above.

The difference between start-up music publishing companies and established ones is the amount of business contacts and opportunities that each may receive for the music they represent. Unlike record companies that actively look at getting new recordings and performing artists on the web, on radio and on the stage, music publishers will look at getting musical works into new recordings, films, theatre and other uses. Music publishers are often not concerned with how well a performing artist is doing, beside the fact that the success of an artist may fuel the popularity for a piece of music – which will often lead to other artists recording and performing the song. So, it is often the case that music publishers will spend much of their time fielding enquiries about the use of more popular works than making a work popular. Make sense?

Many new singers who also happen to be songwriters sometimes don’t understand this difference in business model when looking for a “publishing deal” for their music. In many ways, a new artist will want to get their recordings popular before finding a suitable music publisher. Many music publishers simply look to ‘play the lotto’ with music, signing every song that comes their way in the hopes that one of these songs will strike it lucky. There is nothing wrong with that, except that new songwriters may be looking to be made famous by a music publisher and be disappointed in the process (side note: many recording artists are similarly disappointed in their record deals!).

Since SAMRO and CAPASSO take care of reproduction and Performing Rights, the publisher is left to license deals for uses outside these two organisations, namely what the industry refers to as “synchronisation deals”. These deals give authorisation, for a fee, to individuals but more often businesses that may wish to use the music, such as using a song in a film or documentary.

Now I mentioned that the publisher was good at admin and this would also include tracking the usage of the work and holding SAMRO or CAPASSO accountable for the correct amounts paid. They are also concerned with the unauthorised use of the music, or infringing of the owner’s copyright in the music, and would institute legal proceedings as a result. This policing is often challenging for smaller publishers and songwriters.

The best way to find a publisher is by reputation. Ask any expert in the field to list some good ones and also, if you see music you like in feature films and adverts, check the end credits for the publisher of those songs. Next, make sure your deal is fair.

Jonathan G Shaw is a music business consultant, lecturer at Wits University and author of the textbook “The South African Music Business”. His other personality is a successful recording studio owner, recording engineer and producer. Visit and



Cole van Dais is a talented singer – songwriter who has been singing from a tender age.

From her early days as part of the all-girl band, Simply Irresistible, the talented singer has been honing her skills in her quest to make her mark on the South African music scene.

We recently caught up with van Dais to talk about her musical journey, the ups and down of being an independent solo artist and how she keeps her head up even during rainy days.

Q: How has your musical journey been thus far?

A: To sum it up I can say I’ve had a fantastic journey. Not always as easy as it looks but really interesting, exciting, and a great learning experience. I think I’ve done what most South African artists can only dream of. With that being said, I have also had my fair share of hardships and that alone keeps me going because I don’t wish to experience that again.

I have gone from being a festival singer in SA, to performing in UK theatre, festivals and holiday resorts, entertaining tourists on the Mediterranean islands and Isle of Skye. I even got a role performing as Prince Harry’s girlfriend in his documentary, hosted my own live health talk show on SKY TV in London with over 1 million viewers and presented The Eurovision 2nd chance contest for the OGAE fan club.

Best of all I was the first SA artist to be officially booked as a guest artist performing for 8 nights running up to the finals with the winners from 39 countries at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014. This has given me much exposure internationally and I decided to make a Eurovision cover album for the new fans I made through this network, and I’m currently recording with local and international artists including Katrina (from Katrina and the Waves) who won The Eurovision song contest in 1997, and Joran Steinhauer who won Eurovision for Latvia in 2014.

Q: You have been in the music industry for a while, what keeps you going?

A: I love the music industry but to keep going, you need to have passion! Without it you should not even get on stage. If you feel you have a purpose in life then you will never stop working on reaching that goal. My goal is to give great entertainment and share quality music that influences, educates, and inspires people.

Q: You have been an independent artist for many years, is this a conscious decision or it is what was available at your disposal?

A:  I’ve had offers from major labels before but it just wasn’t the right fit for me so I made a conscious decision to become and independent artist. I don’t feel like I need a label to represent me because I believe in the knowledge, resources and skills I’ve acquired over the years to get me to where I want to be.

I also enjoy being independent artist because I have creative freedom over music, I can write what I like without the need for anyone’s approval. Even though being independent can be tough, I manage that by staying highly motivated and disciplined to get to where I want to be. Moreover, I love being in control of my work, owning my music and managing the projects I feel passionate about.

Q: In this competitive industry, how do you keep yourself relevant?

A: It is a very competitive industry but your biggest competitor is yourself. I don’t see other artists as a threat because my sound is different and I have my own personality. Those are the most important aspects to use to stand out. How you relate to your audience and connect with them is also key.

Q:  What are the most important lessons learned from the humble beginnings?

A: “Don’t think you are better than other people, but don’t think they are better than you either”. Those are the words that my grandfather shared with me and I still live by them today.

Most important lessons learned are: set goals, be disciplined and don’t waste time on tasks that are not productive. Outsource the services of professionals who can manage areas of your career that need attention.  It can be difficult finding the right people to work with, so keep networking and ask other’s for advice. Let people know what you need and what you can offer. You won’t survive in this business if you think everything will be done for you, but you can’t do everything yourself either. As an artist you need to learn business skills and definitely know how to communicate if you want to get anywhere.

Also be friendly and never ever take people for granted, especially your fans. They are the real stars who make you shine. Remember you are your best advertising.

Q: Are you a SAMRO member? If so, why did you decide to apply for membership?

A: In 2007, after my return from overseas, I got a contract to sing at Sun City for a few months. I had time to write songs and the first Afrikaans song I ever wrote, Daai tipe Meisie, became a number one hit on some local radio stations. I applied for SAMRO membership so I get my royalties for the use of my music.

Q: Lastly, what next?

A: After the duet album I’m currently working on I will go into an English original project and collaborate with various DJs and producers. I’m also working on expanding my company Cole Music and getting the right partnerships to strengthen my weak areas. I’m definitely looking for a good publicist and radio plugger with a positive ‘can do’ attitude to join my company Cole Music.

Anyone who wants to apply can visit for more information.


The organisers of Azgo festival, the annual contemporary celebration of arts and culture in Maputo, Mozambique, have announced that applications are now open for artists to perform at the sixth edition of the festival, due to take place from 20 – 21 May 2

Azgo is Mozambique’s premier international music and arts event. The festival has a strong focus on artists from Mozambique and from around the continent of Africa. In its first five years it has hosted artists from Cape Verde, Reunion, Angola, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. It has also hosted artists from as far afield as Spain, Portugal, France, Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, Japan, Australia and the USA.

The festival serves as a new platform for emerging and acclaimed artists to collaborate and meet a new audience. The name ‘Azgo’ is old Maputo slang meaning ‘Let´s go!’ – in other words, let’s revisit our cultures and heritage, our cultural diversity, let’s celebrate our lives.

Interested musicians are encouraged to apply via the Azgo website The deadline for applications is 30 November 2015. Due to the large number of submissions, only successful applicants will be contacted.


The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and Concerts SA, under the auspices of the SAMRO Foundation, will host ‘Know Your Music Rights and Responsibilities’ workshops this November.

Musicians, promoters, venue owners and music professionals in the live music sector are invited to apply to participate in one of the upcoming six workshops in the following areas:

Johannesburg – 25 November

Durban – 26 November

Cape Town – 27 November

Each half-day workshop will provide musicians and practitioners involved in the local live music industry with valuable knowledge and insight regarding music rights and responsibilities, including the role of the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO).

“The workshops follow successful marketing workshops presented in 2013 and 2014, and form part of a planned series of information, knowledge and skills sharing opportunities designed to strengthen the live music sector.  We are pleased once again to partner with ACT in presenting these workshops in the three main urban centres of South Africa.”

“The proactive engagement of musicians, promoters, venues and other music professionals in all matters affecting the sector, an understanding of SAMRO membership, licensing, intellectual property rights and royalties are essential in our quest to build a vibrant and viable performance circuit nationally and regionally,” says Nailla Dollie, Project Manager of Concerts SA.

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to engage directly with SAMRO representatives.

“Through its Building Blocks Programme, ACT champions innovative arts management skills that strengthen artists, creatives and local organisations working in all artistic disciplines,” says ACT’s Chief Executive Officer, Pieter Jacobs. “ACT is pleased to, once again, partner with the SAMRO Foundation’s Concerts SA programme to contribute to the development and capacity building of the music industry,” he adds.

Space is limited for each workshop; interested and eligible practitioners are encouraged to submit their applications by no later than Friday, 06 November 2015. To apply, please click here.

For more information contact Rahiem Whisgary on 011 712 8404 or send an email to


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

Prime Circle

Venue: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

Date: 01 November 2015

Fee: R80 – R120


Ringo Madlingozi in Secunda

Venue: Graceland Arena – Graceland Casino

Date: 01 November 2015

Fee: R150


Libertas Choir in Concert

Venue: N G Kerk Tafelberg

Date: 01 November 2015

Fee: R120


Hello Kimberley Festival

Venue: Mittah Seperepere C C – Garden Area

Date: 01 November 2015

Fee: R160 – R350


Jennifer Rush In Concert

Venue: Durban Botanic Gardens

Date: 01 November 2015

Fee: R350


Die Heuwels Fantasties in Cape Town

Venue: All Star Theatre, Cape Gate

Date: 05 November 2015

Fee: R130


Old Skool Party Durban Style

Venue: Vsp Club

Date: 06 November 2015

Fee: R100 – R180


Munghana Lonene FM Music Awards

Venue: Giyani Stadium

Date: 06 November 2015

Fee: R50 – R350


Loyiso Bala – Mossel Bay

Venue: Bravo Lounge – Garden Route Casino, Pinnacle Point

Date: 06 November 2015

Fee: R100


Doctatainment Presents Khuli Chana

Venue: Palm Tree Park

Date: 07 November 2015

Fee: R120


One Step Letaba Music Festival

Venue: Tzaneen Show Grounds

Date: 07 November 2015

Fee: R130 – R950


The Ultimate Experience

Venue: Perfecting Church International

Date: 07 November 2015

Fee: R150 – R380


BOM Gospel Festival

Venue: Buffalo City Stadium

Date: 07 November 2015

Fee: R150 – R700


Benjamin Dube and Dube Brother

Venue: His People Centre

Date: 14 November 2015

Fee: R200 – R350


Mzansi Music Ensemble

Venue: Playhouse Drama Theatre

Date: 14 November 2015

Fee: R150


Freshlyground in Cape Town

Venue: Hope @ Paulcluver

Date: 14 November 2015

Fee: R250


Cherry Jazz Festival 2015

Venue: Ficksburg Festival Grounds

Date: 14 November 2015

Fee: R270 – R1950


Tshedi Mhlolo 20 Years in Music

Venue: Roodepoort Theatre

Date: 21 November 2015

Fee: R100 (Call 082 494 8422) to get your ticket


Uniting Africa

Venue: Carousel, Nickelodeon Room

Date: 21 November 2015

Fee: R200 – R500


Johannesburg Big Band

Venue: The Lyric At Gold Reef City Casino

Date: 25 November 2015

Fee: R135 – R325


The Whitney Houston Show

Venue: Port Elizabeth Opera House

Date: 27 November 2015

Fee: R180 – R220


Lira: Evolution

Venue: Carnival City, Big Top Arena

Date: 27 November 2015

Fee: R105 – R595


Jack Parow in Nelspruit

Venue: The Arena, Emnotweni Casino

Date: 28 November 2015

Fee: R100 – R150


Prime Circle @ Hillcrest Quarry

Venue: Hillcrest Quarry – Hillcrest Wine Estate

Date: 29 November 2015

Fee: R190

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