Licensed to Play December 2014

Dear Music Users

We are fast approaching the end of the year. This being our last issue for 2014 we at SAMRO would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best during the festive season. It has been a very eventful year for all in the industry and we look ahead to 2015 with great anticipation.

As always, we bring you the latest news with regards to licensing as well as some industry highlights. Ensuring that all those who contribute to music get their fair share of the revenue is a key part of what SAMRO does. To help you get an understanding of the various role players in the music copyright administration sphere in this issue we give you a snapshot of who they are and what they do.

We bring you an exclusive one on one interview with actor and musician “Kingmouze” Phambana, who discusses how he stays on top of his game with his diverse talents.

For many the issue of DJ licensing is murky and we discuss some of the major misconceptions to help clear things up.

Music festivals are a breeding ground for discovering and showcasing both fresh and older talent. Our music festivals article looks at the many benefits of this invaluable platform to the industry and highlights some of the biggest ones – from Splashy Fen to Oppikoppi.

Finally we keep you updated with upcoming events in our diary section. We trust that you will find this issue of Licensed to Play one well worth reading.

Please remember to send information on upcoming events at your venue and we will publish it. Be sure to submit information before the 7th of each month for the month ahead.

We welcome your feedback, thoughts and comments. You can send them via Twitter @SAMROMusic, Facebook.  If you would like your upcoming events to be featured in our gig guide or our website please email:


Yours in music

Tiyani Maluleke

GM Marketing: SAMRO


Collecting societies play a crucial role in promoting and developing the collection and distribution of music royalties. They also protect the intellectual property of music creators

Collecting societies play a crucial role in promoting and developing the collection and distribution of music royalties. They also protect the intellectual property of music creators.

In South Africa, the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), National Organisation of Reproduction Rights (NORM), the Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO), the South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA) and the Performers Organisation of South Africa Trust (POSA) are copyright collecting societies whose focus is to ensure that composers, publishers and performers are compensated adequately for their creative works.

SAMRO was established in 1961 to administer the copyright of composers, lyricists and publishers. SAMRO administers performing rights by collecting licence fees from music users such as broadcasters, restaurants, clubs, hotels and distributing to composers, lyricists and publishers as royalty income.

NORM represents publishers in Mechanical Rights administration. NORM recently restructured its activities, partnering with SAMRO to set up CAPASSO, which now administers Mechanical Rights.

In July 2014, CAPASSO took over licensing the reproduction of musical works. CAPASSO is authorised, by way of mandate from its members, to issue such Mechanical Rights licences, collect the licence fees and distribute them as royalties to its members. As SAMRO no longer administers Mechanical Rights, members are urged to join CAPASSO.

SAMPRA was established to serve the needs of copyright owners of music sound recordings, with a mandate to collect and distribute royalties to the members of the recording industry of South Africa (RiSA) wherever their recordings are broadcast, diffused or communicated to the public. SAMPRA administers Needletime Rights.

POSA is a trust that was established to administer Needletime Rights on behalf of recording artists/musicians who have assigned their Needletime Rights to SAMRO. Needletime Rights make sure performers and recording artists get paid when their music is played in public. These are the people who were in the studio playing the instruments, or singing the lyrics when the recording was made. As long as they contributed to a recorded performance that was captured on CD, tape, MP3 or any other recording device, recording artists have Needletime Rights over that recording

“The importance of registering works with the relevant collecting organisation cannot be overstated. These organisations play a crucial role in further ensuring value for the works of musicians,” says Tiyani Maluleke, SAMRO’s Marketing General Manager.

She adds that SAMRO encourages all musicians, the recording industry and performing artists to have a full understanding of the collecting bodies. “These bodies actually exist for musicians’ benefit, however a number of musicians have missed out on collections and royalties because of a lack of knowledge of the importance of registering with the relevant collecting societies,” notes Maluleke

POSA and SAMPRA have recently partnered to ensure the effective administration and distribution of Needletime Rights royalties. This partnership will improve the administration of Needletime Rights and ensure that artists and recording companies reap the full benefits of their works.


In the last few years, SAMRO has been on a drive to encourage DJ licensing among South Africa’s DJs. However, progress in the uptake on DJ licences has been slow.

Some South African DJs are still not licensed due to misconceptions in the industry, here are some quick Q & As to refer to in order to understand more about DJ licensing:

Q: Is it true that SAMRO is trying to make more money by charging DJs licence fees?

A: This is incorrect. DJ licensing collections form part of the royalty payments made to composers, lyricists and publishers for the use of their copyrighted music.

Q: How much does a DJ licence cost? 

A: A DJ licence costs about R 935.00 including VAT for the first year, which if calculated per month would amount to under R80.00 per month.

Q: There is the perception that venue owners must submit playlists to SAMRO on behalf of DJs. Is this true? 

A: No, this is not so. , Every DJ must keep a playlist to be submitted to SAMRO for SAMRO to calculate a payment fee per use in line with the playlist. After the annual payment, DJs only pay per use of the music on their play list to calculate the fee for each year after the first year.

Q: As members of SAMRO, should DJs still pay for a DJ licence?

A:  Yes this is true. The SAMRO membership enables DJs to get paid royalties for their own music; a DJ licence enables DJs to pay for the use of other people’s music (in order for those musicians and composers to get compensated for the DJ’s use of their copyrighted music).

Q. If someone gives a DJ permission to play their music, does the DJ still have to pay for a licence? 

A: Yes this is true, unless the DJ produces written approvals from all the lyricists, composers, record companies and publishers whose music they use as proof of permission. However, no musician or composer would want their work used without compensation or remuneration, as their music is their livelihood.

Q. Is it illegal for DJs to copy music? 

A: By law, any person making use of music for public performances needs a licence. Any DJ sampling, making copies or mixing another person’s music without a DJ licence does so illegally, and this is a criminal act. By law, it is prohibited to make copies of any one’s music without a licence, and is a criminal offence.


Apply for your DJ licence today

You can visit the SAMRO website under the music section, where you will find the relevant application forms. You can send an email to SAMRO and a SAMRO agent will contact you and help you get licensed. You can also visit SAMRO branches directly or call SAMRO and someone will assist you in getting licensed.

Call 011 712 8362/63/73 or email: or 


We caught up with upcoming musician, actor and SAMRO member Jabulani “Kingmouze” Phambana to talk about diversifying in music and making the most of your talents.

Q: How did you get into the music industry?

A: Since the age of eight I wanted to sing, I wanted to be a musician. Growing up my friends and I would sit and record ourselves on cassettes. We started off just playing around, but I fell in love with the art of music and creating sounds with meaning. I surrounded myself with other music lovers. I learnt a lot about music and put my focus on kwaito as I enjoyed it, and was certain that was the direction that I wanted to take. However, life led me more and more towards acting. I never stopped working towards getting my music out there and acting has helped establish my music as I have been involved in a lot of roles that require me to sing or rap.

Q: What’s your take on music and education? 

A: I think some form of education is important, but I also think that talent and a lot of hard work play a big role in one’s success in the music business. Personally, I would love to further my studies and do sound engineering and business management so that I can create my own beats and manage my own record label. Education in music enables musicians to explore beyond talent and make money through other avenues.  It broadens one’s thinking.

Q: What are some of the challenges you have experienced? 

A: This is a very tough industry, I have learnt that if you focus on what you are good at and do your own thing, then you grow to do amazing things. Experience has taught me to be unique, and that’s the key to success in this industry, especially given that we are competing mostly against talent and experience.

Q: What inspires you to push yourself to the next level?

A: My parents have played a big role in what I do. My father always told me that I should never limit myself and that I can be whatever I want to be. I live by that, I can be whatever I want to be, and there are no limits to how much I can succeed and how far I can go.

Q: How did you get into acting? 

A: I am always on the look-out for opportunities to grow and diversify in areas where I can use my music background to further my career. I have managed to get roles on TV programmes, and recently a movie role. I am going to be in Reflections, a movie on Mzansi Magic, which is coming out in November. My music background has played a big part in getting me roles, for example the director of Reflections specifically wanted the main character to be someone who could rap and that already gave me an advantage over everyone else

Q: What is your view on diversifying careers within the entertainment industry? 

A: Often people think that it is selfish for people to be actors and musicians at the same time. The truth is that there are a lot of opportunities in the industry to accommodate everyone. People just need to work extra hard, push themselves to the next level, and that way we can all make money.

Q: What advice would you give musicians starting up in the industry? 

A: Do not wait for an opportunity, make opportunities happen for yourself. Being a musician is not easy. If you are going to sit and wait and think things will just fall into place, you are wrong. You have got to work hard. If things don’t seem to be working out the way you thought they would work out, explore other routes that will get you to where you want to go.

Q: What has been your experience as a SAMRO member? 

A: I am a proud SAMRO member, SAMRO helped me get commissioned for my music works while I focus on other areas in my career. I know I can rely on SAMRO to remunerate me for my performances and music contributions. It is a fulfilling thing to get paid for my talent, and to have a reliable organisation to do it on my behalf.


Music festivals date as far back as the 1700’s and have played an integral role in giving musicians the opportunity to perform to a wide and diverse group of audiences.

It also presents musicians with a platform to launch their latest music to a large fan base, connect ‘live’ with fans and market themselves not only to fans, but as well as to some of the industry influencers.

Misha Loots of Hilltop Live believes that festivals are ideal platforms for musicians to grow their careers.  Hilltop Live are the organisers of various festivals including, OppiKoppi, Drumbeat, One Night in Cape Town, Post aKOPPIlyptic Punk Picnic, Hart van Windhoek, Campus Invasion, Ramfest, Jozi Fest, Old Mutual Music in the Gardens, Dullstroom Winter Festival, Kirkwood, Mbombela Music Festival and Karoo-Lus.

According to Loots, “annual music festivals attract a lot of media attention. An artist who plays a great set can get a lot of mileage out of it. Music festivals provide a platform for emerging artists as well as established artists to showcase their talent.  We have a very strong focus on emerging artists and see them as an integral part of what we do at music festivals.”

Jade Adami of Seed Experiences, the people behind Rocking the Daisies, points out that music festivals hold great value for the industry. Adami says, “live experiences, like festivals, are becoming increasingly popular and more relevant in this digital age.”

“Music festivals grow the industry and help artists to get out there and be discovered both locally and internationally. They also help musicians boost their income as they make money out of festivals,” she said.

She adds that an official partnership with the non-profit organisation Bridges for Music, is in the pipeline and will contribute even further to discovering and developing South African talent.

“We have seven different stages, including the main stage so that we can cater for a variety of musical tastes and musical talents,” she says. “In this year’s festival we will have about 170 artists performing and four are from Bridges for Music.”

Here are some facts about the three biggest / oldest music festivals in South Africa:

Splashy Fen – started in 1990, it is probably the longest-running SA music festival.

Where: Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal

When: during April every year

What type of music: Across the board – from folk, blues, rock to electro dance and other contemporary styles. Splashy has helped kick-start many successful music careers

What’s it like: Often called the ‘ultimate outdoor experience’. It is a well-organised platform for both emerging and established artists.

For more information about the event or performance opportunities: Apply online


Rocking the Daisies – started in 2005 and as an eco-friendly music festival, it has won a few environmental awards.

Where: Darling (77kms from Cape Town)

When: In October every year

What type of music: Across the board. This year’s line-up includes Crystal Fighters, Dan Patlansky, Francois van Coke, Arno Carstens, Bongeziwe Mabandla, among many others.

What’s it like: You can camp outdoors or alternatively make use of hotel and motel accommodation. It is a well-organised platform for both emerging and established artists.

For more info:

Performance opportunities: Contact organisers directly.


OppiKoppi Festival – started in 1994, and being 20 years old, it is one of the more established and biggest festivals in the country. In 2008, the Daily Mirror in London ranked Oppikoppi as the 4th biggest music festival in the world.

Where: Near Northam, Limpopo

When: During August every year

What type of music: Oppikopi started off by playing only rock music but has now added other genres such as jazz, house music, acoustic, etc.

What’s it like: Well attended. You can camp outdoors or make use of alternative hotel/motel accommodation. A well-organised environment for both emerging and established artists.

For more info:

Performance opportunities: Contact organisers directly.


As we close off another wonderful year in music, SAMRO would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you our licensees a joy- filled festive season and a prosperous New Year.

As we close off another wonderful year in music, SAMRO would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you our licensees a joy- filled festive season and a prosperous New Year.

We thank you for your unwavering support throughout 2014, and we look forward to seeing you achieve more in the coming year.

Please note that this year, SAMRO will be closing at 13h00 on 24 December 2014.  Our offices will re-open again on Monday 5 January 2015.



Here is an awesome list of events lined up for the coming month.

Mzansi Fela Festival 2014 

Date: December 10 – 19 December 2014

Venue: South African State Theatre, Tshwane

Ticket Prices: R50

This exciting festival is a chance for young and upcoming musicians to showcase their talent. It is also a platform for established artist to revel in the spirit of Tshwane.

The festival features South African music, dance, theatre, poetry and comedy performed only by local artists. The festival will include acts by Libuya Liyadla, Sophiatown, Brothers in Blood and many more. For more details on performances and ticket sales contact 021 392 4000.

Jill Scott Live in South Africa 

Date: December 13, 2014

Talented songwriter and performer Jill Scott returns to South Africa this December for a one night only performance at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg.

Jill will be supported by one of the country’s best – Lira – in what promises to be an unforgettable event for both long-time fans and newbies.

Tickets available from

Johnny Clegg Live at the  Zevenwacht Wine Estate 

Date: December 21, 014

According to organisers Real Concerts this is a family event with Johnny performing a selection of his greatest hits. Picnic on the lawns. Zevenwacht wine estate have picnic hampers on sale, and will also have a selection of other foods, and beverages on sale, including great craft beer and some of their award-winning wines.

Adults R200; Children R85 (5-13 years); Kids under 5 free; adult picnic hamper R110; Kids picnic hamper R55. Tickets available from or 0861 915 8000. 

DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival, Cape Town  

Date: December 28, 2014

UK funk pioneers Brand New Heavies and British club favourites Soul II Soul join Freshlyground and Micasa for this fusion of music and food.

From 11:30 at the Greenpoint Common Grounds

Tickets from R450

The Parlotones

•Fancourt – South Africa in George – December 27

•McArthurs Swimming Pool Complex, Marine Drive, Port Elizabeth – December 27

•Barmuda in Port Alfred – December 29

•The Bushpig Events Bar in Kei Mouth – December 30

•Paul Cluver Amphitheatre in Grabouw – January 09

Tickets available from

Afro-pop meets symphony!

Date: December 31, 2014

Freshlyground will perform with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Richard Cock in celebration of the New Year at the historic manor house on the Nederburg farm in Paarl.

Tickets are available at Computicket and prices start from R300.

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