I would like to start by congratulating South African flautist, SAMRO member and composer Wouter Kellerman and composer Ricky Kej for winning a Grammy Award in the category Best New Age Album for their album Winds of Samsara. This is a great achievement and one worth celebrating.

February being the month of love, in this issue, we speak to Donald Moatshe about how he celebrated this year’s Valentine’s Day, and his plans for the year ahead.With two recent big global court case victories involving royalties still fresh on all our minds, we delve into what many consider to be the complex world of copyright in our article exploring this.We also take you through five ways to improve your industry connections and make the most of them.

For suggestions and a chance to get profiled in the next issue of our newsletter, email We look forward to your input, suggestions and feedback.Enjoy the month ahead, and as we journey into the year 2015, let’s look at where we can improve ourselves, in our careers, at home, our communities and spheres of influence.

In the words of the legendary Ray Charles: “Music to me is like breathing, I don’t get tired of music and I don’t get tired of breathing”

Here’s to a year of great music.


Enjoy and all the best.

Tiyani Maluleke

GM Marketing: SAMRO



What are the ways to make better connections in the music industry to ensure better performances and revenue for your venue?

What are the ways to make better connections in the music industry to ensure better performances and revenue for your venue? They may seem unreachable, but just like you, musicians, record label owners, publicists and publishers are also trying to make connections so that they can get their music out there.

So, how do you make these industry connections to grow your own business? According to research findings these are the five steps that can help you make better connections:

1. Use social media – Social media has become the simplest and most affordable way to get things done. It is easier to reach musicians and patrons online than anywhere else: 

o You have to identify the musicians that you would want to perform at your venue. Do not just pick anybody; ensure that the musicians you select will be right for the patrons that come to your venue. For example, if you are a jazz venue owner then associate yourself with jazz music publishers, record label owners/companies and musicians.

oMake sure that when you begin to follow them on social media, you engage in their conversations in a manner that is professional and let them know who you are and what you offer.


2. Get out there – You cannot contain yourself within the walls of your venue and hope that the best performers will show up. You need to get out there and know what the patrons are listening to and the music they prefer:

oMeet people face to face when possible. Personal contact is still the best way to build relationships. Talk to musicians, let them know who you are and suggest a gig or two at your venue.

oVisit other venues and see how other people do things, what they are playing and how the crowd responds to the performers.


Remember that every conversation you have is an opportunity to network. This means that you need to have your basic marketing tool at hand – your business cards. Don’t miss the opportunity to get your establishment known and to showcase how it could be of benefit to a musician, company, publicist or music publisher etc.

4.Follow up 

After your initial engagement, follow up to establish whether the performers, musicians or music publishers would like to perform or host events at your venue. No matter how good people’s intentions may be, sometimes they may get busy and forget to follow up, so make the call.

5.  Never neglect relationships 

Musicians come and go, and with time a lot may change in the industry. Do not neglect relationships, keep in touch with the relevant music industry player and identify ways in which you can partner in order to help each other stay relevant, because some patrons become committed to musicians and venues that are committed to them.


We caught up with award-winning R&B musician Donald Moatshe to find out his plans for 2015 and what he got up to on Valentine’s Day

Q: How long have you been in the music industry and how did you get into the industry? 

A: I have been singing since I was in primary school. My mom was a choir mistress, so I was always exposed to music. When I got to high school, I was the guy who was known to have a voice. I think that is what made me very popular, other than my good marks, of course. By the time I was in tertiary, I knew that the engineering course I was studying would go to waste, so I made up my mind that I would go in to music. I was in a music group called COB, under Oupa Sithela’s leadership. I think that is where I learned most of what I know now, the art of singing. Professionally, I could say I have been singing since 2005/2006 when I released an album with Muzo, the group that I was with at the time.

Q:  What inspires the content of your songs? 

A: My latest album Black & White was entirely written by me and Bonga Percy Vilakazi, who is also my manager. The content of the album is generally inspired by love and everything else that happens in love – the good and bad, and complexities of a relationship.

Q:  What’s your favourite love song of all time, and why? 

A: This is a very tricky one. The two songs that come to mind are Eric Benet’s I wanna be loved and Boyz II Men’s On bended knee; beautifully-written songs with killer melodies.

Q:  How did you spend your Valentine’s Day this year, and is Valentine’s Day a big deal for you? 

A: I was working on Valentine’s Day. I am known for singing love songs, this is always a very busy day for me, so I usually work on Valentine’s, performing at Valentine’s events (which I really appreciate).

Q: How long have you been a Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) member and what has been your experience with the organisation? 

A: I have been a SAMRO member for as long as I have been a musician. SAMRO has always ensured that all royalties owed to me are always paid and for that I am grateful.



Technology has had an impact on musicians in the 21st century and it sometimes affects musicians’ ability to make a living.

Think about how and where you listen to music nowadays. How do you access music? Think iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, WhatsApp, Mp3 Skull and the many other internet and social spaces where music is shared illegally. How do you save this music? Is it on a disc, an Mp3 player, iPod, smartphone, or an external hard drive?

Technology has had an impact on musicians in the 21st century and it sometimes affects musicians’ ability to make a living. Challenges faced by musicians in this digital age include:

• Piracy: Musicians are selling fewer CD’s at music stores. Piracy has forced many musicians to move to digital spheres such as iTunes. However, iTunes does not stop people from sharing the music album with friends and family through the use of Bluetooth or memory sticks.

• Lack of exposure to audiences: There are very few platforms where musicians can showcase their talents to the audience. After all, unless they are popular with the audience, they will not grow.

• Lack of funding: Often recording companies don’t provide musicians with sufficient funds, so they rely on sponsorships. But if they don’t get exposure, they cannot get sponsors.

As a venue owner it’s important that you help ensure that musicians are paid on time for their time and their creativity. Imagine how it would feel if people just came to your venue, sat down for hours without buying a drink or paying for the entertainment. What would be the use of being open? Why would you even have a business? The following are ways in which venue owners can help musicians make something out of their music talents:

• Licensing: If musicians can get their songs to be broadcast, used at a venue, in a commercial or television show, they will accrue royalty income based on how frequently a given song is used in a particular medium. But in order for this to happen, venue owners need to be licensed with SAMRO so that whenever a musician’s creative work is used, they get paid.

• Cover Gigs: Identify young and new and upcoming talent to do cover gigs and pair them with more popular performers to pull a crowd in order to help launch them to market. Always identify ways in which you can play a part in launching and helping establish new talent. Your venue could just be the one known for establishing the best musicians in the industry, and become popular for that.

• Live Performance Sheet: When musicians play their original material at a venue, they can earn royalties if they are SAMRO members. Venue owners are encouraged to ensure that musicians complete their live performance sheets and submit them to SAMRO so that they can earn royalty income.

• Do the right thing – spread the word on SAMRO licensing

Identify whether or not your performers are registered with SAMRO and whether your DJ’s are licensed with SAMRO and avoid using unregistered musicians or unlicensed DJs. This will help encourage them to get licensed.


It is with great honour that we congratulate SAMRO member, Wouter Kellerman upon his recent win at the 57th Grammy Awards for his album Winds of Samsara, a collaboration with Indian composer and producer Ricky Kej..

At the age of 10, he said he would like to win a Grammy one day. And 43 years later, South Africa’s flautist Wouter Kellerman won a Grammy Award for the Best New Age category for his collaborative album, Winds of Samsara.

The 57th Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California on February 8, 2015. Speaking after receiving the award and arriving back in South Africa, Kellerman said: “It was just amazing. It was a lifelong dream come true for me. After all the years of hard work, to come back and be acknowledged by your peers and you know the Grammy is the highest award you can ever win in music. I am just over the moon.”

Kellerman has been playing the flute most of his life. He started playing the flute at the age of 10. It was only in 1981 that he became active in the music industry.Kellerman and Kej spent two years working on Winds of Samsara which includes collaborations with 120 musicians from five continents, such as Fiona Joy from Australia and Michael Lewin from America, and initially began as a tribute to the late former SA President Nelson Mandela and pre-eminent Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.

The album reflects the legacies of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi’s rise above time, the impact they had on civil rights and equality – the attributes by which they are remembered today. Winds of Samsara truly captures what these late heroes stood for.

Kellerman and Kej met about three years ago in Los Angeles. A conversation which started off with just the admiration of each other’s work, led to each composer talking about the composition they had created for the fathers of their respective countries.

Two recent global copyright battles should be of interest locally: Tom Petty vs Sam Smith & Sly Stone vs his former management.

One was   the Tom Petty victory in a case against a song made popular by Sam Smith: Stay with me. His win saw the artists reaching an agreement in which Smith would pay Petty royalties from the song. Ageing funk singer Sly Stone also triumphed in a legal battle against his former manager and attorney on the grounds that he was misled into signing an agreement that meant all his royalties were diverted.   This has no doubt left the two artists extremely glad that copyright existed to protect their creative works.

In South Africa, intellectual property entitlement has been extended to add new creations and other works that may not have been known in the past years. Under the South African Copyright Act there are many different types of works mentioned and each type of work is eligible for copyright if it is included in the act.

According to the South African Copyright Act (No. 98 of 1978), the following works, when original, are entitled for copyright protection: 

Musical works (whether written, or recorded on a device).

1. Films and videos (story ideas written down for musical videos).

2. Sound recordings (e.g. the mix of beats or instruments on a CD).

3. Music published online through the use of iTunes, YouTube or SoundCloud (if it is shared by the original musician).


Here are some responses from SAMRO on frequently asked questions on copyright:

Q: How do you copyright your musical works? 

A: Copyrighting your music is simple. To copyright your creative work, all you need to do is put your original music and lyrics on paper, a CD, MP3 player or even a DVD and there – you have it. Your work is entitled to copyright protection. Once you have completed your work and put it in a DVD or a CD, you can list it with institutions such as the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) to administer your Performing Rights and Composers, Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO) to administer your Mechanical Rights.

Q: What does the Copyright Act, 1978 entitle me to? 

A: The Copyright Act ensures that as the owner of the copyright, you have the exclusive rights to allow or even disallow the following:

• The reproduction of your original work.

• The distribution of your work.

• The performance of the work.

• The public display of the work.

It is important to remember that copyright implies that there are financial benefits to whoever has the right to the copyrighted material. These financial benefits are royalty income.

We as SAMRO, collect licence fees from music users on behalf of our members and then distribute them as royalty income to the deserving SAMRO members. However, this benefit is only for those members whose works are active, in other words they have been performed or used in public. You cannot receive royalty income if your music is not played.


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

Metro FM Music Awards 

The 14th Metro FM Music Awards recognises South African musicians for their great work during 2014. The awards ceremony will feature South African musicians such as Cassper Nyovest and DJ Dimplez, among others.

Venue: Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC)

Date: 28 February 2015

Ticket prices: By invitation


100% Pure Kwaito 

It is the celebration of 20 years of Kwaito music. Remember the legends of Kwaito such as Thebe, Bob Mabena, and Arthur Mafokate? This is the event that celebrates their legacy. The event will feature Kwaito music of the 90s and early 2000s.

Venue:  Bassline, 10 Henry Nxumalo Street -, Gauteng

Date: 07 March 2015

Ticket prices: R80 – R500


JHB Philharmonic Orchestra 

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra is Johannesburg’s only philharmonic orchestra, presenting 60 symphony concerts during the course of 10 months. This event has been active for 16 years.

Witness the amazing talent of our local musicians and admire the great compositions that have been passed on to us throughout the years.

Venue: Linder Auditorium

Date:  25 February – 19 March 2015 (First Season)

Ticket prices:  R250- R330


Joburg Picnic Jazz Festival 

It is a music event with meaning. The event is in support of no violence against women and children, featuring the intentionally acclaimed Chris Walker and South African musicians Tshepo Tshola, Bhudaza, Joe Nina as well as other upcoming musicians.If you fancy jazz music and also want to join in the awareness against violent crimes against women and children, this is an event for you.

Venue: Ruimsig Stadium

Date: 20 March 2015

Ticket prices:  R250- R1000


Mzansi Music Ensemble 

The Gauteng Music Development will be launching a 22-piece music ensemble with a 16-piece big band and 6 singers. Join them as they perform South African classics from the 1960s to today.

It is an event like no other. The ensemble will show off the best way to celebrate the beauty of South African music.

Venue: SA State Theatre, Drama- Pretoria

Date: 25 March – 28 March 2015

Ticket prices: R250

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