Licensed to Play October 2017

Dear SAMRO Licensee

What sets your business or establishment apart from the rest? The music and arts space can be brutally competitive, and it’s important to continuously expand your reach and evolve with the times and needs of your market – who knows, it might take you to places you’ve never previously explored.

In this issue, we chat with George Hattingh, the Academy of Sound Engineering’s Director: Marketing and Communications, about the value of being competent in more than one space by expanding into television and the screen arts.

Bring out the champagne! Congratulations are in order for SAMRO composer and publisher member Fred Woods, whose catalogue is highly regarded around the globe and who recently won a major United States music production award.

Radio presenter and club DJ Le Soul shares her journey to becoming a professional DJ, finding the value in SAMRO licensing and being a fan favourite on Gagasi FM’s Midday Shandis show.

SAMRO regularly fields queries about how one can go about obtaining a community radio licence, and in this issue we give you more information on how to apply for one.

The Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) Awards have been honouring South African legends, stalwarts and inspirations in the South African arts and culture sector for the past 20 years. SAMRO is a proud sponsor of the 20th edition of the ACT Awards that will be taking place on 17 November 2017. Get your tickets soon.

The festive season is nearing, so have a look at our gig guide for fantastic live performances and shows to get you into the holiday spirit.

Until the next issue, enjoy!

André le Roux
Executive General Manager: Brand and Marketing


George Hattingh, the Academy of Sound Engineering’s Director: Marketing and Communications, spoke to us about how music creators can extend their scope and earning potential by exploring new avenues in the industry – such as music production across television, film and other screen media.

Question: Tell us about the Academy of Television and Screen Arts? How is this different from sound and production studies?
The Academy of Television and Screen Arts is a department or faculty of the Academy of Sound Engineering and has been in existence since 2013. We focus on the technical aspects of the television industry.

Q: Many artists and musicians aren’t aware of all the lucrative “behind-the-scenes” production work that’s available. How do you think the industry can best promote these other avenues?
 By focusing on the value of being useful in more than one space. An aspiring young musician that has “blinkers” on and only allows themselves the chance to be successful in one particular sector or discipline within the industry will find themselves going up against many others who are also not looking at the bigger picture.

Make yourself valuable. That value gets you in the door, and from there you can explore all of the opportunities that come with being in the right place all the time – not just the right place at the right time.

Q: It can’t be easy promoting or submitting music for synchronisation services such as TV, film and adverts. Does the academy equip students to be business savvy and find success in synch services?
 One hundred percent: we have the most advanced music business, law and contracts curriculum available in South Africa, written by Nick Matzukis. Students going into that music space know exactly what to do when it comes to copyright, royalties, streaming, licensing, needletime and every other aspect of the music business.

Q: Do you think there is enough exposure to music education in South Africa?
There is never enough exposure. Content is king, and the industry needs to focus on finding new talent for new, exciting music content that can expose South Africa to the world.

Q: What advice would you give parents who might be wary of allowing their kids to study music?
Come and talk to us. If your child is passionate, then allow him or her to venture into an industry that they can blossom in and find their true potential. Forcing a young person to work in a sector that they have no interest in sets them up for failure, or at the very least limits their potential.

Q: Where can interested applicants get more information on the academy and course offering?
A: The Academy of Sound Engineering is based in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Visit for more details, email or go to


Prolific SAMRO composer and publisher member Fred Woods has a distinguished career in the business spanning more than 40 years, and his work has been described by many as “the soundtrack of our childhood.”

Now, Woods has added another illustrious feather to his cap by winning a major United States music award.

At a glittering ceremony held in Hollywood in October, his track ‘Fairy Dust’ won the Best Usage in a Trailer category at the prestigious Mark Awards, which reward excellence in production music in a range of audiovisual formats ranging from television programmes to feature films.

The track, from his Cute Music label, was used in the trailer for the Mad Max: Fury Road movie, incidentally starring South Africa’s own Charlize Theron.

These awards represent the very best talent in the world, and for a South African music professional to be recognised and acknowledged in such esteemed company is a great honour.

While playing in various bands in the 1980s, Woods used every spare moment to develop his composition and production skills, working with names such as Supa Frika, Melvyn Matthews, The Winners, Wings Segale and Abangani.

The studio that he ran with his wife, Lynn, in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, was a creative hub frequented by giants such as Rex Rabanye, Pamela Nkutha, Ringo Madlingozi, Nico Carstens, Mafika, Lady Thuli, Zwai Bala, Kabelo and Faith Kekana, and he played a major part in shaping the success of many of these artists.

A number of local artists got their first break and exposure to the industry under his guidance and nurturing, and went on to build highly successful careers with this very solid grounding.

Woods created many iconic TV theme tunes, including for the programmes Kideo, Jam Alley, Thabang Thabong, Galooby and Lesilo Rula.

Red Igloo Music, started by Fred and Lynn in 2003 is a respected independent publisher of production music, offering titles from many of the world’s leading brands. Their catalogues, Strange Fruit Music and Cute Music, are highly regarded around the globe.

Woods was a member of the SAMRO Board of Directors for six years and a trustee of the SAMRO Retirement Annuity Fund for 11 years.

He continues to create music on an ongoing basis, and is extremely grateful for the opportunities that the music industry has given him.


DJ Le Soul is a firm favourite on regional radio station Gagasi FM, and also lists being a club DJ among her many interests and talents. SAMRO requires club and mobile DJs who play the original works of others to be licensed as music users.

We spoke to DJ Le Soul about the ins and outs of being licensed as a DJ.

Question: Do you remember when you began DJing professionally?
I remember it as if it was yesterday. It was 2012; that’s when everything truly kicked off.

Q: Five years ago – but do you recall your first gig, and where it was?
Of course! My first gig was at The Fusion in KwaMashu, Durban. At the time, that was the place to be.

Q:  Do you have a favourite venue to play now?
My favourite venue is definitely 033 Lifestyle in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.

Q:  When did you learn of the need to have a DJ licence from SAMRO, and when did you acquire yours?
I found out about the SAMRO licence just after I had mastered my first track, back in 2013. A mutual friend explained the importance of having one, but I hadn’t groomed myself enough professionally so I only acquired one last year.

Q: Was the process as easy one for you? Did you get sufficient assistance and explanations on how it works?
I visited the BAT Centre (SAMRO’s satellite office in Durban) and it was an easy process.

Q: Often the perception is that SAMRO is simply trying to make more money out of DJs. What is your understanding/opinion on DJs acquiring licences?
It is crucial to understand the importance of paying a licence as a music user. Artists also need to sort out their paperwork to get the “paper”, or else their work goes unnoticed – simple.


One of the questions that comes up often is how community radio stations can apply for a SAMRO licence and what it means to have it.

We recently sat with the licensing department so that we can get an in-depth information on how one can go about applying for a community radio licence.

Q: Tell us a bit of background on community radio licence.
The community radio licence was an offshoot from the normal radio licence. The reason for this was that, the normal radio licence did not adequately cater for the challenges faced by the community radio stations.

Q: Why is it important for community radios to acquire a licence?
SAMRO strives to ensure that all licensees are compliant with the law. In other words, if you use music that is within SAMRO’s repertoire, you need to pay for the use of that music by taking a licence.

Q: What is the process that one needs to follow should they wish to apply for the licence?
Well, first and foremost, the community broadcaster needs to be registered with the government body, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). Once a licence has been obtained through ICASA, the community broadcaster can approach SAMRO for a music user licence.

An application form needs to be completed (with supporting company registration documents) and once this application form has been vetted by SAMRO, a licence will be granted.

Q: What documentation do community radios need to have in place beforehand?
They will need an ICASA licence in place and need to be able to produce that licence to SAMRO. They will also need all the registration documentation proving that the community broadcaster has registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Finally, if the person handling the application is not a designated signatory of the community broadcaster, they will need a letter signed by the designated signatory stating that this person can sign on behalf of the community broadcaster.

Q: How long does it take for the licence to be processed and issued?
If all the documentation is in order, the process should take no longer than 5 working days.

Q: Once the licence is issued, how often are the community radios expected to submit their music playlists and how does this process happen?
The community broadcasters ideally need to submit their playlists on a monthly basis. This allows our Usage and Documentation team to process the music playlists in time for our distributions.

Q: How often are community radios required to pay for the usage of music?
We look at the advertising revenue earned by the community broadcasters over a financial year. Based on these numbers we calculate an annual fee to be paid by the community broadcaster.

Q: Is there an exception for community broadcasters that might not be able to afford the licence?
Unfortunately, all users of music must pay for their use of music. The current prices have been adjusted and take into account the financial challenges that most community broadcaster experience. SAMRO has made it financially possible for community broadcasters to afford this licence.

Q: Lastly, where can one go to get more information on community radio licensing?
The community broadcaster can go to SAMRO’s website for more information ( or they can phone SAMRO directly on 086 117 2676 and be put through to the relevant department handling community broadcasters.

For more information on music usage licences, please visit our website.


The Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) will present the 20th edition of the ACT Awards on 17 November 2017 at the Sun International Maslow Hotel in Sandton.

The ACT Awards ceremony has been honouring legends, stalwarts and inspirations in the South African arts and culture sector for the past 20 years. The 2017 edition of this event is bound to be more glamorous than ever, with emcee Bridget Masinga from Kaya FM and entertainment provided by internationally acclaimed songstress Lira.

“We have selected the theme of celebrating South African legends to honour not only this year’s selection of winners, but also the long legacy that comes with our awards,” says Marcus Desando, CEO of ACT.

While the trust has many different programmes in place that aim to enrich the South African arts and culture landscape, the ACT Awards are seen as its flagship event. ACT has therefore decided to change the format of this year’s awards to a talkshow-style presentation to achieve a more intimate knowledge of the winners and the impact that they have had on the sector. Furthermore, ACT will be selling tickets to the public so that they too can share in this momentous event.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards are given to people who have consistently contributed to, sustained, grown and defined the South African arts and culture sector. Many of them have faced incredible personal, financial and political hardship in order to carry out the work that they do.

Here are the 2017 ACT Lifetime Achievement Award winners:

Arts advocacy (sponsored by Creative Feel Magazine): Lindiwe Mabuza
Dance (sponsored by JT International): Adele Blank
Visual arts (sponsored by Nedbank Arts Affinity): Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler of The Handspring Puppet Company
Music (sponsored by SAMRO): Dorothy Masuku
Literature (sponsored by DALRO): James Matthews

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Awards, an ImpACT Award winner will be revealed at the event.

For more information, visit


Rhythm Analysis @ The Orbit
1 November 2017 @ 8pm-11pm
The Orbit, 81 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
Tickets available from the venue.

Kinsmen @ Alma Café
4 November 2017 @ 8pm-11pm
Alma Café, 20 Alma Road, Rosebank, Johannesburg
Tickets available from the venue.

Bernice Boikanyo @ The Orbit
23 November 2017 @ 8pm-10pm
The Orbit, 81 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
Tickets available from the venue.

Arts and Culture Trust Awards
17 November 2017
Sun International Maslow Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg
Visit for ticket information.

Johnny Clegg and Friends: The Final Concert
11 November 2017 @ 8pm
TicketPro Dome, corner of Northumberland Road and Olievenhout Avenue, North Riding, Johannesburg
Tickets available at Computicket.

WhatsApp Northam Music Festival
4 November 2017 @ 6pm
Northam Sports Ground, Limpopo
Tickets available at Computicket.

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