Tune Up: 90% Local Music Now on Radio

The South African Broadcast Commission has just dropped massive news. It has retuned the music selection policies on all 18 of its radio stations. From tomorrow, all public broadcasting stations will be required to play 90% local music.  Continue reading

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Music Competitions: Friends to Enemies

Every thing is a competition these days. Mainstream music competitions are some of the most popular events in the media. Idols, X Factor, Eurovision and The Voice seem to air constantly, and we watch fervently to find out who the next “big musician” is going to be. But do these competitions really offer musicians a chance at success?

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Salvation Through Sound

Formal musical training is a distant dream for the marginalised youth in South Africa. They grow up in disadvantaged communities without hope and opportunity. From the gang-infested streets of the Cape Flats to the distant, rural farmlands of Limpopo, millions of South Africans hold little chance of escaping the clutches of poverty let alone forging a career in music. But a beam of light shines in the darkness. It’s a glimmer of hope, and it’s coming from the community churches that are situated in the hearts of these forgotten areas. It is not God. It is something entirely different. Continue reading

Aye Aye Digital Piracy

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Tools Of The Trade: A cellphone is all that is needed to commit digital music piracy

In the developed world, the sun is setting on internet freedom. The die-hard pirates of the P2P file-sharing community have been domesticated by Spotify and Netflix. YouTube and SoundCloud now vaporise any unauthorised uploads before they ever see the light of day. It appears that the “digital navy” has finally vanquished piracy once and for all. Even the infamous Pirate Bay founders have stepped down and taken the royal pardon.

Cross over to the southern hemisphere and the sun is only just rising on the Golden Age of music piracy. Mobile websites emerge daily offering illegal downloads of both local and international music. BlueTooth and Infrared allow  South Africans to then distribute their downloaded plunder. They swop and trade their latest downloads like social currency. Continue reading

All Famine No Fame

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Kalk Bay: Popular busker, Mwalasha, sings for his supper.

A job posting on popular classifieds website, Gumtree, has triggered an outcry from local musicians.

The advert, titled ‘Resident drummer & bassist wanted’, was posted on 04 March. It solicits professional musicians to perform at a weekly open-mic event at the Brass Bell restaurant in Kalk Bay. The advert stated that successful applicants must provide their own instruments. Musicians were offered no remuneration but the venue could offer “a beverage on the house.”  Continue reading