Licensed to Play August 2017

Licensed to Play August 2017

Dear SAMRO Licensee

Welcome to the latest edition of Licensed to Play. With some 15 000 members, SAMRO is the largest music copyright administrator on the continent, with 56 years of protecting the rights of musicians, authors and composers. It’s through continued perseverance, hard work, leadership, strong partnerships, our talented members, committed licensees and a deep understanding of the copyright, and music industry that has led us to this momentous growth. 

Likewise, we encourage our members and licensees to take the business of music seriously too, to be curious about the music industry and their role in it.

In this issue we feature Afro-pop sensation Zamajobe, who returns from a four-year hiatus with ‘Sobabili’ – the sultry lead single off her upcoming album, set for an early 2018 release. We also feature licensed venue Kitchener’s and address some of the facts and myths around the licensing of DJs.

The SAMRO Foundation is also proud to announce the successful applicants in the June 2017 round of the Concerts SA Music Mobility Fund.

September is a busy month, with plenty of networking opportunities, including the Moshito music conference, Africa's premier music industry event. With the aim of broadening the business intelligence of music industry professionals in Africa, strengthening business networks for participants and informing delegates, traders and the public, this gathering should not be missed.

We’ve also picked some cool spring gigs that you can attend and usher in the new season.

Enjoy!

Tiyani Maluleke
GM: Marketing and Communications

Zamajobe returns from a four-year break with ‘Sobabili’

After a four-year recording hiatus, Zamajobe has made an emphatic comeback into the music scene with her latest single, ‘Sobabili’.

The five-time South African Music Awards (SAMA) nominee unveiled the new song – the lead single off her upcoming album, exclusively on Metro FM’s breakfast show, hosted by Somizi and DJ Fresh.

Zamajobe told the radio hosts about her journey back into the spotlight, saying she felt her return had been long overdue – especially taking into account the cries from her music-starved fans.

Since its reveal, the single has done the rounds and is on high rotation on some of the country’s top radio stations. It has also already charted in the top 10 on stations such as Gagasi FM, only two weeks after its release.

Without a doubt, Zamajobe’s comeback has not only surprised those who’ve waited for her, but has also sparked a lot of conversation around her long-anticipated return.

According to the Idols SA alum, the response to the sultry ‘Sobabili’ has been overwhelming. This is what the songstress had to say: “I couldn’t be happier that the single is so well received, especially now that I am [an] independent [artist].” Judging by this single, one can only imagine what the rest of the album could have in store.

‘Sobabili’ is available for download and streaming on all leading digital stores such as Apple Music and Google Music.

Live performance venue feature: Kitchener’s

Kitchener’s in Braamfontein, which dates back to the early 1900s and is widely regarded as Johannesburg’s oldest pub, is a trendy Jozi joint that prides itself on having a progressive and varied music policy.

We chat to Riaan Botha - Music Curator and Event Designer to find out more about the venue, music they play and why it is important for Kitchener’s to have a SAMRO venue license.

Question: Tell us about your venue, Kitchener’s. How did it come about?
Answer: The owner, Andrew the DJ, was famous for his house parties, where he could play the music he wanted to play, music that he didn't really hear out there much. He started throwing pop-up parties at old pubs around Johannesburg, and when he got to Kitchener's it was an instant fit.

At that time the space was only being run as a pub during the day, so Andrew started throwing parties at night. He quit his job in advertising and, in time, bought out the previous owners and took over the trade, Mondays to Sundays. KCB (Kitchener’s Carvery Bar) evolved into a venue that attracts people from all over.

I was involved since the very beginning, from the very first party he threw there. We have always had similar mindsets when it comes to music, so it’s been an easy/good fit from the start.

KCB soon became an “Andrew the DJ and Broaden a New Sound project”. My job with Broaden a New Sound is to book and curate the music, events and promoters for the venue. We have been going strong for pretty much nine years now, dancing on Lord Kitchener's grave ever since.

Q: What makes this space so special, and what can people expect when coming to your venue?
A: What makes the venue so special is that since the very beginning, it’s always been about catering for pretty much everyone – no dress code, no preconceptions, come as you are. More discerning and adventurous listeners, who prefer or love music that they don't get to hear on the radio or out much in SA, have also found a home with us. There is so much amazing music out there, we didn't want to limit things and end up sounding the same as everywhere else. It’s quite a rare feat and we are blessed that we haven't had to sell out!

We pride ourselves on having the most progressive and varied music policy out there, with some of the best DJs in the country and, often, from overseas too. We also have one of the best-sounding dance floors in SA, powered by a world-class Martin Audio system. So people can expect a mixed and open-minded crowd thanks to the eclectic music policy, amazing sound that won’t leave your ears ringing the next day, and a dance floor that cooks with the most relevant and timeless selections in the world.

Q: What is the vibe like at your joint – what kind of music can one expect to jam to? Do you host live performances?
A: The vibe has always been very relaxed and real, with a good energy – often different, exciting and quite unique.

Since Braamfontein became popular over the last few years and quite chaotic at times, we have been making a concerted effort to make it as safe a space as possible, especially for women and the LGBTQI+ community, who often face violence and unsafety in this city, especially at night. We host a monthly pro-femme night which nurtures femme artists and which we use as a training ground to create tools and policies that our security and management can use throughout to support femme and marginalised individuals. 

We enforce capacity limits so we can keep the vibe as nice as possible, and offer a flexible door policy. It’s a nice little bubble in Braam.

Music wise, you can expect a good balance of underground and familiar music. We work with a fantastic selection of promoters who embrace our music policy. There's always a wide variety of music in a week and often on a single night, depending on the party. We host a wide range of talent, from big household names and internationally renowned local acts to the best forward-thinking and underground DJs, and producers in the world.

We also make an effort to cater for more African music than Americanised music and prefer hosting events that have multiple genres being played on a night. Our in-house nights especially have a nice complement of genres.

We do host some live performances, but weekends it’s mostly all about dancing since we don't have much space to cater for full-on bands when it’s super busy. We actually have a second sound system lined out in our foyer, so when the main dance floor is full, a dance floor often starts up in the foyer too.

Back in the day it was easier to accommodate bands, but these days, being much busier, it’s become trickier. But again, we try to cater for all kinds of music so we fit in live performances where we can. It’s worth noting that we do host more live electronic acts since that's much easier to accommodate with the limited space available. The last Thursday of every month, however, is dedicated to live music where we host live bands on the main floor, and we have a second dance floor with DJs the whole night in the foyer. We will be curating open mic sessions later this year on Saturday afternoons, so aspiring artists should stay tuned.

Q: Kitchener’s is a licensed SAMRO member. What is the significance of this for the musicians who play at your venue?
A: By being a SAMRO member, we are contributing to the music scene in SA in our own little way and, even if it’s just on a small scale, we’re helping local artists grow.

Q: Does Kitchener’s provide a platform for new and up-and-coming artists to showcase their music and talent?
A: We have always tried to provide a platform for new artists, especially the ones who are a bit too left-field or maybe misunderstood by the average listener/crowd. By offering a platform for more underground and up-and-coming artists, coming from a more nurturing instead of a greedy side of the music industry, we have been able to give artists access to an open-minded crowd that would be hard to reach in most places. We have seen many an exciting and fresh talents cut their teeth in our space.

Q: Where can people find out more information or line-ups for the venue?
A: The best way is to subscribe to our events on Facebook.

Our listings and our calendar section get updated on a regular basis. We are also on Twitter and Instagram under the same handle, @barkitcheners.

The hearings into the Copyright Amendment Bill may have been held at the beginning of August in Parliament, but the fight to protect the rights of creators should be ever-constant.

The South African Copyright Alliance – which is a collective of concerned organisations including Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), Composers, Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO), Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO), Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA), South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA), Musicians Association of South Africa (MASA), Music Performers Association of South Africa (MPASA) – had previously written to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry about provisions in the Bill that they believe undermine creators’ copyright. A campaign was launched to mobilise creators to show their support for the alliance’s concerns.

The campaign included a petition, which has so far garnered over 1 860 signatures and thousands of shares across Twitter and Facebook. It has received the backing of some of the country’s top creators, including DJ Tira, Loyiso Bala, Gabi le Roux, Sibongile Khumalo, Mbongeni Ngema, Bongani Madondo, Selaelo Selota and Tamara Dey.

Acclaimed playwright, director and TV producer Duma Ndlovu (Muvhango and Uzalo) said the contentious provisions amounted to “interference”.

“From what I have read, the Bill seems to say that if somebody comes – be it an international organisation or government – and funds you, then they have won the intellectual property [rights to the funded work produced]. That, to me, is interfering with the space that, basically, should be making sure that some of us exploit our IP,” he said.

In its current form, the Copyright Amendment Bill suggests that users (e.g. broadcasters and digital music services) of copyright-protected material should enjoy the same privileges as the creators of that material.

Further, where the state or another organisation commissions a creator to create content, the Bill proposes that such commission triggers an automatic loss of copyright in that content – a proposal that will see composers and authors lose their existing right to earn royalties from SAMRO (performing rights revenue) and CAPASSO (mechanical rights revenue) when, for example, broadcasters use their work. This would also theoretically apply to filmmakers funded by the state, who would lose control of their work should they forfeit their copyright ownership.

The SA Copyright Alliance’s final major concern is around the Bill’s insistence on significantly increasing the number of instances where copyrighted material can be used by large multinational organisations without compensating, or even alerting, the copyright owner.

As SAMRO CEO Nothando Migogo has said before, this Bill essentially says: “Well, you can use it for free as long as a court of law will find the use to be fair.”

Creators say: ‘Don’t take away our earning potential’

Singers Tamara Dey and Unathi Msengana have spoken about the importance of royalties in their lives. Dey said: “Sections of this new Bill will allow the user to earn money in the same way that the creator earns money – off material that isn’t theirs, material that they didn’t create. It is fundamentally unethical. It’s incredibly upsetting because publishing, and the money we earn as composers and songwriters, is one of the main sources of revenue. The way that artists and writers earn money is ever-changing these days, and this is one reliable source of revenue for us.”

Msengana also recounted just how important royalties have been to her family: “We receive royalties four times a year, and with those I pay school fees and my bond. My body of work, young as I am, goes back 14 years. That’s 14 years of income, 14 years that has allowed me to provide for my family.”

Click here to watch the video.

SAMRO dispels myths around DJ licensing

In the last few years, SAMRO has been on a drive to encourage more of South Africa’s DJs to become licensed. However, some DJs are still not licensed due to misconceptions, but here is a quick Q&A to set out the facts. 

Question: Is it true that SAMRO is trying to make more money by charging DJs licence fees?
Answer: 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: 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, so that SAMRO can calculate a payment fee per use in line with the playlist.

Q: If they are members of SAMRO, should DJs still pay for a DJ licence?
A:  Yes. 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, they do still have to be licensed, 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 offence. By law, it is prohibited to make copies of anyone’s music without a licence. 

Apply for your DJ licence today

You can visit the music section on the SAMRO website, www.samro.org.za 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: licensing@samro.org.za

Concerts SA’s Music Mobility Fund selects 16 music tours

The SAMRO Foundation has announced the successful applicants in the June 2017 round of the Concerts SA Music Mobility Fund.

In the latest round of funding, a total of 16 live music tour applications by South African musicians were successful and will be supported in South Africa (10 tour projects) and in the SADC region (six tour projects).

Since its inception in 2013, the Music Mobility Fund has supported more than 150 tours through eight funding rounds, including artists like Freshlyground, Tu Nokwe, Tlokwe Sehume, Lindiwe Maxolo, DJ Lag, Wendy Oldfield and Madala Kunene.

The Music Mobility Fund has enabled more than 600 musicians to tour across all South African provinces as well as 10 countries in southern Africa (Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and Madagascar), playing almost 800 shows to over 50 000 people, spanning genres from jazz to indigenous music, from folk to hip-hop, kwaito and gqom.

The projects selected for regional touring in the June 2017 round are:

  • Asanda Mqiki’s septet tour from Port Elizabeth to Maputo;
  • Nine-piece Durban-based band Blvck Crystals’ first regional tour to Mozambique;
  • Drummer Bernice Boikanyo’s quintet performances in Zambia and the Karibu Festival (Tanzania);
  • Percussionist Tlale Makhene’s one-month album launch tour, presenting Swazi Gold across Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique;
  • Saxophonist Sisonke Xonti premiering his debut album, Iyonde, in Lesotho;
  • Pianist Thandi Ntuli presenting her second album in Mozambique, Tanzania and Swaziland. Ntuli was also semi-finalist in the Jazz category of the 2017 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition.

This round’s recipients for national touring support are Michael Ferguson, Lucas Senyatso, Bheki Khoza, Mabuta, Pedro Espi-Sanchis’s XyloFun, Andile Yenana’s Beyond Octave Trends, Pool’s Rhythm Analysis collaboration (Kesivan Naidoo & Silo “Elektradam” Andrian), African Rhythm Productions, Kinsmen and Bombshelter Beast.

Concerts SA Project Manager Violet Maila says: “This latest round of the Music Mobility Fund received 141 applications from established and emerging musicians from across the music spectrum. With the quality of submissions increasing year on year, the task of selection was extremely difficult for our dedicated panellists. The thought and organisation evident in the submissions made was inspiring, and we wish all successful applicants safe travels and enriching tours!”

Former grant recipient Msaki says: “Having Concerts SA as a partner, collaborator and advisor through the Mobility Fund has been powerful and freeing. Every independent musician knows that hitting the road is a challenge but when you have a 10-piece band, challenge might not be the most accurate word.”

“Concerts SA gave me the power of logistical problem solving. And since we performed at Bushfire in Swaziland as part of our tour, other festivals have booked us after seeing us there – a watershed career-changing opportunity, made possible by the Music Mobility Fund.”

The Music Mobility Fund is administered by Concerts SA, a joint South African/Norwegian initiative housed under the auspices of the Stakeholder Hub within the SAMRO Foundation. It receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SAMRO Foundation and Concerts Norway.

GIG Guide

The ZolaSoul Train
Date(s): 1 September @ 8pm
Venue: Afrikan Freedom Station, JHB
Tickets: R80 at the door

Moshito Music Conference & Exhibition
Date(s): 6 – 9 September
Venue: Various
Tickets: Full Package (R550), Student Package (R350), Conference Package (R200) – via
Computicket

KZN Music Imbizo
Dates(s): 31 August – 2 September
Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium Presidential Suites, DBN
Tickets: R300 via WebTickets

Nomfusi: African Day album launch
Date(s): 19 September
Venue: The Orbit, JHB
Tickets: R100 at the door