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Ten Tips On Dealing With Local Radio Stations

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Being production manager at Cape Town’s number one radio station means you’ve probably been around the block once or twice. While he’s getting back into songwriting with blues-rock outfit Rocking Horse, KFM’s Clive Ridgway gives us a few tips on what it takes to hear your track on the transistor. Here are ten ways to get played on South African radio.

TV On The Radio – Golden Age

Listen to the radio

Sounds about as complicated as a McDonalds cheeseburger, but if you’re gonna get played on the radio, you may as well do a background check on the world’s favourite medium. Get to know what’s playing.

Check the rankings

That’s right. Call up your local station, get through to the marketing department and ask for an advertising ratecard. If it helps, tell them you’re from a major oil company in Dubai, and you’re interested in buying their station.
Continue reading Ten Tips On Dealing With Local Radio Stations

Posted in Industry News, Music Features | 2 Comments »

Listen To The ZIMFEST 08 Radio Jingle!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Hot off the press! The official ZIMFEST 08 radio jingle, soon to be heard on national and regional radio stations! Listen to the official production of the 30-second radio-friendly, promotional commercial and drop a comment to let us know what you think!

Recording, pre- and post-production of this track was professionally handled by F Sharp Music in Cape Town. Thanks to everyone involved!

F Sharp Music

ZIMFEST 08 | Buy Tickets! ZIMFEST 08 | Buy Tickets & T-Shirts! ZIMFEST 08 | Buy T-Shirts!

Posted in Backstage Blog | No Comments »

PASS Invites Volunteers | Pan-African Radio Station

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Pan African Space Station (PASS) which is set to blow into action in a few months time is inviting friends, DJs and all music lovers to a talk/planning meeting by Neo Muyanga and Ntone Edjabe, curators of the upcoming Pan African Space Station (PASS) ? a 4-day music intervention from October 1-4, 2008 across Cape Town.

Creating the space.

Overtone attended one of their planning meetings a week ago, and by the sounds of things, we’re well on track to launch a 30-day radio station that broadcasts music and content which reflects the true essence of SOUTH AFRICAN CULTURE. Check out the post here.

One of the headline acts of PASS is a unique and non-profit radio station that will broadcast 30 days of music from global Africa to the greater Cape Town. This will be a true meeting place for the diverse music audiences in the city. DJs, musicians and, generally, music lovers will from all of Cape Town’s music communities are invited to participate in the project.

Continue reading PASS Invites Volunteers | Pan-African Radio Station

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PASS Festival Launches Radio Station Plan

Friday, June 13th, 2008

You know those Internet petitions that hit your inbox, urgently pleading for you to add your name to some list? Those ones, right? Oftimes I wonder where they’re from, where they go, and who benefits. So in response to a petition I received late yesterday evening, I attended a dialogue by a Spier-backed group launching a 30-day radio station in August as part of the Pan African Space Station festival, celebrating cultural unity amongst Africans.

In their words:Creating the space.

One of the headline acts of the festival will be a unique radio station that will broadcast 30 days of cutting edge music from global Africa to the greater Cape Town. This will be a true meeting place for the diverse music audiences in the city. Volunteer DJs, hosts and producers will be welcome to participate from all of Cape Town’s music communities. PASS radio will broadcast from studios in the city centre and live from the city’s public spaces: malls, gardens, community centres, and clubs before and throughout the music festival. PASS radio will be non-profit and will not broadcast commercial adverts. PASS radio will launch online in August and intends to migrate to FM radio during September-October. Thereafter, broadcasting will continue online.

Continue reading PASS Festival Launches Radio Station Plan

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What Radio Stations Do We Listen To?

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Interesting pie chart we received from Amaradio.co.za about the radio stations in South Africa, arranged by popularity. Remember, this aint gospel truth, but it’s a general indication of what’s being listened to at the moment, probably with a relatively small margin for error.

Radio Pie Chart

Amaradio is an awesome free program you can use to listen to and record local radio stations streaming online. Find out more about it here.

Posted in Industry News | 2 Comments »

How Do I Get A Job? | Find Audio Production Jobs

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Finding work as a sound engineer or musician in South Africa is one way to learn appreciation for beans on toast dinners, but that doesn’t mean that you have no chance of creating your dream environment. As long as there is advertising, there will be a steady demand for quality music and sound production. So we pillage the forums of MIO.co.za for ideas on how to get to the top of the ladder. Overtone Monthly Shmooze speaker Matt Allison of Dockyard Studios has some sagely advice for anyone looking to get involved in the scene…

How Do I Get A Job?

It really is disappointing when you know you have great Audio Creative skills, but you can’t get a job either because you are white, too young or don’t have 10 years experience in the corporate field of production.

Get A Job
You can have this if you want it. It starts with meeting people.

It’s been a long two weeks of sessions bouncing from one to the other. I’ve just wrapped 3 days with a client from Ibiza, and for the next 3 days I’ll be at the Jazz Festival, and then a full length record with a great local SA band. There is work people…go find it!

As (forum mod) Fly* shared, this industry is about who you know, not what you know. Sad as it may seem. 90% of it is about relationships, 10% is sound. That’s not to say you should only working on the 10% sound part, but just realize how much a part of the pie is social/relationship skills.

Quincy Jones was asked to describe what he does as producer and his response was ‘I’m part psychologist, part babysitter’.

Networking and just getting your hands dirty is the best way to succeed in this industry. Take yourself out of your comfort zone, expand your horizon and client base. In the last couple months I’ve had clients in from the USA, Germany, Sweden, Ireland and Ibiza, and countless local bands.

I’m flying over to NY and then onto New Orleans in June for Potluck Convention to network with fellow engineers from all over the world and discuss the future of music. Yeah, it is costing a fair penny, but I need to do it to invest into myself, and I just need one more job from the USA like I had a few months ago and it pays for itself.

Obviously Fly comes from the a post-production background, whereas I record music/artists/bands for a living. There isn’t nearly as much money in it, but it is what I love doing.

The engineering field is so vast, and it isn’t all producing beats and making hip-hop/dance music. There is live sound, location recording, library music, post, foley, game sound, sound design etc. Explore the field!

Ok, enough from me. Off to throw myself down in front of the couch and veg for a few hours before it starts all over again.



The original forum post can be found here. Register on MIO and meet others in South African music.

Overtone Shmooze: Meet the music industry

Get Started! If you’re in the Cape Town area and feel you’re ready to meet ‘n greet with the local music scene, come to our monthly “booze ‘n shmooze” meetings in the City Centre. Grab a drink, listen to speakers, meet bands, managers, studio owners. Bring your demo CD and network. It’s the place. Here’s more on previous shmoozes:

  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • The next shmooze is on May 29th in Cape Town’s CBD

    Contact us for more: john [at] overtone [dot] co [dot] za.

  • The Recording Process | The Importance Of PR
  • The Overtone Shmooze Rocked
  • Dockyard Studios Home
  • Music Industry Online

  • Posted in Music Features | 20 Comments »

    Get More SA Music Played On Radio: Discussion

    Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

    What do famous ‘Wulu’ Johnny Clegg, SA songwriting stalwart Robin Auld and rocking cutie Jo Day have in common? Well, for one thing, they’re getting more SA music on the radio. Check out this signed letter from the group, calling themselves the SA Music Quota Coalition to the Minister of Arts & Culture, and comment on it below. Aren’t you tired of all that American crap yet?! You know it’s only a matter of time now…

    Pallo Jordan
    Come on Mr. Jordan – You know you want to…

    Open letter to the Minister for Arts and Culture, Mr Pallo Jordan
    From the SA Music Quota Coalition (SAMQC)
    Dear Minister, In light of recent statements by prominent SA music figures about the government’s treatment of South African music, we would like to add our contribution to the debate by addressing your speech of 22 August at Moshito 2007.

    We commend the DAC’s commitment to providing production facilities for fledgling artists, particularly in rural areas.

    However, when you say that “the greatest single constraint on the launching of a musical career for the new artist is access to recording facilities,” you are overlooking an even greater constraint – one also facing the majority of long standing South African artists: the lack of airplay in their homeland.

    It is great to talk of export, but how will the world become aware of South African music when South Africans themselves are prevented from listening to it?

    When the official body protecting the interests of local music (ICASA) behaves as though local music is of no significance in the current music culture, especially “youth culture”, it is no surprise that much of SA music is treated as a poor relative by many broadcasters.The SA content quota of 25% for commercial radio is not only too low, it is also often meaningless, because ICASA allows stations to include gig guides, interviews and promotions as part of their local quota.

    France has a commercial quota of 40%, with the result that French language acts share shop front space with global stars. It does not happen overnight, but Ireland, Canada, Australia and many other “secondary” markets have transformed their local music industries. The results have been excellent, with benefits not only to the quality of local music, but also to export revenues, job creation, and the “image” these countries present to the world.

    Without exception, these successes were kick started by a strong governmental position on local content. We believe it is possible to balance global trends with national identity. Without this, the commendable initiative by the DAC to create production facilities for our young artistes will serve only to create a generation of young artists with songs that are not heard, recordings that have no route to market and talent that lacks a platform for national exposure.

    Johnny Clegg
    Imitation is limitation: Johnny Clegg understands this.

    You state, and we agree, that “cultural industries are serious business”. The structures protecting the national interest in iron, minerals, fishing, sport and many other areas are strongly enforced and defended here in South Africa. Why not our music?

    Some time ago, ICASA travelled to various SA centres, where experienced music industry professionals gave them a simple, clear message: give SA music the oxygen of airplay. Half a decade later, they preside over a system which, on most commercial stations, is nothing more than a cultural tragedy. Airplay is confined mainly to international acts that faithfully reproduce the “American Brand”, or local acts whose music and message also closely resembles the US template. The sales successes of the few exceptions to the rule prove the connection between play and demand, and also beg the question: Why are so few SA artists given the kind of heavy rotation afforded overseas acts? Do we have to examine the thorny subject of payola?

    The surrender of SA radio to this kind of formatting means that the majority of SA artistes are excluded from local radio. And no airplay means no demand.

    The lack of demand leads to local CD retailers relegating SA albums to a separate section. In many cases, their sales people have never even heard of the local artistes whose CDs they stock. Their advertising promotes mainly overseas artistes whose airplay, sales and live revenues leave the country, leaving nothing dedicated to building South African musicians’ profiles or the domestic industry. This has lead to the steady demise of the national live circuit, with most SA acts hammered down into their regional bases.

    Returned exile drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo received the national accolade of The Order Of Ikhamanga from the South African President. Celebrated singer Busi Mhlongo was honoured at a function attended by the deputy president for her contribution to South African music. Vusi Mahlasela tours internationally on Dave Matthews’ record label. Chris Letcher is the UK Guardian’s artist of the week. Honourable Minister, we must ask – if you, or we, were to listen to any of South Africa’s commercial radio stations, would we hear the music of these acclaimed artists? We must ask why these and many other artists are not heard on our radio airwaves. Many SA artists find it easier to make progress in their careers by leaving South Africa. They are forced to choose between giving up their musical calling, or writing off their beloved country as a home base. Every time this happens, South African culture loses.

    Music is as important to a nation’s sense of self as is its sport, food, or wide open spaces. It is no exaggeration to say that transformation is urgently needed.

    Mr Jordan, we respectfully ask you to make the changes so desperately needed to allow the South African music industry to grow and flourish.

    ~ Close the loopholes.
    Raise the quota and enforce it.
    Allocate more national frequencies to accommodate SA’s rich musical diversity.
    Most importantly, appoint a monitoring body that will get the job done and earn the respect of all stakeholders in the SA music industry.

    There will, no doubt, be protests from the minority who benefit from the current status quo, but in a few years the naysayers will be forgotten…much as they were with the new flag.

    We invite the minister to visit the members’ list page of our website at www.samqc.org.za, and read some of the comments from the hundreds of production companies, independent labels, management companies, musicians, music lovers and – yes – even overseas fans of South African music.


    South Africans, and their music, deserve to be heard – especially in their own country. Not because it’s South African, but because it’s brilliant.

    Yours sincerely,
    The South African Music Quota Coalition

    Evan Milton
    Bongani Mahlangu
    Johnny Clegg
    Jo Day
    Louis Mhlanga
    Jannie van Tonder
    Robin Auld


    Posted in Music Features, Upcoming Events | 23 Comments »