Following the success of the 23rd South African Music Awards (SAMA), we look at the industry that births the best musical talent within South Africa.
South Africa’s music scene has helped build bridges in the melting pot of the nation’s cultures for decades. Encompassing historical moments such as the first all African Jazz Opera, SAMA introduced the world to the iconic Hugh Masekela, the Manhattan Brothers and Miriam Makeba. Let’s not ignore the world-renowned Lady Smith Black Mambazo and the Soweto Gospel Choir, the latter whom have won 5 Grammy Awards.
Despite the disgruntled public response to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) 90/10% ratio of local/international content to be broadcast via its radio and television networks, the local music industry has experienced a resoundingly positive effect. A larger number of organisations and sponsors are investing in the growth of South African talent and the quality of local concerts has increased tenfold. Judging by social media sentiment, South Africans now regularly trend local musicians on social media and, less frequently than two year prior, international artists.
In addition to social sentiment, the frequency of performances by local artists, the volume of support for them and the quality of audio-visual material such as music videos has also increased since 2015. This leads to the fantastic news that South Africa’s creative arts industries are finally serving as highly profitable to investors, performers and the nation’s economy overall. Thanks to this flurry of activity, local artists take in an average pay-rate of up to R100k for a single performance: a welcome increase from a mere R15k back in 2014.
There is no doubt that South Africans have taken control of the national music scene with resounding success and the 23rd SAMA is all the proof one needs. In what’s believed to be only the tip of the iceberg, many organisations have expressed their positive views for the future of the country’s musicians. With patience and perseverance, the Rainbow Nation may very well see itself as a far stronger globally competitive force in the next decade.