The Revolution is over and the new Sovereignty has left the masses craving for more of the same… more Popshed
And no, before you go stab Bobby van Jaarsveld with a blunt wooden spoon, read on.
The last decade will always stand out in the South African music scene.. Whether it started with Karen Zoid, Fokofpolisiekar or, their precursors, like Just Jinjer, Springbok Nude Girls, Boo!, Wonderboom or Squeal.. No matter who, it was a bomb of creativity waiting for a fuse. And the full, nationwide, effect was certainly sparked as soon as Francois, Johnny, Wynand, Hunter and Snakehead plugged in.
Now we have The Parlotones, Jack Parow, Freshlyground, Civil Twilight, Locnville and Die Antwoord feeding the global imagination with rainbow kieffin tunes. Never mind if it’s a media hype, a fad or true genius. These guys are playing on the international stage and that opens doors to exposure…
Exposure – This is where you and your band come in
Pop accountability… The biggest success stories are of bands that are not afraid to expose themselves. You don’t need a million bucks or a nerdy cousin anymore.. You have the web. Social networking profiles are everywhere and it’s just as easy to design your own website.
Get your profile, a taste of your sound, a description of who you are and what’s-there-to-look-forward-to out there. I’m not gonna go looking for your sound – Cause let’s face it, there’s a million better bands out there right now – Your sound has to find me. And that means constant updating, constant campaigning. This is where it gets tricky, like those bands who invite you to their third cousin’s new photographic exhibition – Be careful not to overwhelm your audience with the offshoots of all your bands projects and family’s hobbies. People will mentally shut down to anything that band sends them in future. Don’t irritate people, but occasionally make them aware and make sure that everything is on your profile.
Don’t think you have to plot your steps according to the South African industry ladder.
There’s no reason your music shouldn’t be available to people in Reykjavik.
Music in South Africa has become something that even the layman understands, a method of relating. Even genre-groupies aren’t as prominent anymore like the old school rave and hippy scenes.
People go check out the local Rock gig and afterwards head to the club for their Electro fix. Bands have seen this and incorporated it into their own style.. Die Heuwels Fantasties ft Mr X, Oorlog Frankenstein ft Haezer or Jack Parow and JNR.
Racial, social, genre, instrumental and environmental integration is the norm of the day. Don’t block your own creativity just because of a genre standard. Go for the sound that inspires you but be open to anything.
The only expectation is that bands experiment, create and recreate… Continuous reinvention insures that we are searching for inspiration, honing our skills and thus moving forward.
Shakespeare wrote plays where the comical antics entertained the masses, the story engulfed the middle class and the context of the nuance fixated the imagination of the upper class – Sounds like a lot of layered work.. Exactly.
Artists should be accountable for their work. Whether you like feeding the souls of an intimate crowd or making music for millions..
The only way you’re not accountable is when you are only expressing yourself, when you don’t see your music as a business and with no concern as to whether anyone hears it or not. In that case, don’t blame the industry, people “with no taste for music” or me if you go hungry.
The audience feeds off the energy you release and that energy is Passion.