Martin Myers interviewed Greg Secker the founder and CEO of Europe’s leading trader coaching company
December 5, 2011 Leave a comment
Publicity | Music
December 5, 2011 Leave a comment
August 11, 2011 3 Comments
From Channel 24
“Day Two’s programme features what promises to be one of the most heated debates of Moshito 2011 – an examination of ‘Local broadcast content and compliance with the UN Convention on Cultural Diversity’ by a panel that includes Christa Rautenbach (Northwest University), and Anel du Plessis (Northwest University).”
It’s an old, cold war in South Africa; that broadcast – particularly radio – doesn’t do enough to represent and promote South African music. Ask any South African musician or band bar the Parlotones, and they’ll lament the lack of our own music on our commercial stations. For my own part, I don’t pretend to have solutions or even practical suggestions. But there are thousands of people who are passionate about what they believe is fair in the face of a monolithic, label-dominated music industry.
Some believe that it’s also an oversimplified debate. Music activist and industry veteran Martin Myers (now with Tuned In Publicity) maintains that the discussion around this issue can’t be meaningful unless we’re willing to include the broader structures of the music business.
“Things like a sustainable touring circuit are key to developing a market,” he says. “An artist like Robin Auld – who is a veteran of SA music – can sell more CDs touring than he can placing his discs in national retail. That shouldn’t be the case, but that it is should tell you where the opportunities for expansion lie.”
Speaking of which, history tells us that national music retail has not come to the party, and has largely sidestepped the accusatory glances whenever the issue has arisen. It costs the same for both an independent South African artist and a major label to place CDs on a shelf in a music store (not counting additional bulk discounting for the mass producer), despite an independent South African having a minimal budget to produce and promote the product in question.
Reality vs monopoly
You could say this is a reality of economics, but it’s also unsatisfactory to have this situation in a market of monopolies, which SA music retail has largely been up until now.
“Nobody has, for example, successfully explored the idea of in-store digital kiosks where consumers can buy singles from the SA artists, saving them production costs for full CDs,” says Myers. “Artists themselves could even think outside the box for marketing their music and their shows. Promotional tickets and giveaways via local vendors like restaurants is one idea.”
Online music stores like Rhythm Online have started making a mark, and plenty of online audio streams or “radio stations” have sprung up over the past few years; evidence of the demand for diversified interests, tastes and markets. But they remain constrained by access and bandwidth issues at least for the time-being.
It doesn’t seem like commercial radio intends to offer any olive branches in the near future. The most vociferous critics accuse them of hiding behind loopholes like “graveyard-hour play” and “repeat broadcasts” in filling the quota.
The business structures may argue that they’re simply meeting the demands of their “market”. Which seems to be the same market for all of them.
In any event, the idea of hearing a steady influx of new, independent SOUTH AFRICAN music on these channels is still a pipe-dream. And at least for the thousands of young musicians out in the clubs and pubs or in their garages, getting their voices heard may be as hard as… well, getting their voices heard.
Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition takes place from August 31st to September 2nd at the Sci Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg.
August 26, 2010 Leave a comment
This is a great press release and read
I have a feeling Australia will win
The return of Quade Cooper to the flyhalf position represents the only change to the Qantas Wallabies starting XV for Saturday night’s Bundaberg Red Tri Nations Series match against South Africa in Pretoria, from that which appeared against New Zealand earlier in the month.
Cooper, who has missed the last two Test matches due to suspension, replaces his Queensland Reds team-mate Anthony Faingaa in the run on combination, with Matt Giteau moving out one position in the backline to inside centre.
Faingaa has been included among the run on reserves.
The 22-year-old Cooper’s most recent Test appearance came during last month’s 30-13 win over South Africa at Brisbane which opened the three-game Mandela Trophy series.
Australia’s starting XV for this weekend features just one change from the formation which ran on that night, with Adam Ashley-Cooper now occupying the centre position in place of the injured Rob Horne, while Kurtley Beale has come into the team at fullback.
The bench for this weekend’s Test match is notable for the inclusion of both the uncapped Queensland Reds loose forward Scott Higginbotham and the lightly tried Western Force utility forward Ben McCalman.
Higginbotham, who will become the 847th player to represent Australia in Test matches should he be required to take the field, takes the place of the injured Matt Hodgson.
He would become the 27th player to have been introduced to Test ranks since Robbie Deans took over as Qantas Wallabies coach in 2008.
The versatile McCalman, who made his sole Test appearance to date off the bench during the earlier win over South Africa, takes over from the Queensland Reds second rower Rob Simmons.
A win on Saturday would reclaim for the Wallabies the Mandela Trophy after Australia won the opening Tri Nations international between the two teams.
Australia last held the trophy in 2008, the year it last won a Test in South Africa.
Skipper Rocky Elsom, prop Benn Robinson, Giteau and winger Drew Mitchell are the sole starting line-up survivors from the 27-15 win in Durban two years ago, although both Giteau and Mitchell will on the weekend appear in different positions.
The Qantas Wallabies team to play South Africa in the Bundaberg Red Tri Nations Series and Mandela Trophy Test at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria on Saturday 28 August at 5pm (1am, Sun 29 August, AEST) is:
15. Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs)
14. James O’Connor (Western Force)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies)
12. Matt Giteau (Brumbies)
11. Drew Mitchell (NSW Waratahs)
10. Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds)
9. Will Genia (Queensland Reds)
8. Richard Brown (Western Force)
7. David Pocock (Western Force)
6. Rocky Elsom (Brumbies, captain)
5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)
4. Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs)
3. Salesi Ma’afu (Brumbies)
2. Saia Faingaa (Queensland Reds)
1. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)
Run on reserves:
16. Stephen Moore (Brumbies)
17. James Slipper (Queensland Reds)
18. Ben McCalman (Western Force)
19. Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds)
20. Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)
21. Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs)
22. Anthony Faingaa (Queensland Reds)
Australia v South Africa in South Africa – Historical Notes
Qantas Wallabies Media Manager
August 2, 2010 Leave a comment
My great mate Mike Greenaway who writes for the Independent Group does not mess about with this piece that appeared in the Natal Mercury last week
RUB OF THE GREEN
As a rule of thumb, when an incoming coach takes over an established team, Year Three is when his pedigree is confirmed or, alternatively, he is found out to be an imposter.
So it is with Peter de Villiers and his coaching staff now that the impetus of the 2007 Rugby World Cup victory has finally run out and the intellectual capital of those in charge of a just about unbeatable team has been found out to be seriously deficient.
I recall former Wallabies coach (and Springbok technical assistant) Eddie Jones postulating some time ago that a new coach coming into a professional team can do little in his first year in charge, when at most he can change roughly 20 percent of what is going on – including changes in personnel; in his second year he can do the same again (now adding up to about a 40 percent shift), but the third year is when the “new” coach is supposed to accelerate the team to a new level.
Well dear old Eddie has had his yarns over the years, many to suit his situation at any given time, but in this case I reckon he has it just about spot on.
Peter de Villier is in his third year and the Boks have gone horribly backwards.
The Springboks, sadly, were completely out-witted by the All Blacks and then the Wallabies in a regression to the bad old days of the post-isolation era when the ill-disciplined, dinosaur Boks were laughingly out-thought and outplayed by the Antipodeans.
At the cutting edge of Test match rugby, the bottom line is this: you cannot afford to have a coaching staff that is reactive as opposed to pro-active.
Graham Henry and his annoying assistants, as well as Wallabies boss Robbie Deans, early in the Super 14 foresaw how the Tri-Nations game would pan out, did their homework and their teams hit the ground running. The hi-octane game of both teams left the Boks floundering and, going forward, not learning any lessons as the imbalanced selection of the loose trio for the Brisbane game proved.
What were our Springbok coaches doing from February through to May?! Dick Muir was coaching the Lions to the worst ever showing in the history of Super rugby, but what about De Villiers and Gary Gold?
Worryingly, it has been undoubtedly proved that the Springboks were ill-prepared for the Tri-Nations, and the happy-go-lucky, wise-cracking conspiracy theorist of a coach has been found out.
It is well known that De Villiers has invested in “coaching by committee”, whereby the senior players and the three coaches meet early each week and democratically choose on a way forward for the particular match in front of them, and that is fine when the team is winning and the senior players are all in form, but what do you do when the team starts losing and those calling the shots are not performing?
The reality is that participative management can only go so far in professional team sport. For one thing, rugby evolves at such a hectic pace these days that the players at the coal face cannot be held responsible for seeing the wider perspective from a planning and coaching perspective – they have enough on their plate – and the coaching staff should have the intuition to see how the game is unfolding and accordingly plot a strategy.
Peter de Villiers has been shown up to be out of his depth in that he could not foresee how the professional game has evolved. Henry did, so did Deans, but our bloke headed for the Dunces’ Corner.
So where to from here? Very simply put, the likes of John Smit, Victor Matfield and company have to step out of their players’ jumpers, put on coaches caps and do the intellectual hard yards that their coaches proved unable to do.
June 14, 2010 Leave a comment
Warm greetings once more.
The truth is that this newsletter could have been called whatever you want it to be as there is not one singular superlative that can describe what this past weekend was like.
Speaking of contenders England proved once again that they are not contenders but instead are merely tomatoes and the reality is that this is the world cup, not a soup kitchen.
The first of the big guns were in action on Saturday and I was there. And I arranged a ticket at face value for Manfred and Kanyiso. We watched Argentina carve Nigeria open. It could have been a massacre but thanks to a stupendous display of goalkeeping by Vincent Enyeamba it was only 1-0. It may have been in Johannesburg but we could just as well have been in Buenos Aires. Once more ‘phenomenal’ would be euphemistic.
The opening match was special and so was this one. They were different and for different reasons too but it only made me more determined to attend a Copa America. When Diego Maradona walked onto the field and waved at the Argies, they went ballistic. The only man that is revered as such that I know of is Nelson Mandela himself.
Germany looked very impressive indeed in spite of their very young side. To add to that Argentina impressed me as did South Korea. but let us face the facts, Re England If Robert Green and David James are the best you have then I am afraid you are not going to cover yourselves in glory. As always England’s media promise everything and the team delivers nothing. Of course it is only one game and things could change but I do not foresee that happening. And since I made mention of the UK press now would be a good time to mention that England won the 1966 world cup.
The opening weekend of the world cup turned out to be the greatest sporting weekend of my life. There is no monetary value that can be put on the experience and I am certainly going to cherish the blessing and privilege that it has been forever.
Look after yourself.
June 7, 2010 Leave a comment
Warm greetings once more.
Last week we examined the world cup group stages and in order of group winner and runner-up I concluded that these would be the teams involved in the knockout stages of the tournament.
Group A: France, South Africa Group B: Argentina, Nigeria
Group C: England, USA Group D: Germany, Australia
Group E: Holland, Cameroon Group F: Italy, Paraguay
Group G: Brazil, Ivory Coast Group H: Spain, Chile
Thank you for your opinion last week. I thoroughly enjoyed our debates. I fear some of these may have to change now owing to the injury crisis of the last week but I shall do the honourable thing and stick to my predictions. For example I doubt Ivory Coast will make it now without Drogba but I tipped them last week so I shall hold on to that one. But now it is time to get into the business end of the world’s greatest sporting event. In the Last sixteen I foresee the following fixtures:
France vs Nigeria: Unfortunately the Nigerians have lost the fear factor they possessed in the 1990′s and I think the ocassion will be too big for them.
England vs Australia: The Ashes is now a football match. I think the Aussies will give as good as they get but ultimately the Poms will win this one.
Germany vs USA: Even without Michael Ballack the three-time world champions should win this one. It is a repeat of the 2002 quarterfinal. Germany won then and they will win here too.
Argentina vs South Africa: My heart would love nothing more than an upset win for my beloved Bafana Bafana. But my head asks how will Aaron Mokoena handle Lionel Messi? How will Kagisho Dikgacoi stop Juan Sebastian Veron?
Holland vs Paraguay: The South Americans were supreme in their qualifying campaign but unfortunately the qualifiers actually count for nothing once you are on the biggest stage. The Dutch to triumph.
Brazil vs Chile: If nothing else this will be an entertaining match as South American teams play with flair and passion. The Chileans will do what they can to stop their more illustrious opponents but ultimately it will be in vain.
Italy vs Cameroon: On this day I plan to wear my Samuel Eto’o shirt. Sadly you can wear any shirt you like and sing hymns all day long but it will be to no avail. The Azurri will somehow cheat and pillage their way to victory.
Spain vs Ivory Coast: Would it not be wonderful if Kalou and Toure could win this one? It would be a fairy tale victory for sure. The problem is that this is real and not a Disney movie. Au revoir, Cote D’Ivoire.
From here we move on to the quarterfinals.
Holland vs Brazil: This will be a great match as both teams actually play football. A 3-2 result is hardly out of the question or even a 4-3. Whatever happens the team with the most goals will be Brazil.
France vs England: Raymond Domenech has experienced incredible luck as France manager. That luck will run out here. That said neither of these two sides deserve more than a quarterfinal berth and the good fortune of a quarterfinal meeting means one will be in the final four. I expect the English to win.
Argentina vs Germany: This will be an explosive encounter. The Argies have the better players. The Germans have a better history. In 2006 these two contested an epic quarterfinal in which the Germans won on penalties. This time it is Argentina’s turn.
Italy vs Spain: Corruption and conniving can only get you so far. If the European champions score first it is game over for the Italians. La Roja may score a second and even a third if I have my way. Spain win.
And now the semifinals:
England vs Brazil: Fabio Capello will be seen as a hero for taking England to their best world cup result since Sir Bobby Robson’s class of 1990. Can David James handle what the Selecao bombard him with? I doubt it. Ditto for Rio Ferdinand. The five-time world champions to overwhelm the Three Lions.
Argentina vs Spain: What a memorable encounter this could be. It really is one of those that could go either way. Spain could be without Torres. Veron, in the twilight of his career, would never have been this close to world cup glory. I expect the midfielder to orchestrate a win for Maradona’s men.
This sets up an all-South American final. What a wonderful way to wrap up Africa’s first world cup.
Brazil vs Argentina. They played in the final of the Copa America in 2007 and the five-time world champions hammered the Argies 3-0. In the world cup qualifiers there was more success for the Brazilians. Well in sport success is cyclical and with that in mind I am tipping Javier Mascherano to raise the world cup high on July 11th.
Feel free to argue.
Heal the world
March 26, 2010 Leave a comment
March 26, 2010 Leave a comment
Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse
Exceptions to the rule
Two years down the line, new musicians start disappearing from the South African industry according to Mabuse. Exceptions to the generalisation, however, include Prime Circle and The Parlotones which, in absentia, received resounding applause for their efforts. So what makes the circumstances of these bands different to others who certainly encountered the same obstacles in climbing the success ladder?
One of the obstacles Mabuse faced was when his band, Harari (formerly known as the Beaters), split and with his “youthful zest, passion and perseverance”, he made the choice of sticking it out and going solo. He was momentarily insecure, but managed to establish great relationships with those involved in his career and pulled through this tough patch. “It is the relationships we establish with others that determine whether the music lives longer,” says Mabuse. The moral of the story being to surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and your capabilities – people who will stand by you through those rough times when your music career looks bleak. For this, Mabuse says, he is very “grateful to the people from Gallo”.
Burn Out in the bag
During the creation of Burn Out (1985), which he describes as being given to him by his ancestors, Mabuse says the idea arrived in his head and he started playing it on the piano, creating layer after layer. It took him an hour to write, after which he called Peter Gallo, describing Gallo as “the kind of recording executive you love to have”, and said to him: “It’s in the bag.”
Artists must trust their inner creativity, but it’s equally important to be self-reliant and independent and invest in oneself: “It is important that we create our own independence in the industry. You have to first self-manage; the talent you have is your own and you share it with others,” says Mabuse. Artists need to, in the beginning stages of their careers, go out there and book their own gigs, and realise that they are running their own business and not rely on promoters – they should embrace self-employment.
Tim Lester, a musician present at day one of the conference, asked how one gets past throwing in the towel when encountering challenges. Mabuse acknowledged that these things happen and determination and the way one handles challenges determines whether one survives or not, and that you can only rely on yourself.
Mabuse, co-winner of the 2005 SAMA Lifetime Achievement Award, proposed three guiding principles for musicians to adhere to steadfastly: sacrifice, dedication and commitment. The three principles, he noted, freedom fighters for human rights used during their struggle.
For more information, go to www.musicexchange.co.za.
March 1, 2010 Leave a comment
There is a cliché that suggests that when you do not know what to say you should rather just keep quiet. This week I wish to apply this to music; if you don’t know what to sing then rather just keep quiet. Before I elaborate I wish to stress that I am going to try very hard not to sound like my parents. They would always tell me when I was growing up that the music I was listening to was rubbish and that the beats from their era would be everlasting.
Now whilst it is true that I am an addict of 80′s and 90′s music I have not turned my back entirely on the artists of the 21st century even if they are not necessarily to my taste. I could sit here and write that there is no modern day Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Prince or Cindy Lauper. I could lament that nobody today can release a power ballad like Def Leppard or Meat Loaf. But since I am so often reminded not to compare eras (the Sampras-Federer debate springs to mind) I shall refrain.
However when a bunch of artists get together to copy a work of art from 25 years ago then they themselves are inviting the comparison. In 1985 Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie joined forces with Quincy Jones and a star-studded ensemble to record We Are The World; a charity single intended to raise money in the fight against African famine – a worthy cause nobody will deny. Now 25 years on Ritchie and Jones assembled another all-star cast for We Are The World 25; this time aimed at raising funds for the victims of the Haiti earthquake disaster – another worthy cause no doubt about that.
The problem is that since it is almost identical save for a slight tweaking of the lyrics plus the addition of a rap verse at the end, it encourages the inevitable comparison. Jones and Ritchie, whose efforts are commendable, should be lambasted for what is effectively reinventing the wheel. Remaking this classic that had the desired impact at the time is akin to somebody repainting the Mona Lisa – it is just not done. Do you honestly think there is anyone out there that could do a better version of Bohemian Rhapsody, Purple Rain or Hotel California? Whoever tries inevitably humiliates themselves.
Our original first verse is kicked off by Lionel Ritchie who segues into Stevie Wonder followed by Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner and Billy Joel before Jackson and Diana Ross sing the first chorus. These distinctive and iconic voices easily overshadow Justin Bieber, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Nettles, Josh Groban, Tony Bennett and Mary J. Blige. With the exception of Groban none of the others have what I would term an iconic singing voice. This is followed by the audacity of including Jackson’s original chorus (technology is not always good) but this time sung with sister Janet. I have not mentioned the word previously but perhaps the only adjective appropriate here is sacrilegious.
The 1985 version goes on to showcase the talents of Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles. The 2010 version features Barbra Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Enrique Iglesias, Jamie Foxx, Wyclef Jean, Adam Levine, Pink, BeBe Winans, Usher, Fergie, Nick Jonas, Toni Braxton, Mary Mary, Isaac Slade, Lil Wayne, Carlos Santana (on guitar), Akon, T-Pain, Kanye West and an excruciating rap by LL Cool J, Will.i.am, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz and Iyaz.
Now there is no doubting these modern-day artists will secure their places in music history; which is not saying much since Milli Vanilli have a safe spot in the annals of performing arts, but out of the current crop I invite you to point out who the 21st century version of Warwick, Nelson, Lauper or Dylan is. For that matter do you spot a Charles or a Boss amongst that bunch? The likes of Streisand and Santana of course are exempted since they are already legendary and this is meant to be a then-and-now comparison. That said most of the artists on the updated We Are The World are relatively well-established; they have been around for a decade or have released a few albums already. Dare I say it but unfortunately for the music connoisseur you are even left wondering what was the bigger disaster; Haiti’s devastation or We Are The World 25?
Call me nostalgic. Call me reactionary. Call me old-fashioned if you will but I am sticking to my perspective: If you don’t know what to sing then rather don’t sing at all. This applies to recording artists as much as it does to shower specialists.
Heal the world. (A greeting that perhaps means even more this week)