Lovely read pre Music Exchange press Wed 6 Sept 2017 pre the conference on 9 and 10 Sept

Great pre press re Music Exchange and BMI Song Camp at South Beach ( for the 2nd year in a row ).
Article was a 1/2 page in Business Report on Wednesday 6 Sept 2017, thanks to Struan Douglas.

#mex17 is in its 7th year in 2017.


TRACE presents the first Roots music festival – 30 acts and a marriage of food, art, lifestyle and urban African music.

Roots will be hosted at the trendy Joziburg Lane venue in central Johannesburg on Saturday, 4 November 2017.

TRACE Southern Africa presents the inaugural edition of its brand new eventing property – Roots.

This first-of-its-kind festival will bring together everything that makes the African continent beautiful – from food, art and lifestyle to an array of musical sounds from some of the best urban African artists.

The event has a lineup of over 30 acts with Kwesta and Sjava as the headliners. The supporting lineup ranges from developing artists and A-listers to alternative artists and those in the forefront of shaping popular culture such as Gemini Major, DJ Sliqe, Sho Madjozi, Frank Casino, J Molley, I See A Different You and Gqom connoisseur, DJ Sandiso among many others.

Roots aims to give all who attend an explorative experience of both the dynamic TRACE brand and the African continent.

Expect to learn more about African literature with the Abantu Book Festival – friends of TRACE who established the first book festival geared at the African reader and the African author.

Your tastebuds are in for a treat as the food vendors for this festival have been carefully selected in order to sample the best cuisine from across the continent. Roots – in its entirety – will be a physical manifestation of what TRACE stands for, says TRACE Southern Africa’s Senior Vice-President, Leo Manne: “We have wanted to celebrate the vibrancy of our audience, both on the continent and in the diaspora for a very long time, honouring their diversity and urban cool. We believe we have come up with the perfect formula to bring this to life through TRACE Roots and we cannot wait for people to enjoy and own the concept. Roots is about coming home, we want everyone to feel like they have finally found a space that truly belongs to them.”

Doors open at 2PM and the celebration of urban African music will continue until midnight with over 30 live acts and Djs bringing the stage to life. Tickets are on sale at R200 and available at Webtickets.

Personal Reflection from Colin Sher who was at the BMI Songwriters Camp 2017

Cape Town producer, DJ and owner of Cosher recording studios, Colin Sher (Cosher) was invited to be a producing songwriter at this year’s BMI songwriting camp in partnership with Music Exchange (MEX).
BMI (similar to SAMRO in South Africa) is the largest music rights organization in the U.S. and bridges the gap between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that want to play their music publicly. BMI represents nearly 13 million musical works created and owned by more than 800,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Since 2016, the Music Exchange Entertainment Indaba (MEX17), has partnered with BMI and attracted various writing creatives for a five-day emersion and creative boot camp.

The camp was hosted in Camps Bay at the South Beach Luxury Hotel.

There were 7 songwriters who were invited from around the globe who stayed at the hotel while a further 4 other songwriters joined for 2 day stints.

The 7 songwriters including Colin Sher, were:

– Amanda Black from South Africa (3 times SAMA winner)

– Christian Wright from the U.K. (Abbey Road engineer)

– Jan Klose from USA (Grammy nominated singer songwriter)

– Alicia Madison from USA (Top EDM singer songwriter)

– Tony Grund from USA (Producer / DJ and lecturer at SAE in New York)

– Marcela Arciniegas from Columbia (Producer with many U.K. top charting tracks)

After being treated to an amazing welcoming event with more than enough food and drinks, the songwriting week began with breakfast and the day’s briefs.

Each day the process would be similar to this; John Fishlock, a music publisher who was one of the main organizers, was in charge of the briefs which were given to everyone each morning in order to inspire the songs for the day. The briefs were supposed to budge the groups into writing songs in a certain direction, but they were allowed to do their own thing if otherwise inspired. The briefs ranged each day and always targeted certain singers who needed songs for upcoming projects such as Idols participants, the Voice winners, established local artists and international artists looking for new songs. The briefs would contain examples of their past work and links to reference songs that were along the same direction they were looking for.

Once the briefs had been read, all writers were put into groups of 3, with one producer per group. They would then head off to their respective producers’ room which would be their studio for the day.

The songwriting process was different each day according to the briefs and to the different dynamics with the groups. The goal for each day was to produce one song ,or at least, one song idea. Of course this couldn’t be forced but it was a good target.

For most of the writing days, the sessions started out with chords and melodies after landing on an agreed brief. Depending on which writer was involved, and what their strengths were, the song either started out on guitar or piano.

Each day and each song brought along different challenges that were equally met by the songwriters.

The first writing session of the week was the birth of a pop, ‘happy in love’ song with South African elements.

The idea was to incorporate a chance for the vocalist to show off her pipes and have a bit of a fun feel. The starting point of the song were the chords that ended up being the verse chords, very classy feeling chords. The chords and song structure was spearheaded by Jann, while lyrics flowed out of Amanda. The production changed shape a few times between double time fast pop, verses the half time Hip Hop feel. However middle ground was found between the music production and percussion. The songwriting process developed through the song from verse to chorus to bridge and before they knew it, they were adding final touches. The song was called ‘He knows’ (for now).

Day 2 of the writing camp was an opportunity for new groups to formulate 2 new songs!

Colin, Christian and Nyote started with the first song, a future pop track with lyrics inspired by the view from their room. The inspiration took them to a concept of being stranded, or on your own, in the ocean, but being able to have a clear mind in this desperate moment where you finally find yourself and find your “release”.

The instrumental track had a few sections where rapping could take place, so one of the big talking points was where and how to introduce the rap. At first, the rap was placed in the first verse but then towards the end of the session it was moved to the second verse where the contrast had a bigger impact. Although spearheaded by Christian, the writing responsibilities were shared with good contributions coming from all parties.

For the second track, a light hearted pop/reggae feel came into play and the inspiration came from a vocal melody that Christian came up with. It was the starting point they needed, and headed in the direction of a love song. The idea was a metaphor of an addiction relating to the feeling of being with someone that you can’t be without as the melodies leaned towards targeting the South American market. One thing that took a lot of trial and error was how to use the hook line “under the influence”. The Melody was easy to find but placing it rhythmically was the challenge.
The longer than usual bridge section offered an opportunity for a chord change, and many different catchy vocal ideas. They managed to fit most of these ideas in and the only challenge was linking it back into the final chorus which got resolved in the last line leading into the chorus. The song was called ‘Under the influence’.

Wednesday was a deserved day off, where all participants were taken to Robben Island and the Waterfront for a day of history, culture and inspiration.

Thursday was back to work and after being inspired by a reference track that was played by EDM pop singer Alicia. Colin, Ebrahim and Alicia decided to tackle this tropical pop genre.

After spending a long time trying the best chords, they landed on a key and chord progression that worked. While Alicia started working on lyrics, Colin and Ebrahim started work shopping production ideas. Chords, sounds and musical rhythms were put in place and a basic structure was laid out. The lyrical concept was along the lines of a person in a hurtful relationship and the imminent decision that would have to be made in order for that person to be happy in the future. Because of the nature of the genre, there was a high priority on coming up with catchy and memorable vocal melodies which they struggled with at first, but after playing around with a few ideas they landed on what they felt worked best.

Different stages of production were worked on throughout the day while lyrics and melodys were finalized. Two of the most challenging areas in the production was the bass line and the percussion for the drop. Once they were happy with all of these aspects of the song, they went ahead with full vocal takes. The last thing that was added was the sing-a-long chorus chant which was a great finishing touch.

At the end of a great day everyone was very happy with the finished demo song – ‘Carry on’.

Friday was the last day of this incredible camp.

Colin worked with Christian Wright again and they were joined by local singer songwriter Wandile. The first song that was tackled was called ‘I try’ and was a mid tempo ballad aimed at the John legend type market as it was written for Craig Lucas, the winner of the Voice. The song has a clear mood and beautiful melody which all comes together to create one big build up and then has subsequent anti-climatic drop, which goes hand in hand with the song lyrics. The cinematic percussion added to the dramatic feel and the demo vocals were expertly sung by Wandile.

The second song that day was a Afro-house infused song with fun lyrical content calling out ‘enemies’ to come for a drink and celebrate the success of the person they were calling out in the past. The key to this song, besides the lyrics, was the guitar lick that needed to create the mood the writers were going for and after many attempts and discussions, the correct melody was found.

At the end of the week all songs were presented at a listening session hosted by The Academy of Sound Engineering and was attended by various press and other industry professionals.

Amongst the audience was Carli Myers who had attended the writing camp the previous year and had massive success with her chart topping single ‘Crazy’ which was produced and written by Ameen Haron. All producers came up to showcase their songs and each international producer had 4 songs to play respectively while Colin had 6.

Saturday was the Music Exchange event (MEX) where everyone was invited to speak on a topic of their choosing. This was well attended by variety of people and was a great opportunity for networking in the music industry. After the event, there was one final celebration as all participants were invited to the rooftop deck at Cosher Recording Studios in Cape Town to celebrate what had been a fantastic week of songwriting.

A big thanks to Brandon Bakshi from BMI who funded this week, John Fishlock for his incredible involvement, Martin Myers for his vision and organization and drive that made all this happen

Derek Geddes who handled all day to day logistics, South Beach hotel for hosting the songwriters, Mynt and( Bevan Trevor ) restaurant for feeding everyone so well, and all the song writers who participated and made the week so memorable and enjoyable.

So true about Tom Petty -beautiful story by Bob Lefsetz

He wasn’t running on fumes.

Most aged, classic bands have been beaten down, believing their audience still cared they released new music to little acclaim and then gave up, gussied up their look and went on endless victory parades where they played their hits to an aged audience and it isn’t adulation so much as money, they need it, to pay their bills, there was never that much money in the beginning, when royalty rates were low and tickets were four, five and six dollars, and then they got divorced, after spending everything, believing it was gonna come in forever, and now you can see them, but it’s not them, not the hungry people who needed it way back when, who created the soundtrack to our lives.

You can’t make that much money in music. So now people dream of being techies, and bankers, and we need both, but their efforts are transitory at best. Whereas when we hear Tom Petty’s songs on the radio they still have impact, meaning, he lives on, even though he’s dead.

And that’s hard to compute, that someone’s gone. But the truth is we know our rock musicians, even if we don’t.

We listened to the albums, we read about them, they’re far from faceless, and we never forget their work, it is never superseded.

You might have a computer in the closet that runs MS-DOS, even OS9, but you never break it out, it’s ancient history, but you still play those old records, even if it’s mostly in your head, they’re ingrained in your brain.

But the difference with Petty is he never retired.

Never gave up. Never stopped recording new music. Never stopped taking chances. Doing his radio show.

While everybody else gave up and took the money, like Dylan, doing adverts, and Townshend, approving big league synchs, Petty sat on the sidelines, while Neil Young promoted the specious Pono, while everybody in Hollywood was making tech investments, Tom was just a musician, that was enough for him.

And it was enough for us.

Rested All Blacks slot straight in to match day team to play Springboks at Newlands

The All Blacks team to play South Africa at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, this Saturday 7 October 2017 is :

The matchday 23 (with Test caps in brackets) is:

1. Kane Hames (4)
2. Dane Coles (53)
3. Nepo Laulala (8)
4. Samuel Whitelock (91)
5. Scott Barrett (12)
6. Liam Squire (11)
7. Sam Cane (48)
8. Kieran Read (105) – Captain
9. Aaron Smith (66)
10. Beauden Barrett (58)
11. Rieko Ioane (8)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (41)
13. Ryan Crotty (30)
14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (10)
15. Damian McKenzie (7)

16. Codie Taylor (24)
17. Wyatt Crockett (66)
18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (9)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (13)
20. Matt Todd (9)
21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (26)
22. Lima Sopoaga (11)
23. David Havili (1)

As expected, the five All Blacks who came to South Africa early ( the holiday makers who spent time on Camps Bay beach see pic below ) have all been named in the matchday 23.

Samuel Whitelock returns to the second row alongside Scott Barrett, Liam Squire is at blindside flanker and Sam Cane is at openside, with Matt Todd moving to the bench.

In the backs, Ryan Crotty has been named at centre, while Nehe Milner-Skudder is on the right wing.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow has been named at reserve halfback while Lima Sopoaga provides additional back cover alongside David Havili.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “We’ve settled in well in Cape Town this week.

However, our preparation has been different because of the need to recover well from all the travel.

This has meant that there’s been less time on the park and an even greater emphasis than normal on the mental side of our preparation.

As always, getting real clarity of our roles and how we want to play has been key.

“We know we’ll be playing a proud Springbok side which will be determined to rectify what happened in Albany.

While it’s necessary for us to try and anticipate what they’re going to bring to the match, it’s more important for us to focus on what we’re going to bring to the encounter.

Our skill execution, our physicality and our ability to play our ‘triple threat’ game will be critical.

“The team is really looking forward to playing at Newlands after a nine-year absence.

The beach boys: Squire ,Cane ,Sopoaga.Whitelock,Crotty -Camps Bay Beach

“We know we have a huge fanbase here and the hospitality and reception we have received from the local folks has been fantastic.”

Key notes:

• The All Blacks and South Africa have played each other 94 times, with 56 wins to the All Blacks, 35 to South Africa and three draws.

• The All Blacks have scored 49 tries this year, so the next one makes 50 – and that will be the 13th time this century. It is ten years since any other team has reached 50 tries.

• This will be the tenth time the All Blacks have played South Africa at Newlands.

The last match there was in 2008, which the All Blacks won 19-0.

The Boks took it up the nought ..I was at that game along with Stuart Rubin marketing boss for BMG Records and the next year we did the 1st Music Exchange conference.

• David Havili’s debut try last weekend was the 100th Test match try converted by Beauden Barrett.

As well, Barrett has already equalled his last year’s Investec Rugby Championship record of 23 conversions for the season. The all-time record for the All Blacks is 27.

• Barrett and his teammate Damian McKenzie have each made 57 carries this campaign, more than any other player at the tournament.

• The All Blacks won The Rugby Championship in 2012 – 2014 and again in 2016 and 2017, have held the Freedom Cup (played between New Zealand and South Africa) since 2010 and the Bledisloe Cup (played between New Zealand and Australia) since 2003.








MS AND MISS Nyota Parker

Ameen Harron

James Stewart ,Andre Ensil ,Martin Myers

Tony Grund ,Brandon Bakshi ,Alicia Madison ,Jann Klose

Peter Smith and Ze Nobrega

Razia Myers ,Anton Groenewald

Amanda Black ,Jann Klose ,Siphokazi Jonas ,Colin Sher

James Stewart ,Menno Visser

Bevan Trevor ,Brandon Bakshi

Martin Myers ,Christian Wright ,Casey Barclay ,Lisa Shanader

InsideMan Digital Media 2 day workshop 14 – 15 October 2017

InsideMan Digital Media offers strategy, solutions and support through social media management, training and web development.

With a client range from startups to corporates, we offer custom solutions to help people and brands improve their engagement, influence and reach online with strategic social media solutions and tools.

Venue: 183 The Albion Springs, Rondebosch, Cape Town

Brian speaking at MEX16 last year and he spoke again at Music Exchange on 10 Sept 2017 -great teacher

Social Media Training

Understand the social media foundations

Be able to fully audit their organisation

Plan goals and create a vision

Build a social media strategy in line with your business goals

Understand the basics of Youtube, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram and blogging

Use advanced features of the most popular social networks

Understand the wide scope of social media

Understand the risks of social media

Use social media not just for marketing, but for customer services & PR

Understand the fundamentals of content marketing

Strategy, Tools, Management Systems Set up

14 – 15 October 2017


2 day workshop

Please bring laptop

T: +27 (0) 87 2300 361 InsideMan Digital Media
M: +27 (0) 74 854 6507 183 Albion Springs, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700
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