RJ Benjamin & Ebrahim Mallum produce song #BecauseWeAre with 30 South African musicians

#BecauseWeAre: 30 South African musicians join forces.

30 Top South African musicians, including Vusi Mahlasela, Amanda Black, Arno Carstens, J’Something, Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, Karen Zoid, Majozi, Ready D, Khuli Chana, Zolani Mahola and more, under the banner of the Mzansi All-Stars, have joined forces to release a campaign with song titled #BecauseWeAre, which aims to encourage unity, resilience, and action.

The song was written by Zolani Mahola and Aron Halevi with creative input from Dylan Wray (director of education human rights organisation, Shikaya).

Zolani Mahola shares: “There is something so precious about co-creation… from the initial impetus to the realisation of the dream.

This song is the beginning of a conversation about national unity, about our responsibility to create the society we want to see. I’m excited to be a part of that wonderful future.”

Aron Halevi adds: “We want the song to ignite a conversation around how we can emerge from this pandemic even stronger than before, and what we can each do to contribute.”

All contributing artists

Amanda Black, Ard Matthews, Arno Carstens, Agape, Bonga Kwana, Buhlebendalo Mda, Cheistar, Craig Hinds, Divine Mahara, Early B, Emo Adams, Francois Van Coke, Gabriela Diamond, Jabulani Mthembu, Jack Parow, J’Something, Jedd Kossew, Jeremy Loops, Jimmy Nevis, Kahn Morbee, Karen Zoid, Khayelitsha United Mambazo, Khuli Chana, Majozi, Ready D, Shane Cooper, Vusi Mahlasela, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Zoë Modiga, Zolani Mahola.

you can stream or download the #BecauseWeAre song on all major digital platforms globally here: http://platoon.lnk.to/BecauseWeAre

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#BecauseWeAre is more important than ever now for individuals, communities and institutions to come together and reflect on where we are as a country, and where we are headed.

COVID-19, and the lockdown, have highlighted the fractures in our society and structures, and momentary gestures of goodwill alone will not sustain us through and beyond this unprecedented moment.

The dynamic campaign, will hopefully drive a conversation around where we are and where we are headed, how we build resilience as a country and support unity.

This conversation will be used as the basis for an education programme encouraging young South Africans to think about their choices and how they can influence their futures.

#NewMusicFriday a SA house music classic, “Change The World”, is available on Streaming platforms now

One of the biggest songs of RJ Benjamins career and a song that many now consider a SA house music classic, “Change The World”, has never been available on Streaming platforms.

Well…it’s finally available!

Many thanks to Sergio Botelho for helping RJ get the song up!

Here’s a link to the ‘Change The World EP’ and for context, if you’d like to know the details RJ breaks down each version: https://smarturl.it/20scx3

Track 1. Change The World – DJ Masterjam feat. RJ Benjamin (Dr Duda Remix) – This was not the original version of the song but it was the version that in Dec 2008 and into 2009 had a huge portion of Southern Africa losing their minds. It literally changed my career in positive and negative ways. I think it influenced a lot of the SA vocal house music of the 2010’s.

Track 2. 2010 Change The World (Feat. Slikour) – if my memory serves me right, Slikour was going to rap on the original version of ‘Change The World’ (recorded in 2007). He was at the session but decided not to record a rap. In 2010 I finally convinced him to record a rap for the song and it is awesome 🙌🏻 This version is also produced by the legend that is Dr Duda.

Track 3. Change The World (Chris Sen Remix) – besides Dr Duda’s massively popular remix, this is by far the best remix ever done to the song.

Track 4. Change The World DJ Masterjam Feat. RJ Benjamin – This was the original recorded back in 2007. Sheree O’Brien set up the session with Duda, Slikour and myself. My life at the time was in utter turmoil. A string of life-changing events occurred during this period. My late dad’s brother passing away, the most traumatic break-up in my life, a house break-in that could easily have ended in me losing my life, a friendship and fallout with a SA music legend, along with a small war with a major label. All of it influenced the way I was writing and I wrote this song. It was all about trying to inspire the idea that if each of us do our small bit we could change the world for the better. I actually hate this vocal. I was not in the right headspace at the time and I very clearly remember walking out of the session thinking nothing will happen with this terrible vocal I recorded. You can clearly hear with the additional vocals on this version that I was struggling to get in the zone. Who knew Duda would rework it into such a banger 🤷🏻‍♂️

Track 5. 2012 Change The World – this was the only RJ produced version of the song. I wanted to create a fully live interpretation that would take the song completely out of its typical house form while still using the elements that made the song so successful. It’s basically a “what if the Gypsy Kings were given Change The World to remix” 😂

Sipho Mabuse ,RJ Benjamin ,Chantal Stanfield, Cinema ,Dr Victor ,Ard Matthews and more for Lockdown Legends on 28th June

Join us, as we look back and celebrate with the talents of SA’s retro ‘best of the best’, where they will perform online magic for all the world to see and hear from the comfort and safety of your home.

Hear the music and the stories that defined generation after generation – and reconnect with the music that defined you.

The event also includes tributes to some of our lost legends by more recent artists from the 2000’s

75% of the proceeds will be channeled directly to the music professionals that have worked on this project and 25% to other music industry professionals.

28th June 2020 from 8.15pm | Donation only R100 gets you full access

www.covid-zero.co.za/lockdownlegends

www.facebook.com/lockdownlegends

** You can view the content at any time from 8.15pm on the 28th June until the 5th July 2020 **

The COVID-19 crisis has sadly left every musician, event planner, technician and live event crew member without an income, but the upside is we can all do something about it. It is time for music lovers the world over to support their efforts – and in a fair exchange of entertainment for cash – reach for our wallets and look forward to being rewarded for your commitment and playing your part to help keep the entertainment economy alive and well.

The event features stars and members of the following bands from the 60’s to now

1960’s

● 1964 – Dickie Loader

● 1967 – The Dream Merchants

● 1967 – Four Jacks & A Jill

● 1968 – The Staccatos

1970’s

● 1971- Brian Mulder of The Peanut Butter Conspiracy

● 1971 – Mick Matthews of The Hedgehoppers

● 1977 – Bernie Millar from Circus

● 1978- Andre De Villiers

● 1978 – Clout

1980’s

● 1980 – Ballyhoo

● 1981 – Peach

● 1981 – Neil Solomon

● 1983 – Pierre De Charmoy

● 1984 – The Working Girls

● 1984 – Face to Face

1984 – Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse – Burnout

● 1985 – PJ Powers & Hotline

● 1985 – Robin Auld

● 1985 – Tim Parr of EllaMental

● 1985 – Heather Mac of Ella Mental

● 1985 – Sheldon Thomas & Craig Else of Petit Cheval

● 1986 – Stewart Irving

● 1988 – Cinema

● 1989 – Wendy Oldfield

● Lars Lofstrand of Celtic Rumours

1990’s & 2000’s

● 1994 – Dr Victor

● 1995 – Kreesan

● 1998 – David Beretta Owens of Lithium

● 1999 – John Ellis from Tree 63

● 2006 – Craig Hinds of Watershed

● 2008 – Ross Learmonth of Prime Circle

● 2018 – Ard Matthews of Just Jinjer

● 2002 – Mark Beling formerly formerly of Mean Mr Mustard

● 2020 – Bobo from Denim with new act BNL

● 2020 – Terence Reis of The Dire Straits Experience

● Danny K appearance

● Vicky Sampson appearance

● 1983 – Lloyd Cele pays tribute to Brenda Fassie

● 1978 – RJ Benjamin and Chantal Stanfield (The Benjafields) pay tribute to Zayn Adam and Pacific Express

Steve Umculo pays tribute to Hugh Masekela – Send Me, Mbombela , Bring Him Back Home, Sarafina

Presented by legendary DJ s

● Sean Brokensha

● Shado Twala

● Darren Scott

● Dave Guselli

● Kevin Savage

● Tony Blewitt

● David Gresham

● Peter Wise

● Benjy Mudie

Created & Produced by Jarrod Aston

Produced by: Glenda Sixel

Directed by: Di Rosen

ABOUT COVID-ZERO

www.covid-zero.co.za

Entertainment is a big source of happiness. And the quest for happiness is what keeps people moving forward with purpose. Covid-Zero puts entertainment first, giving artists, comedians and others a virtual concert stage to keep performing, engaging with you, their fans, and spreading positive lockdown messaging and good vibes. For performers in lockdown, online is the new live.

All you have to do is buy a ticket, sit back and watch, from the safety and comfort of your own home. Ticket sales will be donated directly to support the entertainers and will fund the manufacture and distribution of care packages including masks, hand sanitisers, food vouchers and safety information to communities across South Africa.

To give our audiences a voice in the silence, we are also offering you a ‘fans first’ option of voting for whom you would like to see perform. Our Gallery page will have photos of our wonderful Covid-Zero supporters dressed up for the concerts in their own homes and pictures of the distribution of Care Packages into our communities. You also have the option of making an additional donation to communities. Helping to take Covid-19 to Covid-Zero.

For media enquiries please contact;

Jarrod Aston | +2782 443 3209 or jarrod

Glenda Sixel | +2782 493 9738 or glenda

Call to radio in South Africa

Have a look at the attached letter and let us know what you think please
Special thanks to KFM who have started playing 2 hours of SA music every night from 10 -12 midnight

Music Exchange would love you thoughts and we hope more radio stations follow KFM’s example

Chad Alexander to appear alongside RJ Benjamin this Saturday at the Radisson Red from 8pm at V & A Waterfront

Chad Alexander who will help his long time friend RJ Benjamin put together an evening of neo soul and R&B at Radisson Red on Saturday 4th May 2019

Chad has an impressive body of work having worked with artists including RJ Benjamin, Ziyon, Donald ProVerb, Bongi Mavuyana Zola 7 Pebbles Nothende, Kabelo & Zwai Bala (TKZee)

I spoke to him last week :

When are you happiest?

To be honest, I’m happiest on stage making music and performing to people.

What does music mean to you?

Music has become my life. One can say music is life, but it’s the one thing that has taught me so much about people and about myself.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

The fact that I can work with amazing musicians and artists and be creative in the music industry. So in essence, music is all about people, and what I love basically is that I can work with people, create something beautiful… and create lasting friendships and lasting business relationships.

What drives you…? Ego or Humility?

Definitely humility. I was raised in a home with a verse that has been our daily bread over the years that says… “Whoever exalts (praises) himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be raised to honor Matthew 23:12

Any funny moments on stage?

One time I set my keyboard up with its stand… and while playing, the keyboard stand gave in and the keyboard and the stand fell directly onto the top of me feet and there was absolutely no way I could be cool about it…

Your heroes?

I know its going to sound cheesy, but by far… my mother, Philanthea Alexander… a single mother who successfully raised her three sons. She always put us first and who was my practical example of what true sacrifice and dedication is all about. She passed on… 21 June 2016, and everything I am today and what I’ve achieved is because of her dedication to me as a mother and loving mom who sacrificed everything so I could succeed in life.

Which living person do you admire most and why?

Ryan Leslie… he’s an international musician and artist, producer and business mogul who silently and sometimes quite prominently goes about his business of making great music despite the lack of attention and spot light from the general music industry. I admire the work ethic and the fact that he functions on a Dymaxian sleep pattern, where he sleeps for 3hrs everyday with one 30 minute nap… which I find pretty incredible.

What is your most treasured possession?

This is a super tough question… because I have a few. Most people would think I would say my piano because I’m a pianist, but I’m going to have to go with my Yamaha Steel String Silent Guitar.

It’s your round what are you drinking?

Well Martin as you know…I don’t drink at all. Never gone down that road. So if it were my round, I would proudly scream PASSION FRUIT AND LEMONADE ON ME!!!!!

Dream gig to do?

To perform with my favorite band of all time… FourPlay

What makes you stand out?

I would have to say my white Roland FP4 Electric Piano I’ve been playing on for around 12 years now. It has become apart of my brand as a musician. I would also say that I’ve worked very hard on developing my own sound as a musician, pianist, guitarist, bassist, producer etc. So basically I don’t sound like anyone you’ll ever come across, at least I hope so!

Nicknames?

Over my 10-12 year career, the people have given me the name The Chad… I think it has something to do with the movie Charlie’s Angels.

If you were not a musician what would you do?

I would do a few things, open up a restaurant, be a photographer. I also wanted to be an artist (as in painter) or a cartoonist.

Pick five words to describe yourself?

Complex. Funny. Spiritual. Caring. Reliable

Greatest Movie Ever Made?

Nacho Libre…. without a doubt!

What song changed your life?

A Quiet Place- written by Ralph Carmichael and performed by Take 6….

Who do you love?

Not sure who this refers to but I’m going to go with…My Family and friends

What is your favorite word?

Enigma

Favorite Fashion Garment

I’m torn between a good blazer and a good pair of Levi Jeans

Give us some real proper slang and what it means

“Awe Ma Se Kind”- indirect translation would be “Hey there, mothers child” but the correct colloquial laments interpretation, means…”Hey there, brother/sister from another mother”

Top of your bucket list?

Always wanted to stay in Beijing for one year.

Your greatest achievement?

Musically directing two seasons of a television music show called Stripped Down on Channel O and Vuzu on DSTV

What do you complain about most often?

Poor Service in South Africa…

What is your fear?

Being left out at sea or dropped in the middle of the Amazon jungle.

Happiness is?

A simple comfortable life spent doing what you love with people you love.

On stage I tend to?

Zone out and I become another version of myself most people don’t get to encounter.

If you are walking on stage for a keynote speech alla Barak Obama what song would you use and why?

Ah Yeah by Robert Glasper featuring Musiq Soulchild and Chrisette Michele. Why…firstly it has three of my favorite artists in it and it’s just a smooth sexy track…

The best life lesson you have been taught

As I said earlier… “Whoever exalts (praises) himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be raised to honor Matthew 23:12.

Where would you like to be right now?

Beijing

Book at Quicket or the door

3rd most read contributor for Biz Lounge two years in a row

I have been given a wonderful platform to open the world up to well know and not so well known artists for over 2 years now on Biz Community in the portal called Biz Lounge.

We have interviewed the good and the great including :

Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music recently inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

Tony Cedras who worked with Paul Simon

the multi talented RJ Benjamin

world class poet Siphokazi Jonas

rising star Bianca Blanc

Super star Chad Saaiman,

Biggest selling artist inDecember 2018 Vusi Nova to name but a few

The articles come out once a week and if you wish to be featured do contact me

So for 2019 I was the 3rd most read contibutor for a second year running

The platform is available to all artists ,you just have to reach out to me to be featured email info

Have a fantastic 2019 and keep reaching for blue skies.

The Music Exchange dates are out for 2019 …1st week September and booking is open at Quicket.

Muizenberg High School is 120 years old and former pupil and Tv Star Chantal Stanfield comes back to school to give back this weekend

LEGACY 12O

Muizenberg High School is 120 years old! In celebration of this feat, a show has been devised incorporating the history of Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa and, of course, Muizenberg High School.

Conceived and directed by Coleen van Staden with the assistance of Celia Musikanth, “Legacy 120 – the show” will be on the boards on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 October starting at 19:00.

Audiences are invited to take a journey through a series of snapshot scenes and moments that depict the last 120 years. Against the backdrop of a changing South Africa, “Legacy 120, the show”, brings to life some of the school’s history and highlights, its values and vision.

A very exciting component of this show is Chantal Stanfield, well known TV star, stage performer and singer (to mention just some of her attributes) who will be performing her song “Walk it off” with backing dancing by most of the cast.

Chantal is a proud past pupil of Muizenberg High and excitement mounts with the learners itching to accompany her on stage!

The school’s Legacy of Life Long Learning is evident in the commitment and enthusiasm that the cast of learners has shown. They are sure to take much of this journey with them into adulthood. Their contribution is the heart and soul of this production.

To book contact the school directly please:

SIPHO “HOTSTIX” MABUSE is making a call to all musicians in South Africa

MEX Endorses Empowerment

MEX chairperson and board member SIPHO “HOTSTIX” MABUSE is making a call to all musicians in South Africa to not only attend MEX18, on 1 and 2 September in Cape Town, but to all opportunities to cultivate the broader education in our collective music economy.

“As chairperson of MEX, which is now in its 8th year, I implore musicians, managers and all music business owners to attend the KZN Music Imbizo in Durban this week, and then MEX18 the week after,” Sipho implores. “We then have Moshito, in Gauteng, thereafter. If you are in one of these centres, get there! I raise this urgent call as we have a crisis in education around the local and global business of music.”

Sipho’s known and respected as someone open to sharing his experience, committed to empowering everyone in the industry that’s afforded him an extraordinary career. “I had a question the other day, from a music school graduate that floored me,” he shares. “Even with all of their class teaching this person questioned what was more important, a publisher or a publicist? That question scared me and drove home the fact that music conferences are a critical supplement to any text-book training.”

Sipho Mabuse

“It illustrates, with alarming accuracy, the lack of life-skill, real and applicable lessons from some of South Africa’s most established tertiary education institutions,” Sipho concludes. “This is where the likes of MEX, Moshito and the KZN Music Imbizo play a critical role in empowerment.”

MEX18 will play host to a truly global list of speakers and aggregators, the likes of SAMRO, DEEZER, RISA, THE ORCHARD, MAHOGANY and JOOX. Each is a critical local touch point in any career in music, all who will be active and participating at MEX18.

Add to that extraordinary partnerships and key international relationships, MEX18 welcomes back Abbey Rd Studio’s CHRISTIAN WRIGHT to the fold for a second time.

With MEX18’s focus around all things digital, including the streaming economy, CHRISTIAN, along with MAHOGANY’s MARK MURDOCH will be unpacking the relationships between record labels, managers and the audiences they each appeal to.

pic Mark Murdoch -Mahogany

THE ORCHARD’s Vice-President (France, Benelux and West Africa) BEN OLDFIELD will also be flying in especially to talk at MEX18.

MUSIC EXCHANGE will also be hosting showcases. By attending MEX18 you will be in front of all three international speakers, as well as SA artists including RJ BENJAMIN and the keynote speakers, including publishers the calibre of DAVID ALEXANDER and JOHN FISHLOCK.

Whether you’re an established or ambitious young artist, publicist, producer, DJ, manager, venue owner, record label, agency or corporate brand looking to gain invaluable insight and learnings every delegate can actively apply and benefit from, MEX18 is the creative hub responsible for bringing it all together.

Digital monetisation in the new music economy, through to masterclasses dedicated to key disciplines, MEX18 will once again offer it all.

MEX18 will be hosted at the impressive Academy Of Sound Engineeringstudio complex, in District 6, as well as Sun Square, Mill Street, Gardens over the jam-packed two-day imbizo.

With more speakers and events to be announced over the coming three weeks, in the build-up to MEX18, follow us on Facebook to get breaking announcements as they happen.

Limited delegates tickets for MEX18 are available now through Quicket.

• Day 1 – R300 BOOK NOW

• Day 2 – R300 BOOK NOW

• Day 1 & 2 – R400 (R500 normal price) if you BOOK NOW using the following promotional code: mex18-2-day-ticket

For booking details, and more information, go to: www.musicexchange.co.za

Masterclass with RJ Benjamin -Understanding your voice Saturday 2 June

Masterclass with RJ Benjamin -Understanding your voice Saturday 2 June at Paul Bothners Claremont

RJ has vocal coached some of SA top talent ovet the years

Using various video’s as well as diagrams this masterclass will help singers, musicians, choir masters and really anybody fascinated with singing to better understand their voice as well as understand everybody else’s.

How vocal sound is created (Footage will be used to assist in the explanation of this)

How breathing affects sound creation (Several breathing exercises will be used and a few volunteers will be required to show examples)
Why our voices are unique

Vocal range and registers (This is particularly important in teaching singers to know and understand their vocal range and how singing outside of this can cause serious damage and be detrimental to a singing career, Footage will be used to assist in the explanation of this)

Warm up sequence (the attendees will do a standard warmup sequence)

Explanation of Vocal Pedagogy (methodology) and which ones to avoid.

Vocal health (this will include advice on how to keep your vocal chords as healthy as possible as well as some footage showing vocal damage particularly in the form of nodules)

Q & A

Date: Saturday, 2 June 2018

Venue: Paul Bothner Music Claremont

Time: 10:30am to 12:30am

Cost: R50.00 for tickets purchased online or R70.00 at the door

Enquiries: 021 674 4030 – Paul Bothner Music Claremont

How to make money from writing songs with David Alexander CEO of Sheer Publishing Africa -7 April


How to make money from writing songs
Masterclass with David Alexander CEO of Sheer Publishing Africa

Areas that will be focused on include:

• So you wrote a song and it’s now on the radio – how do you get paid?

• How do you get the song onto a TV programme or a film or even better – a commercial?

• How much does that pay?

• How long does it take for the money to arrive in your account? What happens if it lands up on the Internet?

• Who is supposed to look after all of these things for you as a writer?

Come and hear David Alexander explain the workings of the music publishing business and how you need to protect yourself in a world where the digitisation of everything is leading to a reduction in earnings for songwriters all over the world.

David will be available to answer any questions you may have about the music publishing business – including how you could get your song onto the next Black Panther

Date: Saturday, 7 April 2018

Venue: Paul Bothner Music Claremont


Time: 10:30am to 12:30am


Cost: R50.00 for tickets purchased online VIA Quicket or R70.00 at the door


Enquiries: 021 674 4030 – Paul Bothner Music Claremont

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