MAMA Music Industry Workshop round up by Thato LePhoto


Photos Cred: Lebogang Leteane

The 2016 Mtv Africa Music Awards were upon us and all roads lead to the City of Johannesburg. Among the many events that have been planned by the organizers ahead of this auspicious ceremony was the MAMA Music Industry Workshop, which was held at Hilton in Sandton on the 21st of October 2016.

Apart from worrying about varsity students on their #FeesMustFall protests and a lot of construction happening around Sandton, the place was easily accessible. Upon arrival, the attendees were welcomed by the ever friendly Hilton staff and some of the MAMA crew member. Registering was a breeze as the names were already on record, so entering the ballroom was as simple as "check name, receive tag and get seated". The event was held in one of the ballrooms. Not too small and not too large, just enough to accommodate everyone who had made a booking. Refreshments were also served just outside the ballroom.


Music industry enthusiasts from across the various regions in the country who were present included students, workers, independent artists, DJ's, up-and-coming producers, music school teachers, managers and the media. This was an event that most, if not all, of them had been waiting for to give them that little bit of extra information on how to make it and stay in the music industry.


The workshop was hosted by the multi-talented Sizwe Dhlomo (Mtv Base, Yfm, 702) who also doubled up as part of the panel during the discussion sessions. Special guests included Lumka Dhlomo (Jo'burg City Tours) Slikour (Skwatta Camp, Buttabing Entertainment), KidX (3 Quarter Pace), Dj Maphorisa(One Dance,New Money Gang ), Dj Edu (UK), Anthony Saleh (Nas and Future's Manager), Refiloe Ramogase (DreamTeam SA, Sony Music Entertainment), Yemi Alade (Effyzzie Entertainment, Nigeria) and her manager Mr Taye Aliyu plus many others


Priceless nuggets of information and experiences were shared by the guests. Covering topics such as the realities and hardships of being an emerging artist, how artists need to take ownership of their music careers, putting your best foot forward and delivering good genuine music from your soul to the listeners. The need for tenacity as an artist, making use of the resources at your disposal, embracing change and letting it work for you instead of against you. At the end of the discussions, five new independent artists were invited to a one-on-one session with members of the panel. These panel members would listen to artists' work, analyze it and give them constructive feedback and passing on their knowledge of the music industry.

In my opinion, the way in which the event was organized and conducted is a solid 10/10. Some of my highlights were meeting like minded people who are relatively at the same level of their music career and further understanding of how important "networking" is, from the discussions. All in all, it was an exciting and extremely educational experience. For the organizing committee to bring it to the masses for free, it just shows their compassion and commitment to the music industry. I would definitely attend it if it ever made it to Jo'burg again.


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