Many a young upcoming artist often complain about the lack of guidance and mentorship in the South African music industry and as much as that statement is true, it is also misconstrued. I say this because there are many people in the game who take it upon themselves to impart knowledge onto the next generation of musicians who may not necessarily be recognised because they do this for the growth of the industry and not for applause. Likewise, there are many artists and DJs on the scene right now who take responsibility for uplifting new talent at every chance they get.
Is there time and space to cover everyone in need of assistance? Naturally not. The nature of the music industry is demanding and even more time consuming so it's not to say that people who have the knowledge do not care to share it, they simply do not have the time to organise a space for them to pass on what they know. On the other end of the coin is the unrefined artist who is just entering the scene and is hellbent on being the next Nasty C or even Cassper Nyovest, neglecting to acknowledge that Nasty C and Cassper Nyovest went through a long process to become who they are. They started somewhere. That somewhere being hustling to get themselves in, heard, and out there. They had to build their brands from scratch which took some strategies that would later see them to who they are now.
It's not so much about blaming it on radio or TV for not letting you in, nor any other media for that fact. It's about knowing how to knock, how to get yourself in and once you're there, knowing exactly how to maneuver yourself in that space. You see, we all have determination and dreams to be great but without planning you set yourself up for failure. Without knowledge, you expose yourself to many dangers in the playing field which you otherwise could equip yourself for. Tone, professionalism, presentation, brand strategy, music rights, media relationships and everything that surrounds your brand cannot simply come together by itself. Where do you learn how to put your best foot forward? You can start with the simplest solution: doing your homework. Research is an upcoming artist's best friend. It makes you look much more prepared than the guy next to you who doesn't even know the name of the show they want to be interviewed on or who hosts it.
So, is there enough guidance for upcoming talent in the music industry? I think so. The issue is whether upcoming talent is willing to learn and engage in various platforms that are set up for them to learn and benefit from. #MusicUsncripted is one such music conference which has been running for the past 3 years trying to equip future music professionals with the right tools to advance themselves.
The conference is an exchange platform for those who are in the know how to share their lessons and experiences with those who are trying to become. Come join us on Saturday, 26th August 2017 in Soweto at Soweto Ingress Lounge at Irvin Khoza Centre on Chris Hand Drive, Diepkloof Zone 6. It's only R 50 per person to interact with the likes of Ma-E, Justine Abrahams (African Star Communications), Helen Herimbi (The Independent & Touch HD), Duke Scott (SAMRO) and Wiseman Ngubo (CAPASSO).