Why the New 90% Local Music Rule is Great

EISH! We love a debate, don’t we? ANYTIME we can kick off about something and we’re there like a bear! Before switching my light off last night, I did my usual final social media browse for the evening to find #SABC trending. I learnt that all SABC music channels will switch to 90% South African music the following DAY! I LOVE the idea!

What a lot of people don’t realise is just how far away South Africa really is. There’s not much to write home about between South Africa and Morocco. Have you ever taken a pit stop in Nigeria while making your way to Europe? I didn’t think so. But it also made me realise just how awesome we are. That we ARE so far away, yet we are SO talented and have SO much to be proud of. While we often tear each other down, the rest of the world missed out on how EPIC we are. And that includes our incredible music scene. The world needs to hear us! But first, we need to hear ourselves. Here are:

10 Reasons Why the 90% Local Music Rule is FANTASTIC:

1) We live in Africa people.

I know this is hard for locals of European decent to fully accept, but this is NOT Europe. We DO NOT have to have loyalty to the art of foreign countries. For all the bad of colonisation, it also brought good. Things like opera, ballet, European instruments, food are great; all of which South Africa EXCELS at (see opera singer Levy Sekgapane or ballerina Leroy Mokgatle). But now it’s time for us to find our own feet. It’s wonderful that we have such talented people can take European culture, adopt it and represent it in a proudly South African way. But now it’s time for us to find our own feet but TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for that talent and art. Remember, the responsibility of the government is to promote the country as a whole, not just your personal taste. Open your mind, open your heart, you might learn something and end up LOVING it. I’ll see you on the next dance floor…

2) It’s Not Forever

Something people might want to keep in mind, “SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago says after 3 months, the broadcaster will engage with its audience to ascertain if they’re happy with the local content.” Ok! So can we just give this a chance before we get all up in arms?

3) ‘It’s On Us’

I believe the government has responsibility to honour and promote our local talent, projects and art. If the government doesn’t care about our ‘scenes’ then why should the world? Considering that the SABC is state owned, I think it’s clever and in the country’s best interest to promote SA music. The WHOLE PLANET promotes American and UK music, who promotes SA music? SURELY we should be responsible for that?

4) It’s Unifying

I used to work on the radio station for Clicks. I had NO IDEA SO many South Africans loved gospel music! I learnt the existence of so many different South African music tastes. I used to present on Discom Vibes sometimes too and I LOVED hearing kwaito and SA house music. This was back in 2006/7 and it changed my view on SA music forever. It’s great to know about different types of music and if our festivals weren’t such a success, then my point about music being unifying would be invalid! But music DOES unify!

5) If You Build It, They Will Come

The Cape Town music scene has been struggling for support over the last couple of years. While events like Ultra sell out to thousands of people, Mercury Live struggled to keep its doors open. People just don’t care. Jozi and Pretoria have always been streets ahead on the band front, but the lame 2am rule has a negative impact on public support – something vehemently fought against in the Western Cape. People WANT to stay out late to listen to music and party; and shouldn’t that be our  right? I feel that there’s truth in, if we play SA music all day, we will be more familiar with what’s out there; more motivated to support it and that can only do good things for our music industry.
The more music we know, the more Facebook likes and Twitter followers, the more credible artists look to foreign festival organisers who may want to book them. This isn’t only about you and your music taste, but it does start with you participating.

6) Paid Channels

We’re all acting like the internet is failing to exist people. Hello? We have paid channels that MORE than supply enough music at our finger tips! Channels like DSTV music (they have like 30 channels right?), Spotify (if you’re clever enough to set it up) or Deezer is available for you to listen to at any point. Not to mention actually PAYING for your music. I know this will come as a shock and horror to some people, but there’s a magical place called iTunes. It works kinda like Uber. You put your credit card or debit card details into the iTunes machine, select music you like and click the  I know, it’s incredible.

7) Aux Cable

There’s a magical thing in most modern cars that allow you to plug your smart phone into your car’s sound system to allow you to play tunes off your smartphone. I LOVE listening to BBC1xtra in my through my Radio app. Trevor Nelson, Charlie Sloth, Mr Jam in my car = happiness!

8) Free Channels

We have free channels people! Options like YouTube, Soundcloud or Mix Cloud. My favourite radio station is BBC1 xtra, I have the app on my phone and I listen to it on my desktop at work. They’re not cutting of our internet (then I’d be VERY worried! @Hands off our internet #HandsOffOurInternet.) so it’s not like all of a sudden we couldn’t watch Lemonade again if we needed to. TONS of electronic artists upload mixes for free that you can listen to whenever you want. Take Hyphen on MixCloud for example: here’s a whole list of mixes ready and available for your ears.

9) There’s Not Enough

  1. New Academics
  2. PHFat
  3. The Rudimentals
  4. Fokofpolisiekar
  5. AlBaire
  6. Beatenberg
  7. Jack Parow
  8. Lost and Found
  9. Hog Hoggidy Hog
  10. 7th Son
  11. Can Skylark
  12. Chad Simon
  13. Lost and Found
  14. Das Kapital
  15. Jimmy Nevis
  16. Tasha Baxter
  17. Van Coke Kartel
  18. AKA
  19. Zahara
  20. Mafikizo
  21. Mandoza
  22. Karen Zoid
  23. Shortstraw
  24. Seether
  25. Just Jinger
  26. Watershed
  27. Black Coffee
  28. Haezer
  29. LazerSharkk
  30. Dank
  31. Desmond and the Tutus
  32. Phaze
  33. Grimehouse
  34. SFR
  35. Mix n Blend
  36. MiCasa
  37. Lobel
  38. Broken Toy
  39. December Streets
  40. Narch
  41. Sibot
  42. Tasha Baxter
  43. Counterstrike
  44. Damage Inc

It just took me 5 minutes to think of all these SA artists. When I worked in radio, an hour consisted of about 15 songs, a set of 5, 5, 3, 2. There’s 3 hours of music right there, and that’s with them only being played once. You do the math.

10) The Quality is Shit

The fact that people have said the quality of SA music is shit is SHOCKING to me. YES! OF COURSE there will be some quality that’s not up to scratch, both on the talent side (not quite there yet) and production side (people don’t have money for studio time/recording). But there are lots of opportunities for people to collaborate and record, which will improve the quality. And as South Africans, we know we are damn resourceful.

If you think the qualities shit then I assume you haven’t bought a ticket to Rocking the Daisies or Oppikoppi, because you’ll be very upset to hear that 90% of that line up is all South African music…

In closing…

There is certainly NO lack of talent in South Africa. We have AWESOME artists who do SO well overseas and only get bigger and better. THEY NEED OUR SUPPORT! If you have been hating today, I’m asking you to give it a chance. I personally never listen to SA radio any more and this morning was the first time I deliberately turned my radio on to hear what SA gems I would hear and you know what? It was GREAT. I think I’ll listen on the way home too…

As per the SABC representative, “When we visit foreign countries, they are there playing their own music. And that is what we will do here.”

Finally, here are some thoughts on women who actually work in the industry:

Boring Cape Town Chick - Professional Quotes - 90% SA Music Rule (1)Boring Cape Town Chick - Professional Quotes - 90% SA Music Rule (2)Boring Cape Town Chick - Professional Quotes - 90% SA Music Rule (3)


Watch the SABC’s official statement here:

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