Eight emerging young musicians recently recorded their first albums after a life-changing opportunity provided by a song-writing competition hosted by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS).
Held in partnership with Music Exchange, the project saw a series of workshops and auditions being held in Knysna, Beaufort West and Cape Town in 2018.
“The purpose of this project is twofold. Firstly, to provide information to emerging musicians and artists about aspects of the music industry, such as copyright, publishing, marketing and the general business of music. Secondly, to find emerging songwriters and teach them the importance of composing and how to trade in songs in the music industry,” said DCAS spokesperson Tania Colyn.
The eight winning musicians have since enjoyed a wonderful journey of playing at live events, attending workshops, being mentored by professional musicians and networking with notable people in the music industry. The experience culminated in the recording of a compilation album.
One of the winners, Mary Jane Zimri (29) from Kuils River, Cape Town, said that the experience has given a huge boost to her as an aspiring professional singer.
“From the start, the workshops were really helpful in providing advice on what is needed to record and market your music. I took that advice when I submitted my song for audition.”
Zimri’s winning song is inspired by the struggles that women face in South Africa.
“I came to a point where I felt I had to write a message to women out there, saying it is okay to be the woman that says no, that valuing yourself is not something to be ashamed of,” she said.
Zimri and the other winners had the opportunity to attend the Music Exchange Conference which allowed them to interact with some of the most influential names in the South African music industry.
The workshops and competition will take place again this year, with auditions being held at the end of November in the Central Karoo, Eden District and the Cape Metro.
*For more information about finding support as an emerging artist, call the Western Cape DCAS on 021 483 9610.