Master your craft: Understanding endorsements deals

By Greg McVeigh. Adapted for South African audiences by Andile Nkosi

Volvo cars are all over Proverb's videos
You’ve seen Proverb partnering with Volvo; Danny-K with KIA; AKA with Axe; and recently Khuli Chana with KFC; and wondered what the bases of these relationships? How do these artists get these deals? Did Khuli Chana approach KFC or vice-verse? All these questions fall under the endorsements basket. Below is Greg McVeigh’s take product endorsements.
Product endorsements, for many manufacturers of music and sound equipment, are a big part of their marketing strategy. Simply put, endorsements are designed to increase product or brand-name awareness, and ultimately sales, through the use of a familiar spokesperson. To have a big-name artist or DJ using and singing the praises of a particular brand of CDJs, drums or microphones is always valuable.

034 Music clients win SABC Crown Gospel Awards

By Andile Nkosi

Sunday, 23 November 2014 - Last night saw the 7th leg of the annual and highly esteemed SABC Crown Gospel Awards held in the coastal city of Durban. The ceremony was filled with glam, beauty, fashion, praise, worship and  amazing speeches. For two of 034 Music's clients, AGAPE WORSHIPPERS and MAWAT, the award evening also saw them taking home the Best Church Choir and Best Gospel Rap Awards respectively. As 034 MUSIC we would like to congatulate them.

Artist: Agape Worshippers
Award Won: Best Church Choir
What we did for them: Digital Distribution (i.e. Sell music on iTunes and Amazon)
LIKE them on Facebook:
How to buy? Go to:
Price: R7.99 per song

Why SA artists die poor?

Vusi Thembekwayo
By Vusi Thembekwayo

So please explain this to me:
Freddie Mercury died at the age of 45. He was worth an estimated $100mln. The legendary Mahlathini – who in my view was a talent equal to that of Freddie Mercury – died at the age of 61. There are no reliable sources of information for his net worth, but it is commonly understood that it was not much.

South Africans are as talented as anyone else from any nation in my view. So why then do our artists die poor?
Are they lazy? Are the financially illiterate? Are they too dependent on someone else to make a living? Or do they just have a fresh batch of bad luck?

Master Your Craft: Understanding ISRC codes

By Andile Nkosi

When dealing Producers of recordings; Digital services and Music Licensing Companies one will come across the acronym ISRC. In this article we discuss these in detail. 

ISRC stands for the International Standard Recording Code and is an international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording, which can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC can provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments. Moreover, ISRC helps to avoid ambiguity of recordings and simplifies the management of rights when recordings are used across different formats, distribution channels or products.

Vutivi Music Workshops: How to write an Album Release Plan (Johannesburg)

034 Music (under the edutainment banner VUTIVI MUSIC BUSINESS WORKSHOPS) is holding a series of seminars around the continent teaching musicians and indie labels how to put together winning album release plans. 

Join us for the next one on the 22nd of March 2014 at South West Media College in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa from 9am. Thanks to our sponsors South West Media College; eMagazine First Photography, Creative Era Studios,  Penuel Cabs, Studio Thinkers, and SP Printing entrance to this workshop is free. Seats are limited so RSVP early by emailing See you there.

Should you with to bring a workshop to your hometown, simply email your request to 

Master Your Craft: Monetizing your TV/Radio interviews

By Andile Nkosi
In my line of work I have seen many financially struggling artists that are somehow always on television screens and radio. What are they doing wrong one may ask? Well. they are making a common mistake in the music industry. They are not monetizing their TV/Radio interviews. 

Everyone agrees that TV and Radio performances and interviews are vital to lively-hood of musicians merely because artists can record the greatest album of all times, but if no one knows about it, it's water down the drain. As such, successful commercial musicians need media plug-in and a good radio and TV pluggers are key to achieving this success. 

Vutivi Music Workshops: How to write an Album Release Plan (Rustenburg)

By Andile Nkosi

A wise man once said "if you fail to plan then you plan to fail". This saying is true in all business ventures including those who pursue to release their music projects to the market.

Before you start recording you need to know why you are recording? What will you do with the music you will record? Most importantly you need to know how will you make money from the music you have recorded? Without a clear answer for these three questions you might be wasting your time and money recording in vain.

Master Your Craft: Understanding CD barcodes (UPC)

By Andile Nkosi

Pick up any CD you’ve bought and look at its back, you will quickly notice a Universal Product Code (UPC) or barcode as popularly known.  If you have bought a CD in a record bar, you would have noticed that the barcode gets scanned by the cashier while you are paying. The immediate question is why? Why do CDs have barcodes and should you (as a label/musician) invest in having a barcode for your CD? The answer is YES, barcodes are essential in ensuring record success at retail.

Master your Craft: Understanding Music Distribution

By Andile Nkosi & Christopher Knab

Music Distribution is how records (Albums; CDs; DVDs; Cassettes; Vinyl etc.) get into shops. Distribution companies like EMI, IRIS, Soul Candi, Electromode, and Independent Music Distributors sign deals with Record Labels (e.g. 999 Music; Kalawa Jazmee; Cashtime; Native Rhythms; etc.) to gives them the right to sell that label's products to record stores that have a relationship with that distributor. The distributor takes a cut (around 25%) of income from each album sold and then pays the label the remaining balance. It is important to realize that Music Distributors deal with Record Labels and not artists directly; as such, for you to enter into any deal with a distributor you will need to establish yourself as a record label.

Master your Craft: How much do artists make per CD sold?

By Andile Nkosi
In my line of business I meet plenty start-up artists whose sole wish are to get signed by a major record label. The hardworking few who eventually do get signed come to a shocking discovery: that it is the artist who gets the smallest peace of the pie when it comes to album sales revenue with most artists getting paid between 8% and 15% of the CD’s retail value. So who earns what when a consumer buys a CD at a record store e.g. Musica, Look And Listen, Reliable Warehouse, Jet Music etc. To illustrate this dissection let’s assume your record labels sells each CD for R120. 

Master your craft: Releasing a successful mixtape

By Jesse Atkinson
When I come across interesting articles on the net, I often adapt the advice and re-appropriate it for the South African audience. Most times I need to change the language in order for the content to be in layman’s terms for novice musicians to understand. This time around I found an article which changing a single word would spoil it as it is clear, straight to the point and uses no jargon. Adapted from please treat as your mixtape bible. I have…  

Master Your Craft: Independent album releases

By Jeff Bradford
Being an independent rap, hip r&b nowadays is easier than ever now. You can make a livable income just by marketing your music and selling it online. But to fully see the power in this, you have open your eyes. That is what this article is going to do for you. If you didn’t know, major record label’s are going down hill and losing money every year as the Internet is growing. It makes a lot of sense when you look at what the point of the label was in the first place.

Master your craft: Drafting an event proposal

By Andile Nkosi 

As an unsigned artist/entertainer your will come across many situations which will require you to organize an event for one reason or another. Since you do not have the financial luxury of hiring an event organizer and are without the back-up of a huge marketing team that takes care of your Mixtape/CD launch, Birthday party, Website launch, Fundraiser and Promotion gig you will probably attempt to go at it on your own.

For a successful event you will need a: Venue; Sound system and stage; Entertainment Line Up; Marketing plan; Security; Refreshments for your guests; Programme for the day and the Event budget. All these items makeup your event proposal.

Master Your Craft: Become an organized musician in six easy steps

By Andile Nkosi

In my music consultation business I come across many talented individuals who not only have more money than I do, but also have more music business experience, more music contacts as well as more industry expertise than I do. Initially I thought there was nothing I could offer to these individuals, however I have gradually picked up a common trait among all my clients and have come to a belief that it is a common flaw shared by most South African musicians in general: We are not organized.

Master your craft - How to manage your bookings, Part II: The Contract

As an artist, DJ or musician, one always has to maintain a certain level of professionalism when running their business affairs. This of course include, having all necessary documents in place for a performance booking.

Having said that, many performers are familiar with the experience of not being paid the full amount, or worse, not being paid at all, for the event they were booked to perform at.

Master your craft: How to manage your bookings, Part I: The booking form

By Andile Nkosi
So your single is finally being played by the national radio station, your music video is on Channel O’s crispy fresh, and the LIKES to your Facebook fan page have grown from a few hundreds to thousands overnight. Suddenly you receive a call, “We want you perform in our gig next week at Club So & So”. You are excited, it’s your first paying gig but what response do you give to the caller? How much do you charge? What do you need to accept the offer? How do you keep the person on the line interested in you as a performer and still gain financially from the relationship. The answer lies in preparation.  

Zakes Bantwini performing in Nelspruit. (Picture: Lucky Nxumalo)

Master Your Craft: How to get signed by a Record Label?

By: BlakeBenn & Paul D (Edited by Andile Nkosi)

I often get asked “How do I get signed?” And my answer is always the same: “Blow!”. Your hustle needs to be so on point that record label A&R and executives want you in their rooster. Gone are those days when you’d cut a four tracked demo and went knocking door to door at Gallo, Sony, Universal and EMI hunting for a record label. These days, Record Labels are looking for self sufficient, industry ready musos who are already on TV [possibly with a video or two], who are on radio and have strong online presence.

Master Your Craft: Is my project a Mixtape OR an Album?

By: Andile Nkosi 

So you have spent the past 3 months in the studio scripting and lacing vocals to the best beats you can find. You are happy with the outcome and your friends and producers call you the next biggest thing. You have 12 dope trax comprising of 6 original beats and 4 sampled beats and 2 beats from your favorite rap artist’s album. You already have a title in mind and are ready to drop before you pause and yourself, is my project a Mixtape or an Album?

Master Your Craft – Catalog Numbers

By Andile Nkosi
Pick up any original CD and scrutinize its spine. You will quickly realize that there are three common features with every CD. The artist name, the album title and a funny code made of letters and numbers. Some odd CDs would also contain the releasing record label name. This funny code is the catalog number.

Master your craft: Building a brand as a Musician

By Andile Nkosi
So you are a musician, your music is great and you want to be noticed by fans, clients and record executives. You need a strong outstanding brand that will help you get noticed easy.