South African Music Industry Terminology

South African Music Industry
Image Credit: Insider Music

If you are a new artist and trying to make a name for yourself in the South African music industry, it would be in your best interest to know the basic industry jargon first.

I have put together a list of the most common terms used in the industry.

AMAPIANO

A sub-genre of house music derived from kwaito, deep house and Bacardi.

SAMRO

A music collection society responsible for collecting and distributing performance rights royalties to composers and authors.

RISA

A trade association in the South African music industry which represents the interests of producers of music sound recordings and record labels and companies.

CAPASSO

A non-profit organization which administers mechanical rights for composers, authors and publishers.

SAMPRA

A collection management organization of copyright owners of music sound recordings.

KWAITO

A music genre which was created in the early 1990’s.

NEEDLETIME RIGHTS

Royalties paid to the recording artists for the commercially released recorded performances; and to record labels’ for the public performance of their commercially released sound recordings.

SOUND ENGINEER

Also known as an audio engineer. The person responsible for the technical side of the recording or live performance.

RADIO PLUGGER

The person responsible for getting music play listed on radio stations.

MASTERING

Also referred to as audio-post production. This is the process of taking the completed mixes and polishing the sound levels before distribution. This is usually done by a trained specialist known as a mastering engineer

MASTERS

The completed recording of the song.

MECHANICAL ROYALTIES

Royalties paid the composers and songwriters each time music is reproduced (CD, MP3, Digital Downloads, ringtones, etc.)

PUBLISHING

Exploiting songs in the form of musical copyrights.

MAJORS

A corporate record company (market leader) responsible for funding, promoting, manufacturing and distributing music. E.g. Sony Music Entertainment Africa, Universal Music and Warner Music Group

INDIE RECORD LABEL

A self-funded independently owned record company

AIRPLAY

Broadcast time which an artist or musical genre receives.

AIRCO

A non-profit organization which represents the interests of Independent record companies in South Africa.

PROMOTER

An entity or individual responsible for organizing and financing events or concerts.

SHOW

A public or stage performance

MUSIC PRODUCER

A person who oversees the recording and creation of music.

PERFORMING ARTIST

An entertainer who performances musical work in front of an audience.

SESSION MUSICIAN

An instrumentalist hired to play during a record session.

TALENT MANAGER

A company or individual who acts as a representative of the artist or band.

360 DEALS

A music contract which allows the record company to get a percentage of all the artist or band revenue streams or earnings.

DEMO

A demonstration of the recording or musical works.

BOOKING AGENT

A person responsible for finding gigs for performing artists.

ROAD/TOUR MANAGER

A person who handles the logistics and operations when the artist is traveling in between shows or on tour.

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION

The delivery of digital media (music) over an online medium.

DISTRIBUTOR

An entity responsible for ensuring that music is delivered (physical or digital format) to stores for purchase.

PROMO

A promo is short for “promotional copy”. This could be a copy of single or album but only used for promotional purposes only.

LICENSING DEAL

An agreement to use copyrighted music

CONCLUSION

The above terms will help you to understand the South African Industry better and steer you into the right direction.

I have also included key links so you can get a much detailed description of each term.

Did I miss anything? If so please comment below.

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