Categorized | Music

Why I Don’t Support South African Music

Music Contributor

I’m a big music collector and I’m ashamed that 90% of my collection is made up of American fusion jazz, R&B, Soul, Neo Soul and House music. South African artists complain that we don’t support their music, but what they don’t realise is that there are a number of issues that disable or limit us from doing so. One of these is the issue of distribution. It’s hard to find South African CDs on the shelves of major, well-recognised CD retailers.

For a while I’ve been struggling to find a CD by 340ml, but I’m certain that if I were to look for a Rihanna CD, I would find it within a few hours! I work for a music store. Customers look for local releases but most of them leave the shop dissatisfied, with some considering the illegal downloading/piracy route.

Another issue is that of music choice. What happens to someone who likes R&B in a country where most of the music played on radio is House, Kwaito, Afro-Pop, or Hip Hop? Does this mean that the person needs to switch to those genres for the sake of supporting proudly South Africa music? I have a keen ear for local music that’s fresh; as long as it is good, it’s worth buying. Unfortunately there are few artists in our country who deliver that. Most of them are independent artists but it’s difficult to access their music. As a music lover and a critical listener, I don’t really care much about an artist’s independent label issues. All I want is access to good music.

Some record companies in our country are trying to address these issues. For example, look at what TS Records did for Zahara, a talented musician with something unique and fresh to offer, well-marketed and DISTRIBUTED. Why don’t other record companies do the same with their artists?

Please do share your thoughts and views on this topic?





This post was written by:

- who has written 27 posts on Kasi Times.

Born Peter Kgomotso Mashabane in Mabopane, Pretoria on the 28th of August a few years ago, I was raised in one of Gauteng's vibrant townships, Alexandra. I’m a very laid back guy; I’m a dreamer on the hustle for success. I’m inspired by the success of people like Patrice Motsepe, Richard Maponya and Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, who are making a success of their lives and making our country a better place, which is something that keeps me going and motivates me to be where they are. I'm also a music junkie. Music has always been my passion. It’s a pity that I can’t compose or sing, but like any other form of art, I just don’t play music, I exhibit musical talent. I enjoy discovering new music and South Africa has a lot to offer, and I want to put a spot on local music. Kasi Times is about motivating, inspiring and empowering the youth. The rhythms of music flows in varying degrees and in our music our lives are shown. So join me as I give you the low-down of what’s hot in Mzansi’s music scene and witness the rhythm of life. Your comments are highly valued. Email:

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  • Steven

    I agree with this actually a few days ago I went to a music store to find an album of Pascal and Pearce I looked on the new release shelf nothing but crap and local that’s what sucked I evenrtually asked someone for help turns they had the CD but it was in a little corner where no one would even bother even if means that these guys had a hit on the radio, well I went foreward to buy the album but no one at the counter bothered to help, right I know I’m just babling on like some annoyed person but can you blame me I’m a DJ/producer this is the music industry there’s no time to fuck around! These music definately need to fill up there local shelves with all kinds of SA music not just kwaito and stuff from soul candi! There are tones of SA artists the only things people are to dumb to realise that they can make a hell of lot of money if they just get there fucking heads screwed and damn well start distributing these people. Most people are just too afraid to support certain types music start appreciating!

  • Gugulethu Leeto

    Hey Peter

    Reading your article I couldn’t help but nod at every third line and so and kept saying “yes, vele” to the astonishment of my mother. I appreciate it even more as I am a pop and rnb lover myself and I have for countless times been accused of not being true to my country or proudly south african but truly the artist or their managers aren’t doing justice to the R150 we have to pay in order to own the record.

    Thank you for your expression in this article, truly enjoyed it.

  • Nonie

    Our music industry needs a complete revamp. Zahara was definitely a game-changer, but I do hope her record label gave her a good deal. Record labels have a tendency of ripping off artists,maybe that’s why every second artist wants to take independent route. They just need to find a platform where we can access their music

  • P.Mash

    @ Steven I can feel ur anger by just reading ur comment and I also feel the same. Wat pple dnt realise is that South African music is NOT only made up of kwaito and House music…we cnt all love the same typa music. Yes there are alot of good local artists out there that we can support but how can we do it when their CDs cnt b found? Sometimes I really dnt knw hu 2 blame…is it the artists? Is it the record company? Is it the music store? Or is it the distribution company?

    @Gugu…ha ha ha ‘Ya vele!’…. look, on the other hand I feel that the politics behind dis industry r depriving us of music! Den they come complaining that we dnt support them…It’s frustrating!!!!!!

    @Nonie…that revamp is simply ‘M A R K E T I NG’ , the radio nd TV as a platform 2 market an artist is not enough. The reason why the American music industry suceeds is that they explore all sorts of media 2 market themselves, they’ve got something that I can call a ‘national’ music chart like Billboard which they use to rate their artists..if an artist is not recognised in that platform people won’t buy their CD, so y dnt we have something like that in our country?

  • Rolland Simpi Motaung

    Crap sells.And good music is hard to find,coz music
    stores,radios consider it “too deep” and wnt sell in
    the mainstream.So its risky to stock their cds.And it
    goes wt reputation been looking for
    Kabomo-All thngs Grey evrywhr wt no
    sucess,apparently stores dnt want to stock hs music,coz he is “unknwn”_ Yet i believe if u look harder you can find music.I
    found both Kwani Experience.both 340ml.Uju,ect at
    Top cd.The Soil n Tumi at Musica.Njapedi at
    Relaible….And Zaki Abrahim at Retual Stores in
    Newtown….and do u attend live shows??/

  • Teboho Moleko

    The question is what does it take to get a local and
    independent artist’s music onto a major retailer’s (like
    Musica or Look & Listen) shelf? This I need a full
    24hrs non-stop chat to break it down for you to
    know that our local artists have major challenges.
    There’s A WHOLE LOT!!! Travel to Musica’s H/O in CT (COST!!! for any independent artist!!y); A presentation
    to buyers who would have to make a decision they
    buy it for Musica stores or not. If they decide NOT to
    buy it, it won’t be in any of their stores! It doesn’t
    matter how good the material is. If there’s NO buzz
    about a local artist and NO airplay, then you will not find their material in any of the major retailers.
    You will, though, find k*k Afrikaans music on the
    shelves cos the Afrikaaners have money to travel to
    CT, money for promos, publicity and communication
    which most of our local independent artists do not
    have. The poor folks end up selling from boots of their cars…

  • Sam Mvundle

    P Mash & Tebza, y’all said a mouthful right there. I’m
    one person that will not walk out of a record bar
    empty-handed. I can’t count the nbr of times I went
    in with a particular artist in mind, & end up walking
    out with stuff I didn’t even think of, bcos “OUR”
    artists’ material is simply nowhere to be seen. I can forgive the Salesperson who doesn’t have a clue of
    the artist I’m talking about, but the mere fact that
    their (Store) inventory list doesn’t even show it as
    out-of-stock, talks directly to what Tebza is saying.
    The question then is, who’s responsibility is it to get
    the stuff on the shelves… The Record Store’s buyers? Or the Artist’s Marketers? Can’t even begin on the
    frustration about Radio Station’s Music Compilers …
    most of them are clueless about how much music,
    and good music at that, is out there (a glaring
    example, one Eddy Zondi’s show – listen once, be
    guaranteed you will hear the same songs on his show for months to come).

    One other example, and am not saying it is NOT on
    the shelves out there, but I ended with a “copy” of
    one of my ultimate favourite albums, ZamaJobe’s
    Ndawo Yami, after trying for months & getting the
    same old tired answer, “We’re out of stock”. This was
    within a year of the album being released. Even today, whenever I hit a Record Bar, if I remember, I
    try to get it, and still can’t.

  • P.Mash

    Great comments crossed and I appreciate each nd every one of u 4 ur opinion…..dis issue is highly frustrating 2 all music lovers. ;—-(

  • Gugulethu Leeto

    No thank you P mash and Kasi times for providing the platform for such debate and so we know we’re not insane and aren’t the only ones having such frustrations.

    • P.Mash

      MOS DEF!!

  • Fela…

    Attend live shows..local musicians sell their cd’s there..most release them indepently as they dont have american budgets. Their cheaper even.

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