Music development kicks off

Unathi Jongihlathi

THE Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre (ECAVC) – also known as Miriam Makeba – has kickstarted its Eastern Cape music development programme aimed at empowering local artists.

It will be carried out as a series of music business workshops that will be conducted throughout the Eastern Cape.

The centre was established in 2006 by a partnership between the University of Fort Hare and the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture to become a viable one-stop audio-visual recording and production centre.

The programme started last Thursday – on Mandela Day at the East London Mdantsane Arts Centre – and will continue in Nelson Mandela Bay this coming Friday.

Multi-award winning musician and director of ECAVC, Simon “Sy” Ntuli, said the centre had a comprehensive music development strategy for the Eastern Cape.

“We have begun the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Eastern Cape Music Sector Plan.

“We are excited about the prospects and impact that these initiatives will have to Eastern Cape artists, particularly the establishment of the provincial record label which will ensure that talented Eastern Cape artists are identified, developed, recorded, distributed and marketed nationally and internationally,” he added.

The provincial record label will be launched in September this year. Brian Temba, one of the artists who has recorded with ECAVC, said: “Many artists have little knowledge about the music industry and they don’t really know what to do once they have compiled an album.”

Temba said the centre “empowers artists with knowledge of the industry”.

“They have great recording facilities and that is encouraging to us, because they produce great quality, unlike when you record in a homemade studio.

“I recorded with them last year and some of my songs are played nationally and internationally,” he said .

Sabelo Somniso, a technical assistant who also helps administer the workshop, said he was pleased with the attendance of the artists at the opening and he is optimistic about the programme.

He said the centre would have a musical showcase on July 31, in which local artists would participate. “It is aimed at showcasing Eastern Cape artists and providing them with an opportunity to win free studio time at Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre recording studios to record a single.

“Artists are starting to register for the music showcase,” he said.

Ntuli added: “Other provinces may have gold and diamond mines, but we have an abundance of talent, which must be guided to stardom. In this way, there will be no need for our artists to seek greener pastures elsewhere.”

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