Cape Town's breathing sunshine

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Following the huge success of 2013’s inaugural event, the second Breathe Sunshine African Music Conference will catapult the nation’s music into the spotlight in February 2014.

This year’s event is set to give back even more in the way of empowerment, inspiration and interactive learning, with a brand-new Unity Jam event to be held in the township of Langa on the final day of the event.

Powered by Black Mango, the event brings together a wide range of artists, producers and leaders across the music industry with the aim of building and unifying the industry. International reggae superstar, Gentleman from Germany will be taking part in the conference and will also be performing for the first time in South Africa at the Unity Jam, as part of an African tour schedule organised by the Goethe-Institut.  The multi award winning artist has been spreading his reggae music across the globe with his shows and is now one of the biggest international reggae headliners in the world.

This year the conference is supported by a sizable German contingent and will include Gentleman’s manager, Volker May (Germany) – Vice President of IMMF (International Music Manager Forum Europe), Hannah Kupfer (Minus Records – Ritchie Hawtin’s label) as well as Detlef Schwarte - Co-Founder of Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg and Director Reeperbahn Festival Conference in Hamburg.

Reeperbahn is now the largest event of its kind in Europe and their visit to the conference will further cement the strategic partnership that the two conferences share.  As part of the on going relationship, Black Mango will be hosting a South African panel and a live showcase at Reeperbahn at the end of 2014.

Gentleman’s and Volker May’s trip is being supported by the German cultural body the Goethe-Institute and with Germany now being the biggest music market in Europe, the German presence at the conference will go a long way to further support an already growing interest in South African music.

This year’s conference also sees the addition of Breathe Sunshine Connect, a part of the conference dedicated to the digital space. Headed up by African Dope Records founder Roach Roth, Connect brings together the sharpest minds in the digital media world and music industry to explore the current landscape and how the industry can better leverage the space for success.

International charity Bridges for Music will host a space on electronic music. There will also be live technical demos along with exclusive invite-only Producer Pow-Wow sessions that offer one-on-one networking between township and city producers.

A snap-shot of other highlights to expect from the 2014 Breathe Sunshine African Music Conference includes the following:

  1. Panels: Music and Causes/Charities, Digital Marketing, Touring in Africa, The Future of Radio in Africa, The Future of Rock Music in SA, Brands and Music – selling out or buying in?
  2. Empower Your Art Workshops:  Understanding Intellectual Property Rights, Principles of Artist Management, Event Licensing and Insurance - Working with City Councils, How to Network – Your Network is Your Net Worth
  3. Bridges For Music Electronic Sessions: DJ Master Class, Producing on Reason / Ableton, Playing Live, Setting up Your Home EDM Studio
  4. Breathe Visuals: Video workshops, VJing workshops

As the countdown to the second of what will hopefully be many other events, the Breathe Sunshine African Music Conference 2014 aims to unite the rich diversity of talents from across the continent, in search of a greater future for all.

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Issue 83


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