Top industry insiders tune in to SA music

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An exciting music conference takes place at the World of Yamaha in Johannesburg tomorrow. It is the precursor to bigger things to come for all those interested in learning more about the world of music, be they students or practitiners.

The full two-day 2014 South African Music and Entertainment (Same) Symposium begins in September and will consist of panel discussion, workshops and Q&As with Amir Windom and Maurice Slade, both leading music executives from America.

However on Thursday, the two are in the country for a pre-symposium workshop and industry meet-and-greet.

Both of them can boast of a pedigree background.

Windom has held senior positions at Def Jam Records and Atlantic Records, and has managed the careers of stars like rapper T.I., Bruno Mars, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco.

He has also been a television and film music supervisor, and has assisted in the creation of global marketing campings for major brands such as Kodak, Coca Cola and ESPN.

Maurice Slade, the creative brand and digital marketing manager at Jay-Z’s RocNation and RocNation Sports, has helped create brands like Jay-Z, Rihanna, Shakira, Drake and Lil Wayne.

Their workshop tomorrow is called “Building Your Personal Brand: Beyond the Mic”. The aim, says Same, is to empower established and aspiring artists within the industry to engage one-on-one with world class expertise.

Windom expanded on the duo’s intentions.

“I think the US music business has been relatively successful – but this success has also needed a world input.

“We believe that South Africa is an interesting market, considering the different cultures. There is so much opportunity here. South Africa could be the next place to be a global force and we want to impart our knowledge. Everything creative started out as an idea or a vision.”

Windom became involved with the project when he was working on a few other projects with Monica Newman, President and CEO of Stratica Group, global philanthropy initiative.

“She wanted to improve the quality of life and believed that one of the ways to do so was to transcend cultures globally. “

A year later Monica contacted Windom and said that, based on their mutual aim, she was working on a project in South Africa.

“One of the ways to achieve this goal was to improve the South African entertainment industry. She asked me to come and I agreed. It was a no-brainer.”

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