5FM DJ Fresh presents his show live from the Golf Hotel in Bryanston at the launch of the new Golf 6. Picture:Paballo Thekiso

The annual South African Music Conference (SAMC) is just another reason to be in Durban during July.

It will be held at the Olive Conference Centre from July 2 to 5 and again will play host to top national and international speakers who will advise up-and-coming DJs, producers and musicians on the intricacies of the music industry from the technical, creative and business aspects.

The conference is organised by DJU (DJs United) which consists of the five godfathers of SA dance music – DJs Christos, Vinny da Vinci, Fresh, Greg Maloka and Oskido. All five will be imparting their vast knowledge on the delegates. They will also be supported by other experts in the industry.

These will include Byron Stingley of the Chicago house crew Ten City as well as Germany’s top DJs Ralf Gum and Rocco. From South Africa, The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) is sending representatives to speak about protecting the rights to one’s music and there will be a special session with the world’s top house DJ, our own Black Coffee.

Of course, there will be the usual pre-, mid- and after parties, but the big news will be the launch of the Southern African Dance Music Awards. They will take place on July 6, also at the Olive Convention Centre.

Maloka explained the concept: “We are launching these awards which will specifically focus on dance music. This will obviously include house, dance, kwaito and hip hop.”

As with everything DJU touch, there is considerable and lateral thought in the process.

“For the first awards we are doing honourary awards. This means we will be handing out awards to people and organisations who have furthered the cause and course of dance music in our country.

“We want to give an award to M’du for all his groundbreaking records he has released.

“We want to honour labels like Kalawa Jazmee, 999 and Ghetto Ruff as well as record shops such as Soul Candi and House Afrika that have been there since the beginning.

“We will be mentioning special individuals like DJ Ganyani, who has had a huge impact in Soweto in terms of growing young talent.

“We will also be acknowledging the next generation of talent – people such as DJ Tira and Black Coffee.

“From next year we will have categories where artists will be competing against each other.”

Maloka said they are in negotiations with potential MCs and performers for the evening.

Aside from this new aspect, the SAMC has always provided a solid platform for gaining practical knowledge of the music industry, from DJaying skills to updated information on the digital world and how to use that knowledge.

The conference will culminate in the mother of all parties on July 7. This will also take place at the Olive Convention Centre and will feature all five of the top DJs as well as the international DJs, Black Coffee and the up-and-coming youngsters such as Black Motion and Bopstar.

The sponsors of the SAMC are the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Youth Development Agency.

• For more information, or to apply, go to www.samc.dj