Legendary music maestro Tsepo Tshola and award-winning singer Tresor, pictured, icons from different generations, shared inspiring stories of survival in the music industry with young aspiring artists to stimulate their creative entrepreneurial skills.
The musicians were speaking at a masterclass at AMPD studios this past week.
Facilitated every month in front of a vibrant audience and broadcast live on Metro FM, these musical dialogues between established musicians aim to empower aspiring artists and creative entrepreneurs by giving them guidance on how to survive and sustain themselves in the creative industry.
Tshola and Tresor, both from disadvantaged backgrounds and who experienced some of the worst atrocities, epitomise success having manoeuvred through the music industry and made a success of their craft.
Tshola said: “I was looking for a piece of cardboard to put in my holey shoes when I heard my voice on the radio for the first time. Today I’m overwhelmed by the number of shoes I can buy for myself and others.”
Tresor, who started working as a car guard and a gardener among the many odd jobs he did to survive, told the audience: “I crossed rivers from the DRC and landed in Durban barefoot, with no plan in sight, but I knew that I never wanted to be poor as long as I lived.
"Today, my music career is helping me work towards building a hospital in the DRC.”
Amid the highs and lows artists face in the music industry, the two icons emphasised the principle of finding a purpose and striking a balance between a music career and finances.
Tshola mentioned that he didn’t know what he was doing with his money, because he opened a bank account after 30 years of being in the music industry.
“I was living on a hand-to-mouth basis from 1969,” said Tshepo.
Singers Tresor and Tsepo Tshola performing the AMPD studios last week.
Tresor admitted to regretting some of the financial mistakes he made and said he was working towards building generational wealth and longevity.
Both artists are very passionate about Africa and urged the next generation of creatives to uplift each other and hold each others’ hand so that Africa can thrive and become a better and sustainable continent.
Tshola said relationships and collaborations were the keys to longer, more sustainable and even lucrative careers. Tresor added that finding the right people to coach and guide you with your finances is just as important as working with music industry experts and warned artists to never forget to approach music like a business.
The head of financial education at Old Mutual, John Manyike, closed off with words of financial wisdom.
“If we can apply all the principles we’ve learnt here today, then we are certainly going somewhere.
“A lot of us don’t know the purpose of money; it’s not just something to buy with, it’s something that’s meant to grow and build strong foundation blocks to help you achieve your dreams. Money should work for you with the sole objective of it being multiplied as much as possible.
“Find a purpose for your money and make it work for you not the other way round,” concluded Manyike.
AMPD Studios was launched in May to empower aspiring artists and the youth to help steer them through the tough music industry.
It is also a space for aspiring musicians to come and play creatively and seek guidance from legends in the music industry.