A new-look Music Exchange kicks off
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Today marks the start of Music Exchange, a coming together of well known South African entertainers with a sprinkle of international flavour.
The event, now in its 11th year, will take on a virtual format this time around, and will run until October 2. There will be a big focus on how artists have responded to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Founder and convenor Martin Myers is barely able to contain his excitement when talking about the exchange.
He said: “2021 is another big year in (the event's) history. Our collective and ongoing investment to help influence, adapt, evolve and remain relevant in a massively compromised economy sits at the heart of all we do.”
The who's who of Mzansi's entertainment scene are part of an exciting line-up. Singing sensation, and undoubtedly one of the best music producers in the country, RJ Benjamin, will be sharing his insights. As will Sipho Hotstix Mabuse. His popular song "Burnout" is still a favourite to this day.
The panel of experts also includes authors like Gasant Abarder. He is a former Cape Argus editor, who recently published his first book Hack with a Grenade, an editor's back stories of South African news. "It's quite an honour and a privilege for me to be featured on Music Exchange," he said.
"What's interesting for me is it becoming an international event, because of its reach now and because it is a virtual event." Abarder isn't giving away too much about his presentation, but said "I'll be talking about the media in this time of Covid. And how people in the (entertainment) industry - agents, bookers, managers and artists, can engage with editors. How to get your story out there."
Other big industry names involved include publicist Melissa Conradie and Greg Cutler, who is a producer and "proud ambassador of SA Music legacy" in the UK.
Myers added: "If anything, #MEX21 is offering everyone, directly or indirectly professionally affected by the pandemic, an opportunity to explore the possibility of change, with speakers who exemplify talent, success, and perseverance at a time like no other."
The keynote speaker is chairman of Music Australia, Michael Smellie, who is also a former Sony/ BMG Records chief executive. He will be patching in from Sydney. Smellie's been in the business for 25 years and has a nose for great music. He's sniffed out many a big-name artist.
If you're keen to listen to the discussions at Music Exchange, tickets cost R100 via the ticketpro streaming platform. Though Myers did promise to give away 10 tickets for free to Weekend Argus readers. So send him an email on [email protected] so he can make good on that promise.
More information on the event is available at www.musicexchange.org.za