Belhar songstress heads for New York
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LOCAL performer Lana Crowster has been accepted to study for her masters in music business at New York University (NYU) and will begin her first semester in September.
Crowster obtained her bachelor of music degree in jazz performance at UCT in 2010 and her post-graduate diploma in jazz performance two years later.
With a career spanning twenty years, the Cape Town singer has shared the stage with big names in the industry like George Benson, Josh Groban and Toya Delazy.
In 2016, Crowster won the top prize for performing at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in the ESP Afrika Young Legends Competition.
The artist’s CV includes a range of titles ranging from singer and songwriter to backing vocalist and music teacher. She released her EP, Seasons, in 2014, and her first album, Subconscious was released last year.
She was set to start her studies in 2019 but was unable to do so because of a lack of funding. Thankfully, NYU granted her a deferral and kept her spot for the following year.
However, due to Covid-19, her studies had to be postponed to this year.
“I started a BackaBuddy campaign to crowdfund my first-year tuition as NYU has requested that I have all of the money available upfront,” she said.
The masters in music business degree costs $75 000 (about R1 058 135), and Crowster is currently $20 000 (R282 215) short.
She added: “I am scrambling for funds, which is why I started the back a buddy campaign. I will also be hosting a fundraising concert and a virtual live show in the next two months.”
Crowster described herself as a music nerd and said that her hunger for education and knowledge within her field had never stopped, which was why she was pursuing this qualification.
“I have learned a lot in the last few years, but I want to learn more and be able to teach it in an industry that thrives,” she said.
She added: “I want to learn more, come back and disseminate that information and make sure that everyone that is serious about music, becomes an artist, and has the right tools to sustain themselves and be successful.”
Crowster spent the past 20 years working in the music industry and in music education for the past 10 years.
Through research, workshops and discussions, she realised that South African creatives “do not have a clear understanding of the business of music, their rights as artists and standard business practices”'.
“So many artists get taken for a ride, get exploited and we never see them again – it is not because they are not talented, they just did not know how to take care of the business side of the talent.
“The more education you have, the better. The more you know, the further you can go and the more change you can make.”