August 16, 2018

Mama Dance Music Composers – Anthony “Luka” Kasirivu

Anthony Luka KasirivuWith two albums already on the Mama Dance ! Music Library and another two soon to be released we thought it was high time that we found out a bit more about Luka and just exactly what it is that floats his boat…

Tell us a little bit about yourself: where were you born, where did you grow up and what career did you dream of having?
Well I was born in the north-west province, in a small town called Saulspoort. From there I grew up in Mahikeng. In high school I was not really sure what I wanted to do once done with matric. When I got a varsity I did a bridging course which highlighted the aspects of marketing as a career and from there I pursued my marketing degree.

What do you do from Monday to Friday, 8 to 5pm (or thereabouts)?
I’d have to say it’s mostly music. If I’m not researching sound manipulation techniques as well as the effects of frequency on the body in its auric field then I’m probably looking into new production techniques that I can I add to my arsenal. I also produce music for other artists as well as my own production library.

What takes up the rest of your time?
I’d have to say looking into new ways of staying afloat in the music industry is what preoccupies most of my time.

MDML173 - Upbeat Dance House_Logo (600 x 600)

When did the desire to make music first grab you?
The desire to 1st make music came in high school where I first learnt to DJ. It was great to play other people’s music but I always wondered what it would be like to actually make a song myself.

What gear do you use to produce music?
Currently I use Reason to build concepts as well as the basic mixing all my projects and then Cubase to do all the final mixing and mastering. I have a Rhode mic, a UAD-2 satellite mastering unit, Korg MIDI keyboard, a Lexicon Omega soundcard, KRK rocket 8 monitors and a Yamaha MG166cx mixing console. That makes up the core of my production gear.

NU DANCE

LET IT SLIDE

Which artists or composers have influenced you over the years?
I’d have to say Charles Webster in terms of the house genre and J Dilla in terms of the hip-hop genre have greatly influenced the way I approach my production process as a whole. Rather than trying to create a specific sound according to the norm I incorporate a fusion of the different aspects of multiple genres in order to achieve a feeling and mood that’s unique to just me.

What are some of the challenges for local composers, artists and musicians and in South Africa?
I’d have to say the biggest challenge is that the industry’s heavily fragmented. Meaning that a composer or artist cannot rely on the conventional avenues of old like CD sales with the advent of digital sales and streaming that have cut earnings greatly for the up-and-coming artist. Even radio play is not guaranteed with a great song as trends dictate what makes it to play listing or not. Now one has to find other ways of adding value to their catalogue by incorporating music into ad and brand campaigns through sync deals and corporate partnerships. Well that’s just one way as you will still need to figure out a couple more.

How did you find out about the production/library music industry?
I initially started composing music on a fellow producer’s record label. He was doing his publishing through another company. The publishing company that was doing his admin inquired as to whether I’d be keen on doing production music and not just commercial. I was unfamiliar with the term production music so I began to do some research and I realized that it was actually a great stream to get into. I’ve been at it since 2013 and haven’t looked back since.

What would you do if you had to stop working in the sound/music industry?
If I had to stop working in the music industry I’d probably be working in advertising or a marketing department for a company I believe in. Well only if I had to.

Author: Jeff Moffatt

Not much of a renaissance man...

June 20, 2018

Royalties Season Finally Over!

Composers get as excited as Meghan Markle when you say the word “royalty”, but not me…that word makes me sweat like Eminem’s palms after his mom’s spaghetti.

Show me the Money!

You see twice a year here at Mama Dance, our composers and us have an amicable divorce.  We take everything we have earned together over the last 6 months and split it 50/50. Somehow I ended up as the guy in charge of this process. While that might sound like a simple thing to cope with, we don’t just have a busker’s hat of coins that we count out, our income comes from a whole bunch of different sources and consists of 100’s of 10000’s of individual usages:

CAPASSO Blanket Licences

Our esteemed colleagues at CAPASSO (Composers, Authors & Publishers Association) work very hard to secure blanket licence deals with the major broadcasters in SA (SABC, Multichoice & eTV) who use as much music as they need for an annual fee.

Mama Dance then works equally as hard getting our music onto all those TV shows.  Music cue sheets are completed and sent to CAPASSO (and SAMRO). CAPASSO then process those cue sheets by dividing the blanket licence fee by amount of music used and they send us statements listing these usages.  We are talking millions of Rands divided into per 30sec chunks…so you do the math as to how many lines in Excel we are talking about.  Seriously, do the math, my brain is fried!

SONOTON – Worldwide co-publishing royalties

We are very fortunate to partner with the largest independent music library, Sonoton, in getting Mama Dance to the world.  Sonoton has agents in over 50 countries around the world which is why you can hear our music in everything from Samsung ads in the US to the Chinese news.  Again, all these usages come back in the form of spreadsheets with thousands of lines of income.

MCPS

In the UK, all production music licensing must go through the mechanicals society MCPS.  So yes, we get statements from them too!

ADREV

Those annoying copyright notices you get when you are uploading your video with you and your cat dancing to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” … those are thanks to our partners at AdRev who scan Youtube, Facebook etc for our music and monetize it through ads you can’t wait to skip…and more importantly let us know when music hasn’t been licenced correctly.

US

No, not the United States or the Unibrow Society.  US as in Mama Dance.  We help hundreds of production companies, ad agencies, corporate video producers, online marketing agencies and even people making cat videos, to find music that works.  And then all these licences also need to be added to the pot.

Fortunately, we now have a wonderful royalty program from a company called Backbeat that makes processing all this income a lot simpler than a few years ago where I captured it line by line.  There is still a fair bit of work to do though and it is always on top of the day-to-day music searches, costings, album production etc so I’m am always happy when the royalty statements go out and our bank account is drained (at least until the next royalty run is due)!

Author: Dale

I like stuff.

TAGS: 0 tags
March 15, 2018

The STARS are shining on Mama Dance !

As seen in the March edition of Screen Africa…

MamaDanceStars (600 x 300)

The music industry is changing fast, and as artists have seen their CD sales slashed and are still waiting for streaming and download income to catch up, other business models have stepped up to provide much needed income to composers and musicians worldwide.

Due to the explosion of media, especially online content, but also TV, radio, apps, podcasts and games, a huge demand for “ready to go” music has been created. And because the aim is to maximise eye balls or ears on the content, the creators are reluctant to infringe copyright legislation by using unlicensed music. The swathe of digital monitoring technologies that constantly reports all music broadcast and streamed online also helps copyright owners identify illegal music usage.

Numerous high-quality music libraries are now supplying a wide variety of production ready music to content producers, final mix engineers, ad agencies, corporate communications companies, podcasters and thousands of amateur YouTubers!

One such library is The Mama Dance Music Library. Started in 2002, 16 years and 170 albums later, the library is booming in South Africa, Africa and Internationally.

Much of the library’s success is due to its niche as an African production music library, which covers genres from Boeremusiek to Kwaito to Bongo Flava and Maskandi. Its focus is both on traditional sounds as well as the latest urban and EDM flavours from Gqom to Hip Hop, Trap and House.

With a reputation for releasing high quality albums, the library has attracted renowned composers such as Dizu Plaatjies, long-time Johnny Clegg collaborators Andy Innes and Barry Van Zyl, Freshly Ground’s Josh Hawks, Bright Blue’s Tom Fox, Themba Mkhize and Steve Newman.
Here is what Andy Innes and Josh Hawks had to say about the industry and Mama Dance:

What made you decide to compose for production music libraries?

Andy: Production music is a last bastion in many respects. The composer has more freedom to create than they do in other spaces in the industry. Production music is also a space that is still profitable in the long term if you can find enough avenues to keep pushing out product, providing the quality of your output is top notch.

Josh: The decision to compose for libraries is a natural progression of a composer’s life. We’re content providers and the libraries are becoming more and more prevalent and relevant. If you are a composer and have a catalogue of ideas knocking around it’s a great avenue to pursue!

How has your experience been working with Mama Dance?

Andy: Mama Dance is a professional and hard-working outfit who look after their writers. I’m really glad we’ve managed to build a good relationship.

Josh: Experience with Mama Dance was easy going and collaborative. We’d throw some ideas their way and with their experience and knowledge of the landscape, they would advise as to what was working and how to shape the material. Everything took shape quite quickly; a painless collaboration.

These great artists music can be easily auditioned and downloaded at www.mamadance.com using simple music search functions.

For a taste of some of their fantastic compositions check out the sampler playlist below:

Mama Dance ! Sampler Playlist

And if clients prefer searches to be done for them, this is where the friendly Mama Dance team is on top of their game – they know and love music! Their free, personalised music searches are fast and on point. After receiving a music brief, the team will send the client a playlist of track selections within an hour.

This type of service, together with compelling music from big name composers, keeps clients coming back for more and ensures that Mama Dance remains South Africa’s favourite music library.

The simplified 2018 music rate card can be downloaded from their website and new clients will be pleasantly surprised at how little it costs to license fresh and innovative music produced by big stars!

 

Mama Dance is a CAPASSO affiliated library and can be used under the blanket license agreements with SABC, ETV and many Multichoice (DSTV) channels.

Author: Craig McGahey

Some bio info about Craig...

October 31, 2017

Mama Dance ! Music Library track used in latest Samsung ads!

A big shout out to long time Mama Dance composer Matt Gair for having his track “Klipspringer Ukulele” placed in the latest series of Samsung ads. Nicely done Matt!! Check out one of the spots below:

To hear more of Matt’s tracks on the Mama Dance ! Music Library be sure to check out a few of his albums listed below:

Feel Good Funk – From Joburg to LA
A fun-filled Funk-themed album. Some tracks are straight happy, high energy funk and others blend with African styles like Gospel and Maskandi to create a very unique fusion that you won’t find on any other library! Either way it is sure to make you FEEL GOOD!

Feel Good Folk 2 – From Joburg to Notting Hill
The album that originally made James Brown feel good! Okay not really, but it is still a great selection of upbeat folk tracks to follow on from the extremely popular first album. Some Ukes, Banjos, Marimbas and Guitars to make you feel like a room without a roof!

Feel Good Folk – From Cape Town to Kansas
Jam-packed with happy catchy folk rock tunes that will make even the grumpiest grinch feel good!!! Prolific Mama Dance composer and melodic genius, Matt Gair, is back with his best album yet! An ad agency and positive Lifestyle TV producer’s dream album.

Beautiful African Folk 2
Another superb album from popular composer Matthew Gair! It’s filled to the brim with foot-tapping, head-bobbing, smile-on-your-dial, acoustic African tracks played on guitar, marimba and ukulele. These catchy tunes will definitely bring some light-hearted fun to your production.

Beautiful African Folk – Warm & Friendly
For fans of the very successful Easy Folk Pickings series. Extraordinarily beautiful acoustic melodies played on Guitar, Ukulele, Mbira and Marimba covering moods from light-hearted and quirky to peaceful and heart-warming. A ‘Must-Listen’ album!

Author: Jeff Moffatt

Not much of a renaissance man...

July 27, 2016

Josh Wynter Scores Again!

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A huge shout out to musical wizard and regular Mama Dance composer Josh Wynter for his truly amazing score on the new SA produced film “Nobody’s Died Laughing“.

Josh rounded up some of the best talent Cape Town has to offer (Patrick Goodwin, Francois Arzul, Danielle Asherson, Piet de Beer, Paula Gabriel, Emile de Roubaix, Kristiyan Chernev, Kevin Gibson, Shaun Johannes, Mike Blake, Mike Magner, Ryan Kierman, Nick Green, Stanislav Angelov, Dan Shout and Jonny Dosé) and quite simply knocked it straight out of the park!

The film is a theatrical-action-documentary telling the life story of South African performing artist and activist Pieter-Dirk Uys and features the likes of Charlize Theron, Sophia Loren, David Kramer, Jack Parow, Zolani Mahola (Freshly Ground) and Dame Janet Suzman.
It opens nationwide this Friday 29th July at Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor cinema’s so get out there and check it out!

Josh’s albums on the Mama Dance ! Music Library:

Epic Orchestral: Homelands & Heroes

Uplifting Electro-chestral: Homelands & Heroes II

Gentle Reflections – Homelands & Heroes Vol 3

Electrology – Homelands & Heroes Vol 4

Author: Jeff Moffatt

Not much of a renaissance man...

July 2, 2015

New Production Music Release – Space and Story 2 – Wide Horizons

Wide Horizons (600 x 600)

Mama Dance, Africa’s premier production music library, partner with composer/producer Nic Paton to present a formidable collection of production-ready music, the second in the “Space and Story” series.

Entitled “Wide Horizons”, this collection of 17 original compositions is presented in almost 100 unique mixes, catering for every media application.Besides every composition being available in 30 and 60 second and no-beat or no-vocals versions, the original pieces have been greatly enhanced, expanded and remixed as pared-down minimal or ambient alternatives.

Featuring a wide array of exotic and African instruments (including for example the karimba/kalimba, valiha and cittern), much of the music is a synthesis of the deeply African and the universally cinematic. Worth hearing are the impressively original vocals of collaborator Ntutu Nyiki, cinematic vocalisation diva.

African Central Time
Melt (Featuring Ntutu Nyiki)

Wide Horizons” celebrates and invites expansiveness, appealing to a sense of joyous adventure and awe, while also passing beyond the immediate field of normal vision into the darker, more numinous spaces of the soul.

This collection will appeal to myth-makers and dream weavers, those whose trade is travel, nature or the exotic. It will equally appeal to film directors and creative visionaries who need original and compelling World/African soundtracks to support the tales they are telling … “Wide Horizons” creates the sublime spaces that powerful stories demand.

Author: Jeff Moffatt

Not much of a renaissance man...

June 2, 2015

New Online Search, New Albums…BAM!

Change is like a breath of fresh air – and the air is certainly pretty fresh down here in CT at the moment! 12 degrees frEish!

Our new music search site launched in April – with loads of enhanced client friendly functionality – It’s all yours at mamadance.com!

New Search Site
As Craig says, “The Mama Dance production music website is unique because it is one of the few places where you will find a massive selection of SA and African music together with over 40 000 tracks from nine handpicked premium international libraries. Our clients don’t have to swop between various different websites or hard drives to get the variety they require at a price they can afford.” Read more about the ever changing production music business on filmcontact.comMDML100 - H&H - Uplifting Electro (600 x 600)

 

The Homelands and Heroes album series composed by Josh Wynter has been extremely popular on Mama Dance for the past year – so we interviewed the creative genius himself! Read all about him and listen to his three albums Gentle Reflections, Uplifting Electro-chestral, and Epic Orchestral.

BAM 3 (600 x 225)

BAM! BAM! BAM! We added a fresh new French / Canadian library to our music search site. It’s got the best selection of POP FLAVOUR we have heard in a long time – so we had to have it for our valuable SA clients! Listen to the BAM music library!

And some things never change at Mama Dance – the quality and variety of new album releases is always superb!
It’s all Melody and Groove with a good dose of West Africa in our latest album selection today.

Author: Jeff Moffatt

Not much of a renaissance man...

May 14, 2015

Mama Dance Music Composers – Josh Wynter

Josh Wynter Composer

AFRICAN DAWN

The opening track from Homelands & heroes: Epic Orchestral

Since arriving in Cape Town 4 years ago composer extraordinaire Josh Wynter has fast developed a reputation as something of a musical powerhouse.
With the release of his 3rd album in the hugely popular Homelands & Heroes series we thought it high time that we get the lowdown on what he’s all about…

When did you first get into music?

Well, I have a mixture of really traditional film music (classical) training coupled with a 1960s Pop star Dad, so it happened pretty early on. Like a lot of film & tv music guys, I had the whole cathedral choir experience, starting around age 7 followed by a music scholarship at a big boarding school and then some more formal training with a classical music degree at a well-known University, topped off with a Masters in scoring for film.

Wow, that’s a lot of training!

It is, but along the way I pursued the non-classical stuff relentlessly; learning the drums and guitar, playing in a lot of dubiously titled rock bands, wearing baggy and then ripped jeans as the current fashion got more and more ridiculous. I then really got into electronic music at University and ultimately discovered that Film and TV is the one magical place where all these different genres and disciplines can come together and exist side by side in a completely genre-less medium. Even if you don’t need the classical chops explicitly for a given project because the director is really into dubstep right now, having that deeper understanding of how music works from the classical training is never going to be a bad thing; any project usually ends up as a bit of a hybrid of different elements and influences anyway so having a broad interest and expertise in myriad musical genres is key.

So, what instruments can you play?

Piano, Viola, Organ, Guitar, Drums, Orchestral Percussion, Tibetan Nose Flute.

What do you do from Monday to Friday, i.e. what do you do for money?

I am currently lucky enough to write music every day and make a living from it. It wasn’t always this way and I’m really aware of how lucky I am to be able to say that – right now – I am a professional composer for tv and film.

What are some of the challenges you face as a composer / producer here in SA?

Budgets. There’s a lot of content made here, but in my experience there is also a limited demand for high quality original scores. Cue Mama Dance ! high quality production music! It’s obviously the way forward for a lot of people right now.

Tell us a bit about your albums on the Mama Dance ! Music Library?

I have been working on a series of albums called ‘Homelands & Heroes’ for about 2 years now, and am just finishing the fourth release. I did a lot of musicology at University and it was actually my love of South African music that brought me here; I did my final thesis on South African popular music and had to come see this amazing place that I’d been researching from afar for so long.

When it came to planning the Mama Dance ! albums, I definitely wanted to do something with a hint of Africa but also something that was just high end-sounding production music. The first album, ‘Homelands & Heroes: Epic Orchestral‘ was focused on that big filmic sound that I really love, and I was lucky enough to persuade the amazing Congolese singer Mapumba to bring his vocals to the party, which really took things to the next level. The Homelands & Heroes album series has now totally branched out and diversified to include electronic/dance music albums and allowed me to really indulge in my passion for modern styles so I’ve completed an ‘Electro-chestral‘ album and have just finished a brand new album of elegant, gentle, and spacious material. I think overall, I’ve just aimed for that high-end glossy feel for the Homelands and Heroes brand, whatever the genre, so it’s basically quite a versatile collection of albums that would suit loads of different contexts requiring that expensive, sophisticated sound.

Homelands and Heroes album covers

Modern Tribe

A Softer Humanity

Did you come to SA to make money to send back to your family in the UK with the exchange rate the way it is?

Yes. They have now relocated to a small caravan in rural Devon, which they share with 5 other families. They are very happy.

What does the future hold for Josh Wynter?

I’m working on a bunch of exciting projects at the moment, both here in SA and for the UK, so the immediate future is looking good. Some of the main players behind Top Gear got together a fantastic new show called The Classic Car Show, presented by supermodel Jodie Kidd and original Top Gear Presenter Quentin Willson, and I got to do a swinging 60s style theme tune for that, using some great South African brass players Nick Green and Michael Magner. It was really good fun and it’s going to be on all over the world, which is cool. I’m doing an amazing Sci Fi series for the UK at the moment and I just finished two brand new cooking show scores for for Mother City Records: Neill Anthony Private Chef (SABC3) & Jenny and Reza’s Fabulous Food Academy (Global Food Network). Lots of diversity, loads of different styles and hopefully all of them will do really well. I’m also really lucky to be able to contribute regularly to Mama Dance! these days so I foresee a lot of awesome new production music happening over the next few years!

Rumour has it that you had the biggest beard in music at one stage, do you feel that now that it has gone, like Samson, you might have lost some of your musical strength?

The loss of the beard definitely took its toll on my emotions and abilities at first, but I took heart at the subsequent beard growth boom over at the Mama Dance! offices and realised that it’s OK to inspire people. I’m now back to my happy, bearded self, musical skills intact.

Author: Jeff Moffatt

Not much of a renaissance man...

February 12, 2015

Do you have Prawns in your Production?

PrawnTVWeb

The Banting diet is all the rage according to dinner party conversations.  It seems we are quite obsessed about what we put into our bodies and often make others feel guilty about what they eat too.

A few years ago I went to a restaurant with my brother, an accountant.  So when I ordered prawns, I presumed his disappointed shake of the head was either for a poor health choice or more likely, a poor financial decision.  It was only after he whipped out his SASSI card and educated me about unsustainable fishing practices that I realized you can feel guilty about food in non-health related ways as well.  It turns out some people are catching these creatures in a manner that makes them relatively cheap, but also destroys lots of marine life in the process (for every 1kg of prawns you eat, between 7-20kgs of unwanted marine creatures are tossed back…and usually not alive). But that doesn’t often cross the mind of the consumer, like me, when the yummy prawns are available right now.

So what do prawns have to do with a music library publisher?  Well, we aren’t working on a District 9 sequel…yet, so the link we are making is ‘uneducated consumption’.  When you use production music in an advert, film, online video etc, do you ever wonder how the music got to you and how it affects the people that created it, not to mention music in general?

There has been a recent trend where some library publishers are offering production music hard drives at “use as much as you like” yearly subscription fees.  This sounds great to the user as it means you can pay upfront and the more you use, the more you save.  Some post production studios may even continue to charge their clients the regular library rates and pocket the profit once the breakeven point of the cost of the drive has been passed.   Unfortunately, like with our tasty little crustacean friends, there is always someone that suffers.  By reducing the rate of music license fees it means that someone has to be earning less.  It’s definitely not going to be the business-savvy, bottom-line-aware publisher, which means the composer is the only one left to take the hit.  Some publishers are asking inexperienced, ill-informed or cash-strapped composers to sign away certain of their rights and take smaller upfront buyout fees instead of retaining their copyright and earning royalties for years to come.  You can ask some of our own composers that have earned hundreds of thousands of Rands over the 15 year (or longer) life of an album whether they would have preferred a R5,000 upfront payment. It is pretty clear they would tell you they made the right decision (even investing the R5,000 for 10 years with compound interest wouldn’t get them close to their current earnings!).

The truth is that only a few libraries can operate using the subscription model because if every publisher jumped on the bandwagon (restoring the idiom to its musical roots), it would be a race to the bottom as the price of the subscription fee would get driven down so drastically through competition that composers would end up earning next to nothing for albums that can take months to create.

The more sustainable method for composers and music in the long run is the model used by Mama Dance and many others libraries.   We have over 70 local composers and income is split 50/50 between the composer and the publisher.  The importance of which can be seen in cases like the musician Judah Brown who was killed in a hijacking in 2007 and whose wife, a farm labourer, still receives his royalties to this day.

Another added benefit of this model is that the composers (who usually work within the sound industry), use royalties to improve their equipment, instruments and knowledge which in turn increases the quality of music produced in this country and hence why the Mama Dance ! Music Library can stand head to head with international libraries and can be heard in productions everywhere from the USA to China.

Hope is at hand though because as my brother’s shake of the head educated me, it is my hope that reading this will educate composers and music users alike so that in 20 years we might still be able to order a guilt-free prawn cocktail and we might still have skilled composers making a living out of creating high quality music.  Please use composer-friendly music!

Author: admin

July 3, 2014

Mama Dance Music Composers – Matthew Gair

Matthew Gair2

Acoustic Guitar genius, Matthew Gair, already has a number of albums on the Mama Dance ! Music Library and has just released his latest master piece, Feel Good Folk (MDML086), so the Mama Dance team thought they would find out a bit more about what makes him tick…

 

 Best Friends – The opening track from the new album

 

Do you have a nickname?

Some of my friends call me Chopper, because I play the guitar and am from Zim. There is a famous musician from Zim called Simon “Chopper “Chimbetu. People on the street sometimes call me “Hey you!” but that was more in my petty crime days.

 So Chopper, tell us a little bit about yourself: where were you born, where did you grow up and what career did you dream of having?

I was born in Bethlehem (the one in SA where there are no virgins) and I grew up in Harare. I wanted to be a singer-songwriter like David Gray. I was in a bunch of bands too but none of them really worked out.

What do you do from Monday to Friday, 8 to 5pm (or thereabouts)?

I work on sound for cartoons, ads and corporate vids mostly. I do all the sound work on Jungle Beat (kids cartoon shown in 170 countries) and I mix and do sound design for a few corporates too. Mostly for the states for some strange reason.

What takes up the rest of your time?

The rest of my time is spent with my wife, writing music, and trying to cut down on chocolate and beer.

When did the desire to make music first grab you and what was the first instrument you learned to play?

I saw a friend playing guitar when I was 15 I think. I’d played the clarinet in the orchestra at school for about 3 years and I hated it! So to hear an instrument and be so inspired by it was a revelation. The trouble is most of my friends had the same feelings so I learned the bass too so we could form a grunge band and become superstars! I kind of fell in love with the bass too which was a good thing and played in an afro-fusion band for a few years.

What instruments do you play currently and which instrument would you still like to learn?

I play the guitar pretty well, the bass, the uke, the mbira (thumbs like ostrich feet!), marimba (slightly….ever so slightly), I’ve hit a key on a piano before (does that count?) and I just bought a banjo so I’m plucking away at that like a red-neck with no teeth! Next up I want to get a mandolin.

Which artists or composers have influenced you over the years?+

Dan Romer can do no wrong. Anyone who manages to make a living in this tough game I am inspired by!

What are some of the challenges for local composers, artists and musicians and in South Africa?

I can only speak from my own experience but the major challenge is making a living just doing this. You have to wear many hats in South Africa. I love sound design, and mixing and spending time thinking about how a footstep should sound, or building a machine to make an insect wings beat, or how the eq should sound on a voice over so I feel quite lucky. I would love to wake up in the morning and only write music but the reality (for me anyway) is that I have to work on multiple things and just keep at it! The reality is it takes hard work and dedication to work in Sound and you aren’t going to be rich or famous but if you love it you can be very happy!

Feel Good Folk

How did you find out about the production/library music industry?

Mama Dance came by my studio once to pitch the library for a show I was working on. I ended up chatting and sending through some stuff and the rest is history (5 albums of history so far!)

What are some of your favourite tracks from the 5 albums and do you think you have improved over the years?

I hope I’ve improved over the years!! Some of my favourite tracks are: Savanna Children (it gave me such peace when I recorded it), Unyumbaza, My Wife, The First Baobab (when it all kicks in) and on the new album I’m really proud of Breathe, Gentle Hearts and Bluebell. I’d had the banjo two weeks when I did Breathe and Bluebell so it was enormously satisfying to write new stuff with the Banjo.

Bluebell

 


Breathe

 

You were the highest earning Mama Dance library composer in 2013, what has the extra income meant for you and your compositional work?

The extra income has meant that I could build my own home studio so I can work whenever I get inspiration.

Which music synchronisation are you most proud of and which are you least proud of?

To be honest I’m so thrilled everytime something of mine gets used I swell up with pride. The 21 icons campaign was very rewarding and to hear my stuff on CNN or being used in Australia has been great. The local uses are the best though because I get to see them and I always stop and always want to do a slow-mo airpunch when they play!! It’s always a dream come true when I hear stuff play in a show, or in an ad. I’m not in this for fame or anything. I just want to write music and everytime I get a sync it’s a step closer to full-filling my dream of waking up everyday and playing my guitar and actually getting paid to do it!

We are always impressed with the catchiness of your melodies.  Do you ever feel like the creative juices are going to one day just run out?

Yes. Every time I pick up the guitar I feel like I’ve run out of ideas….then something sticks and I forget about it. Might take ten mins, maybe 30 mins, maybe two weeks but as long as I stop thinking about it and just enjoy what I’m doing I seem to come out alright!

What would you do if you had to stop working in the sound/music industry?

If I could I would buy a parking lot. That’s just money for nothing.

What’s next for Matt Gair?

Everyday is a step towards sync and royalties supporting me and my family, next up is to write more music, try and get better with every piece. Try try try. No-one is here to do this stuff for you, you just have to work hard and hopefully it pays off in the end. Hey awesome South African production people out there, please use my new album in your shiny new production I promise high fives and hugs if we ever meet!

 

Author: admin