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Beatport Music Services VP and Gareth Cliff music conference Breathe Sunshine Engage

Following the success of two Breathe Sunshine African Music Conference events in Cape Town, Breathe Sunshine Engage (BSE) will take place as a once-off satellite event in Johannesburg on Friday 3 October 2014 at The Market Theatre in Newtown.

This one-day music conference offers attendees an impactful, industry experience featuring local and international speakers, panels and ‘on the couch’ interviews. Aimed at music students, artists, professionals, media and anyone keen on learning more about the industry, the public is urged to purchase their tickets quickly as space is limited. They’re priced at a reasonable R195.00 so that the conference is accessible to everyone.

Delivering the keynote addresses are Terry Weerasinghe – Beatport’s Vice President of Music Services, along with SA’s maverick radio pioneer Gareth Cliff.

Founded in 2004, Beatport is the largest music download store for DJs in the world, with Terry being one of the most connected and well-respected figures in dance music. Based in Berlin, Terry will address delegates on the boom in dance music worldwide and how Africa can tap into it.  He’ll also outline how the digital retailer is transitioning to a new future whilst highlighting how labels, artists and others can participate in building a global community that makes music available to a broader audience and deepens the relationship between artists and their fans.

As one of the most recognised radio DJ’s on the African continent, Gareth Cliff will talk about the future of radio in South Africa and his experience launching his own online radio portal, CliffCentral.

Recognising the need for national events that facilitate networking, knowledge-sharing and artist empowerment, the conference comprises various panel discussions aimed at encouraging engagement and collaboration all aimed at building the industry.

Whilst the full agenda is still in development, two panel discussions have been announced:

The Management Vacuum in the African Music Industry: Understanding the management role, what can be done to improve and develop better management skills and how do we attract more high calibre professionals into the game.

Confirmed panelists include: Graeme Gilfillan – Nisa Global Entertainment (PTY) Ltd, Zakes Bantwini – Head of A&R Sony, Raphael Benza – AKA Management, Refiloe Ramogase – Dreamteam Management, Franie Kotze – Clear Entertainment, Amaru Da Costa – Soulistic.

Soul Candi records will present a panel focused on ‘Taking South African House Music Global’, touching on themes such as how to compete in a highly competitive international electronic music industry, realizing our true global potential, and empowering artists to prepare them for international success.

Confirmed Panelists include Black Coffee, Allan Nicoll – Soul Candi, Nomndeni Mdakhi  – Edits Communications (Kalawa Jazzmee), DJ Clock – AM-PM Productions, Jullian Gomes, Kavir Magan – Pulse Radio

The popular ‘on the couch’ sessions will include global speakers, two of whom are renowned international booking agents from the UK’s Coda Music Agency; Paul Buck and James Whitting.  Coda looks after Imagine Dragons, Ellie Goulding, Bastille, Rudimental, Disclosure, The XX, The Vaccines, Bon Iver, John Newman, Jay Electronica, Jamie Woon, Faithless, Macy Grey, Mr Scruff and new teenage sensation Jake Bugg, just to name a few.

With indie rock festival Vodacom In the City (VITC) taking place at neighbouring Mary Fitzgerald Square on the same day, it’s likely that the international contingent in SA for VITC and Rocking the Daisies will make themselves available to attend parts of the conference too.

Seed Experiences, the company behind VITC, Rocking the Daisies and a host of other top festivals, recognized the need to support the industry that supports them.   By partnering with Black Mango, the founders of Breathe Sunshine African Music Conference, the two parties created Breathe Sunshine Engage.

“The African music industry is one of the fastest growing music industries in the world but the continent still lacks the skills and network of our international counterparts. Through our Breathe Sunshine conferences we aim to address these challenges and put South Africa on the map as 
a global music hub for African music,” comments Trenton Birch, founder of Black Mango. “With strategic partnerships with Kenyan Music Week, AFRIMA (All African Music Awards – Nigeria), Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), Europe’s largest music conference and CJM (USA), we have opened up an international network with the world’s top global conferences,” concludes Birch.

The team has taken their international alliance one step further by being invited to represent Breathe Sunshine South Africa at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival in September where they will host two panels and a showcase celebrating 20 years of democracy.

Of course all great initiatives need great partners, so big thanks to SAE Institute and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) for their support.

Visit for updates and additional details.


R195.00 – Full day ticket.

R595.00 – Combination ticket for Breathe Sunshine Engage and Vodacom In The City

Event Information:

Breathe Sunshine Engage: 09h00 to 17h30.  Friday 3 October. The Market Theatre, Newtown, Johannesburg.

Event Info:


Twitter: @BSunshineAfrica #BSEngage


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