Zim music executive clinches Sony deal

A ZIMBABWEAN music executive based in South Africa, Munya Chanetsa, has vowed to uplift the standards of music production in the country after he was recently appointed artiste and repertoire manager for Africa at Sony/ATV Music Publishing in South Africa.

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

Chanetsa told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that his priority was to help songwriters, producers and artistes commercialise their projects and earn revenue.

“My priority is to really focus on songwriters and producers and, of course, I will focus on performing artistes, that’s if they produce their own songs or if they write their own lyrics, so the mandate is to work with these guys and show them how to commercialise the works that they own, like the songs, and make revenue out of this,” he said.

Chanetsa said he felt honoured by the appointment.

“It was an honour when Sony actually approached me for the position because they created that position which they didn’t have before. I was excited for having been recognised as someone who could assume the position with the experience that I have and the first people I called were my parents,” he said.

“The goal is to open up the revenue opportunities for artistes, so it’s not an opportunity just for Zimbabwe, but for the continent as a whole. But I am excited about Zimbabwe because that’s home and I want to assist in the upliftment and growth of the music industry in Zimbabwe.”

Chanetsa stressed that his passion was to see creatives in Africa earning significant revenues to make their careers profitable enough not to hold other jobs to sustain their lives.

He said education was key for Zimbabwean artistes to make money out of the profession and take it as a business.

“There are a few gaps in the Zimbabwean music industry that I have seen. I generally think education is a big gap that we need to educate our artiste on how to make money. I am talking about the whole chain and I am talking about the artistes up to producers, they don’t really understand the industry and how it works, how to really exploit it to its full potential where you can really earn revenue to have a sustainable life,” he said.

“We need to educate artistes on how to make money. Unfortunately due to the fact that its really easy to make music in this day and age and people are of the idea that if you have this one big hit you become a millionaire, but the reality is this industry is about the long game.”

“This industry is about the long game. It’s about patience, not about the fast hit to make number one because that does not exist. It’s about strategising and planning just like any other business.”

Chanetsa challenged artistes to treat themselves as entrepreneurs.

“We need to start treating ourselves as businesses. Technically the person performing, you are the brand and you need to see yourself as a brand and as a brand you need to have a business plan and right now we are just making music for the sake of music hoping to have a hit. But without planning we will just keep on just having this cycle and not able to complete what I would like to call level one of the industry so that’s the thing and education is the biggest gap,” he said.

Chanetsa revealed that Sony was planning to introduce songwriting workshops and camps to educate those involved in music production.

“Some of the things we are planning to do as Sony is to assist that, we planning to have songwriting camps and workshops, it’s just to really show that the art of doing and making music is not as easy as just putting notes together but there is a science behind that and that’s the important thing and it needs to be highlighted, so as Sony we will be introducing this soon,” he said.

The top music executive said his vison was mainly focused on securing deals and collaborations such as songwriters and producers from different territories working together for Africa to produce quality products to make Africa a powerhouse.

“I encourage people to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and let’s connect. Let’s see what you got as I have said it’s about quality and not quantity, so there are going to be very strict terms as to the criteria as to who will sign at Sony. So as long as you adhere to those criteria, you make quality music, you have got a plan and strategy, you have your stuff in order in terms of paperwork, and you know administration and you do know the spreadsheets then it will be a pleasure for us to work with you. So as Sony we want to have the right holders of the productions to notify us on what song they own and what percentage they own on a song or production so that we can chase and collect and get money into their pockets,” Chanetsa said.

Chanetsa was head of operations at Content Connect Africa, a post which entitled him to assume the role of managing director of Content Connect Ghana and Content Connect International. Earlier in his career, he was the Africa head of marketing and promotions for New York-based Putumayo World Music.

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