Music Business Fundamentals – Getting to know our facilitator
19 Sep 2017
Getting to know our facilitator
On 3 October 2017 our inaugural Music Business Fundamentals Short Course will start.
This new 8 week course aims to bridge the massive gap that often exists between artists, independent label owners, artist managers and other music industry operators and the complex revenue streams that exists in the world of entertainment and music.
Facilitated by Damian Malgas, who lectures 2nd year degree sound students in music business and legal studies at SAE Cape Town, we held a short Q n A session with Damian to help interested applicants better understand what the course is all about.
This course will touch on a little bit of everything from marketing to promotion to legal and performances, so this will certainly be a good starting point.
Your qualifications are both varied and interesting; having graduated with a business degree in economics and politics what prompted you to attend Berklee College and decide to focus on the music business?
I’ve always loved music to be honest.
I’ve been involved as a member of a band and as a solo artist for nearly a decade and as a result I felt the only area where I wanted to be was the music business. Furthermore I love understanding how this game works and then using that knowledge to help people be in control of their own destiny.
Now more than ever with the rise of independent distribution and promotion, understanding the business side of music is needed.
You currently lecture 2nd year Sound Degree students at SAE Cape Town in Music Business and Legal Studies. Was this what prompted you to extend your knowledge by offering a short course?
I think this course focuses on all the fundamentals of the industry.
It’s for people who want to understand all the different pieces at work and how they can find a place in the industry. My other course focuses very specifically on the legal side of the business as well as setting up your own business in music.
This course however will touch on a little bit of everything from marketing to promotion to legal and performances, so this will certainly be a good starting point.
It is often said that the biggest shortcoming in the South African Music industry is the lack of qualified agents and business people. Do you agree with this assumption?
I don’t know if there is a lack of qualified business people.
I think the problem in the music industry and South Africa as a whole is the lack of a self-starter mentality. You have students who graduate who look to work for big corporations first; you have artists who have a primary objective of signing to a major label.
What we need is to develop a mentality of doing things ourselves, if you try and be an entrepreneur and it doesn’t work for you, then maybe try work for a major corporation.
Similarly if you are a young artist or manager or promoter the aim should be to set up your own business and then either continue to grow on your own or get the help of a major label/company as an additive instead of as the actual goal.
Does the Music Business Fundamentals Short Course address this?
The course certainly tries to focus on being a Self-Starter, being accountable and competent.
The aim is to help make you understand how everything works and then how you can contribute to the industry to help it grow and make enough money to not only sustain your project but also expand and allow other people to benefit from this business.
I think anybody who wants to be involved in this business.
This course is about generating an overall understanding of the industry.
So I would say independent artists, artist managers, aspiring record label owners, live event promoters or anybody who wants to be part of this rapidly expanding sector of the economy.
As an artist yourself, what have you seen to be the biggest challenges and pitfalls in the SA music business?
I think over and above everything it is to understand the various roles of all the players and marketing.
Once you understand what everyone does and how they can help you and know how to you get your music into the ears of the people who would want to hear your music, the job is 80% complete.
After completing this short course, what do you feel is the single most important thing students will be able to take with them into their own musical universes?
I think they will understand how to use the knowledge and lessons to expedite their own success in whatever corner of the industry they want to develop from.
They will have a firm footing to understand what they need to learn more about and which avenue they want to develop in.