Segodi Leshalabe writes:
South African artists brought their A-game on Sunday night at the Independent Music Exporters SA (IMEXSA) organized music showcase at Midem in France.
Midem is the acronym for Marché International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale, which is organised annually in and around the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France. The trade show, which is billed as the leading international business event for the music ecosystem, has been held since 1967. This year the event celebrated its 50th year anniversary.
With over 237 artists billed to perform at various venues for the event, the competition for audiences was always going to be high. The South African stage proved to be a major hit, with the theatre almost filled to capacity. The diverse audience were kept at the edge of their seats as each South African act kept raising the bar as the event progressed. The artists’ line-up was also a true representation of SA’s rainbow nation, as alluded to by the evening’s programme director. The diverse styles of music dished out by the billed acts ensured that every member of the audience had a favourite moment. This was no mean feat given that the audience came from many different countries.
In attendance were various influential people from the music industry, including Midem’s International Sales Manager, Mr Christophe Chiappa. He was very satisfied with the standard of music dished out. Not surprisingly as he was one of the people who flew to South Africa in December 2015 to be part of a local and international panel to select artists to perform at Midem. Also in attendance was US’s Mr Allen Johnston aka The Music Specialist. He represented Global Soul Music and selected several SA acts to perform on his live stage in Midem, joining artists from a host of other countries. Karen Mason, an experienced music industry veteran, having worked with major acts like Mary J Blige, Michael Jackson, The Fugees, Sade among others, was also in attendance, and praised the standard of music dished out on the evening. Roger Ryan, a producer who has worked with many top Gospel acts including Bebe and Cece Winans, and Kirk Franklin, was also part of the audience. He continued to hang out with some of the artists after the show, dishing out words of advice to them on how to make an impact on the music scene. Many other key industry people were also in attendance and it would not be a surprise if some of the acts that performed on the night receive invitations to other countries or even get various types of deals to expand their music careers globally. Several notable South Africans were also in attendance, including Dave Alexander from Sheer Publishing. IMEXSA’s director, Renneth Tshisikule, summed it all up expressing satisfaction that the event was an overwhelming success.
All in all, this was an amazing event and one felt proudly South African after such sterling performances by SA artists. A word of appreciation and congratulations goes out to IMEXSA, the DTI and the National Lottery Fund for all having made this possible. With more resources, hopefully the event can be expanded to more nights and more venues in 2017, thus helping more South African talent gain the necessary exposure and access to global opportunities. The current delegation returns to South Africa on Wednesday and are scheduled to arrive midday.