On Friday February 10, the curtain fell on the Independent Music Exporters South Africa (IMEXSA)’s 4th Annual SA Indies Music Week.
Following an estimated four months of countrywide search and a week of live performances, the evening was the final end to IMEXSA’s search for artists to feature at international festivals.
It was the Grand Finale of the 4th Annual SA Indies Music Week, the event used to select the final round artists that stand a chance to be subsidized to travel and showcase their music at top festivals such as Primavera in Spain, SXSW in the US and Midem in France.
Workshops were staged during the day and 70 bands performed in the evenings. The final day event was hosted by award-winning songbird Siphokazi and her husband, accompanied by the singing duo Bongi & Collin. They also performed on the night.
The selection team representative applauded the artists for the talent and passion they had showed and explained that artists to be announced were finalists and stood a chance to get the few spots available for international travel. The festival representatives had to take the lists back to their counterparts to make a final selection.
The only exception was the artist selected for SXSW, a category selected purely on ticket sales. This award was given to VeeDeshNee aka Miss Vee. This amazing singer/songwriter has been making cool music for a while now, inspired by everyday life, love and hurt. She sings and creates melodies in the style of Soul/Alternative. “People are at the top of my hierarchy,” she says, “without people, music is just a sound with no ear.” VeeDeshNee is currently working on her album for release in March 2017.
The bands shortlisted for Primavera in Spain, in no particular order, are: Marley Bloo, Soul Jams, Radio 123, Ikati Esengxoweni, Bye Beneco, The Independent Tour and GC. The final selection will be announced around the end of February.
The bands shortlisted for Midem in France, in no particular order, are: Soul Jams, Academie, Radio 123, Native young, Marley Bloo, Roots 2000, Bye Beneco, Ikati Esengxoweni, Andy, The Independent Tour and Akio. The announcement will be made once The Midem Team has made its final selection.
The winner for the SMS Voteline was not announced. The voting period has been extended to end February to give bands more time to get votes in. It will close at midnight on February 28 2017. As a result, the winning slot will be attendance at Midem in France, not to SXSW in the US as previously stated, which will be too close to the closing date. It was also felt that since this slot is only open to a single individual, they will fare better at Midem where the focus is more on music businesses than SXSW. The winner will be announced with the final selected bands for Midem.
The evening closed with a vote of thanks by IMEXSA director, Renneth. She paid tribute to all the artists that have already travelled and obtained business opportunities and collaborations across the globe. The next selection for SA Indies Music Week submissions will open in June 2017.