Wednesday, January 30, 2008


By Sivu Nobongoza

EMI has been going through serious challenges in the past 4 to 6 years, with several restructuring phases due to ever-falling CD sales and tighter profit margins in the music industry. Worldwide industry sales fell some 30% in 2006.

As an independent, big as it is, the company has been the hardest hit of the majors that include SonyBMG, Warner Brothers and Universal Music Group. At some point there was even talk of the company merging with one of these other giants, in the same way that Sony merged with BMG.

With as many as 2000 valuable employees set to be let go during EMI’s universal reconstruction, it got me thinking, what if the big mogul music company had to shake off some of its uninspiring musical deadweight. I mean which S.A artists aren’t quite pulling their socks up and might need to join the EMI concentration camp. As well as, which visionaries are set to take the international arena with their ever-progressive nature?


Stay - Bayete: The founding revolutionaries of African pop music get a ‘Yay’ in the Encore book. They get to hang around for a few years and school some of these junior mafias on how to convert a good product into an internationally recognized multi-award winning classic.

Go - Black Noise: with Hip-Hop’s forever changing vision and after many years in the game, these guys have acquired the status of ‘better-to-be-seen and not heard’. They’re doing awesome things for their community and should carry on fighting the good fight, so long as it’s not in a verse.

Stay - Bongo Maffin:
as they would say on Jam Alley – Ovi-yaaas (slang. Obvious) Still one of South Africa’s top talents, BM still have ‘a best of compilation’ to do, followed by another blinder, and maybe one more record for the good measure before they pass the torch on. For now whilst there aren’t any worthy recipients. The Bongo ain’t going nowhere!

Go - Brasse Vannie Kaap:
(Hick!) excuse me, BVK gang now officially fall in the category “old school”. Even if they did come back, I don’t think they’d be able to handle the flamboyance of today’s Youngblood’s. 40’s still 40 here in Mzansi, and today, gangsters have got LLB’s from Wits. Rather be stay-at-home dads.

Stay - Jonathan Butler:
It seems like it was yesterday when I was listening to JB thinking how sweet this boy is. Then he left the country and came back an International Jazz Superstar. JB is most certainly one of our music pallbearers. He legacy will prevail for many years to come.

Stay - Yvonne Chaka Chaka: An inspiration to all South Africans, Ms Chaka-Chaka has proven to be god-sent. Having made a late come back in her career, she still brings flavour to the African pot. My Mom still likes her. Anything to keep the old folks at bay!

Stay - Moreira Chonguica: Easily one of the freshest Jazz players to come out of South Africa, Moreira commands the spotlight from jazz and neo-urban youths out there. I’d mos-definitely put my money in his wallet.

Stay - Simphiwe Dana: just cracks the nod. A talented individual indeed – only the little youngsters coming up behind her could threaten her well-being if she doesn’t lift her Afrykhan ass into fifth gear.

Stay - DJ Ready D: can’t be stopped. Everything else will change and this man will just stay hot like fire.

Stay - Jimmy Dludlu: he is one of Mzansi's favourite sons. A living legend indeed, he is still to grace us with years and years of his musical bliss. Hats off to one of SA’s grandchildren.

Stay - Freshlyground:
their name speaks for itself. Forever fresh, baby! Less is more.

Go - Godessa:
I’m torn between my love for these young women and my love for a revolution. The thing is they’ve played the cards, and seemingly all their aces. Unless they’re going to pull an MC Lyte on us, this group’s lights are out. It was a grand old ride though girls.

Stay - Goldfish:
recognized to those that know them well as Africa’s Best Dance Duo, Goldfish are set to lead the revolution. Armed with decks and a bag of Muizenberg fairy dust, they’re going to take over the world. Investors, mark my words.

To be continued….

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