You’ve held various positions in the music industry, tell us about your journey?
I’ve always had a strong passion and knowledge for music, and my break came when I was offered to produce a music show at the campus station UJFM. I jumped at the opportunity, and soon developed a love for radio, working my way through various roles. From there I moved to 5FM as senior music compiler for six years.
I transitioned from radio into music streaming. Now, I’m a Music Editor for Africa at Deezer, a global music streaming service, and work with some of the brightest people in music and technology.
How has the transition of radio to streaming affected the way people experience and listen to music?
Streaming is becoming more mainstream as the preferred choice for many people. Streaming services give established and up-and-coming artists a platform to reach new fans. Music fans still look forward to new releases on Fridays and what was once limited to radio or physical stores, is now immediately available on streaming platform.
Streaming services are also a great place to discover non-mainstream music as there are channels separated by genres, moods, mixes or easily listen to playlists curated by music editors. For example at Deezer, we have a feature called Flow, which is like your personal soundtrack. It uses smart data and algorithms along with recommendations from editors to play songs that you want to hear and suggest new songs to help you discover new ones.
You are now the music editor for Deezer South Africa and Africa, what does your role entail?
I manage and programme content for South Africa and key African territories; from highlighting popular new releases, to curating relevant targeted playlists and providing the audience with the best possible content for a seamless entertaining experience.
We also have an artists’ first global program called, Deezer NEXT, where we select global and local artists that are up-and-coming and provide our full support in editorial, marketing, social and more. The 12 month program is a personal favourite of mine as I get to work and create content with some amazing young artists.
What trends do you foresee for 2019?
2018 was a big year for SA House, and I feel 2109 will be even bigger. Black Coffee has done incredibly well, laying the foundations globally, and this year I believe we’ll see more of our talented house producers showcasing their music around the world .
Which local and international artists should we look out for in 2019?There are many young local artists doing amazing things at the moment, and on the verge of greatness. Bianca Blanc, Muzi, and Easy Freak stand out for me, and are also our chosen Deezer ZA Next artists for 2018/2019. Internationally…will stick with Africa, I see big things coming from Teni, a Nigerian singer, and Kwesi Arthur, a rapper from Ghana.