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CD Baby Brings on First Representative in Africa

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Sakhele Mzalazala

Seasoned independent music advocate Sakhele Mzalazala will support artists across Southern Africa as CD Baby builds out its operations on the continent  

CD Baby is expanding its international artist services team to Africa, bringing on seasoned music business manager and independent music advocate Sakhele Mzalazala. Reporting to VP of International Development Heli Del Moral, Mzalazala is CD Baby’s first hire in Africa where he will be responsible for growing CD Baby in South Africa and other markets across Southern Africa, including Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, and Namibia. Based in Johannesburg, Mzalazala will spearhead strategic partnerships both locally and internationally, building networks with young and established artists in the process, as well as developing and implementing a number of programs to increase visibility and adoption of CD Baby services, and establish strategic industry relationships in the region.

“African artists have impacted music around the world, and we’re thrilled to find the right representative to help them understand how CD Baby can support their careers and creativity,” says VP of International Development, Hel Del Moral. “This step is part of our overall vision to bring the best artist services and rights administration to independent creators worldwide.”

Mzalazala has more than 20 years of music industry experience, including roles with Yourself Management, Xhentsa, and Koloni, working directly with artists Mahlatse Vokal and Lisa Good, and overseeing the publishing team at the prominent South African label Mathaland/Ghetto Ruff, where he worked with Zola 7, Dj Cleo, Pitch Black AFRO, and Morafe. With his own roots in the music industry as a an artist before transitioning to the business side, Mzalazala has a strong track record of supporting independent artists’ work, including a double platinum-release from Zonke Dikana’s Ina Ethe, the late Sfiso Ncwane’s multiple award-winning Gospel album Bayede Baba. He has also worked with Sizwe Zako, Tshepo Tshola, Lawrence Matshiza, and many more, experiences he has distilled into a guide book for independent musicians.

“Working for an international organization like CD Baby has been a dream of mine and I am very excited to have been given such a big opportunity, which in turn comes with bigger responsibilities,” Mzalazala says. “I look forward to impacting positively on the careers of independent artists and labels, where they will have full control and ownership of the works. I have always strived to do what is best for my artists and clients and CD Baby is just that and more. I am excited and cannot wait.”

Southern Africa has long been a musical powerhouse, with artists like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo shaping international music for decades. New generations of artists have continued to make an impact, including independent cross-cultural groups like Cape Town’s Freshlyground, who racked up billions of YouTube views worldwide. South African independent house DJ and singer-songwriter Black Coffee helped turn the world on to African techno and club music, winning Breakthrough DJ of the Year at the DJ Awards in Ibiza in 2015. Hip hop artists from the region like DJ Nasty C have gained international audiences and exposure. At the same time, other culturally important voices remain strong, including Gospel performers like Benjamin Dube and young torchbearers for traditional genres like Zulu maskandi such as Khuzani Mpungose. Though international music continues to dominate the market (80% of market share in South Africa), the independent sector is growing as the entire music market expands by 5-9% a year, according to data reported by Music Ally.

“Independent artists’ biggest challenges in our region are the lack of information or knowledge, lack of income from their works, and the long-term agreements they sign,” explains Mzalazala. “But artists are becoming independent by owning their masters and getting access to most digital platforms. There is a lot of reason for optimism now.”

Mzalazala joins the 22-person CD Baby international team active in markets across Europe, North America, South America, East Asia, and South Asia.

About CD Baby

CD Baby is the largest distributor and rights administrator of independent music on the planet.  It is home to over 800,000 artists and more than 9 million tracks, getting independent music to more than 150 digital services and platforms around the globe and allowing artists to monetize their presence on YouTube. Artists using the CD Baby platform have earned $850 million since its founding. Its Publishing Administration service allows over 250,000 songwriters/artists to collect all of their publishing royalties. CD Baby has become the go-to partner for many icons in the new music industry. CD Baby is owned by Downtown Music Holdings.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Hoop Earrings

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Earrings, and all jewelry, really, can reveal a bit about the inner workings of its wearer. Hoop earrings, in particular, have centuries of history and culture behind them, a legacy that you’ll inevitably feel when wearing your favorite hoops. Like anything of historical or cultural significance, though, your silver or gold hoop earrings come with some guidelines. Of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules about what you can and cannot wear or how you must go about accessorizing. Still, these are some good concepts to keep in mind when you reach for your go-to hoops or decide to buy a brand-new pair.

Do wear what makes you feel good. 

First and foremost, it’s crucial that your hoops—or any other sort of jewelry, for that matter—make you feel as good as you look whenever you wear them. Choose a pair of earrings representing the person you are or the version of you that you hope to be someday. When you feel good about your silver or gold jewelry choice, you’ll instantly seem more confident and self-assured. 

Don’t try to be someone you’re not.

No matter how much you adore your gold or silver hoops, you have to remember that they’re also a vital part of contemporary Latinx culture and must be treated as such. So don’t fall into the trap of feeling ”ghetto” because you’ve got a pair of large hoop earrings. Instead, look into the history and significance of hoops and wear them with a genuine appreciation for all the meaning that comes with those loops of gold or sterling silver. 

Do experiment with unique styles. 

As lovely as standard gold or sterling silver hoop earrings are, there’s plenty of opportunities to try less conventional styles, too. Seek out those silver hoop earrings accentuated by multicolored gemstones or turn to thin gold hoops made with opulent filigree. Whatever the case, your most beautiful hoops will highlight a beautiful take on classic silver or gold hoops. 

Don’t overdo your accessories. 

This isn’t true for hoops alone, but it’s important to wear your jewelry sparingly, especially where statement pieces are concerned. Too many bold pieces can take away from each of them, degrading the personality of each hoop, necklace, or bangle. For example, a bold hoop earring might complement a more subtle string of pearls or a dainty piece of sterling silver jewelry. With too many pieces competing for others’ attention, you’ll lose out on all of the above. 

Do embrace your favorite fashions. 

When you choose a new hoop earring, you must consider your personal taste, too. For example, if you’re a fan of small hoop earrings adorned with pearls, wear them confidently. On the other hand, do you prefer thin gold hoops and a strand of gemstones at your neck? Then showcase those stones with a smile! Whatever style you lean toward, you must embrace that—it doesn’t have to be what’s currently trendy. It just needs to be what appeals to you. 

Don’t try to chase trends. 

With that in mind, you must remember that trends come and go. If you run to one after the next, you’ll struggle to find the selections that genuinely speak to you—and you’ll pay a high price for a lot of pieces you might not even like. 

The legacy of a hoop earring is far-reaching and incredibly varied, yet it’s a style that’s undoubtedly a classic still today. However, there’s not just a straightforward style. To make the most of your go-to hoops, you must consider your personal preferences, cultural significance, and what makes you happy. This doesn’t mean you must stick to some ill-defined fashion rules; instead, you have to find what works for you and embrace it with genuine appreciation. 

 

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I’ll flood the system with bangers and kick out foreign music by December-Kuami Eugene vows

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“Rockstar” Kuami Eugene has stated that he is gearing up to kick out all foreign music from the Ghanaian landscape. (more…)

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Social media reacts as Bank of Ghana readies to phase out GHC1 and GHC2 notes

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The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has said that it is working to phase out the one Ghana cedi and the two Ghana cedi notes from circulation. (more…)

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BREAKING: Highlife music legend Nana Ampadu is reportedly dead.

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Veteran Highlife Musician, Nana Ampadu has reportedly passed on. (more…)

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Amb Michael Oquaye, CEO of GFZA, pays courtesy call on Asantehene, His Royal Majesty, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II

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As part of a three-day visit to the Ashanti Region, Ambassador Michael ANNY Oquaye, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, and his management team paid a courtesy call on His Royal Majesty, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II.

 

The visit formed part of the CEO’s drive to engage with key stakeholders as he works towards the export-oriented vision of His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic.

 

Amb Oquaye presented the Ghana Free Zones Industrial developmental plan for the Kumasi Export Processing Zone to His Royal Majesty and informed him of steps to eject land encroachers from the site to pave the way for the start of the project.

 

The Land, acquired in 2005 as one of Ghana’s Export Processing Zones, is set to receive the needed facelift as the country positions itself as the Export Hub within the sub-region

The funding is part of a World Bank facility extended to Ghana to develop the Greater Kumasi Industrial Park.

 

As part of efforts to get the project started on time, the World Bank engaged consultants in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to undertake several exercises, including site assessment, best practice benchmarking, environmental and social impact assessment.

 

On-ground inspection is set to start from October 2021. Hence, it has become critical to eject all the illegal structures to pave the way for the planned development.

 

On his part, His Royal Majesty congratulated Amb Oquaye on his appointment and expressed his confidence in the former Ambassador to deliver on the new mandate given to him by the President as he did during his tenure as Ghana’s Ambassador to India.

 

The Asantehene added that he supports the steps to remove all illegal structures and encroachers who have acted without attaining building permits from the Ejisu Municipal Authority.

 

Otumfuor Osei Tutu II recalled how he supported the acquisition of the Land in 2005 and lamented its abandonment all these years.

 

However, he was optimistic that the new focus on the Greater Kumasi industrial project would see the Land being put to its intended use.

 

The Management team of the Ghana Free Zones Authority made a donation to Manhyia during the visit.

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Lungi Naidoo Returns With A Brave New EP Called ‘COURAGE’

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South African singer and songwriter, Lungi Naidoo, returns after a lengthy hiatus with her new Afro-pop flavoured EP boldly titled, COURAGE.

Releasing on 24 September across all DSPs via Ditto Music, COURAGE will be preceded by the release of three singles namely, “Feel Good” (16 July), “About You” (20August) and “Azania” (17 September).

After a few false starts with various producers during 2020’s lockdown, Lungi eventually met South African-born, London-based producer and mixer Pete ‘Boxsta’ Martin and his Three Bears Ent. partner, songwriter and producer Dantae Johnson at the beginning of 2021 and felt an instant working chemistry. The recording process was preceded by a week-long Zoom writing camp where Lungi, at her home studio in Cape Town, together with Dantae Johnson and songwriter Amelia Payne, at their studio in London, gave birth to the songs on COURAGE.

The EP was co-written, recorded and produced by Dantae Johnson at The Woods Studios in London and mixed & executive produced by Pete ‘Boxsta’ Martin at the Matrix Studio complex. Addicted was produced by Tega at Blues Steam Entertainment Studio in Lagos, Nigeria. Lungi recorded all the vocals at the Sound Foundry studio in Cape Town with Greg Abrahams.

The EP is also mixed in Dolby Atmos by Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert and will be available in Spatial Audio on Apple Music.

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