Event Title

Examining the Current Realities of Indie Music Distribution in Cape Town, South Africa

Presenter Information

Lauren Brown, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 127

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2019 1:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2019 2:20 PM

Abstract

This research project explores the current realities of indie music distribution in Cape Town, South Africa in the wake of apartheid- a nation-wide policy of segregation and discrimination on grounds of race that took place from 1948-1994. I am interested in how this historical context and associated censorship practices have shaped the current music scene. Through my experiences abroad in Cape Town as well as a month of intensive fieldwork, I show how musicians struggle with disseminating their music throughout the country, as well as beyond its confines. In this “post-apartheid” era, indie musicians who are representative of South Africa’s racial diversity such as black Africans, whites, and coloured population (a local and accepted term), are still facing the consequences of economic and social barriers put in place during apartheid. While attempts to break out of the local scene and into the international one has been fruitful for a select few, many still struggle to do so. Due to these restrictions and barriers, the distribution of indie artists’ work are fueled by personal contacts and exchanges through innovative events that are centered in musician and community support of the local scene. By using these approaches, along with fieldwork observation such as going to local shows and conducting interviews with musicians and label executives, this project presents an image of post-apartheid South Africa through the lens of music dissemination and distribution.

Keywords:

ethnomusicology, Cape Town, South Africa, music, distribution

Notes

Session III, Panel 7 - Artistic | Resistance
Moderator: Gina Pérez, Professor of Comparative American Studies

Major

Musical Studies; Anthropology

Advisor(s)

Amy Margaris, Anthropology

Project Mentor(s)

Kathryn Metz, Ethnomusicology
Jennifer Fraser, Ethnomusicology and Anthropology

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM Apr 27th, 2:20 PM

Examining the Current Realities of Indie Music Distribution in Cape Town, South Africa

King Building 127

This research project explores the current realities of indie music distribution in Cape Town, South Africa in the wake of apartheid- a nation-wide policy of segregation and discrimination on grounds of race that took place from 1948-1994. I am interested in how this historical context and associated censorship practices have shaped the current music scene. Through my experiences abroad in Cape Town as well as a month of intensive fieldwork, I show how musicians struggle with disseminating their music throughout the country, as well as beyond its confines. In this “post-apartheid” era, indie musicians who are representative of South Africa’s racial diversity such as black Africans, whites, and coloured population (a local and accepted term), are still facing the consequences of economic and social barriers put in place during apartheid. While attempts to break out of the local scene and into the international one has been fruitful for a select few, many still struggle to do so. Due to these restrictions and barriers, the distribution of indie artists’ work are fueled by personal contacts and exchanges through innovative events that are centered in musician and community support of the local scene. By using these approaches, along with fieldwork observation such as going to local shows and conducting interviews with musicians and label executives, this project presents an image of post-apartheid South Africa through the lens of music dissemination and distribution.