LISTEN / Beatenberg / Chelsea Blakemore

beatenberg - chelsea blakemore

This is the new single from Cape Town based 3-piece Beatenberg, entitled ‘Chelsea Blakemore’.

The band has recently signed with Universal Music SA, which marks for an interesting story that is set to unfold.

If you haven’t noticed, South Africa is short of relevant music entities that hold weight internationally. Spoek, Future Primitives and Petite Noir – all independent in SA before finding traction overseas, but represented by big hitters internationally.

Beatenberg is undoubtedly one of the more talented bands in our country. They are an example of a band that has done it independently up until now, and they have done very well. The band has toured, performed at some special shows and festivals, they  appeal to a wide audience, continue to release good music, maintain a high level of professionalism and make sure performances are impeccable every time.

Over and above this, 2 of the members have started a brilliant initiative, GlowLDB, executing essentially what record labels of yore would proffer to bands fawning to be signed.

So what are the benefits in signing with a label? In my experience with various record labels in South Africa, the offer is a list of what most independent bands have already done.

“Ah guys, we’ll put a website together for you, get your social presence aligned, organise you some gigs, get some tracks recorded, get your tracks played on radio, press a CD and sell in stores. Oh, if you want to sell some CDs at your shows, you can buy some CDs from our warehouse cost and then resale them.”

Fuck off. We (independents) have done all that by ourselves already. Are you blind? Or do you just think we’re stupid enough to think you can do it better? Either way, get real. Independent bands can do EVERYTHING a regular record label has on offer. Don’t make like putting CD’s in stores in South Africa is doing the band a solid. It’s not. No one cares for CD’s anymore, get real, be in 2013. Actually, scrap that, if you want to be any good you need to be in 2015 right now. You need to be ahead of the curve. You need to be future thinking. You need to have your feet in South African soil and your connections around the world. You need always be striving to be better than what you are right now.

Things have changed, and in this situation the tables have turned. It is the record label who has struck it lucky, it is the record label who must now produce the goods, it is the record label who must provide the step to the next thing, or else.  

What we have here is a moment for a record label in South Africa to prove they are something still relevant and required. Universal Music SA – this is your chance to prove to the local independent music industry that a record label can provide the necessary leverage a band of this potential requires to takes things to the next level.

Spoek has been performing internationally for some time now, Yannick has recently been hoping between Europe and the States, and Future Primitives are about to tour Europe in October.

That is what it is all about.

The crux of it all boils down to this – if the band is not performing internationally within 18 months of this venture, then cool story bro.

There is no reason why that shouldn’t happen. I believe in the band, and I believe in individuals at labels with the foresight and ability to make things happen.

All the best. And GO!

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