Musicians Mobility Funding for SA


The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) is collaborating with the British Council to provide funding for South African musicians who wish to tour and network internationally.


Recently we’ve seen many South African musicians crossing over to the international market. Lira, Freshlyground, Spoek Mathambo, Nomfusi, Simphiwe Dana and Black Coffee are just a few acts who have created a name for themselves internationally. The international market plays an important role in exposing musicians to a new audience, offering them new platforms to share and perform their music. Many musicians long for the opportunity to cross over but sometimes lack of funds can prove to be a limiting factor.

Samro and the British Council are now presenting an opportunity for all those musicians who wish to conquer the international market but lack the funds to do so. The programme offers musicians an opportunity to network in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and the United Kingdom.

Types of projects that may qualify for funding
– Tours and concerts (regional and country tours], participation in festivals and showcases.
– Collaborative projects (artistic collaborations between musicians in South Africa and SADC countries or the UK).
– Professional development projects and visits (for South African professionals to build networks and knowledge in SADC countries or the UK). Projects of this nature must lead to the development of live music.

The applicants will be required to conduct their own research and should have communicated with the potential partner or host based in the country of their interest. The partner must be an individual or organisation and must be established in music or a professional.

The Deadline for applications is 14 April 2013.

We spoke to Tom Porter, the Arts Programme Manager for the British Council in South Africa, about this initiative.

What prompted you to create the Music Mobility Fund?
We are very keen to help the development of regional networks, as we feel this is a route to creating more sustainable careers and to recognise that inter-African travel is expensive and there are few funds to support this.

I think there will also be benefits for the countries that host, too. It is exciting to work with creatives because you can’t always predict the outcome of events. At the British Council we are keen to create opportunities and leave the curation of outcomes to the creatives.

How were the countries that the musicians are supposed to choose from determined?
We are keen to see more conversations started with South Africa’s neighbours and without an endless resource, we felt a focus of bordering countries was a good one. And obviously we are always keen to see the UK connections developed.

How important is it for South African musicians to build a relationship with other countries?
A question for the South African musical community, I guess. But for us, creating regional networks makes sense to develop the industry in the region and hopefully it will stimulate new influences and activities.

How will you choose the projects to fund? 
We have a board who will review the applications.

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