The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) is excited to announce that full and associate SAMRO members can now apply for the 2022 Music Creation Support Fund (MCSF). This year, SAMRO has put aside R2.5 million for the MCSF to offer 100 SAMRO members the opportunity to apply for a supporting micro-grant of up to R25 000. The grant is to be used to contribute towards the creation of new and original music works. SAMRO’s primary role is to administer performing rights on behalf of its members, who are mainly music creators such as songwriters, composers, and publishers. This means that the MCSF is a win-win for both SAMRO and its members, as the new music works created are anticipated to earn royalties for the members in the future. The MCSF was run first in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 lockdowns, not as a relief fund, but as a way to help SAMRO members – music professionals – to maintain momentum in the industry while they were restricted in the lock downs. To prove their professional ability to produce new works, members were required to provide basic business plans, budgets, and marketing plans to prove the grants would improve their careers as well as create works that would not end up on the dusty shelves of creative history. The 100 grants, selected by an independent adjudication committee, were spread across 25 genres, the top six being Soul, House, Afro-pop, and SA Jazz, with Gospel and marginalised indigenous genres sharing 6th place with 22% each. The grantees represented a wide variety of musicians of different races, and genres, closely reflecting SAMRO’s demographics. The fund’s impact was beyond SAMRO’s expectations. The grantees used the micro-grants with their effective planning and foresight for their projects and approached other supporters to ensure the success of the works. ‘The initiative proved hugely successful last year, with recipients from all genres – from Harlem Blues to Hip Hop – endeavouring to use our micro-grant support to put their best foot forward in the creation of new music,’ says SAMRO CEO Mark Rosin. With the value this fund brought to all the recipients, it is unsurprising that they all enthusiastically wanted to see the Music Creation Fund continue. Read some of their responses below:
Pilani Bubu

A big idea is nothing without the enabler. If I had had to cover the true cost of the project … without the assistance of SAMRO, I would have likely parked the project and not have had the benefit of broadcasting it on an international platform like the Nelson Mandel Foundation Annual Lecture … I think that projects with an international footprint like this serve the South African music scene in its cross-pollination and increased clout to produce world-class music.’  

Pilani Bubu (above) used her 2021 MCSF grant to produce a video documentary of her work ‘Hopes Ringing High’ (together with several other musicians) after garnering additional support from other development funds.

Leomile Motsetsela

‘This grant has really aided me in realizing a dream collaboration. The reality is that making music requires money and as independent musicians particularly during these strained financial times, we need as much assistance as possible.’

Leomile Motsetsela (left)

‘As creatives, very few ‘formations’ fully appreciate what it takes to be “a creative” and the associated costs in birthing artistic bodies of work! As noted above, the Grant enables ease with engaging many other ‘moving parts’ of the creative process. The availability of Project Specific Resources does a lot to ease the stress often faced by artists so yes: the grant is much appreciated!’

Claude Gombard

‘I would love for other artists to benefit from this kind of support. The funds provided by SAMRO enabled me to fast-track the completion of my album – where I was targeting a completion date in early 2022, I am now able to release my album in Q3 of 2021.’

Jerome Rex (Right)

Jerome Rex
Tebogo Motlhabi

‘For the first time in years, I couldn’t wait to get into the studio to get working on the project, because of the knowledge that I had support from somewhere, and that, from a  highly trusted and trustworthy source. Because of the way SAMRO handled it, I knew the product would not disappear…’ 

Tebogo Motlhabi (Left)

‘It’s been a great experience receiving the SAMRO Music Creation Support as it made it possible for me to finish up post-production of my long awaited 13th album Mavericks Pieces. This is something that would have taken longer than planned if it was not for the support and assistance that i got from SAMRO.’

Mxolise Lokwe (Right)

Mxolise Lokwe

‘The grant was extremely helpful – especially in tough economic times. Without the grant, I wouldn’t have been able to produce the songs to their professional standard. It helped us pursue our purpose and do what we were born to do.’

Fritz de Groot

‘Wow! Firstly [the MCSF grant] enabled me to record three songs and a promo video towards my new documentary soundtrack. Getting back into the studio after so many months of lockdown and illness was like a fish being returned to water. Such joy. I was able to bring all the writing and composing that I had been doing since lockdown started into life through the recording process. Please keep this fund going, for the many talented artists out there.’

Ernestine Deane

How do SAMRO’s full and associate members apply?

Applicants are asked to complete the online application form, outlining the creation of new and original music work. A new and original music work is one that has not been published, publicly performed or broadcast, and can include a new original composition, or the completion of an unpublished work – for example, an EP, album, video, or score.

Applications will be assessed on merit by a committee of music industry professionals based on several criteria, including whether the work is a new and original concept, how likely the final product is to succeed, and how realistic and implementable the work plan is.

The adjudication committee’s decisions will be considered final.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 27 April 2022 at 17:00 (5 pm) – Late proposals will not be accepted. The final projects should be completed no later than 31 August 2022.

Members who received MCSF support in 2021 can apply, but priority will be given to successful applicants who have not yet received MCSF support.

For further information please email: mcsf@samro.org.za or phone 011 712 8417 during working hours.

Full and associate SAMRO Members can apply here.