The Friday Fuss is a weekly opinion column whereby we invite contributors in the local music industry to pen their thoughts on anything related to the industry. This is an opportunity for musicians, promoters and fans to share their opinions in order to create discussion in an effort to enhance the industry.
This weeks featured columnist is Thozi Sejanamane
You may or may not know this but my relationship with MK, although unilateral, is one of both love and hate. In all honesty the local music industry may not have been where it is today without the stimulation the channels launch provided 9 years ago.
The announcement of the channels closing came as no surprise to me, as I had not watched MK in a long time. The internet, with my own personal curation, became the source of most of my local music discovery. It only made sense for them to transfer all their energies towards an online publication, however my gripe with them came not as a result of the channel closing.
My fundamental grievance with MK lies in their scope of coverage. I took this opportunity to briefly discuss some of the categories in the MK awards relaying them to my grievances as well as predicting who I think may win each category.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Evidently to be nominated in this category you need a music video – a really good one at that. It’s no cheap task producing a quality music video, so it’s no surprise half the videos nominated for this category were supported financially by MK. My personal favourite in this category is Troublemaker by Haezer featuring Tumi. With almost a third of the entire categories views on Youtube, it’s difficult seeing any of the other contenders walking away with the award in a public vote.
I can’t say I have any reservation in regards to this category – music videos are MK’s speciality after all. I will gladly thank MK for their continued support in this aspect and I can only hope for their continued support.
BEST LIVE ACT
At this point, things start getting a bit sketchy. Surprisingly, last years Best Live Act, Black Cat Bones have not even managed to get a nomination for this years edition of the awards. Prior to that, Van Coke Kartel won the previous 3 Best Live Act awards. However, this year, I have a sneaky suspicion that Jeremy Loops may just beat Van Coke Kartel to the gong.
Nothing against all the nominated artist [I can’t say I’ve not found myself thoroughly entertained and amazed at all the nominated artists live performances], it just feels as though the panel behind the nominations go to the same live events each and every year. In laymans terms, have they not been to one of The Brother Moves On performances? The Brother Moves On have been consistently challenging the idea of what constitutes a live performance. In a category based on live performance it is baffling not seeing them on the list of nominees at least.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Nominated in this category are albums by Gangs Of Ballet, Shortstraw, Bittereinder, The Plastics and Taxi Violence. Having listened to all of these albums, my personal favourite for album of the year would have to be Taxi Violences’ Soul Shake. Again I’ll have point to the fact that winners are decided by a public vote, therefore I’ll have to predict that Shortstraw will take this award with Good Morning, Sunshine. The group have maintained a high profile on social media while also gaining rotation on major local radio stations.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO UNDER R15k
Another MK speciality award. This award will undoubtedly go to Al Bairre. The video for We Move On weighs in at almost 50 000 view on Facebook, with the next best, not even managing half that amount of views. Personally I voted for Bye Benecos On The Line in this category. Not only do I feel it has the best music video in this category, but it is also the best song in this category.
Matthew Mole will take Best Newcomer. The guy even played a show at my church a few weeks back. Talk about penetration. Best Festival will be taken by Oppikoppi just before the 20th anniversary of the festival. Best Afrikaans Group will probably go to Van Coke Kartel.
All I’m trying to say is that MK has built this great platform and they find themselves in a great situation to promote local talent. However I don’t think they use the platform to the best of their ability. MK right now is echoing everything that is popular in the alternative scene and unfortunately popularity doesn’t neccessarily translate to talent. They are picking and choosing artists from a small pond while there is an ocean of talent in South Africa.
I’ll accept no excuse that the platform is one for alternative artists. I expect MK to be a cross-section of what is happening across the entire South African youth alternative – Championing ALL the art that is unique to us. Individuals unfortunately don’t know a lot about the local scene – but we cannot expect otherwise when the platforms they refer to for discovery aren’t really doing much discovery.
The platform is a great one. Maybe just make some space for different kind of act. Open doors for artists who can’t reach the handle. Fight for the masses. Surprise your audience. You have the resources not many other platforms have, use them for the advantage of our entire creative movement.
You’re the cool kid already.
Now its time to make the circle bigger.