Kenny G in concert

One of the highest selling artists of all time, Kenny G has single-handedly made the saxophone a hit amongst music lovers. Perhaps it is the raspy mid-tones of the saxophone that lend it an air of intimacy, or maybe it’s Read more

Splashy Fen is the ultimate Easter concert

It’s been going since 1990, and Easter 2015 will be the 26th year for the Splashy Fen music festival. I have yet to learn why the music event is called Splashy Fen, though I do believe that the farm it Read more

Oppikoppi, a whole series of concerts rolled into one

The small town of Northam in Limpopo Province comes to life every August. Technically it’s spring if you calculate that you are halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and you don’t factor in seasonal lag, but Read more

Richard Clayderman in concert

No doubt the mysterious Frenchman’s greatest gift to the world musically has been “Ballad for Adeline.” Composed by Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint in 1976, the co-writers could never have imagined how big the song would become, because disco Read more

Albert Hammond in concert

This is not a name that rolls off the tongue like Madonna or Michael Jackson or Elvis, but Albert Hammond has had an amazing music career anyway. A native of the UK, he has done a considerable body of work Read more

Mamma Mia! heads back to Jozi in 2015

The smash hit musical based on the music of those 4 Swedes (well, actually 3 Swedes and a half-Norwegian) returns to the Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg, for a limited season run from Tuesday 24 March 2015 to Sunday Read more

Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse is NOT too cool for school!

On 1 October the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City hosted Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse in concert. It’s been 30 years since his hit “Burnout” tore up the charts, and, according to the write-up for his show, 50 years since Read more

The art of crisis communication, part 2

The general consensus, if your centre falls victim to a negative publicity event, is to say nothing unless you are asked. But if you are asked, then you have to say something.
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The art of crisis communication, part 1

I was at Centre X when I got a call from the media. “We have heard that shots have been fired in your centre. Would you care to comment?”
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How safe are our centres?

The recent spate of high-profile robberies at shopping centres in Johannesburg and Pretoria has left some people rather shaken, and questioning the safety and security of the retail industry in general.
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Every strategy needs: SMART objectives

This blog post is almost an extension of the previous one – the fact that, increasingly, marketing is required to show a return on investment.

Of course, this also means that objectives for your annual strategy need to be SMART: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound.

As you dissect these elements, it gets confusing because they all seem to talk to each other and then they seem to overlap and you feel like you’re repeating yourself. So let’s do a quick overview of each element.
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The zen of Bennett

I have written about Tony Bennett before, but I need to write about him again.

It’s August 2014, and Tony has just turned 88 (I am, of course, very proud that I share my birthday with him in the month of August, as I do with Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Shania Twain).

I recently bought his book, Life is a Gift. It is a wonderful, inspiring read. In my opinion, anybody who is still singing and performing at the age of 88, after a 60-year career in music, is worthy of emulation and study. I hope that when I am 88 I will still be performing and singing, wherever, whenever.
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The power of the mind

Again, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you will know that we don’t just discuss music, but life in general as it relates to music. So what does the power of the mind have to do with music?

I was doing my licentiate in singing through Rockschool back in 2009 (let me brag for a moment and say that I was the first person in the world to attempt the new singing licentiate through Trinity Guildhall Rockschool, and I passed it with distinction).
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Marketing under pressure: showing a return on investment

Contemporary marketing, shopping centre or otherwise, is under enormous pressure to shape up or ship out. Microsoft is scheduled to have their first job cuts in five years after their merger with Nokia, and rumour has it that the jobs to be cut will include marketing and engineering positions. In a struggling global economy, the first casualty is always the marketing budget.
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Straddling the border between two careers, part 3

So there you have it: first do the one and then the other, or delegate the one away, or find ways to integrate the two in ways that you never thought were possible, which will overcome the torture that you feel of having to choose between the two. I have used the third option to successfully integrate a music career with one in marketing, which includes having lectured on music marketing, growing my own personal brand, and doing my doctorate in marketing communications, but in the music industry (read the blog post about James Blunt’s undergrad dissertation on music for his degree in sociology).
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Straddling the border between two careers, part 2

So the first step you can take if you face the duality of career choices is to do the one and then the other. You would share the company of many a fellow musician if that is the case.

ABBA’s AgnethaFaltskög worked for a while as a secretary. As I understand it, and recall, Madonna worked in a burger joint in New York before she got her big break. And then there is a host of lesser known musicians, all of them excellent and very talented, who all had lengthy day jobs before they switched to music.
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Straddling the border between two careers, part 1

I write this article for myself as much as for the next musician. But before we get there, you may be asking yourself what this whole blog is all about (not just this post), and who is it for? Who is it aimed at?

Perhaps it would be too general to say that it’s aimed at the music content creator (the artist), the person who makes the music, and it’s also aimed at the music content consumer (the listener), who will hear the music and then make a decision about is likeability. Read more

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