Vor 5 Jahren schrieb ich das Management der Rockband aKing an, um zu erfahren ob die Notwendigkeit bestände für das Konzert in Kirstenbosch Karten zu bekommen. Ich bekam damals sehr schnell eine Antwort von Bandmanager Brendan Sterley und wir lernten uns dann kurz beim aKing-Konzert kennen. Seitdem schreiben wir uns ab und an via Facebook und genau dazu sind soziale Netzwerke auch gut. Um Kontakt zu halten. Um tiefer in die Materie der anderen einzutauchen wenn sie etwas interessantes zu erzählen haben.

Um diesen Blog interessant zu halten und mehr zu bieten als nur schöne Urlaubsbilder und Ausgehtipps, habe ich nun ein paar südafrikanische Persönlichkeiten um Interviews gebeten.

Brendan Sterley ist Musik Manager, Kreativ Kopf bei Mark 1 Media in Kapstadt und Inhaber der Künstleragentur Apollo Artist. Nebenbei ist Brendan wie die meisten Südafrikaner eben sehr aufgeschlossen und offen, was die Wortwechsel mit ihm nie langweilig werden lässt
Dieses Interview soll zeigen, dass Südafrika noch mehr zu bieten hat als Pop-Musik und es durchaus lohnt hinter die Kulissen zu schauen.

Ich habe dieses Interview nun extra nicht übersetzt um die Authenzität beizubehalten und wer denn ans Kap reisen möchte sollte auch der englischen Sprache mächtig sein 😉


1.) Hello Brendan, thanx for taking your time for that interview. South Africa, especially Cape Town is one of the travel hot spots in the world the last years, but it has got much more to offer than stunning nature, delicious food and a interesting history. You are in music business for a long time now. How did you get in touch with music in the beginning? What was your first LP record and your first live concert?

Hi Arnulf, its only a pleasure to chat to you, its awesome that you take such a interest in South Africa and especially the mother city Cape Town. Yes, I have been involved with the South African music industry full time for about 10 years now. Music has always been a passion of mine; I used to play bass in my teens.

I jumped into the deep end of the band management, I was living in London England in the early 2000’s and Wynand Myburgh from Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel fame, contacted me and said he has a job for me managing Fokofpolisiekar. The band had grown so fast and popular that he couldn’t take on all the management tasks and perform in the band at the same time.
I agreed to assist I moved back to Cape Town and started to manage Fokofpolisiekar full time and as they say the rest is history. They made a movie about Fokofolisiekar and their influence on South African culture.
Here is a link to the movie trailer

My first LP was the 1988 Guns N Roses Lies album; I used to listen to that record everyday, my favorite track on there was Patience.

My first Live concert is a tough one its so long ago, I think it was a local Cape Town hardcore metal band that was called Prayer.

2.) The music scene in South Africa is very creative, but it is not very popular in Europe. Bands like Fokofplisiekar are coming to Europe sometimes, playing where big south african communities are like in the UK, but it is still a very special thing. What is the reason?

I think the biggest hurdle for artists touring internationally is money, its very expensive for a local South African band to get to Europe to tour on a regular bases; we are at the southern most tip of the African continent, hahaha

The local bands and Dj’s have the talent to contend in an international market. South Africa has exceptionally talented artists that struggle to tour the rest of the planet due to lack of funding.

But there is a positive, the Internet is a great tool that connects artists to their fans around the world, and growing a fan base online is a good start, so that once the band / DJ get the opportunity to tour internationally they have done the groundwork and their fans will attend and support the shows. It is a mater of doing your homework and taking the calculated risk.

Bands are taking it upon themselves to get overseas, bands like PHFAT http://www.facebook.com/phfat funded their tour to Australia earlier this year out of their own pocket saving money from touring South Africa.
Germany will begin to see many more local South African band in the next couple of years.
3.) You’re working with your agency with different bands. Who is actually on the way up? Tell us of the work you’re doing with your agency.

Apollo came about as a natural progression when Dawid Fourie (RAMFEST) and I took on this business activity to fulfill a crucial service in the South African music industry back in 2010.

The goal of Apollo is to create a structure where new or existing artists and bands can slot into an environment where Apollo handles the daily business, marketing, and logistical tasks required to make a successful brand.

This way the artist can focus on their artistic expression and reap the benefits of a creatively structured management agency.

We believe, this will improve the standard of music and production quality by providing a platform for bands to excel and ultimately make a living from their music.

Apollo sees an artist as a brand, and the most important aspect of our agency is to build up this brand and establish a concept that can succeed, create and fulfil a need in the South African market that is still growing.

4.) In January last year the movie „Searching for Sugarman“ won an oscar and became world famous. Did you know that story before the movie was at the cinema? In Germany no one ever heard about Rodriguez.

As a teenager I used to listen to Rodrigues on LP and new all the lyrics to his music. I didn’t now that he wasn’t famous in other countries; most South African I know always loved and grew up with his music. The „Searching for Sugarman“ doccy is a very moving tale about a special man.

5.) Which band was the biggest fun to work with till now?

I would say one of the highlights and most fun I have had was with Alkaline Trio from USA. I tour managed them when they where in South Africa for Ramfest, and we had a great time, traveling the country, sight seeing lion parks and beanches and parting all the way. And then with local bands, I would say all the bands I have worked with has been fun, I have travelled South Africa, South America and Europe with my friends and managed their bands and its all a great journey and a lot of fun.

6.) Cruel casting shows are shown on TV. What would you recommend to young people who want to be successful in music business?

My advice would be to use the Internet and the vast amount of free tools and social media accounts that are available to artists these days. Learn how to market yourself and understand that your music is your product and you are a brand.
Young artists do not need a record label to “make them famous”
Good music, hard work, consistent shows and engagement with fans is a good recipe to start with. Once you have the foundation, you can build on your brand.
The Internet is your friend, share your music with the world and you will reap the rewards.

7.) Are there any plans to go on tour with a band from South Africa in Europe or the States? Actually you’re working with PHAT, tell us about these guys.

PHFAT are amazing guys. I have been working with them for 4 years now and I can truly say they are on of the hardest working artists I have ever worked with. All PHFAT’s music is free of charge and available on a pay-what-you-like business model, that has worked extremely so us so far.
Check out: http://phfatmusic.com
PHFAT kicked off 2014 with a monster of a single, Lights Out, featuring the explosive JungFreud The singled premiered South Africa’s biggest pop culture radio station and managed to beat out electronic music giant Skrillex for “Hottest New Track of the week” on their #NewFavourite slot.
The guys have also toured Australia this year in May and there is a tour to UK and Europe on the cards for May 2015.
Here is some more info for those who do not know about PHFAT.


9.) What else important many visitors of South Africa don’t recognize beside the tourism thing?

I think the best would be for people to experience Cape Town for themselves, it’s a magical place. But keep your eyes open for the local Artists, from Street Art to Traditional arts, Surfing, and of course the awesome music scene.

Thank you for that very interesting chat Brendan. Hopefully we meet again in January next year for a couple of beers in mother city. May the force be with south african rock musicians! 😀

Wer nun mehr Interesse bekommen hat kann Brendan auf Twitter folgen……
Das nächste Interview folgt dann in ca. 6 Wochen. Dann ist mein Gesprächspartner Spitzenautor Deon Meyer.

Nachtrag: Meine Lieblingsband aKing hat letzte Woche ihr neues Album „Morning after“ veröffentlicht, welches ich mir direkt mal via Itunes runtergeladen habe. Ist klasse geworden mal wieder freue mich schon auf das nächste Live Konzert

Written by Arnulf Diegel