CD Baby, the largest global distributor and rights administrator of independent music, is expanding its international artist services team to Africa. Seasoned music business manager and independent music advocate Sakhele Mzalazala recently joined the team as CD Baby’s first hire in Africa, spearheading strategic partnerships both locally and internationally.
Mzalazala brings more than 20 years of music industry experience, including roles with Yourself Management, Xhentsa, and Koloni, working directly with artists Mahlatse Vokal and Lisa Good, and overseeing the publishing team at the prominent South African label Mathaland/Ghetto Ruff where he worked with Zola 7, Dj Cleo, Pitch Black AFRO and Morafe.
With his own roots in the music industry as a an artist before transitioning to the business side, Mzalazala has a strong track record of supporting independent artists’ work, including a double platinum-release from Zonke Dikana’s Ina Ethe, the late Sfiso Ncwane’s multiple award-winning Gospel album Bayede Baba. He has also worked with Sizwe Zako, Tshepo Tshola, Lawrence Matshiza, and many more, experiences he has distilled into a guide book for independent musicians.
He will be responsible for building artist networks and increasing the adoption of CD Baby Services across Southern Africa, including South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, and Namibia.
Right On! Digital’s Cynthia Horner had a chat with him to discuss the future of independent artists and what’s next for those who are from South Africa.