Benjy Mudie: Soundtracking a life in music

Benjy Mudie has been in the `business of making music` for over 40 years, firstly racking up 21 years collectively with multi international giant WEA Records and Tusk Music followed by four years with UMG.

Widely renowned for his deep passion of South African music he has been responsible for signing and developing some of the most successful artists in this country, including the Asylum Kids, Evoid, Lesley Rae Dowling, Squeal, Mango Groove, Naked, Egyptian Nursery, Marc Alex, , Coleske, Petit Cheval, Baxtop, Little Sister, South African Music Award winners Vicky Sampson and Nianell, Idols winners Elvis Blue and Khaya Mthethwa, Cofield Mundi and many more.

In 2007, he took two years off from the industry to lecture at Damelin College`s Bramley Campus where he taught Music Business, Media Studies and Contemporary Music History. In 2009 he was approached by the then head of Universal Music to kick start the company`s drive to sign new South African talent to the label. He headed up the label`s successful foray into the Idols franchise as well as signing hit artists the Arrows.

He left Universal Music in 2013 to return to his roots, starting a vinyl and music retail store called Vinyl Junkie. In 2019, he returned to the studio to co-produce country legend and father-in-law, Lance James`s final album “Swansong”.

He continues to mentor, produce and advise young recording artists on an ongoing basis.  He also serves as Creative Consultant and Business Affairs head at TPW, one of South Africa`s leading independent PR firms. He is also the host of Hot 1027FM`s weekend show “Good Times”.

Q&A with Benjy

Tell us something about yourself that nobody knows?
I’m a closet Bee Gees fan!

What tips can you share that have helped to shape your career?
Set your goal and keep your eyes firmly fixed on achieving it. Learn to deal with failure and turn it into opportunity. Above all believe with all your heart that you can prevail.

Best gigs you have experienced?
I’ve seen so many that it`s hard to choose one so here are a few for various reasons.
1. for sheer power and in-your-face gut wrenching rawness-AC/DC at Madison Square Gardens 1981.
2. Emotional fragility-Tori Amos private showcase for 6 WEA Records executives in the Majestic Hotel, Cannes. Her “ Me and a gun” made me weep.
3. Pride-eVoid Live at Concert in the Park 1985, my home boys from Brakpan who became the greatest ethno pop artists of the 80s.

Advice you would give to your 18 year old self in one sentence?
Believe passionately that music can change the world. It has in the past and will do so again.

Best advice you were given when you started out?
My first boss at WEA Records in 1976 gave me this pearl of wisdom about signing any artist “If you believe in that artist and their music, even though your fellow workers, friends, media etc tell you that you are wrong/mad/delusional to sign them-Do it ! If you do, you will put everything into making it happen to prove everyone wrong and to confirm your talent as an A&R person.

With FAME Week Africa being hosted in the Mother City, what do you love about Cape Town?
Everything – the diversity of music, the mountains, the wine and the weird weather!

FAME Week Africa

FAME Week Africa

FWA Connect bringing the Film, Arts, Media and Entertainment sector together by providing creative industry professionals on the African continent with news, trends and in-depth articles.

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