Munya Chanetsa (Munyaradzi) is also known as your favourite Master Of The Industry #MOTI. Music is this musician’s first love and has purposed himself to do as much as he can to make the creative industry sustainable for African creatives through education. Munya is currently the A&R Manager: Africa at Sony Music Publishing.
How did your journey in the industry begin?
My journey began by following my first love, music. It just so happened that fresh out of university, in Australia, I came to South Africa to seek employment. It was easier said than done and after months of rejection, I decided to follow my passion and become a DJ. I decided to learn the ropes with an already profiled friend and DJ, Adam Mecalfe aka DJ Headroom. Whilst being taught the basics, through conversation with his sister an opportunity came up to work at Putumayo World Music. I jumped at the opportunity and the rest is history. If I remember correctly the following day, I was the Marketing & Promotions Manager at Putumayo.
What are some of your career highlights?
Recently the signing of Nomcebo Zikode, vocalist and songwriter on Jerusalema, to Sony Music Publishing was a career highlight.
Being awarded the 2019 Media Practitioner of the Year Award at The Zim Achiever Awards.
In 2019, whilst I was at CAPASSO, we made history by collecting and distributing over R40M in mechanical royalties to members.
Presenting awards at the 2019 South African HipHop Awards and the South African Music Awards.
Being invited to host the African Music Business Summit in Nigeria for the 2019 AFRIMA Awards.
The successful launch of my passion project “Happy Endings – The Mbube Story” Where alongside the legendary Mahotella Queens, BokkieUlt, Cuebur and Snow Keys we remade and released a 2020 version of Mbube which we titled Mbube 2020. The purpose of the project was to correct the wrongs of the past as well as educate the industry on the importance and acknowledgement of the business side of the music industry. Through this project, we rightfully gave the Solomon Linda Family Trust 45% of the new composition. We shot a lyric video and received some international attention via BBC.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, at Sony Music Publishing, I’ve been working with Nomcebo Zikode and her team on some new exciting music.
In my personal capacity, I’ve been working on my online educational website focusing on the business of music called Masters Of The Industry / M.O.T.I (www.motiafrica.com). The purpose of the platform is to really give the African music industry the much-needed information required in order to be successful in the music industry. Through the use of video content, I, alongside other Master Of The Industry, will provide a narrative or a checklist of all the requirements that are more than often neglected resulting in our creative industry losing.
What do you think FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market?
Networking and connectivity. There is much to learn on our continent and unless we all meet then we do not share these lessons. We need African solutions for African problems, many of which are shared across the continent. I believe FAME Week Africa can provide such a platform for us, the industry, to engage with one another and really learn from one another.
What do you think the future of the creative industries looks like for Africa?
Africa is definitely the next frontier. South Africa currently has a population of 1.2billion people, projected to grow to 2 Billion in the next 30 years and with 75% of that population being the youth, who are also expected to join the growing ranks of Africa’s consumer group. It is for this reason why today Africa is described as the new frontier in almost everything. It is against this backdrop that Africa is promising to become an up and coming major player of consequence in the music industry. In order for us to become the powerhouse, we’re destined to become, education is everything! We need to proudly become Masters Of The Industry.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer someone wanting to get into the industry?
I would advise anyone interested in getting into the industry to treat it like you would any business. Before starting any business, you need to have a strategic plan, employ the correct team and secure financing to name a few things.
The business of music does not differ! Currently, we’re missing a layer of business-minded people in our industry and have left our creatives to fend for themselves.
I implore more people that are interested in the business of music to learn and understand as much as you can about the business of music so that you are equipped to support our creatives.Munya Chanetsa
My online educational platform, which is launching in January, will provide the necessary checklist as well as resources we, as an industry, have to adhere to in order to prosper. With that said we need more Masters Of The Industry (M.O.T.I’s) so I encourage anyone that’s interested in the music business to go to www.motiafrica.com and register so that you’re kept abreast of developments. When we know better we do better and the only way to do that is to educate ourselves.
Read more of our Behind the Scenes interviews here