MUSIC EXCHANGE (#MEX21), South Africa’s preeminent entertainment-economy-invested conference, returns this September for the 11th consecutive year, hosted by Ticketpro.

Lauded and awarded for its consistent commitment to the broader South African music industry, #MEX21 will run from 11 September to 2 October 2021, with a wealth of quality international and local speakers.

Some of the topics #MEX21 will unpack, in detail, include our streaming reality, the platforms generating engagement (Ayoba) and driving artist’s incomes (SubmitHub), right through to the importance of heritage (MEX Chairman), the state of radio in South Africa (KFM), and just how artists are rebuilding and morphing in response to the pandemic (RJ Benjamin).

Our Keynote speaker, from Australia, is Michael Smellie. He speaks about the seven deadly sins of the music business.

Michael’s career in the music business spans more than 25 years.

He has worked across five continents as former Global Chief Operations Officer of Sony BMG, Asia Pacific Head for BMG, and Managing Director of Polygram and rooArt in Australia.

He is an investor, adviser and board member to many start-ups’ creative businesses in Australia and the United States and is currently the Board Chair of the Music Council of Australia.

Stuart Rubin, from New Zealand, speaks about the importance of the song and looking to legacy for wisdom and inspiration as well as unpacking Elvis 30 Number 1’s and Neil Diamond.

At the height of his career, he was Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing for Sony BMG. Stuart’s career in music started in New Zealand in 1976 with PolyGram. 

He “crossed the ditch” to Australia and held several senior marketing roles in PolyGram and BMG, before moving to Hong Kong in the 1990s where he became BMG’s VP of International Marketing for the Asia-Pacific region. In 2001 he moved to New York, becoming Senior VP International for BMG. Following the merger with SONY, three years later, Stuart was made Senior VP International of Commercial Marketing. 

Stuart’s interview reveals a person fascinated with people, whether they are artists or music lovers. With his long experience in selling music to a global market, and as an A&R professional, he delivers a unique perspective on the industry.

Gasant Abarder, the author of Hack the Grenade, columnist, and former editor of the Cape Times & Argus speaks to the Cape Town reality for artists and his take on the media landscape in both print and online.

We speak to legacy with producer Greg Cutler, an engineer from London; regarding his relationships with Harari, Hotline and Rabbit, bands that shaped the SA sound that we know and love today.

Despite the past 18 months being the most challenging in MEX’s decade-plus dedication, investment and global outreach, Music Exchange 2021 (#MEX21) is opening its annual industry-focused indaba to the world come 11 September 2021.

Over the past 11 years, MEX has actively informed, partnered and brokered with some of the biggest and most influential players and institutions, with the sole purpose of elevating, educating and sharing a wealth of learning from all four corners of the planet and 2021’s #MEX21 commits to being no different.

If anything, #MEX21 is offering everyone, directly or indirectly professionally affected by the pandemic, an opportunity to explore the possibility of change, with speakers who exemplify talent, success, and perseverance at a time like no other.

MEX has welcomed and hosted the likes of composer Dr Trevor Jones, musician and producer Bryan Michael Cox the Orchard’s Ben Oldfield, Mark Murdoch, Mos Def, Tim Renner, Rachel Z, Tom Novy, Karen Zoid, Siphokazi Jonas, Christian Wright from Abbey Road, Arthur and Charles Goldstuck and Moreira Chonguica among many more, all in an impressive lead up to this year’s impressive list of confirmed speakers.

The #MEX21 speaker line-up includes, but is not limited to:

Michael Smellie – Chairman of Music Australia – Australia.

Jason Grishkoff – Founder SubmitHub – USA.

Stephen Werner – Station Manager @ KFM – RSA.

Stuart Rubin Former Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing for Sony BMG – New Zealand. 

Gasant Abarder Author, and former editor at Independent Newspapers – RSA.

Greg Cutler – Producer engineer visionary proud ambassador of SA Music legacy – UK.

Melissa Conradie – Music industry specialist, publicist, booker, radio plugger – RSA.

RJ Benjamin – Artist – RSA.

Sipho Mabuse – MEX Chairperson and Artist – RSA.

With more names to follow, #MEX21 talks will deliver on what MEX is known and respected for by delivering quality conversations that lead to quantifiable outcomes.

In partnership with Ticketpro, Paul Bothner MusicWestern Cape Government, AYOBA and the City of Cape Town.

 #MEX21 will host local entertainment industry thought-leaders and game-changers in 30-to-60-minute presentations on the Ticketpro streaming platform.

For a mere R100 investment, per ticket, #MEX21 delegates will enjoy an all-access pass to the full 11-day conference, comprising a series of unmissable keynote addresses and international thought leadership sessions from some of the most relevant and revolutionary minds in the business.

Martin Myers, founder, and convener of the conference remarked “2021 is another big year in Music Exchange’s history. Our collective and ongoing investment to help influence, adapt, evolve and remain relevant in a massively compromised economy sits at the heart of all we do.”

Follow us on Facebook to get breaking announcements, as they happen.

Secure your ticket and watch here:

For booking details, and more information, go to:

For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:

Martin Myers @ MEX

083 448 4475

Sipho Mabuse with AMPD Studios

AMPD Studios is putting out some awesome content. Am delighted to share my insights. Please see the links below

Tune in to the Creative Industry Podcast as we unpack how to make it in the music industry in South Africa.

have a look at

Also have a look at the podcast on Spotify please

Do enjoy

Sipho Mabuse VS Strange Loving – Burnout

Sipho Hotstix Mabuse VS Strange Loving – BURNOUT
STRANGE LOVING Revives Popular Gallo Classic!


STRANGE LOVING and Gallo Record Company have released a brand new single – a rework of Sipho Hotstix Mabuse’s classic ‘Burnout’ which became one of the first major crossover hits in South Africa in the early 1980s, selling more than 500 000 copies.

A spur of the moment idea, sparked by a friend who thought it would be a great idea to revive an old classic from the past, STRANGE LOVING was inspired by the 90s Daft Punk method of production to rework this 80s release into a silky offering with a hint of seductive flavour.

Instead of Re-editing the track by using the exact sampling from the original 30 year old record, STRANGE LOVING added some fresh percussion and hats as well as their signature bassline which shines through in the end result.

Featuring their own edgy mass appeal style heard on previous STRANGE LOVING radio singles, at first they were not expecting Hotstix and management  to approve their version, but were delighted when he and his manager did.

Hotstix comments “I am delighted with the remix as it keeps the essence of the song alive and this mix  has a really good feel about it . Hopefully people will go and explore other songs I have done over my career”

“Anyone and everyone who is a lover of classic South African music would be able to identify with our version of BURNOUT, and hopefully our release of it as official single starts a revival of this old classic for today’s youth!”- Strange Loving

Buy / Stream BURNOUT, the Sipho Hotstix Mabuse VS Strange Loving version, here!



Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse is more than just a legendary musician; he’s one of South Africa’s musical treasures and a great inspiration to many. After more than 45 years in the music industry, this 63 year old still has the commanding stage presence and vibrancy to make many younger musicians green with envy.

It was a happy crowd, then, who watched this stalwart doing what he does best; giving a sterling performance at Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert series last Sunday, accompanied by his young and talented band members, Bongani and Toto on keyboards, Mashaba on guitar, David on bass, Siphiwo on drums, Mpho on trombone as well Thembeka and Nhlanhla on vocals. And to top it off, he also featured some of the Mother city’s rising musicians.

As soon as he stepped onto the stage, Bra Hotstix received a warm Mother City welcome, shot through with a rush of nostalgia as he launched into ‘Welcome Home’, a typical South African jazz track which has elements of Mbaqanga. The song featured Derrick Schippers on vocals and electric guitar, with Bra Hotstix giving an impressive solo with his tenor saxophone. Concert goers were already tapping along in appreciation.


Sipho Hotstix Mabuse – Interview – Muse Online

Sipho Hotstix Mabuse - Interview - Muse Online
Sipho Hotstix Mabuse – Interview – Muse Online

Sipho Hotstix Mabuse will play at the Old Mutual Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert for the first time this weekend. He earned his well placed nickname, Hotstix thanks to his talents as a young drummer in his early days. Following his fifty years in the live music industry he has seen and done many things; a lot of which being the representation and force of a truly authentic South African sound to the rest of the world.

A sound, that as a nation we can identify with and feel proud of. Aside from the drums, he is also a talented multi-instrumentalist. He also plays the flute, piano, saxophone, kalimba, alto flute, timbales and of course the African drums. Sipho Hotstix Mabuse and his band are loved and appreciated the world over for their performances. This Sunday they perform live at the Old Mutual Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts series at 17:30.

Mary talks to Sipho Hotstix Mabuse about the real value of a live performance, musical intelligence in years, and what the world appreciates the most from South African music.

via Sipho Hotstix Mabuse – Interview – Muse Online.

Talk Radio 702 – Weekend Breakfast: Celebrity profile – Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Wednesday, August 15, 2012. We chat to Sipho about his life and music. We also touch on the fact that he will be performing at the 702 Concert in the Park.

Radio interview with Robin Lustig on BBC World Service


BBC World Service Radio’s flagship news and current affairs programme, Newshour.

Radio interview with Robin Lustig

The BBC World Service is the BBC’s international radio station. It is broadcast to every country in the world in 32 languages and has a listenership of 43 million to its English language network each week.

It has very large audiences in parts of Africa and Asia and one of its largest growing audiences is in the United States where programmes are taken on 200 NPR stations reaching more than 10 million listeners.