Sony Deal

Native Rhythms Productions, an integrated entertainment company, whose strategic thrust encompasses music publishing, production, marketing and distribution, as well as artists and events management, has concluded what could be considered one of 2010’s most significant local music industry deals with Sony Music Entertainment.

The deal, which, according to Sean Watson, Director of Music at Sony Music Entertainment, will see Native Rhythms join a family of successful and established label brands such as Arista, Epic, Columbia, Jive, RCA, LaFace and J Records, is an indication of Sony Music Africa’s commitment to the development of local music and the introduction of independent music labels to Sony Music’s global network and expertise. According to Watson, “Native Rhythms is ideally suited to our future expansion into progressive South African and African music.Native Rhythms’ integrated and comprehensive approach to music and its artists is complementary to our positioning as a music company and through this deal we will ensure that the company benefits from our full range of business support services locally and our global physical and digital distribution network and that it receives the necessary support whilst retaining its independence and brand positioning.’

The founder of Native Rhythms, Sipho Sithole, who was compelled to leave Native Rhythms in 2007 when he joined the SABC as Head of Group Strategy, is elated to be back in the industry of his passion and says that “this deal comes
at a perfect time for our company. “We plan to expand globally (already with a satellite office in Holland) and Sony Music, which is much more of a music company than an old style record label, is an ideal partner for us as this is exactly how Native Rhythms is positioned”.

The deal was announced at an exclusive showcase to a packed Sony Music staff plus select media, and Native Rhythms presented its new artists who are now part of the Sony/Native deal, viz. Dineo Pule, Nkulee Dube, Pu2ma, Vuyo Tyolo, Zakwe. Vuyo Tyolo and Pu2ma will release their debut albums on 23 and 30 August respectively, whilst the rest of the artists will release their albums in
2011.