A recently established fund is seeking applications from musicians who need to tour.
The Mobility Fund is an arts initiative through Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) and Concerts SA available to fund tours across South Africa and the SADC region. Musicians are urged to apply before the closing date on April 3, 2016.
The first tour took place in October 2014. This rotation is the fifth intake of musicians. The whole concept of the fund is to “allow musicians to move,” says ConcertsSA’s project co-ordinator, Violet Maila.
“The fund is available for any South African-based artist. The fund is to enable musicians to gain experience through touring and allow them access to audiences who would ordinarily not have access to that artist’s music,” she says.
The fund is also open to performance-based workshops, artist collaborations and music organisations. Student musicians can also apply. They only have to prove they are active musicians by providing content that proves their activity as artists. This may include an Extended Play (EP) that they have released, a music video or any other form of musical content.
Tshepang “Rambo” Ramoba, drummer of African rock group BLK JKS, was recently on a tour funded through the Mobility Fund. The tour featured ghetto funk singer Moonchild, Indie rapper Robin Thirdfloor, alternative singer Elo and Fortune Shumba. The tour, titled POST POST, was countrywide and also ventured into neighbouring Mozambique and Swaziland. POST POST is a record label headed by Ramoba.
Ramoba feels that touring is important for artists. “It’s mostly for confidence because they get out of their comfort zone and perform for different people,” he says. To allow the musicians to fully focus on their art the fund provides food, accommodation, transport and any other logistical costs.
Ramoba’s favourite memory from the most recent tour is how artists sang and danced their way around police they encountered.
“We had to chill at the Mozambican border because the police thought we had stolen the car for some reason. So we hung out in the shade and laughed it off with the other border police,” he says.
Applications for the Mobility Fund are available online via www.concertssa.co.za