The Independent Music Community

– South Africa


A Brief History


IMC began its life in 2020 as The Pan African Independent Network. We changed our name in 2021 in order to focus exclusively on South Africa.


The founders realized that the recording industry's independent sector had become marginalized over the past decade and this has had an impact on South Africa’s locally produced music.


Up until recently South African recorded music made up more than 50% of the total market. Today it is less than 20%. In the past South Africa’s biggest musicians came out of the independent sector led by Gallo Records and Clive Calder Productions (CCP).


CCP now belongs to Universal and Gallo is struggling to rebuild itself. Other large independent labels such as Select and Coleske have sold out to the majors. Bula and Sheer were bought by Gallo in 2014. Both have all but disappeared.


This had led to a vacuum in the recorded music industry and one that needs to be urgently filled - otherwise South African music may become extinct.


We know that music talent is still abundant in South Africa. This talent is driving new music styles such as amapiano. Young musicians and producers are experimenting with exciting new sounds. This is coming at a time when the world is gaining a new appetite for African music.


IMC is challenging this young talent to record their music and get it out to the markets of the world.


We have established a project in Limpopo which has already produced recordings from 5 new musicians. These are ready to be released on radio stations in Limpopo. (Listen here)


We have ensured that local producer’s works are registered on the collection society databases so that revenue can be generated.


IMC has been involved in an extensive investigation into the distribution of broadcast and public performance revenues in South Africa. It is clear that independent labels both in South Africa and abroad are not getting all that is due to them. A full report on this will be published at the end of November 2021.


These revenue streams worth more than R300m annually needs to be reformed and depoliticized.


IMC has achieved much with a very limited budget in just 18 months.  Due to the urgency and importance of our campaign, we are confident that other role-players will  join us.