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Meet Sheridan Rupert – SA Representative to Music2Deal – a music professional obsessed with people development and systems

Sheridan Rupert is in the music business in South Africa and has always had an inherent interest in the development of people. But she hasn’t always been in the music business. She started playing piano at the age of 5 and studied through Royal Schools of Music and Trinity College throughout primary school. She attended the Johannesburg School of the Arts from 1985 to 1989 where music was her speciality and majored in piano and organ (through Unisa).

After school she completed her performer’s diploma through Trinity College and tutored beginners in her spare time. This creative also dropped out of law school – the signs were always there that a creative environment is where she belonged.

After nearly 2 decades in corporate, she ventured into the music industry in 2015, volunteering her services so that she could learn.

During her time in corporate she was always in an HR/ Training & Development Role and particularly in the last 6 years of those, strongly focused on career development (succession planning) and database development (she designed a learner management system).

These have always been her natural tendencies, which is why she naturally landed up doing that in the music industry.

The last 2 years she spent as an artist manager, mostly in a voluntary capacity, to understand the music industry and gain experience under her company, Slight Edge Events, which was registered in 2017.

She is currently on the Kumisa Artist Management Programme (2017) which covers music law, contracts and other areas of the music industry essential for any artist manager to be an expert in. KUMISA, the KwaZulu-Natal United Music Industry Association, is a non-profit, regional music industry organisation that aims to serve and represent the interests of the music industry in KZN, nationally and internationally.




What were the main difficulties you experienced getting into the industry?

The main difficulties are getting access into an existing eco-system, where people don’t’ know you and don’t’ know if they can trust you. It’s also difficult coming into a system where it seems as though there isn’t enough work for everyone. Any newcomer is not exactly welcomed, you become a bit of a threat. To get into the system, I did volunteer work of any kind I could find. People are not eager to teach. So I learned by doing. I think this is how everyone starts and you can believe it when I tell you I had egg on my face on far too many occasions. It wasn’t easy, but it was probably the best years of my life.


How has the artist management programme changed things for you?

I will forever be grateful to Kumisa for granting me the opportunity to learn as I would not have been able to afford this one-year programme. If you are an artist manager or a professional in this business, you know how much there is to know. This course has changed my life in every possible way.

When you are new in an industry, it seems that everyone around you knows more than you do, and you kind of get sucked into a system where people appear to know what they are talking about, but don’t really know.

It frightens me that musicians don’t’ know about royalties and copyright and if I had my wish about the difference I make in the industry, it would be in that area, making sure musicians are educated.

Having studied now and learning everyday has changed my confidence. It has changed how I work and who I work with.  I have also come to value my work.

After managing people for 2 years, I also know that I would not like to manage people full time. I don’t’ have the right personality. I would far rather be involved in designing the career plan and milestones for an artist. Ensuring that they develop holistically, be psychologically prepared for what’s coming and how to cope in the industry. Selecting strategic festivals and people to meet. And then make sure they each teach one 😊


If we gave you a magic wand, what would you create?

A music centre in Durban. A gigantic building with many spaces for a few recording studios, rooms for photoshoots and video shoots, skype calls, coaching rooms, lecture rooms, boardrooms, administration offices, individual computer terminals. A one-stop shop to get your music business set up. A building that would have musicians coming in and out all day, providing services which don’t cost an arm and a leg. More professional education available on a more regular basis. I believe that the whole game changes when certain information and services become available to EVERYONE and not the select few. Like the change that happened in the world when the internet came into being. All of sudden the information hoarders were not so powerful. You could find anything you want by simply googling it. We still have far too many musicians who don’t know what they don’t know. I want that to change and I will work to change it.


You still have the magic wand. What would you have done differently if you had to do the last 2 years over?

I would have gone to Kumisa earlier – I would have banged down their door until they put me on a programme. Nothing else. As much my lessons were painful ones and I lost a lot of money, the experience is priceless.


You’ve been using Music2Deal for 6 months now – can you describe your experience.

I volunteered to market the system because I could bring my passion for connecting with people  together with my passion for marketing. Your network is your currency and it is not possible to get anything done in this industry if you don’t know who are the right people to speak to. This system made that happen for me. However, it wasn’t really until my 3rd month that I started to realise it’s power. When the realisation hit me of what was possible, it’s like a new energy came about in marketing it – that new energy is because I was selling my experience now and not a system. I would honestly not continue to market something which doesn’t work for me. Music2Deal is one of the best things to happen to me which is why I work on it every day.


What else does Slight Edge Events do?

I have one artist manager working with me – she is managing one artist. My focus has changed to quality over quantity. I mean at one point there were 22 artists and my little car – I really did have my head in the clouds for a while and I won’t ever forget those times or the poor musicians sardined in my car with the blaring music.

I currently offer an administrative service to musicians in terms of music registration and online music platforms, which include online stores. I also assist them in writing biographies and basically consult on getting the basics in place like social media presence etc.

I do event support in terms of promotion, photography and videography. Although I am not a qualified photographer and videographer, I do these for artists who could never afford to get anyone to do it for them. My job is to get a clear performance which shows the artist’s stage presence. I leave the fancy stuff for the video gurus.

I spend the rest of my waking moments updating my database of blogs, media and radio and get an absolute thrill every time I use my database.


Where can we find you on social media?

Facebook personal

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Music2Deal Interview with Anca Lupes – one of the most experienced professionals in Romanian music business.

Anca Lupes – is one of the most experienced professionals in Romanian music business. One of her main advantages is that during her career in the music business she activates in almost all the areas of this industry –media (press, radio, TV), concert promoting, record companies, management and booking agencies. Due to her extensive experience, in 2006 she starts teaching Music Business. In 2009 she becomes the first Romanian music business professional to graduate the Master in Music Business Program at Berkelee College of Music. The same year she becomes part of an international music business consultants network – Musiconsult. Currently she is partner in Star Management, a 360o company specialised in business services for artists and the music industry that she established in 2004. In 2016, she founds Mastering The Music Business – a DIY conference for independent artists & music business professionals.



What exactly is the Mastering The Music Business and how did it come into existence?

Mastering The Music Business is the first music business conference ever organised in Romania.
After years of teaching music business and consulting in this field, I realised it was time for Romania to have a music business conference, where independent artists and music business professionals could meet their peers, learn from each other and start new projects together, also meet music business professionals from more developed markets and professionals from related industries such as advertising, video games and movie production.


Why Romania?

As a live music market, Romania has thrived in the last years, especially since we were included in the European Union in 2007. Tenths of festivals of all genres are happening all over the country, with new ones emerging every year. Compared to its neighboring countries, Romania is a much bigger market – with a population of approx. 20mil inhabitants, vs Bulgaria (7,3 mil people) or Hungary (10 mil people) also with the biggest economic growth in Europe lately. On the other hand, it’s time for the very talented Romanian musicians to start being more mobile outside our boders and of course we are welcoming any live artists interested to make their debut in Romania. Last but not least, we want to give Romanian music business professionals the opportunity to meet specialists from all around the world.


What are the plans for the next coming Mastering The Music Business event, what can we expect?

As usual, there will be panels discussing current topics of the music industry, presenting success stories, key professionals giving lectures and holding workshops. Evenings will be reserved to showcases so we will have everything for everyone: learning, networking and entertainment opportunities. Although with a focus on independent artists, MMB is opened to everybody in the music industry so our delegates are managers, booking agents, labels, media people, promoters, collecting societies, business consultants etc.


Why is it an absolute must for every music professional to attend the event?

Because this is the place to find out about new trends, technologies and all opportunities currently available to independent artists and their teams, to meet other professionals, open new markets, to exchange ideas and start new collaborations. For people from abroad, this is the place that gathers all relevant artists and music business professionals in Romania.


How do you want the Mastering The Music Business event to develop? What are your future plans? How could the event look like in 2020?

By 2020 MMB will grow to be an effervescent meeting place for all kind of people from the local and international music industry, all of them with the same eagerness to be informed, up to date, connected and at the best of their abbilities.




Romanian Music Industry Facts & Figures

During communism years that ended in 1989, Romania had one radio station, one TV station and one record company, all state owned. Hard to call that ‘music industry’. :)

We have all agreed here that Romanian music industry was officially born in 1996, with the passing of the copyright law. It was also the green light for all international majors to find local companies to license – BMG, Sony, Warner, EMI, Polygram … everybody was suddenly here.

21 years later, the Romanian music industry has come a long way and trying hard to close many gaps that are separating us from other European markets.

Bucharest is the capital city of Romania (over 2mil people living here), enjoying an effervescent nightlife with many live music clubs, of all genres from EDM to metal.

Around the country there are many live music clubs, in all big cities. There are also lots of theaters and other small & medium venues with capacities ranging between 300 – 4000 places and big sports venues with capacities ranging between 1500 to 11000.

All three major record companies are represented here –Sony and Warner have local licensees and Universal has its own office. There are also some relevant independent labels (Hahaha Production, Global Records, DeMoga) and the alternative/indie movement is powerful and thriving.

There are over 20 major radio stations/networks, mainly CHR (3 in Top 5) and 5 music TV stations (local).



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