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Byline: Doug Gordon
Feeling the changing heartbeat of the music industry Music publisher Arnold Mabunda is at the centre of a global vortex of interest in South African music ... tunes in MUSIC is this continent's universal language a cultural resource in entertainment and marketing that will help brand the 2010 Soccer World Cup as a truly South African event. Deals for this country's favourite songs are in negotiation worldwide, ranging from 1950s Sophiatown jazz classics to the a capella tracks of today's Grammy-award winners.
At the hub of this global trafficking is Gallo Music publisher Arnold Mabunda. Right now he's discussing soundtrack music with the producers of a new Mandela film, and hit songs by the likes of Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and Lucky Dube with other potential licencees across Africa, Europe and the US. Requests are coming in daily from advertising agencies representing big-name brands, Mabunda says. Many of the approaches are still in negotiation over who gets to licence a particular piece of music. We have different agencies pitching for the same song. Depending on who we give it to and which brand the music would become aligned to, the details have to remain confidential at this stage. Publishing is the low-profile side of our recording industry but it generates at least as much revenue as the billion-rand annual sales of CDs, DVDs, tapes and downloads. At 46, Mabunda is one of its most powerful …