Independent label Soul Candi has been one of the major players in the South African music industry for the last decade or so, particularly in terms of the house sound that has come to define South African pop music in recent years. Some of the influential names in their stable over the years include DJ Fresh, Euphonik, Kid Fonque, Lulo Café and Mi Casa.
Rumours of a rapid decline in fortunes for the label, including the departure of some of their key players, led to some questioning whether the label was going to close down. In response to the rumours, the label this week issued a press statement assuring their fans that they will not be closing down, but rather restructuring their business model and moving to smaller premises in a penthouse office in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
The statement reads: “The Soul Candi brand has been undergoing plenty of changes, and of course, no change comes without speculation. To address that off the bat – our fans can be rest assured that we are not closing shop!”
Explaining why the changes are taking place, Soul Candi founder Harael Salkow said: “When reflecting on where we came from and defining our future path it became evidently clear that we came from a place where our daily focus was sharing the best artists and experiences with music fans.
“The music rights investment business, while fun and exciting, had caused us to make family of a handful of acts while turning the rest of the artist community into our competitors. In getting back to our roots we concluded that the conflict had to go to allow us to get back to our reason for existing – celebrating the music industries finest with our loving fans. This means Soul Candi will no longer be investing in artist rights.”
Revealing the company’s “new path”, the statement outlines four key Soul Candi ventures:
- Soul Candi Records: Soul Candi will continue to identify and share the best of genre content via its compilations and digital media platforms to assist its fans in finding the latest and hottest tracks and artists.
- Soul Candi Live: Having spent the past four years building and learning from its Spring Fiesta project, Soul Candi is now ready to roll out more music festivals, sharing these experiences with more fans in more cities.
- Soul Candi Institute of Music: The label’s partnership with Boston College allowed them to assist in the development and growth of artists such as Cuebur. Soul Candi is now looking forward to assisting in the development of the future generation of stars through education and training in its schools.
- Soul Candi Fans: Over the years Soul Candi has built a large and loyal fa base through its website and social media platforms. They will continue to invest in our community growth and engagement through these platforms, as well as launching new initiatives to add value to their fans’ experiences.
“We’ve made friends and formed families,” the statement ends. “The next step in our journey is designed to allow us to get back to choosing the entire African music industry as our family…”
A brave move in a changing music industry landscape, or the last gasps from a sinking ship? Watch this space to see what the future holds for this iconic South African label.