Cape Town, South Africa: the buzz at M4A headquarters today is all about African created music getting a new broadcast platform soon. One of our oldest goals, in fact, has been to do exactly this. Establish metal4africa as a resource where people can also listen to the music we so dearly love to talk about. That time is now near.
metal4africa and FiendFM
What is FiendFM going to be all about? Patrick Davidson, Editor in Chief at www.metal4africa.com explains:
“We’ve reached a point of convergence in technology and accessibility. It’s time to begin broadcasting African Metal and Rock music online. People can access just about all of this content these days anyway; and they do. But what we’re looking at is bringing it into a discerning curated platform.” ~ Patrick Davidson
FiendFM will not feature only Metal music. It will be an open resource for all of the genre’s closest cousins in music from across the continent.
“This is why we had to think carefully on the branding. With our website, we’re kind of limited to Metal only. Which we’re okay with, since that is where our passion lays. To fulfill the ambition of this next branch of the project, we need to think a little broader though; else we’ll not be likely to make it work. So we’re talking Metal and all of it’s sub-derivatives, plus Hard Rock, Punk, Gothic… whatever it is that our iron-studded hearts desire, so long as it resonates with our intellectual sensibilities.” ~ Patrick Davidson
Whilst this sounds very exciting, there will be some practical elements; some equating to a degree of restraint. First of which is: African only. Which we actually think is great!
“We’re treating this initially with the same sanctity as we do with our website. Africa first! We certainly won’t close our minds to other possibilities in due course, but our main focus now is provide something to our tight-knit community which it doesn’t presently have.” ~ Patrick Davidson
Whilst the former is a self-imposed restriction, other challenges lay ahead for the team. Licensing.
“It’s been a hard slog getting to a point where we can confidently move forward. Getting the right kind of advice, legally speaking, has been the greatest hurdle. And the biggest expense! For now, this will be informal. Informal in the sense that artists registered with SAMRO or other collecting agencies won’t be able to be a part of it until we are ready to formally launch to the public. See, most of the acts we’re focusing on are not registered and will be unlikely to benefit from registration any time soon. We’re serving the underground here. So we’re approaching the project with that in mind. Published artists are welcome to get in touch so long, although we won’t include their music into the more private ‘soft launch’ currently underway.” ~ Patrick Davidson
Bands that wish to have music playlisted at FiendFM will be welcome to apply for a license agreement directly with FiendFM. Bands who are not the direct rights-holders over their material will sadly have to excluded just for the meantime.
“We’ve consulted extensively on this one. With industry professionals and legal professionals. We won’t be playlisting anything that we don’t have a direct and legally defensible agreement in place for. This requires a little extra effort from both our side and the bands; but it’ll be worth it in the end. If we’re going to do this, we’ll be doing it right. Which also means that as soon as we reach the necessary critical mass, we’ll formalize with the relevant authorities too. That’ll be a big step for the local underground scene.” ~ Patrick Davidson
And, naturally, funding is the largest overriding challenge of all.
“We’ve got a steady foundation for now, but we won’t get far without a little ambition in this department. In 2018 we finally registered a full-fledged non-profit organization with the South African government. This doesn’t mean they give us money though. That comes from our small, but passionately committed base of monthly donors; the True Believers. We need to increase that footprint by the end of 2019 if this project is to survive. The existing base has managed to get us this far though, so I’m feeling confident that more people will come on board. We’re not asking for much. Even the smallest amounts have great value when they are consistent.” ~ Patrick Davidson
FiendFM‘s ‘soft launch’ is already underway. For now, the player features only a handful of tracks from already licensed artists and limited features, and will grow organically and take on structure as momentum increases. A public launch is targeted for the end of July, so we urge all professionally recorded creatives to get on board!
What shape will FiendFM take when launched?
FiendFM will be a widget embedded into the www.metal4africa.com website. However, it will also be accessible via other means depending on the technology users wish to employ. For example, desktop users will be able to route the stream via other software, such as winamp. Mobile users will be able to source the stream via mobile optimized platforms. The player will also include a search tool which seeks out the artist currently playing on Spotify for listeners to follow, and more.
In terms on content, FiendFM will feature mostly playlisted material, but also spoken-word content in the form of scheduled podcasts. Later plans include the development of live shows and even mobile broadcasting. However, Patrick insists that we need to walk before we can run. The key focus for the remainder of 2018 is to achieve a sustainable and consistent model, whilst actively exploring greater potential rather in the background. Therefore the live broadcasts and mobile broadcasts may only be something to look forward to in 2019.
Various other features and partners will be announced in due course.
In the meantime, African-based Metal and Hard Rock (and close derivatives thereof) are welcome to contact Patrick directly via facebook messenger (preferred) or email to find out more about the license agreement.