The hit science of topping the charts

2012-11-23 11:08

Benjy Mudie, as the A&R consultant at Universal South Africa, has a knack for turning musicians into chart-topping stars.

From éVoid and Lesley Rae Dowling in the 80s to Elvis Blue and The Arrows today – hundreds of musicians have benefited from this Scottish-born, bass-playing genius’s Midas touch.

Benjy Mudie may not have studied archaeology formally, but his passion for digging up treasures that change pop culture has resulted in a rock ’n roll legacy few can match in South Africa.

His latest signing? Paige Mac (featured in iMagazine on 2 September).

Why the music business?
I started playing in a band called Void – before they became famous as éVoid – to overcome shyness.

I saw the effect music had on me, and those around me, and wanted to somehow be a part of that.

What’s been your biggest success story?

There are two sides to that. Commercially, I’d say MarcAlex and Mango Groove. We sold more than 400 000 copies of Mango’s 1989 self-titled album.

My other proud moments include Falling Mirror and Blk Sonshine – I identified something fresh and challenging in them, and they carved out new aural landscapes. On paper, they shouldn’t have worked, but they did.

Who was the one that got away?

Freshlyground. I filter music in my own way, and they slipped through. I’m not fazed by it, though.

What does it take to do what you do?

Passion is key, and the ability to spot innovation and new forms of expression. It’s not something any  university course can teach. You either have it or you don’t!

Who has inspired you throughout your career?

A local band called Falling Mirror. They had a hit with ‘Johnny Calls the Chemist’ (in 1986) and their music moves me to this day. Their post-60s Pink Floyd sensibility excites me still, decades after it was first released.

Who is your favourite artist/band of all time?
Jimi Hendrix – he was my Rosetta Stone of rock. His music taught me to ‘feel’ music. I am still in awe.

Where can we find you when you’re not listening out for the next big thing?
Climbing Kilimanjaro, riding my bike and enjoying the great outdoors – I love the Drakensberg and especially Arniston. This country has so much to offer if you take the time to dig a little.

Three rules I live by
1. I receive a lot of demo recordings from people looking to get signed. Everybody gets an answer, regardless of whether I pass on them or sign them up.

2. I also pay for every gig I go to – being artist conscious and respectful of the fact that my paying at the door means the artist gets paid, and hopefully because of that we all get to hear more in future.

3. Respect for artists and their music.


» Get your iMag with City Press on Sunday


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.