A luta continua for Sir Trill and music rights

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Sir Trill says he has never received a cent for his hits. Photo: Oupa Bopape/ Gallo Images
Sir Trill says he has never received a cent for his hits. Photo: Oupa Bopape/ Gallo Images

Yet another local artist is exposing the injustices of the music industry and fighting for their music rights. Mzwakhe Tumelo Zwane, more affectionately known as Sir Trill, revealed that he hadn’t yet seen a cent for the music he had released earlier this week.

The drama started when Zwane sadly revealed the state of his mental health and career. In a few cryptic posts on social media, he said: 

This left fans in a state of shock as Zwane’s musical career made him one of amapiano’s most popular talents, with songs such as Ngisize, Tyler ICU and MacG-Nkantin making him a top dog in the industry.  

Over the years, there have been scores of artists who have come out to complain about their music contracts and the rights they were not afforded because of the position they were in when they signed their record deals. Taylor Swift, Kesha and Prince  and even Michael Jackson  have fallen victim to the vicious circle.

The trope of the struggling artist has plagued the industry since creativity became monetised. The artist struggle often unfolds in desperation, with creatives forced and manipulated into bad music deals with little pay. 

After defying the odds and creating a career that most can only dream of, Zwane became a father and shared a child with fellow local musician Nkosazana Daughter.

READ: Sjava fans go wild over his latest release

He was also able to switch career paths from lucrative rap to even more successful amapiano and was even able to get an entire nation dancing with hits that are played all over our TV music channels and radio stations. But, little did we know that Zwane wasn’t seeing a cent the entire time. His frustration clearly reached a peak, as the artist would go on to tweet: 

Never been an artist that talks much or exposes much. This will definitely be a joke to some of y’all, which I understand. But it’s mentally damaging and exhausting. What are we working so much for?

Unfortunately, the lack of access and money has made Zwane deeply contemplate quitting his music career and even leaving Twitter forever. 

One thing is certain, Zwane has a lot of fans who clearly love him and have rallied behind the artist in order to ensure he remembers he is appreciated and continues to fight for what belongs to him.

We might be seeing the last of the marvellous Sir Trill for a while, as he takes a moment to take care of his mental health and hopefully fight for his music rights, so that he can return a better and even more evolved artist. 

However, we have not yet seen the last of the exploitation the music industry has to offer, and Zwane is only one of many cases that have happened and will definitely continue to happen. While we can't change the past, the question is, how can we socially forge a path for artists to no longer require the support of record labels and record deals for their success in the future.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Latest issue
Latest issue
All the news from City Press in PDF form.
Read now
Voting Booth
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula stated the ANC served court papers on Eskom and its former CEO, Andre de Ruyter, after his allegations of the involvement of senior ANC members in corruption at the power utility. Was the ruling party's move warranted?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
20% - 144 votes
80% - 588 votes