The estate of the South African musician Johnny Clegg has entered into a global publishing agreement with Sheer Publishing, an independent music publisher based in South Africa and a division of Downtown Music Services (DMS).
Johnny Clegg’s catalog spans more than four decades.
In addition to forming his previous bands Juluka and Savuka, Clegg spent 23 years as a solo artist.
Over the years, Clegg’s mix of English lyrics with Zulu musical structures became an integral part of the South African music scene, the company says.
Sheer Publishing will manage royalties for the Clegg family, which ultimately owns the rights.
“Without the power of Downtown,” Sheer said. “Sheer would not have had the opportunity to work with such a valued musician and DMS is extremely grateful to have entrusted them with this catalog.”
Downtown acquired the South African Sheer last year, formally expanding the company’s geographic footprint to the African continent.
In June, Downtown established a new department, which it said at the time would be responsible for unlocking growth opportunities for Downtown in both new and existing global territories.
Downtown appointed Sheer Music Africa MD David Alexander to serve as Senior Vice President of the Global Team.
“His role in telling the truth to power has been recognized by many countries.”
David Alexander, Sheer Publishing
David Alexander, founder and CEO of Sheer Publishing, said: “Clegg’s music has been one of the greatest cultural exports of our lifetime.
“His role in telling the truth to power has been recognized by many countries with many of their highest awards.
“He was a writer who was able to articulate the South African narrative in a way that crossed over to more cultures and languages and gained support for change when we needed it most.”
“Johnny Clegg is not only one of the greatest South African songwriters of recent times.”
Mike Smith, DMS
Mike Smith, Global President of DMS, said: “Johnny Clegg is not only one of the greatest South African singer songwriters in recent times, but his work as an anti-apartheid activist, plus his support for the indigenous people of South Africa has been instrumental. in showing the power of music to create significant change.
“The fact that his band was the first multi-racial group in the apartheid era underlines his importance of direct action to bring apartheid to an end.
Smith added: “We are very proud to work with music from an African music industry icon.
“Johnny Clegg has been synonymous with the positive side of South Africa in some of our darkest days, and we are grateful to be the caretakers of his legacy for a new generation of African music fans.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to work with this remarkable catalog of songs and we will do everything we can to bring them to a new generation of global music fans.
“We are working hard to emphasize Johnny’s contribution to making this world a much better place to live in.”
“Downtown Music Services has built a great team and technology.”
Hilton Rosenthal, who has been managing Johnny Clegg’s Juluka and Savuka releases since 1979, said: “Downtown Music Services has built an amazing team and technology that will enable us to maximize the potential of Johnny’s incredible catalog of works worldwide.
“We’re excited to see what we can build together.”
“We look forward to this special collaboration.”
The Clegg family
The Clegg family added: “We are proud to be part of the Downtown family and happy that Johnny Clegg’s catalog is in the company of other legendary artists such as John Lennon and Miles Davis.
“We look forward to this special collaboration that will celebrate and expand the great legacy that Johnny Clegg left behind.”Music business worldwide