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By Seleoe Nonyane
Recording labels play a pivotal role in assisting artists to reach their peak and take on the global stage.
This was said by singer, songwriter and music producer, Khotso Thahane.
Thahane runs a recording company called KRT Productions, with artists signed under this label making boss moves in the country.
He said the company also provides a commercial recording studio where artists can come and record their music.
KRT Productions also offers recording services for corporate entities and does radio adverts and recorded audios for individuals and organisations.
In an interview with theReporter, Thahane indicated that he has been in the music industry for over 25 years.
He noted that the company was established in 2009 but only started operating in 2015. So far, he has four artists signed under the label namely, Sematsatsa hitmaker Morena Sway, Tholoana, Piigh, and himself.
The talented artist said Morena Sway’s fans should be on the lookout for his EP ‘titled’ Lerato with its release scheduled for February 14, 2024.
KRT – as the muso is also known – said they can also stream his new single titled ‘IYoh’ featuring newcomer Selloane Thakanyane.
He pointed out that it is important for artists to be signed under a recording label because the music business is fraught with a lot of intricacies in terms of the investment required. These include putting out a material that is of a global standard of sound and quality. Also, the cost of marketing a project is high.
“Our mandate is to discover, sign, groom and develop Basotho talent to break through to a global stage.
“The controversies surrounding record labels include artists being taken advantage of instead of partnering and bringing together their different skills and talents and working together to produce a successful project.
“The controversies also include artists’ negligence and failure to take time to read contractual stuff that they sign. Wanting their music to be out and be known is the reason they do this but they need to study their contract and get lawyers to study it with them. Some artists sign under the impression that it’s a take it or leave it deal and later find out that they were exploited,” he indicated.
Thahane further noted that as KRT Productions they are working more towards developing artists locally to empower and strengthen them such that they know their worth.
They should also realise that they are just as valuable as international artists, he said, adding that the label wants to partner with artists and grow together.
He also observed that Lesotho is still behind when it comes to copyright issues, compared to other countries.
“However, I am aware of the efforts being made by the Lesotho Copyright Society of Authors and Artists. The other challenge is the lack of quality as studios can be expensive. The poor quality of a recording can ruin a track; mind you once a track is publicised that means the song is competing with other tracks globally,” he said.
He also emphasized that being signed under a recording label involves a lot of administrative work.
Some independent artists do break out on their own and become successful, he said.
Thahane mentioned the likes of Selimo Thabane and ‘Mookho as some of the independent musicians who are doing well for themselves.