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SUPERHOTJOY (article first published : 2006-03-24)

Durban musician, Garett van der Spek, has launched a bold attempt to unsettle the traditional music industry by offering his music free online. The move could represent a significant shift in mindset for the musicians in South Africa.

Garett has named his venture Superhotjoy and its online home is Superhotjoy.com

This is the message from the website: “Garett doesn't want your money for this music; he just wants you to pass it on if you like it, and if you don't then pass it on to someone who might. Burn it, tape it, write it down, sing it to a friend, play it for your parents, do what you want to distribute it."

This approach confronts the major problem facing emerging musicians in South Africa - getting heard. Although Garrett van der Spek is only just emerging as a solo artist, he is an established and respected singer-songwriter whose previous band, Cynosure, gigged extensively around the country. Their songs Land of Colour and Unserene received widespread airplay.

With the members of Cynosure amicably deciding to go their own ways, Garrett began developing a unique and refreshing musical style. He also began to rethink the way that musicians reach their audiences. Superhotjoy.com is the result.

"Releasing Cynosure's album, Colour, was a wonderful experience,” he says, “but there were far too many hoops to jump through. The world has changed. And the logistics of releasing a physical CD so often gets in the way of the music. We need to remove all the points of resistance between the listener and the music, whether they're at the record companies, in the CD stores, or at the radio stations. Instead, let's create a real, direct relationship with music lovers.

"Digital delivery is clearly the way that the industry is going around the globe,” he adds. “It would be silly for South Africa to wait for the revolution to run its course before catching on. The digital world, like the world of music, is without boundaries. There's no reason why South African musicians shouldn't be at the cutting edge."

Visit the home of the music of Garett van der Spek which also offers a direct link to news and gig dates at www.superhotjoy.com




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