Adriaan Roets
3 minute read
3 Jun 2019
1:01 pm

AMPD Studios in Newtown aims to help upcoming SA musicians

Adriaan Roets

The double-storey space aims to be launchpad for the music stars of tomorrow, and a venue for learning and growing.

The AMPD Studios at Newtown Square in Johannesburg. Picture: Supplied

Data is a commodity. When it comes to creatives in 2019, it’s one you can’t be without.

It’s one of the most important ways to share your art and creativity. But data is expensive, Wi-Fi is almost never really free and always comes with pesky terms and conditions. Or it’s simply not enough.

But head down to Newtown Junction and there’s an answer – and young people should be amped.

AMPD Studios is a space created for upcoming musicians to help elevate their careers through music and financial education. From the nitty-gritty to interacting with established industry players, the studio is essentially the new holy grail of music.

While it had its first gig last week when legends Letta Mbulu and Thandiswa Mazwai performed and spoke to the audience about their growth in the industry, there was also the announcement of free entrance and Wi-Fi.

“Music is a key component of our young consumers’ lives,” says Thobile Tshabalala, brand head at Old Mutual, the bank behind the youth empowerment platform.

“The youth are either actively involved in the industry, aspire to be involved, look up to their music idols or simply love and consume music. “The launch of AMPD Studios and our partnership with South African musicians brings us closer to the heartbeat of the music community,” Tshabalala says.

“It will allow us to play a vital role in enabling, amplifying and empowering Africa’s young talent.”

And while grabbing a coffee and populating that Insta-feed is also on the cards at the modern studios, the double-storey space aims to feed artists who want to boost their careers.

“AMPD Studios will be much more than just a music recording studio”, says Tshabalala. “It will be a place for a whole range of life-changing engagement opportunities, a platform for talent, a launchpad for the music stars of tomorrow and a venue for learning and growing.”

Key to the success of AMPD Studios is the AMPD Icons and AMPD Masterclasses platforms to be held throughout the year.

Icons is a conversation platform that will have artists sharing insights and conversations about their experiences in the entertainment industry. The series will be broadcast once a month on Afternoon Express, Metro FM and Old Mutual’s digital platforms.

Masterclasses will see experts unearth their skills to inspire and motivate the up-and-coming musicians and teach them about what it takes to make it in the music industry.

However, access to Icons and Masterclasses come with a low-cost Money Saver account. The creative industry doesn’t come with a 9am to 5pm paycheck, and artists need to learn how to effectively use funds to further their art and survive.

The studios officially open today, with the recording studios officially opening on June 25.

But whet your appetite next weekend when Fête de la Musique returns to Newtown Junction, right in front of the studio doors. The music festival is free – covering the block framed by Miriam Makeba, Lilian Ngoyi, Carr and Henry Nxumalo streets.

The area will transform into a giant pedestrian zone where six indoor and outdoor stages will feature more than 20 exciting South African, French and international music acts between 11am and 7pm.

Newtown’s indeed a place for music (and a slice of free data).

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