“It’s shown me that there are infinite possibilities and how far I can push this music of mine. There are no limits and Midem has helped me see this! “ – Moonchild Sanelly
In this exclusive interview, discover Moonchild Sanelly, one of South Africa’s unique performers, and read more about the challenges faced by South African artists when developing their projects.
In a context where social media has galvanized the entrepreneurial spirit among African artists, they are now looking for partners to take their business to a higher level. That is why Midem provides a platform that allows artists and music professionals from all around the world to connect, learn from each other and create new business opportunities.
From participating in the Midem and Midem African Forum, to being officially selected for the Midem Artist accelerator programme and playing live on the Midem Beach, Moonchild Sanelly has experienced the whole range of tailor-made programmes designed by Midem to help artists in developing their career internationally. Find out more about how Midem is helping international artists in their music journey.
>Tell us about yourself and the challenges you were facing while developing your project in South Africa?
Hey boobeams! My name is Moonchild Sanelly, a South African vocalist, songwriter and dancer. My Challenges… WELL, we were supposed to be recording my new album in LA last July, whilst announcing my new signing to Transgressive & Gallo records and Sony ATV for publishing, and performing at some insane festivals, all this after almost dying from Malaria at the end of last year. Corona Lockdown has forced isolation, obviously, though fortunately for me I am still able to work but more slowly than planned! Through the resources I have acquired, I can film, upload and record – and we are still on a mission! Recording at home, self-shooting footage for videos from afar (like for Bashiri and Mozambique), livestream concerts, designing new costumes – South Africa is so full of inspiration and nothing can stop that, not even a global pandemic!
>How many years have you participated in Midem in Cannes and what were your goals/aims while participating at Midem?
I have been coming for 4 years but only since the last 2 editions have I been properly part of its programme dedicated to artists. I was always looking for international business, and then I finally made it onto the artist accelerator programme! My ambition now is to be one of the ambassadors in 2021.
> What were the key takeaways from your Midem Artist Accelerator* experience?
Give it your all or nothing because it is likely that somewhere in that crowd there’s someone you definitely want to work with. At Midem, you can be certain that in any given room, there is someone who can play a pivotal role in your music career. I always say ”rock them Moonbeam“ to myself to remind me of that.
*The Midem Artist Accelerator (which has resulted in five years of meaningful encounters, talent discoveries and great stories) evolved this year into The Midem Talent Exporter.
> You also participated in the last Midem African Forum in Cape Town. What do you believe are the main challenges for South African artists and players in evolving locally and internationally?
The Midem team recently invited me to speak at the Midem African forum, and it was amazing to do that in South Africa. I think one of the challenges is to reach out to other parts of the world whilst retaining your unique music. There is a lot of pressure from Western media to produce a certain type of music – but both artists and fans have more power to influence now. The world’s ears are open & their stomachs are hungry for authenticity. I always remind South African artists that their home accent is magic on its own, so do not dilute it! Whatever you produce sounds amazing if you embrace your accent. Think big!
>To sum up, how would you describe your journey through Midem and what results have you achieved?
Midem has been a big part of my evolution in the music industry. My first Midem was pure improvisation. The second, I decided to change my approach (and my whole team). The third, I was part of the official ‘Artist Accelerator’ programme. During the 4th (digital) Midem, I found a manager I could trust and was signed by a great label. I also made a global publishing deal and collaborated with artists I used to dream of. It’s been a JOURNEY from the unofficial showcases to the top spot on the Midem beach stage, and the whole Midem team over the years has just meant everything.
Kick-start your own success story with Midem and our programmes for music artists’ development!