Platoon expands into South Africa with the development of Cape Town Creative Lab

UK-based start-up Platoon has ventured into the African music market with the development of its Cape Town Creative Lab (CTCL).

Launched earlier this year, the venture has been working with six unsigned artists from South Africa and Zimbabwe, offering them studio facilities, access to creative talent and mentoring from international industry executives.

Platoon Africa was formed by South African born entrepreneur, music industry veteran and Platoon co-founder Denzyl Feigelson.

Through CTCL, which was powered by Apple Music, artists Dope Saint Jude, Kaien Cruz and Sipho The Gift (South Africa) and Shungudzo (pictured), Bantu and Dr Chaii (Zimbabwe) were invited to Mothership Studios in Philadelphia in the Western Cape for a week-long programme.

Each act got the chance to record a new single for international release, and were given access to creative talent including photographers, video directors and stylists to help promote and support the tracks. 

The first release, Shungudzo’s ‘Paper’, has already received support from DAZED, The Sunday Times (Breaking Act), GQ and HYPEBAE.

CTCL is one of a series of labs Platoon has held around the world to help uncover, discover and showcase new talent within a region.

“The week is part of a journey, it doesn’t stop here. The Lab is just the beginning for these performers.”

Denzyl Feigelson, platoon

Speaking about the Cape Town instalment, Feigelson said: “We started with a long list of performers and narrowed it down to six fantastic artists.

“We worked hard on finding the right teams to work with each of them.

“The week is part of a journey, it doesn’t stop here. The Lab is just the beginning for these performers.”

Daily mentoring sessions with leading music industry figures involved legendary producer Nile Rodgers, award-winning songwriter John Ryan (Maroon 5/One Direction/Charlie Puth), Apple Music Up Next artist Mr Eazi and Beats 1’s Kat Wong and Ebro Darden.

Others offering their expertise included Alec Boateng (Head of A&R Atlantic Records UK), Alex Boateng (Head of A&R Island Records UK), Aton Ben-Horin (Global VP A&R, Warner Music Group), Taponeswa Mavunga (Head of Publicity Columbia Records UK), Merck Mercuriadis (Hipgnosis Music) and Kwame Kwaten (artist manager and Vice Chairman Music Managers Forum).

Starting at the end of August, each single from the project has been released on a weekly basis available on Apple Music and all other DSPs.

Tracks still to be released from the programme are Dr Chaii ‘Bongo’ (Sept. 21) , Kaien Cruz ‘Dangerous’ (Sept. 28) and Bantu ‘Remedy’ (Oct. 5). Music Business Worldwide

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