SA Based Tendai Joe Ventures Into Artist Management
Zimbabwean born and Pretoria based talent scout Tendai Joe, an avid music and soccer lover, has embarked on a formal artist talent development journey under his new home, JBross Management.
JBross, which is domiciled in South Africa, will among other things, focus on Talent Discovery, Artist Development, Artist PR and Management Sevices across Africa.
Over the years, Tendai has worked with many artists and on various projects, but most importantly committed most of his time to developing his “nephew”, Young DLC, who went on to sign with Sony ATV Publishing, worked on Coke Studio Africa for two seasons, worked on Mnet’s The Voice SA 2019 and Celebrity Nights, produced for artists like Jah Prayzah from Zimbabwe, Mlindo the Vocalist in SA, Lioness in Namibia among others.
The well networked and influential “digital manager” has mentored countless other artists in South Africa, Uganda, Botswana and Zimbabwe, but never signed them. Tendai, whose penchant of mentoring artists has seen him work with unsigned artiste like Bxffalo from Alex-Johannesburg and popular Pretoria based producer and club DJ, Dr Feel, who is now signed to a European label.
Tendai says he discovered upcoming artists like Bxffalo on Twitter, developed him further and put him in the studio with Young DLC, which resulted in Nyembezi and Ndiyabulela tracks. TJ as he is affectionately called, had a chance meeting with a Dr Feel at a Pretoria McDonald’s and converted him from being a hip-hop-only producer to a versatile house DJ and producer, which creates new opportunities for him.
Tendai has executive produced various tracks involving former Idols SA contestants like Diamara and Bervin Samuels. Although he is not a high fan of Zim Dancehall, he has arranged a few collaborations with artists like Alchemy and Terry Afrika. The artist manager has over the past organised other countless collaborations with artists from a number of African countries.
Tendai mentioned the placement of a beat by Young DLC on Mlindo The Vocalist’s album as one of his career highlights.
“Nge Thanda Wena has gone on to have 2,5 million streams on Youtube, without an official video. The album won awards. It got gold plaques. What else could one ask for?”
With a solid 17 years of music business experience and insights, Tendai says he has realised how much more he could be doing in the industry, especially after the COVID19 disruption of the industry, if he did not split his attention and focused on other non-musical ventures. Over the past 10 years, Tendai had a very successful stint working as a digital marketing consultant, working on some of the biggest projects, with big names in South Africa.
“I have had an on and off relationship with the entertainment industry because of other “limiting” work commitments. I didn’t want divided attention. From 2014, I started declining media appearances and industry event invitations, because I wanted to focus on my non-enrertainment work. But I realised that when it comes to music, an art form I am very passionate about, I can never live without it. Many artists have continuously approached me, asking me to manage them, I honestly would turn them down, I was not ready,” said Mr JBross
Tendai acknowledges how luck and hard work has sometimes worked in his favour. He mentions how he sometimes would be head-hunted for entertainment industry and corporate gigs, through referrals.
“Look, am not bragging, but I have had an impressive run. I did the strategy for AZA TV, owned by two phenomenal women in the industry. Worked on a Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Department of Health collaboration. I have been part of that Hansa Usher SA concert, Big Sean AXE concert, two years of working with hugely popular MTN Mandela Day concerts, creating content for Mapungubwe and Morula Arts Festivals in Limpopo and countless other major events. The entertainment industry has always called me back, even when I try to avoid it. Working with big brands and names doesn’t intimidate me, am always upto the challenge.”
Tendai Joe Background
Boasting 10 years experience of digital marketing, content creation and media, user growth management and marketing strategy development, Tendai has worked with major SA telecommunication firms, leading foundations, government agencies(In South Africa), all the three spheres of SA government, mobile phone OEMs, start-ups and other corporate clients.
Since the year 2010, Tendai worked on various projects with leading brands and organizations including; Nelson Mandela Foundation, Telkom, The Gautrain, SAB Miller, Power FM (SA), The Communications Firm, Samsung SA, FNB, Vodacom SA, MTN SA, Huawei SA, Business Partners, City of Tshwane, Tshwane Metro Police, Areyeng BRT, Nedbank, WeChat, Gauteng Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment, Gauteng Film Commission, Limpopo Tourism Agency, Intel SA, University of Johannesburg, Microsoft SA and other entities, with media appearances on SABC1, SABC news, Mzansi Magic and write ups in Destiny Man Magazine, BBC and various other mainstream publications.
“Africa is booming with talent and content. The world is starting to recognise the continent for it’s rich and diverse culture, and it’s not by accident that major record labels are setting up offices in Africa. Look at Def Jam. Look at what Sony Music Africa, Warner and Universal are doing. Look how African artists winning Grammys. Look at stars being born out of back room studios. We have so much talent in places like Kampala, Harare, Mafikeng and Nairobi. I want to be part of that movement, building artists to reach their full potential. I have Young DLC, I have Brinsley and Luleko, I might add Juizee and Ian Baoba.There is a lot we could do,” the former University of Johannesburg 4IR Digital Ambassador said.
Onalytica listed Tendai Joe one of the Top 100 GovTech influencers, in 2015. He has been invited to present for the Google One Million head and his team, from the Alphabet HQ. With his deep understanding of tech, start-up culture, Tendai was Microsoft SA Start-Up Accelerator Competition judge in 2013.
Armed with a very rich entertainmment business and digital marketing resume, the experienced two time tech entrepreneur founded the now defunct start-ups; Whepages in 2012, which was an events and ticketing platform and a Facebook based content generation app called Namefuun in 2018. Tendai is well versed with digital and tech trends, which is an added advantage, considering the influence of technology in the modern music industry.