|Distributor(s)||IRIS (South Africa)|
|Genre||Jazz, rock, world, Afropop, house|
|Country of origin||South Africa|
|Official website||Official website of Sheer Sound|
Sheer Sound was formed in November 1994, shortly after South Africa’s first democratic elections. The label was initially a home for jazz and world music and fast gained a reputation for its extensive South African and African jazz catalogue.
By the mid-1990s, a young music marketer, Damon Forbes, was getting restless with the limited vision of his industry.
"I sunk my teeth into jazz because it carried a world music message for me; it was truly culturally representative.... I just looked at the market and I saw the economics of the people of South Africa changing, due to better access to education.... [And]the workplace was going to change; a lot more black people getting into jobs that are of medium and higher income levels.... With all that, comes the aspiration to listen to better quality music. [So] the market, in the long term, is going to increase."
With what he calls "R1 500 (just over $200) and a dream", Forbes established his own label, Sheer Sound. (Ansell 2005:269)
In 2006 two imprint labels, Seed and 2Feet Music, were formed under the Sheer Sound umbrella and has since released some of the most prolific rock and singer-songwriter music, respectively, in South Africa.
List Of Artists
- Cassette (Outside of RSA only)
- Bed On Bricks
- Paul E. Flynn
- Martin Rocka & The Sick Shop
- Gently Scar'd
- New Academics
- Lionel Bastos
- The Dirty Skirts
- Mann Friday
- Gonzo Republic
- Jeff Maluleke
- McCoy Mrubata
- Winston Mankunku Ngozi
- Paul Hanmer
- Louis Mhlanga
- Gavin Minter
- Tony Cox
- Ernie Smith
Awards and nominations
- Ansell, Gwen. 2005. Soweto Blues. New York: Continuum Books. (The history of Sheer Sound taken from this book)