Rollingstone South Africa: Here we go
So it has finally happened South Africa has become so much of a cosmopolitan emerging market that the powers that be have decided it would be a worthwhile venture to invest in a local version of Rollingstone magazine. I use the word “local” very loosely because it has yet to be fully articulated how “local” this “local issue” will be. Speaking with Biz Community editor-in-chief Miles Keylock, said that there would be a very distinct local feel to the mag. “It’s a 50/50 split to begin with. In the first issue we’re actually looking at a 60/40% split, towards SA music. We’re never going to go below 50/50; most times we’ll be [erring on] the side of SA content”
Over the past few months speculation has been rife about a number of issues regarding the magazine. Personally I have to laud the guise of the managerial team. To launch this magazine in November is one of the best strategies they could have mastered. If the issue does not fly launching it in November will ensure that it is a non event and as people will be busy thinking of exams and Christmas shopping. It will surely save the team a lot of blushes.
One of the key ingredients towards making or breaking a Rollingstone issue is of course the contributors. From writers to photographers the magazine always seems to have a very irreverent voice, perhaps mildly irreverent as of late but irreverent none the less. At the risk of sounding like a square, I fear that Rollingstone SA is just going to become another local hum drum. A vessel to channel the same old ideas from the same old people. There are a certain number of critics whose names will certainly make us not care for this entire affair.
Away from the politics of criticism however there is one burning question that perhaps has surpassed all others in. The cover. Come November 15th many of us will be rushing to our local newsstands not particularly concerned about the content but just to see who will be on the very first cover of Rollingstone South Africa. For those that are not familiar with the importance of the cover , allow me to school you.
This perhaps is the most important cover in all of the publishing world, right next to Time magazine. Being on the cover of RollingStone almost categorically seals your status as iconic. Its oen of those things you put on your CV or a talk show host is likely to mention as they introduce you. The Beatles alone have been on 30 such covers. But even the cover has its own politics. Very few women grace the cover of this magazine and in equal footing not as many bands have been on the cover as one would think. So for outfits like 340ml, Freshlyground and The Parlotones despite their success they are very much outsiders. Add to that the fact that politicians and actors have also been on the front of the mag and the fog gets thicker. Did I mention they also do conceptual covers? It’s all a guessing game from here on in. So with less than a week to go before the first issue hits ourselves let’s take a look at some of my beloved options for the cover
There is a strong possibility that the cover might be conceptual. This could work on a number of levels. It would be a very refreshing surprise and will certainly stun many of the people that have been name dropping as of late. It will also make a lot of artists happy as they won’t feel they have been left out or overlooked for this first issue. There is nothing more infinitely comforting that the knowledge that although you may have not made it onto the cover, but your competition didn’t either.
Having recently parted with Intersope a cover story on this Zef outfit would certainly be worthwhile. And the fact that they are a global brand would certainly not hurt. They are for me the most likely to grace the cover of the first issue.
I have always had a soft spot for the great Mr Molekane both as musician and as a one man think tank. There is perhaps like no other artist locally represents everything that is RollingStone- Iconic and visionary better than Tumi. It would have been an injustice if his name was not at least thrown into the mix whilst considering the cover.
Recently I wrote a status saying that is she was on the cover I would not buy the mag. I probably will just to see what the whole thing would be like. Having been elevated to being amongst the best selling musicians in South Africa history she is not the worst option out there and it would certainly guarantee that the mag would reach out to a new and wider audience.
It’s been a minute since Mazwai has released an album. But her sound is as relevant as ever. Having her on the cover would certainly be a great nod to female creatives locally who focus on creating quality products rather then carnivals and gimmicks
Platinum selling artist and very popular amongst the audience that is most likely to read the magazine anyway. He is one of the safer bets.