Downtown Music Hub (DTMH) is, among other things, a landmark recording facility located in the heart of Johannesburg, with more than 40 years of rich history and top charting records. Downtown Studios has been offering artists a truly inspirational and openly creative space for decades. After a make-over in 2015, this queen of the local sound scene continues to provide studio time to aspiring and established artists alike; with quality sound derived from world-class equipment, award-winning engineering and a historically unmatched studio experience.
DTMH is, however, more than just a recording studio facility, but a fully-fledged community centre aimed at equipping industry role-players with necessary skills for long-term success in their field, stage events that enable today’s music entrepreneurs connect and collaborate, while preserving South African’s rich musical journey for future generations through its inhouse public museum.
The Hub was established through key support from the Department of Arts and Culture with the view of developing the South African independent music sector and to contribute to local content production. The music industry is one of the biggest sectors within the broader creative industry, however, it continues to be plagued by a number of challenges that render the growth of local music producers impotent. As a result the Downtown Music Hub was initiated as part of the transformation agenda to capacitate the sector through production of quality content that will be ready for broadcast on a number of platforms both locally and internationally, but most important, to promote local ownership of the content produced.
The aims of the Hub are:
Cutting-edge recording facilities for pre- and post-production of music, film and other creative products so as to facilitate a conducive environment for production of high quality products for local consumption and for export to international markets
A platform for publishers in the music industry to practice their craft and network in an environment where their works are protected and the requisite benefits accrue to them.
Contributing meaningfully towards to the drive to prioritise indigenous music and the playing of local content in the various broadcasting, media and other facilities thus ensuring that livelihoods of local musicians are secure
Creation of empowerment projects and programs, with requisite partners, in order to facilitate human capital development and skills upliftment for role-players in the industry value chain, thus enhancing entrepreneurship, sustainable professionalism resulting in economic empowerment
Collection, preservation and promotion of South African music heritage
Form part of a creative precinct, in the heart of Joburg, intertwining music, film, crafts, design and other, as well as connecting the Hub to other vibrant attractions such as Maboneng, Gandhi Square, Newtown and The Market Theatre.
Embrace and use technology as a driver and enabler for industry growth and development
Undertake research on various aspects of the music industry
Provision of cutting edge recording technology and equipment to support communities in the SADEC region
In achieving all the above, DTMH partners with like-minded local and international organisations in both the public and private sectors.
“centre of music excellence”
To be South Africa’s centre of music excellence by providing access to recording facilities and commercialise recording content.
Excellence – We take pride in what we do.
Respect – We deliver on our commitments with utmost respect towards one another and our stakeholders.
Honesty – We remain truthful to our course.
Teamwork – We conduct ourselves in a manner that is service excellence orientated.
DTMH is proud to be associated legendary artists and bands who recorded their music at the Downtown Studios over the years:
Joseph Shabalala & Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse
Joy Dinalyn (German)
Barorisi Ba Morena
Soweto Gospel Choir
Areece & the Wrecking Crew
Over and above music, there are other creative products produced at DTMH. These include the following film projects
-Bacardi House Party Sessions
-Lockdown Drama Series
-Lebo Mathosa Movie
-The Bridge (American x South African compilation)
-Back To The City 3rd Stage
-Top Billing musician episodes
And the following TV Advertisements:
-KFC with Stogie T & Touchline
-MTN with Bucie & Professor
-Cell C with Babes Wodumo
-Puma shoot with Nasty C
Some of the top quality products recorded at the Hub have been awarded at the Grammys, SA Hip Hop, the SAMA’s as well as Metro Awards.
DTMH’s products include state-of-the-art recording studios; spacious rehearsal studios, where many SA’s legendary artists sharpened their craft in order to deliver a top-notch performance; Hub tours; a public museum and gallery; and spacious facilities for live events and creative projects
Being an NPC, established for the positive transformation of the music industry, DTMH operates in partnership with all its stakeholders. These include clients, tenants, service providers, investors, employees, board members, and the community, all of whom have influence over, and an interest in the DTMH.
Our clients are made up of artists, composers and record labels.
Our tenants represent a variety of role-players within the music industry value chain, who lease premises within the DTMH’s five storey building.
Our suppliers and service providers
Our internal stakeholders include employees, freelancers and interns.
Our board members exercise oversight and provide direction to DTMH.
Investors or funders provide DTMH with necessary financial resources to fulfil its mandate.
Our community refers to music industry role-players in the City, province, country and the region to whom DTMH is accountable to.
As part of its aim of providing and enhancing critical skills within the local music industry, the Hub has partnered with local music schools for their internship programmes. Over the years, our sound engineering interns have had the rare privilege to gain technical experience in recording, mixing and mastering through DTMH’s award-winning and experienced freelance engineers, within a studio environment of international standards.
The Future of DTMH
DTMH’s Value Proposition