This month Rolling Stone South Africa, originally a reputable and established American music magazine hit the newsstands in South Africa. Originally founded in the trenches of rock, Rolling Stone often meant the difference between a band getting the nod or the boot. But, with South Africa’s diverse musical culture, you can’t help but wonder how true the local edition will stay to the flagship’s original winning formula and how it will manage to cram South Africa’s diverse music industry into one mag.Well-known author, singer and songwriter, Koos Kombuis is optimistic about the magazine’s arrival. “I’ve been a fan of Rolling Stone for years; it’s a hell of an honour to have a South African version and to freelance for them! South Africa has a huge and diverse music industry and I hope that this publication will be able to help facilitate interactive and productive discussions between artists and the public.”
Blues guitarist and songwriter, Albert Frost says he is excited about the magazine’s launch, and hopes that it will help boost all genres of local music, including Afrikaans rock – a scene that has been largely reserved for music festivals and bar gigs. “I’m glad the mag’s here and Afrikaans rock should definitely be given a spot in the magazine. They [Rolling Stone] could dedicate a sub-section to the many talented Afrikaans rockers and songwriters who have played their hearts out to audiences for years. There would have to be a certain level of consistency of content when you’re talking about what kind of Afrikaans music – but as for Afrikaans rock – it should most definitely be included,” said Frost.
According to Rolling Stone South Africa Editor-In-Chief Miles Keylock, “It’s about respect – for our subject matter and our readers. We focus on real, in-depth pop culture and current affairs stories, not tabloid headlines and hype. You’re not going to get this kind of editorial content in any other magazine in South Africa. We will be featuring kwaito alongside rock, jazz alongside pop, and hip-hop alongside house. That potential, to start cross-pollinating cultural conversations, is one of the most exciting things about the magazine.”
The local edition will apparently feature a 50/50 split of local and international content and is produced under license in South Africa by Cape Town based 3i Publishing. It will reportedly feature new artists, current affairs and articles on TV, radio, fashion and entertainment trends.
As evident by the launch issue’s cover, featuring Hugh Masekela, Rolling Stone SA certainly appears to represent all genres of local music. You can check out the Rolling Stone Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter @RollingStoneSA.