Gallo goes global

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

Gallo Record Company is taking local music to the US.

US company Zune Marketplace has signed an exclusive partnership with Gallo, one of the oldest recording companies in Africa.

A report in a US newspaper earlier this month said: "Bringing an important collection of world music to the digital stage, Microsoft Corporation announced that Zune and South Africa's Gallo Record Company have created an exclusive partnership to digitally offer a collection of music from its esteemed catalogue for the first time.

"Fifty albums, which span nearly eight decades of South African music, will be available a la carte, and Zune Pass subscription downloads on Zune Marketplace," the report said.

Jon Kerzter, world music producer for Zune and host of a popular world music radioprogramme in Seattle said: "As a long-time fan of world music and the Gallo label in particular, it's impossible for me to overstate what an exciting development this is for the world music community."

He said: "This is an amazing introduction to South African music and we look forward to making more of the Gallo catalogue available in the future."

The Gallo catalogue represents the entire recorded history of South African music from the 1930s to the present. There are famous songs like The Lion Sleeps Tonight to current songs from Grammy winners such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Though dominated by traditional South African hooks, Gallo sees a lot of American influence in their sound and believes it brings a different perspective to the world music genre.

Ivor Haarburger, Gallo's chief executive, said: "It is with great pleasure that Gallo Music Group has partnered with an online innovator like Zune, to share the best of South African heritage and make 80 years of Gallo music available to US consumers.

"We're excited to bring the best of music from artists such as Lucky Dube and Simphiwe Dana to American fans as we transform Gallo from a traditional record label into a company that delivers rich content to multiple platforms in a variety of ways."

Every week Zune will focus on sounds from days gone by to current chart-topping rock, reggae, hip-hop and pop artists from Mzansi.