THE BEES - MAMEZALA / NEVER GIVE UP (12")
LA CASA TROPICAL - CASA1202
The Bees are a textbook case of the chew and spit cycle that was the late 80’s South African music industry. Although their unknown story is likely unique, it is just as likely that it is no different to that of many other young artists who dreamed of getting their music heard at the time.
By 1988, the independent record label was no longer as uncommon as it had been at the beginning of the decade. As the 80s went on, more seasoned A&R reps and Producers that had gained experience and connections from their work under major labels would be trying to cash in on a market they helped create. Without the need of big rooms or expensive recording equipment, the digital advancements allowed many Producers to open or work in smaller studios and promote unknown artists under their own imprints. They would then have their catalogs marketed and distributed by the same major labels they had been working for just years prior. This would open up the possibility of a new era of stars as potential talent no longer had to be pitched to major labels in hopes of them taking a chance on a new signee over their already established artists. With the market growing and a struggle to keep up with the demand for new sounds this agreement would allow the major labels to put new emerging artists or groups on their catalog with little investment and high reward if it happened to be a hit.