Artist Manager: IGCOKAMA ELISHA (South Africa)
Vusi Leeuw is an Artists and Repertoire (A&R) extra – ordinare, one of the very best and rare in the world. Currently, Vusi is running Vusi Leeuw Consulting, a Corporate Communication Boutique that has companies like Simba and Samro as clients. The company also manages two brands – Boity Thulo & Lerato Kganyago. He also continues to run H.U.G.E Entertainment, a Music Business Consultancy that has consulted for Local and International music companies like Universal Music, Sony Music and for SPICE Africa a India owned digital content company. He is the Deputy Chairperson of Moshito ( SA’s international Music Conference) and he also serves in the executive board of AIRCO (Association of Independent Record Companies).Vusi has delivered successful results for all the record companies that he has managed in his career, making him one of the most successful music industry guru
Vusi completed his primary education at Nkosenye H.P School (KwaNdengezi) and started his high school at Nonopha High School KwaSanti (St. Wendolins) before moving to St Francis College in Mariannhill where he matriculated. In 1992 he enrolled for a BA degree at Wits University where he obtained a BA Industrial Sociology in 1995. His work and contribution to the development of the South African music industry speak volumes. While studying at Wits University, Vusi worked at the compass radio station – VOICE OF WITS as both an on-air presenter and a Music Librarian. In 1996 Vusi started his professional music career as an intern at Sony Music South Africa’s marketing division where he assisted in the marketing and public relations of great artists like the late WENDY MSELEKU, NTOKOZO MBAMBO, MDU MASILELA, MASHAMPLAN, FAMILY FACTORY and Bra HUGH MASEKELA (his first album after returning to South Africa).
In 1997 Vusi was recruited by Arthur Mafokate to manage his 999 Music record company. He helped in making 999 Music to be one of the best Indipendent Record labels in South Africa with Superstar Acts like ABASHANTE, ARTHUR, MAKHENDLAS, CHISKOP and NEW SCHOOL to name but a few. Vusi was awarded as the Best Manager award at 999 Music Label. He was later head hunted by the international music label BMG AFRICA (now known as Sony after a merger) as a Label Manager/A&R were he successfully launched TKZEE (building them to a multi-platinum selling, crossover act). At BMG Vusi also assisted in working on the careers of artists like the legendary BLACK MOSES (of the Soul Brothers), VUSI MAHLASELA, UMANJI, MUZIK YE AFRIKA to name but a few.
When the international label EMI/CCP was starting a development label known as CCP2, they head-hunted Vusi Leeuw to head the label and it’s A&R. At CCP2, Vusi Leeuw discovered and launched careers of artists and labels like MANDOZA, HIP HOP PANTSULA (HHP), DJ FISTAZ, KZN based artists like OLD TIME RELIGION QUARTET, DJ BONGZ, DJ TWITTY, THABSILE, DJ CHYNAMAN, THEMBISILE NTAKA, Zakhele Madida aka Zakes Bantwini’s label MAYONIE Records and their artist LVOVO DERANGO, Coca Cola Popstars groups ADILAH & GHETTO LINGO, the legendary label – TS RECORDS with their artists which included MZEKEZEKE, NTANDO, BROWN DASH & IZINYOKA, the late S.A. R&B Queen -TK. As an executive at EMI, Vusi also contributed to the careers of legendary superstar artists like the late BRENDA FASSIE, REBECCA MALOPE, SIPHO MAKHABANE, AVANTE, SHONGWE & KHUPHUKA, ALEXANDRA BRASS BAND, SOLLY MOHOLO, VUYO MOKOENA, TSHEPO TSHOLA and AVANTE to name but a few.
Vusi later worked with Primedia Music where he successfully launched careers of artists like KABELO “BOUGA LOVE” MABALANE, DANNY K and also worked with RAY PHIRI, TOKOLLO TSHABALALA and MBONGENI NGEMA. In 2002 Vusi started H.U.G.E ENTERTAINMENT a record label that later was turned into a music business solutions company. Through H.U.G.E Entertainment, he helped to successfully launch what is today known as the Durban Kwaito Music (a term coined by Zakes Bantwini) which led to the rise of the Durban Music Industry. H.U.G.E discovered, developed and successfully launched the careers of DJ BONGZ, DJ TWITTY, THABSILE, DJ CHYNAMAN, CHARACTER, TOYA DELAZY, ZUKA, ZULU DAWN and PASTOR MJOSTY’s KWAITO CHURCH SERVICE FILM (DVD) volume 1. Vusi Leeuw and his music business solutions company has also contributed in the development of careers of other music industry players (as a mentour and/or advisor) like Dj Tira, Zakes Bantwini, Dj Kent, TS Records, producer/songwriter Sipho Mbhele, Simphiwe Dana, Mdu Ngcobo, Dj Sgqemeza (UKHOZI FM), Dust (producer), Poet Prince (Winner –Best Poet 2013 SATMAs) and Xolani Majozi (KCAP), to name but a few.
He currently serves in the executive board of the Association of the Independent Record Companies (AIRCO) and he is the Vice Chairperson of MOSHITO (the South African International Music Business Conference), and has been a member of the South African Music Awards (SAMA) steering committee for over 10 years. Vusi Leeuw has been a head of A&R in projects like the Coca Cola Popstars, eTV Superstar Search and a number of talent search and development projects in South Africa. He’s work extends to other parts of the world, especially in the African continent and the US. Vusi was responsible for introducing Shaka Zulu of Disturbing the Peace label to South Africa and South African industry. He has managed marketing and promotion of album of interna tional artists like Usher, Busta Rhymes, Angie Stone and Donell Jones. He is also an advisor to the South African Hip Hop Awards, has also advised TS Records, DJ Kent and his 88 Productions to name but a few.
With the changes in the music business and the world going digital, Vusi Leeuw has ventured into the digital space as a Digital Agregator (H.U.G.E DIGITAL AFRICA) helping to take South African and African music to the world through various digital platforms that includes Apple’s iTunes, Cellular Networks platforms, etc.