Tunecore’s Jade Leaf is putting other folks first as she creates infrastructure for the African song industry

My Life In Tech is telling the tales of Africans making a distinction in the arena of tech.

“I grew up in a put called Durban in South Africa.”

This is how Jade Leaf begins her narrative. Sooner than this, we spoke temporarily about the unusual commonplace and how the pandemic ushered in a apparently endless circulation of conferences that are repeatedly obvious to meet you at your desk as you place money working from home.

“However I mean, being busy in these times is a blessing in itself,” she stated.

Past the conferences, the pandemic also place aside a stay to a pair of the issues that Jade loves, seriously concert occasions and travelling. When she talks about travelling to unusual areas and attending concert occasions she says “that it’s possible you’ll’t if truth be told realize the custom of a put with out going to musical occasions.”

And that is the put we fetch the frequent thread right through her traipse, an appreciation for custom and song; and packed with life participation in both.

In November 2020, Jade joined the digital song distribution company Tunecore as Head of Southern and East Africa. She is currently very inquisitive about helping musical artists right through Africa scrutinize the a gargantuan quantity of how they’ll place a residing from their song.

She had desired to changed into an architect but now she’s building structures for the African song industry.

This is her existence in tech.


Jade confirmed promise in both the arts and the sciences. She is the oldest child of her of us and for them, her alternate alternatives had been to changed into a attorney or a doctor. Jade opted for the higher of both worlds.

“I changed into adore, here’s something that’s half of art work, half of science,” she instructed me as we talked about her time discovering out architecture on the College of Cape Town (UCT).

Her foray into the arena of architecture came to an consequence in her 2d yr. It took her some time to place the decision to topple out but from the first day of sophistication, Jade knew there changed into a divide that made the route no longer moderately lawful for her.

In her top notch, she swiftly realised that there weren’t many folks of color. This realisation came even sooner than the lecturer began asking questions.

“Who’s been to the Eiffel Tower or Pompidou Centre in Paris or The Gherkin in London?”

Extra than half of the class shot up their fingers and Jade, having by no device left the nation, sat there with her fingers down and rethinking her decision to glance a route she didn’t feel sharp for.

Her decision to transfer away UCT supposed making her of us miserable, but more importantly for Jade it supposed needing to search out a source of profits swiftly as her degree had been financed with a monetary institution mortgage.

She applied to a pair jobs, a pair of hundred she tells me, and in what I’d portray as pure serendipity, landed a job as a media and communications director at Future Cape Town a nonprofit organisation targeted on exploring architecture and the built atmosphere.

On this unusual role, she realized her declare as a copywriter, developing suppose for the organisation’s weblog. Her subsequent transfer took to a runt agency in South Africa – her introduction to the arena of price name advertising.

Jade Leaf with Shadowy Espresso at Tune is King Competition in Durban

Jade normally gets asked if she would glance architecture as soon as more, albeit for a quick time, if she had an opportunity to stay it over. Her solution, a mighty certain.

“Structure teaches you ways to transfer from notion to execution. It teaches you about other folks and the built atmosphere and how other folks now not at as soon as impact the dwelling round them.”

“So it’s bought this thought of “other folks first” and I mediate that’s something that when checked out from a advertising perspective has helped me because my design is repeatedly other folks first.”

Jade Leaf paints me an image of the two cities. On one hand, you had Cape Town, a bustling ingenious metropolis and residential to the a gargantuan quantity of advertising agencies she would find yourself working at in the dwelling of three years. 

These agencies had been in Cape Town because heaps of the manufacturers had been there – from Adidas to Woolworths.

On the assorted hand, Johannesburg changed into the put the media lived; TV, radio, the gig circuits for musical acts.

Working in advertising and developing suppose for manufacturers adore Recent Steadiness and Levi’s supposed that she had to help them consult with childhood custom and as Jade place aside it, “that it’s possible you’ll’t consult with the childhood with out using song as a car.”

For Jade, the chance to data the route of manufacturers and help them lift their message to the childhood through song changed into in its beget manner a elephantine circle.

“Tune has repeatedly been a phase of my existence and how I’ve navigated through existence. My of us had been colossal on song and we’d hear to heaps of Anita Baker, Michael Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass.”

While she labored at an advert agency in Cape Town, she secured a job at Sony Tune and changed into at this time on her manner to Johannesburg to open up her unusual role as a advertising specialist.

Jade Leaf and Shekhinah

“I mediate it changed into the single largest transfer of my career. I’m very grateful for the chance to work with the of us that I labored with.”

At Sony, Jade bought an opportunity to market several thrilling projects including Shekhinah, even handed one of South Africa’s most-streamed artists. In her time there, she rose to the role of International Designate Advertising Manager: Columbia, Chronicle & RCA Records

Jade’s subsequent role after Sony Tune would attain after what she describes as a “obvious interaction” with a senior manager at Multichoice.

“I mediate we had one meeting and then she called me up adore, ‘Hear, now we bear this role and I if truth be told would set to imagine you for it. Would you be launch to it?’ And so I changed into adore, okay, cold. Let me hear what that is ready. And let’s seek the put this may per chance per chance per chance lag.”

And seek she did. As a advertising manager at Multichoice guilty of Formative years and Tune channels, even handed one of Jade’s initiatives changed into to help repackage the song channel Channel O for the younger populace. A relaunch of the emblem portray came about on Formative years Day (June 16th) 2020.

It didn’t stay with song at Multichoice. Jade changed into also guilty of actuality tv presentations adore the Proper Housewives of Johannesburg.

Jade Leaf on the open of Proper Housewives of Johannesburg Season 2

Jade made obvious to tell me that in the route of her traipse, no one ever made her feel wrong for no longer having a university degree.

“I changed into very attentive to the truth that I didn’t bear an undergraduate degree. It changed into a non-public insecurity, to be trusty, no one place aside that in my face. I by no device bought to a challenge the put other folks stated ‘you don’t bear an undergrad degree therefore you’re no longer licensed for this job’.”

In 2017, she enrolled for a bachelor’s degree in trade administration and advertising with a fundamental in advertising administration. 

She bought her degree closing yr and hopes to pursue a postgraduate degree in the shut to future.

Jade had made the decision to plant her ft at Multichoice when she bought a call about Tunecore’s plans to open operations in Africa. In her signature form of being repeatedly launch to unusual opportunities, she replied as she had sooner than, “Okay, let me hear more about this role.”

Tunecore’s growth changed into coming at a time when the export of African song right during the globe had been on the upward push.

Thought to be one of many issues about Tunecore’s offering that Jade Leaf is most happy with is their commitment to giving honest artists 100% of their earnings with out taking any cuts. For her, the fundamental arena is making obvious artists know what’s attributable to them and learn more ways to create more.

“I mediate we’re very in tune with the truth that now we bear an big amount of skills on the continent. And I mediate, when we produce an ecosystem, the put our artists – and I don’t trusty mean song artists, I mean, the actors and the writers – are ready to create moderately and in a manner that makes sense for them, this may per chance per chance be so incredible.”

After I strive to pick out a witness into the crystal ball and demand Jade Leaf about her plans for the future she gives me a concise solution that I mediate sums up her raison d’etre.

“Whilst you occur to witness in my career over time, there’s repeatedly been some stage of contribution to song and custom and I mediate for me, as lengthy as I’m doing that, at some stage the put I will actively place choices, then I’ll repeatedly be fulfilled.”

“So I’m no longer chasing a obvious role or title. I mediate, for me, as lengthy as I’m contributing to developing an infrastructure for Africa, for the song and entertainment industry, I mediate that’s my existence’s work. That’s what I desire to proceed to stay for years but to attain.”

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