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Rolling Stone magazine made its South African debut with hard-living jazz legend Hugh Masekela on the cover. Weighing in at just over a pound, the magazine hit the newsstands a day after a controversial secrecy act was passed by Parliament. According to the magazine's letter from the editor, its intention is "to engage local audiences with stories that resonate in their own experiences and lives.”
Published under license by Capetown-based 3i Publishing, the South African edition is targeted at all South African music lovers: from the aspirational young "born free" generation to an older demographic who experienced the role that music can play in transforming a nation. Envisioned is a 50/50 split of local and international content, highlighting South Africa's diverse creative talent. Many homegrown musical acts have found some measure of fame on the international stage, among them the rock band Seether, the electronic pop/rock duo Locnville, and techno house group Goldfish.
Said 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. We will be featuring kwaito alongside rock, jazz alongside pop and hip-hop alongside house. The potential to start cross-pollinating cultural conversations is one of the most exciting things about the magazine."
The monthly magazine had an initial print run of 30,000 copies.