Our Story

In 1998, our parent company, The Live Group, began hosting some of the largest music events in South Africa, offering aspiring artists the chance to take the stage. We noticed that these artists were struggling to get their foot in the door, and those who were able to secure gigs found it difficult to keep the momentum going in a competitive industry. Not for lack of trying, far too many young performers were forced to give up on their dreams because they didn’t have the support they needed to take their careers to the next level.

Realising that we could make a difference, RISE Academy was born in 2015 with the goal of turning raw talent into marketable performers. The brainchild of Sue and Craig Green, RISE Academy teaches students how to be business savvy so that they can make a name for themselves in the industry.

Our specially designed programmes, expert training, and mentoring have shown impressive results: Many of our graduates have booked to play at major events including Ultra, Fill Up FNB, and Joburg Pride.

The team (1)
testimonials

Irene Nagingo
Class of 2021: Performance 2021 JHB

About Us Testimonials – Irene Nagingo

Being a student at RISE Academy has been mind-blowing for me. Coming from a country like Lesotho where there are no music schools at all this was a dream come true for me. The technology in the school, the environment, and the relationship that the lecturers make an effort to have with learners still shocks me. I would surely recommend the school for someone who needs a clear balance career-wise and mental well-being because it has been a very therapeutic experience being in class with celebrities and hearing straight from their mouths. Lastly, what is more important to me now is that I learned the importance of time, I learned it from school and am still punctual to date.

Jessy De Sousa
Class of 2021: Music Production JHB

About Us Testimonials – Jessy De Sousa

RISE Academy is an academy like no other in regards to music. The knowledge that I have gained at RISE with my mentor, RSA808, who has taught me things about producing and the fundamentals that go with it, what I learned now compared to what I knew is like night and day. RISE Academy gave me such a big stepping stone to stepping into the music production industry to gain the experience and workflow of the industry and make new connections. I just want to give the biggest thanks to Craig, Chelsea, and my lecturer RSA808 for giving me the opportunity to study at RISE and gain all the knowledge and experience in the music production industry that I have.

Keamohetse & Kefioe Mojaki (AmaweleOnDecks)
Class of 2021: DJ JHB

About Us Testimonials – Keamohetse & Kefioe Mojaki (AmaweleOnDecks)

AmaweleOnDecks have learned a whole lot of things in just a year 😃!! RISE Academy is one the best schools you can ever imagine Deejaying is not just Deejaying it has a lot of meaning into it and has different concepts It all begins with your soul, and RISE is here to help you feed your soul with some good courses Also helps you to overcome your fears, and be who you want to be, and show the world. Try it out!!

Sithembiso Pride Mabena
Class of 2021: DJ JHB

About Us Testimonials – Sithembiso Pride Mabena

Joined RISE at the beginning of the year, learned the Djing basics, had my first gig four months later and I never looked back. The support from all my lectures, studio manager, and the entire RISE ACADEMY team has played a huge role in my growth as an emerging  DJ. I would strongly recommend RISE ACADEMY as a place where bold dreams can be attained. Thank you RISE for being a catalyst in my Promising career.

Darian Nathan Kuni
Class of 2021: Music Production 2021 DBN

About Us Testimonials – Darian Nathan Kuni

My first experience with RISE Academy was the interview and engagement process. This stirred the passion for music and its creation in me. The course taught me the legal side of music and how to channel my passion into creating beautiful sounds. The mentors are knowledgeable and ever willing to avail themselves to teach. Finally to Craig and his team I am grateful for this incredible experience.

Robert Chishuro
Class of 2021: DJ CT

About Us Testimonials – Robert Chishuro

RISE has done for me what no other Academy can do. The institution is definitely first-class and hands-on with its students. The focus is not only mastering the decks but also mastering the business side of the entertainment industry. I am grateful to Mr. Craig and his team for perfecting the passion that I have for music and being with me all the way.

Oarabile Jaden Seboka
Class of 2021: Entrepreneurship Course JHB

About Us Testimonials – Oarabile Jaden Seboka

“RISE Academy is honestly the perfect place to gain new knowledge or improve your understanding of the music industry. I really enjoy my time here and love being in an environment with other creatives. I encourage musicians of all types to consider coming here. There’s always something to learn!”

Mikayla Alfonso
Class of 2021: Music Production JHB

About Us Testimonials – Mikayla Alfonso

RISE Academy is a game-changer for any young music producer. I found myself totally immersed in the incredible skills, talent, and dedication to the music industry. Mostly, just being around like-minded people who love music as much as I do, made me feel more like myself than ever.

Lyon Lindelani Hlatshwayo
Class of 2021: Performance JHB

About Us Testimonials – Lyon Lindelani Hlatshwayo

RISE Academy is a place where you get to understand the business side of music. It offers realistic and valuable information about the industry, so it’s the perfect place for aspiring recording artists and DJs. I’ve gained so much knowledge on how to take my music career to the next level!

Nate Ngcobo
Class of 2021: DJ DBN

About Us Testimonials – Nate Ngcobo

​​I enrolled at RISE Academy to enhance my DJing skills and after months of attendance, I’ve learned the complete business side, the ability to market and sell myself in the industry, and that with the right attitude one can certainly soar high!

Eustace Diergaardt
Class of 2021: DJ DBN

About Us Testimonials – Eustace Diergaardt: DJ DBN

I signed up for the Ultimate DJ course wanting to learn to rock a crowd. I am leaving with the skills to entertain, for sure, but also with a road map with which to navigate the entertainment industry. Thank you RISE Academy!

Lelethu Ndata
Class of 2021: DJ CT

About Us Testimonials – Lelethu Ndata: DJ CT

My first year at RISE has been amazing. I learned so much from my mentors and I appreciate them a lot because, without them, I’m nothing. I am thankful to them for their kindness and for everything I have learned.

Heidi
Parent of Production and DJ Student 2018 & 2019

About Us Testimonials – Heidi

Ross has learned so much over the past 2 years with Rise and continues to gain valuable knowledge and experience from all the amazing people teaching at and attending this amazing academy. Thank you Sue, Craig, and team.

Logan
Student 2018 & 2019

About Us Testimonials – Logan

Rise is where you go to realize what your dream is and make it a reality. Take the leap and you will never regret it.

Ross
Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Ross

Rise is a place that taught me to step outside my comfort zone and experience new things. Rise academy has given me many opportunities to step on stage as well as get involved in event management, I would recommend Rise academy to anyone.

Damian
Student 2018

About Us Testimonials – Damian

At Rise I really learnt a lot about music and the beats inside of music and that’s something I can never forget now. I will never listen to music the same ever again. At Rise learning the tips of the DJing and all the different DJ decks, was all fun and exciting. But the business side was also a big eye opener and had made me look at my life in a business form and treat it as such. I really enjoyed Rise and I’ll always refer to them.

Keletso
Student 2017

About Us Testimonials – Keletso

Being one of the Rise students has taught me a lot not only in DJing but also on how I should market myself as a business. Rise is the place to be if you want to meet up with new people and grow yourself in the music industry.

Krishen
Student 2018

About Us Testimonials – Krishen

The DJ that I have become today is all thanks to Rise Academy and the mentors that were there to guide and help me throughout my journey. RISE ACADEMY IS THE BEST!!!!!

Valentino
Student 2016

About Us Testimonials – Valentino

Rise made me believe that I can achieve anything that I desire. Rise changed my life this year.

Dylan
Student 2016

About Us Testimonials – Dylan

RISE has been a great journey packed with great experiences and lots of business advice- RISE has given me the opportunity to make many new life-long friends and get the chance to meet amazing DJ’s such as Hendrik Joerges and defuse SA, thanks so much for letting me be part of the RISE family.

Joshua
Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Joshua

Rise Academy has given me more than just confidence behind the decks. They’ve helped on the business side of things and have helped me kick start my career brilliantly.

Samantha
Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Samantha

Being on the rise course has made me look at music in a different way. Rise has shown me the beauty and the fun behind making your own music, as well as planning a memorable performance and helps build your own personal brand that will capture the attention of a range of different people. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of Rise as I got to meet new People and feel comfortable with them, it feels as if you’re part of a family … I feel that I have grown as an artist and that the way I create my music has improved tremendously. I appreciate everyone at Rise who has been able to give me this experience, I definitely recommend being with them.

Delan
Student 2018 & 2019

About Us Testimonials – Delan

Rise has changed my life and what I can really do with my talent and I can’t believe where I’m already at. It may not be big but knowing I’m with one of the best is very exciting… I wish I joined Rise years ago and I’m so happy I’m already a part of what you have to offer and again thank you.

Michelle
Parent of DJ Student 2016

About Us Testimonials – Michelle

My daughter loved Rise, I believe it is a great opportunity and platform for the youth to discover their talents outside of the classroom.

Savanna
Student 2016

About Us Testimonials – Savanna

My experience as a RISE Academy student has been an incredible journey which has opened up doors to pursue my passion in the music and business industry. I’ve looked forward to every class as I get time to spend them with amazing people who inspire and encouraged me with my DJ career. There has been so much support from the RISE family and I’m super proud to say that I am RISE student from 2016.

Ricardo
Student 2016

About Us Testimonials – Ricardo

RISE has been the best experience I’ve ever had, I’ve made friends and family.

Neil
Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Neil

My experience at Rise so far this year has been awesome. Rise has opened up so many doors for me to follow my career and taught me so much more about the ins and outs of the music industry. The opportunities given to me by Rise can’t match anywhere else and this is why I believe it is the best DJ and Production Academy in South Africa.

Sam
Parent of DJ & Production Student 2016 & 2017

About Us Testimonials – Sam

Our son DJ Nocturnal Rixx started with Rise Academy in 2016, having a passion for music and wanting to start his own business, he completed a 1 year DJ course. Rise Academy taught him so much from the technical side of DJing to marketing, networking and branding himself!!

Laiken
Student 2016

About Us Testimonials – Laiken

RISE was an amazing experience for me, apart from the knowledge I also gained great friends and I now have a growing business less than a year later. Thank you RISE for helping me reach my dreams, I wouldn’t be so successful without you guys.

Siann
Student 2016

About Us Testimonials – Siann

RISE Academy has not only taught me to pursue my passions, but has also guided me along every step of the way to making my dreams into a reality. RISE has been an unforgettable experience that I would never change for the world!

Christopher
Student 2018

About Us Testimonials – Christopher

My journey with rise academy has been nothing less than amazing. I’ve learnt quite a lot about the music industry and also how to break into it as a DJ. I’ve networked with DJ’s I’ve idolized for years and built strong connections with them because of this course and I would recommend this course to anybody that is aspiring to become the next big thing.

Grace
Student 2018 & 2019

About Us Testimonials – Grace

It has been a privilege to be a Rise Academy student. The support and guidance I have received has been incredible and never ending. You become like a family member of Rise Academy. All the staff at Rise have been so supportive of my needs and a special mention of my mentor, James Verkerk, who always goes beyond his call of duty to help me, guide me and he has been a big part of building my confidence and has helped my DJing business reach the level it has in a short space of time. Rise Academy has made me believe in myself and has encouraged me to be the best version of myself that I can be. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Cleomi
Student 2018 & 2019

About Us Testimonials – Cleomi

I am proud to say that I have been part of Rise Academy for the past two years and my experience has been phenomenal. They helped me grow and learn more than I could ever imagine.

Aran
Student 2016

About Us Testimonials – Aran

The atmosphere of lectures at RISE is warm, welcoming and makes working with the lecturers and other students a real pleasure.

Shannon
Parent of DJ Student 2018 & Production 2019

About Us Testimonials – Shannon

Our daughter, Grace, enrolled at Rise Academy in 2018 to do the DJ course and is currently doing the Music Production Course this year. Rise has taken our quiet, shy girl to heights that we couldn’t have dreamed of. Grace has performed 3 times on big stages, with big names at their U-PARTYs. She has been helped, guided, and mentored every step of the way. Grace is, at the tender age of 17, running a thriving DJing business. Rise Academy are always so willing to help and under the mentorship of James Verkerk, our daughter has blossomed into a rising star.

Koketso
Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Koketso

Rise Academy is an incredible institution with fantastic staff, every time I step in class it’s like I am at home. And has the best Wi-Fi ever.

Janet
Parent of Performance Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Janet

The music industry is tough and while I fully support my daughter in her music career, I’m unqualified to assist and so I’m grateful to the Rise Academy for their Performers Course that has provided her with invaluable knowledge, contacts, advice, constructive feedback on her work, and opportunities to perform. Her confidence has grown tremendously, as has the maturity of her approach to the work and how to commercialize it. I highly recommend this program for all serious and committed aspiring artists. Sincere thanks to Sue and her team.

Phumzile
Parent of DJ Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Phumzile

Rise Academy has turned Loyiso’s passion for music into a confident, skilled and professional DJ, with a business acumen that’s already opening up opportunities for him to play in his community. Thank you.

Carolyn
Parent of DJ Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Carolyn

For Neil it has been an opportunity to share his passion and career choice with like-minded mentors and lecturers. The course material is comprehensive and exciting and allows him to have fun whilst learning. The encouragement and support is of another level and he is getting exposure and experience he would not have done had it not been for Rise. Due to Rise’s branding and good name Neil’s exposure and hands on experience has been amazing. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to work in the field of your passion.

Jonathan
Student 2019

About Us Testimonials – Jonathan

Rise is like a big family, the people are amazing and everyone is always willing to help. I’m so happy to be a part of Rise.

GRADUATE SUCCESS STORIES

RAY SQUARED
RAY SQUARED
GRADUATED RISE 2015

RAY SQUARED

PLAYED AT ULTRA 2019

RAY SQUARED
RAY SQUARED
GRADUATED RISE 2015

RAY SQUARED

PERFORMED AT H2O

PRYDER
PRYDER
GRADUATED RISE 2019

PRYDER

HIT NO.1 ON SA EDM CHART

PK
PK
GRADUATED RISE 2017

PK

FRONT PAGE ROSEBANK GAZETTE

PK
PK
GRADUATED RISE 2017

PK

U-PARTY RESIDENT DJ 2018

PK
PK
GRADUATED RISE 2017

PK

PLAYED IVYSON JOBURG 2018

DJ TINKS
DJ TINKS
GRADUATED RISE 2015

DJ TINKS

MIXES PLAYED BY DJ FRESH ON 94,7 FM

DJ TINKS
DJ TINKS
GRADUATED RISE 2015

DJ TINKS

BOOKED FOR JOBURG PRIDE 2019

DJ TINKZ
DJ TINKZ
GRADUATED RISE 2015

DJ TINKZ

U-PARTY’S FIRST FEMALE RESIDENT DJ

DJ TINKZ
DJ TINKZ
GRADUATED RISE 2015

DJ TINKZ

NOMINATED TOP 100 DJANE 2018

Rise Academy © 2016 | All Rights Reserved

Sibusiso (Breeze) Shezi

Lecturer

Breeze aka Zulu Bass King is a musician who brings years of experience in studio, on radio, and on the stage to Rise Academy.
He has had tracks played on major SA radio stations, multiple music nominations, and has performed at some of South Africa’s largest music events. He’s worked with a huge array of top artists such as Nasty C, Soweto Gospel Choir, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, just to mention a few.

He used to dance and play rugby competitively and loves to run fitness drills with our performance students to get them ready to pull off amazing stage routines.

CHAY COOK

DIGITAL

Chay is a Public Relations practitioner who manages all of the academy’s
communications. Her role combines an enthusiasm for social media, digital
marketing, and music.
She is also on hand to help students with their marketing and PR queries by
ensuring that her door is always open, and if students are lucky there might even be
some peppermint crisp tart up for grabs since her recipe is one of the best.

CHAY COOK

DIGITAL

Chay is a Public Relations practitioner who manages all of the academy’s
communications. Her role combines an enthusiasm for social media, digital
marketing, and music.
She is also on hand to help students with their marketing and PR queries by
ensuring that her door is always open, and if students are lucky there might even be
some peppermint crisp tart up for grabs since her recipe is one of the best.

JAMES VERKERK

LECTURER


James is a DJ who got his start at the age of 16. He brings his onstage energy and
enthusiasm for music to the Rise Academy classroom where he teaches students
everything they need to know about the art of DJing. He is a skilled sound engineer
with a background in recording, producing and mixing.
James also trained as a classical pianist and is an avid surfer.

CRAIG GREEN

CO-FOUNDER

With more than two decades of experience in event organising, planning and logistics, Craig knows the ins and outs of the music world. He brings an invaluable
network of industry contacts to the Rise Academy community.
In 1998, Craig began U-PARTY, an event production and management company assisting schools to raise funds through community events and socials. He holds a BComm degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and is a self- proclaimed lego aficionado.

SUE GREEN

CO-FOUNDER & MD

Sue brings her business acumen and passion for youth development to the academy, which she launched in 2015. She is a savvy consultant who is experienced in coordinating music events that attract young audiences.
Sue’s academic background in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) piqued her interest in business ethics — a subject she ended up teaching at UCT during the final year of her Honours degree. She also loves cats and practices Jiu-jitsu.