Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson is a South African music marketing guru and was a judge on Idols SA for the first five seasons. He was actually there in the inaugural season back in 2002 with fellow judges Randall Abrahams, Marcus Brewster and Penny Lebyane.

Dave Thompson, Idols SA judge

During his time on the show, Dave convened the panel of judges and he had a casting vote in the event of a deadlock. He also handled various acts, including previous Idols SA contestants like Anke Pietrangeli and season 1 winner Heinz Winckler.

Dave’s career in the music industry started in a retail side back in 1975.

He then went on to work as a Copywriter at Headlines Advertising in Johannesburg from February 1989 to May 1991.

He also worked as a Marketing Manager at MCA / Geffen Records in Johannesburg from May 1991 to June 1992.

Dave was also an A&R / Marketing Director at Sony Music Africa for 17 years from June 1992 to May 2009 where he was responsible for marketing and A&R for both international (Arista/Columbia/Epic/RCA/Ariola / J Records) and domestic music departments.

Thompson emigrated to Perth, Australia in 2009 a day after the end of Season 5 when his contract with Idols SA ended also quitting his job at Sony BMG.

It had been rumoured that he actually wanted to emigrate to Australia sooner and he would initially only have appeared in the first auditions of season 5, but he stayed until the end of the series and left the day after the last episode.

After he left the show, his spot was filled by weekly celebrity guest judges.

And since May 2009, Dave has been working as an A&R advisor and Music Curator at Royal Hotel Records in Perth, Australia. Thompson also works on Royal Hotel Projects where he distributes South African music in Australia and New Zealand.

But he gets time to visit Johannesburg, his former home.

“I’m still spending more time in Johannesburg. I have very deep roots with music community there,” Dave told Xolani Gwala of 702 radio during an interview on the Afternoon Drive in September 2016.