Tag Archive | "Local Artists"

F What You Heard, Local is Lekker!

I can never stress enough the importance of creating musical works that are relevant to your community and region. The concept of ‘think local, act global’ not only applies to business but to an artist’s music and personal branding too. Unfortunately in South Africa there seems to be a proliferation of new artists that ‘think global and pretend to act global.’ They live in the sky and create music that is obviously designed to appeal to a New Yorker or an ATLien (a resident of Atlanta, term coined by Outkast,) and then wonder why their music fails to attract a South African audience. That’s because they fail to CONNECT and make music that is relevant to their immediate community.

The market sees this type of artist as a ‘wannabe’ and an impersonator that is too busy trying to mimic their favourite ‘American artist’. The market does not relate to their stories, energies and packaging; even their slang usage is more ‘Ebonics’ than Tsotsi Taal.

I had the opportunity of working with both Skwatta Kamp and Pro Kid early in their careers. The one thing I learned from both these acts was the importance of representing your true self. Through their music and presentation, both these acts were representing elements of the South African kid growing up in the townships. Pro Kid’s “Ungaphel’ Umoya Son” is a great example of a record that connects to the South African audience. On the record, his message of inspiration is specifically designed for a township kid going through hardships and its references are also things we can relate to; things we have seen, experienced and lived.

Thebe’s ‘Bula Boot’ is another great example. Black South Africans have their own way of partying that is unique to us and this record captures that uniqueness to perfection. I can completely relate to it, and I know the majority of Black South Africa can too. Now there’s nothing wrong with making records about ‘poppin’ bottles’ and that sort of thing, however, you have to be mindful of the fact that most people’s reaction to your record will most likely be ‘A se mo States mo’ (translation”: this is not the States). Fans don’t want imported concepts and ideas from their South African artists; they want music they can feel and relate to.

Remember the formula? CwF (Connect with Fans) + RTB (Reason To Buy) = Success.

If you connect with fans, they will want to hear more of your music. In turn, radio stations will increase your rotation, so will music TV channels/programs.  Promoters will want you at their shows. Brands will want to use you for endorsements and sync your music in their ad campaigns. That’s how you WIN!!!

We all know Kwaito’s success story. Look at the core of what made the South African youth fall in love with the genre and you will realize that it went beyond the beat and the chants. There was a strong emotional connection; it was our own thing, it gave you a different feeling. I can say the same thing with the early 2000s Hip Hop scene, from Skwatta Kamp and Pro Kid to Hidden Force, H2O, Morafe, Tuks and others.

That was the only time South African Hip Hop artists regularly sold albums in large volumes. Skwatta Kamp’s ‘Mkhukhu Funkshen’ went platinum and so did Pitch Black Afro’s ‘Styling Gel’, Pro Kid’s ‘Heads & Tales’ shipped 15,000 units, and so on… Pro Kid was part of a Smirnoff campaign for their ‘Storm’ brand; he was also the face of the MTN’s campaign for the SAMA Awards. Skwatta was doing big things breaking down doors and putting SA Hip Hop on a whole different level. Right now Teargas, Mi Casa, Big Nuz, DJ Cleo and others are running the game and dominating charts, sales, awards, gigs and etc. They all make music that connects.

Next time you hit that booth, think about whom you are making music for.  As the late Dr Mageu would say, “A se mo States Mo!!!”


Hit me up:

Email: Thabiso.Khati@gmail.com

Twitter: @HipHopScholar

Twitter: @360Street

Till the next one.

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Katy Perry loves Die Antwoord!

This is not the first time pop singer Katy Perry has tweeted about local futuristic rap-rave duo Die Antwoord. A few months ago she mentioned on her Twitter account that she was buying some Die Antwoord music on iTunes.

More recently though on Twitter, Katy Perry (@KatyPerry) commented on Die Antwoord’s latest music video. “The new Die Antwoord video for Baby’s On Fire is so incredible I can’t even tweet about it,” she tweeted.

The seven minute video, co-directed by Die Antwoord’s frontman Ninja, stays true to their signature disturbing, explicit, weird, violent style they are known for. In the video Ninja keeps trying to murder Yo-landi’s boyfriends. At the end Yo-landi is shown taking a bite from a blood dripping heart she’s carrying. Horrific if you ask me! Certainly not for the faint-hearted.

The video:

By Innocent Ndlovu
Twitter: @IamInnocentN

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Muz’art Defined

Muz'Art on Craze, eTV

The exotic music collective was established by two composers/ musicians/ producers/ engineers/ singers-songwriters, namely Tshegofatso “Tazzy” Lehutso born and bred in Ekhurhuleni and Victory “Vic” Chauke from Pretoria West. Muz’art was established in late 2009 with the aim of creating timeless and soul-piercing music for a new age. The elements of the sound are influenced by the founders’ musical backgrounds entailing Jazz, Soul and Gospel.

Apart from the two mentioned members, the group has two more members: Rorisang ‘Rori’ Thandekiso, who is the band’s lead vocalist and is also a YO-TV presenter on a show called Blue Couch. She’s from Sebokeng in the Vaal. And, Nkanyiso “Nka” Khanyile, the deejay in the band, is based in the South of JHB in Soweto and hails from Umlazi in Durban.

Muz’art works with the well-known and unknown artists, therefore keeping the element of surprise in their experimental production. Bound to make the beautiful music together, the group met in late 2010 when producer (Tazzy) and engineer (Vic) decided to record one song with Rori (vocalist). From that song, they knew they had a long way ahead together. That’s where Nkanyiso (manager/ DJ) came on board to help promote the band.

The name was inspired by young symphonic composer Mozart from the 19th century, who was a talented classical musician. As young as they are, they wanted to resemble that musicality and combined two words, “musical” and art”, to create “Muz’art”.

The group does Rhythmic soul. Some describe it as House music fused with elements of Jazz and Soul. The group says it was by grace that they met and combined their different energies to pursue their dreams together. Read the full story

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