Tag Archive | "Music"

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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John Legend set to Wow SA Ladies this August

It is official, international headlining sensation John Legend will be back in SA for an exclusive and intimate show to celebrate Women’s Day this August at the Sandton Convention City on August 10th. He will be supported by SA songstress / Idols judge Unathi Msengana and multiple SAMA winning outfit MiCasa.

Cleverly leaked on social networks mid last week, Trademark Entertainment today announced their partnership with SABC3 to bring the iconic musician to SA in celebration of women all over the country. The night is especially dedicated to SA ladies but promises to entertain and wow all John Legend fans alike.

With the inclusion of two of SA’s hottest acts at the moment, the choice was obvious to include the talented, sexy and sassy Unathi and the SA favourites MiCasa to the line-up. Event ambassador Minnie Dlamini who will MC the show, tweeted that the night will offer a more intimate show than all his previous SA concerts. “This intimate seated show only offered a limited number of fans an experience to remember,” stated MetroFM’s Tbo Touch on his radio show last week.

With only 4000 tickets on sale nationwide, sales opened this week at Computicket. General access tickets are available for R900 while VIP costs R1400. For a more exclusive experience, VVIP tickets / hospitalities packages are also available at R1750 via special bookings on 011 844 1103


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Get Out Of The Garage: It’s now or never…

You’ve knocked down on record label doors like the wolf huffing at the 3 little pigs’ huts, but no one budges. Neighbours have had enough of your bands’ jamming sessions in garages and back rooms without bearing any results.

Converse believes there’s an audience out there waiting to hear your unique sound, whether you do Kwaito, Hip Hop, Electro, Dance and Punk or Rock music. You could Get Out Of The Garage courtesy of Converse and off to The 100 Club in London, as a band.

All you have to do is upload your best original song and a short biography of your band on the following link: http://on.fb.me/1getout. The judges will then narrow down the entries to SA’s top 10 unsigned bands. Converse will then showcase these acts on Facebook, where South Africans will vote for their favourite band. One lucky fan and a friend will stand a chance to join them in London, VIP style.

So, if you’ve got what it takes to battle it out for this once-in-a-lifetime gig sign up your band and be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter @Converse_Africa and with the #Play100Club hashtag. Entries close 8th of July and winners will be announced on August 6th 2012.  Get Out Of The Garage with Converse

- Vusi Khoza


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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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MiCasa’s Mo-T says his bit

With being nominated for multiple awards at the 18th annual South African Music Awards, and also being scheduled to perform at the very same event, it’s expected for them to have a hectic schedule around this time. But nevertheless, I got the opportunity to have a telephonic chat with one third of the sensational trio. Here’s what Mo-T, MiCasa’s trumpet player, had to share:

KT: I know you’ve probably been asked this a million times before, but please tell us how you guys got together?
Mo-T: Well, we were all scheduled to play at a hotel in Sandton. At that time I didn’t even know who Dr. Duda was. When the time to perform came, we were just randomly put together, and that’s where it all started. After that, we just started making music together.

KT: Was it a childhood dream or just a random moment in your life that saw you taking the music route?
Oh it’s been a childhood dream! I come from a musical family. My father used to play for Mango Groove. So, since I was about five years old, I would just watch my dad play and perform. I was taken away by the experiences and as I grew up, I decided I’d also do music.

KT: Entering into a very well-dipped genre of music in SA, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
Our biggest challenge was not being taken seriously by the industry. However, we really believed in our music and still carried on. In this industry, good musicians don’t have a platform or they’re not taken seriously because their different.

KT: What kind of House music do you guys produce and what’s the biggest influence behind your fresh and different sound? Read the full story

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Kicking Back with Maxhoba

In the spirit of Kasi Times’ motto of motivating, inspiring and empowering young people, Maxhoba isn’t a surprise candidate for an interview. This all-round entertainer amongst other things, sings, writes music, scripts and script translation, and also owns an entertainment company known as Hobacity.

Maxhoba started out in a group from the Eastern Cape that didn’t quite make their fame breakout a bit over ten years ago. He then went to working and touring with some of South Africa’s greats. He holds teaching and helping South African musicians grow, close to his heart. Hobacity and KBM entertainment have ventured into a production where they’re trying to bring back the live music trend by taking a live show called Back to The Music all around SA. So, after watching a spectacular show and a great performance, I wanted to know more about this guy, and here is what I found out:

Kasi Times: When was your first break into the music industry?

MaxHoba: It was in 2001 when I started working with HHP. We did the Harambe Project and that really started things out for me. It opened a lot of doors for recognition, not only among the youth but other people started taking notice. A lot of people know my stage name, Maxhoba, but don’t know my face.

KT: How do you think the market has changed from when you first entered the music scene?

MH:What I see is the focus has shifted to the money above quality delivery, from both the artists and recording companies. The record companies might have always been about making money, but I miss going to gigs and seeing other artists there to support the performers, not only when they themselves are performing. I’m very happy though about the state of the lifestyle of hip hop, but not the music. There are still a few cats like Khuli and AKA that still do good music.

KT: What word do you believe best describes your artistry and why?

MH: Let’s say I’m a “passionate” musician. I’m truly passionate about music and growing the music industry. When I was younger, the people who ran the industry were probably 10 years older than I am now, and to me that says we’re very close to being the ones that are running it. So if we don’t learn more and teach others after us, we’re going to end up where the Brenda’s and Mahlatini’s found themselves.

KT: How do you think working with some of the biggest names in SA hip hop has affected your career?

MH: I got a lot of experience from it, for instance, dealing with crowds. I was lucky to go through the ‘groupie era’ when I was still young. I can’t imagine only hitting the industry now as an old man in his 30s running after girls. I also learnt about time management and appreciation. And, because I didn’t only work with Hip Hop artists, I obtained knowledge from a different side of the industry, such as when I worked with Bra Don Laka and Ntsiki Mazwai.

KT: What, between launching your career and establishing your entertainment company, proved to be the most challenging?

MH: Well, the singing and music thing are straight up gifts from God. I didn’t have to go hustle anybody or need somebody to come and teach me how to sing; it just happened. The entertainment company is still struggling even today; firstly investors don’t Read the full story

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The YFM 2012 Line-up

SA’s biggest youth radio station, 99.2 YFM, introduces the future of SA DJ culture with the announcement of their 2012 line-up… and it’s nothing short of a TKO…

Having paved the way for young authentic talent over the years, YFM is raising the bar again with its selection of young talent spearheading the new school revolution. Leading the pack is popular stalwart and heavyweight, Tholi B, who is taking over the afternoon drive time show.

In a bold and bullish move, the station follows up on its commitment to placing young talent in primetime spots. Former UJ FM campus radio DJ, Bryce ‘AnkleTap’ Clarke, will now host ‘The Tap Mansion’ from 12-3pm. This new show marks another historical milestone, as ‘Ankletap’ becomes the first white DJ in a primetime slot, since the inception of the station. The witty Mo Flava remains in his ever popular breakfast show.

Leading the new young blood crew is former Voice of Wits DJ, and one of SA’s most recognizable faces from his days as a YoTV presenter, the funky fresh cool kid Musa Mthombeni.  Also joining the team is the sassy and spunky actress Thando Thabethe, famed for her role in SABC1’s ‘My Perfect Family’. This fiery young talent, like Musa, also gained valuable radio training during her time spent at campus radio UJ FM.

“YFM has always groomed young talent, giving them a commercial platform in the industry. Our new line-up offers some of the hottest and best young DJs in the game today” says YFM Programming manager Tumelo Diaho-Monaheng.

Another new and very exciting development that hit the YFM airwaves on April 02, is a new music mix format – YTKO. YTKO promises to deliver a lively party atmosphere, turning any dull weekday at the office, into a weekend session at the club. This new daily mix feature, packed with good pure music is geared up and ready to introduce a new era in South African DJ culture.

“This is a true coming of age story as a brand. YFM has come full circle, and with the introduction of YTKO the texture of live mixes on radio will be transformed and perfected. YFM ignites your passion and sets your soul on fire, whatever space the listener is in, we aim to MAKE THEM MOVE!” said Monaheng.

Carrying weight in each of their respective musical genres and finely selected from the underground scene, YFM welcomes a new cutting edge mix DJ team with DJ Shimza, dynamic Miss Cosmo, Just Mo, Jose Chave and Zan-D Read the full story

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Quick Chat with Kabomo

A laid back and down-to-earth gentleman with a resume that could intimidate the most established of artists, Kabomo has a soulful voice that has been part of the backbone of South African music for over 10 years. He has now graced us with his own offering in his debut album ‘All Things Grey’. With a passion to inspire youth towards greatness, this writer, poet, producer, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, and production company owner, has fallen in love with what he does and appreciates all those that have inspired him to get here.

So, in between an early morning meeting and band practice, I managed to have a quick chat with Kabomo. I was star struck, but with pen in a shaky hand, this is what I managed to get out of him:

Kasi Times: What finally ignited the flame that led to you releasing your own album?
I felt it was the right time for my story to be told. I had experienced a lot and done a lot of work in the industry to be relevant, and I’ve given the music enough chance to grow within me that it was almost bursting out.

KT: What’s your favourite thing about doing music?
It’s definitely performing! Just doing my thing and seeing the audience’s reaction – when they know the lyrics and are singing back to you! I feel truly fulfilled knowing I can make people feel that way and enjoy themselves; it’s great because I put my heart into it and they appreciate it.

KT: What impact do you want your music to have on South Africa?
I want people to discover their truth and to be able to find their passions. I write my music truthfully and I want to project that back to my audience.

KT: How were you first introduced to the industry?
A friend of mine called to say Thembi Seete needed a road manager as hers wasn’t available. He explained all my duties over the phone. I then went on to co-produce Flabba’s album and around the same time I became editor for Y-mag.

KT: What do you want to see happen in music development in SA and how can you influence that?
I would like to see more performance spaces for artists to showcase their talent. Underground circles have helped develop many careers and I would like to see that be taken advantage of more. I think by doing my thing and proving that it is possible, is the best way I could influence that.

KT: Who was your favourite artist to write for and why?
I recently worked with Kelly Khumalo and though it wasn’t my favourite of all time, it was my most recent enjoyable experience. I discovered a humble, God-fearing woman behind all the drama.

KT: Who is your biggest music influence?
Bheki Mseleku. I think he was the greatest pianist ever. His music was well-celebrated all over the world and his work truly inspired me.

KT: Which genre Read the full story

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Drinks with Tibz

Tebello Matsoane

For someone whose life revolves around the party scene, I did not expect to meet an intellectual and highly eloquent gentleman who enjoys reading in his spare time. Tebello Motsaone, also known as Tibz, is the owner of Show Love, which specialises in event management and brand activations. Their client portfolio includes MTVBase and Brutal Fruit. Show Love Music manages a number of Hip Hop DJs and multi-award winning rapper AKA. Tebello also co-owns the successful clothing brand, Head Honcho, with friend and business partner Nick Kaoma. We sat down for drinks and this is what he had to say about his life:

KT: How did you get into hosting events?
Tibz: I started planning my own birthday parties and people kept requesting for more. While working with a friend’s company that planned my 21st  birthday party, I suggested using hip hop alone for music and they insisted it wouldn’t work. So, I went solo and that’s how Show Love got started.

KT: How did your association with AKA begin?
Tibz: AKA was with Kamza, a close friend of mine and another guy in the Ivy League, and as I was setting up my website, Kamza hooked me up with his music. Around the same time Nick and I were starting Head Honcho and we needed people to wear it and we got them to do that and we did a lot of collaboration t-shirts with them.

KT: When and how did you start managing him?
Tibz: As we were working together, we grew incredibly close and he became like my little brother. I started advising him on what I thought was missing in his music career. As time passed, he asked me to manage him. Show Love Music started because of AKA and he remains my one and only artist.

KT: Are you looking to manage more artists in the future?
Tibz: With AKA I never thought I’d be in the music industry but it just happened. I prefer working with one artist, client or DJ at a time so that I can give them my full attention.

KT: What are the challenges you’ve faced in establishing and growing your business?
None of my businesses were started with any capital. I literally had to throw a party so I could throw another one and another one thereafter. We did that so Nick and I could get the clothes manufactured and marketed ourselves through posters. It was hard but it brought a lot of lessons with it too. Being so busy in my everyday (professional) life has subsequently put a strain on my personal relationships.

KT: What is the biggest influence in your industry? Read the full story

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The Grammy Awards In Brief

Grammy Awards

Music’s finest came out to play yesterday at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. The event was hosted by LL Cool J who started off the show with a prayer in honour of the recently deceased music legend Whitney Houston.

The likes of Chris Brown, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift performed to a packed Staples Centre in Los Angeles. In a brief but emotional tribute Jennifer Hudson performed the song “I will always love you” in honour of Whitney.

Adele was the biggest winner, walking away with a total of six Grammy Awards. She won in all the categories she as nominated in, tying with Beyonce for most trophies won by a female in one night.  Other big winners included Kanye West who walked away with four Grammys and the Foo Fighters who scooped five trophies. Here are more of the evening’s winners.

Pop solo performance: Someone Like You by Adele
Album of the year: 21 by Adele
Record of the year: Rolling in the Deep by Adele
Pop vocal album: 21 by Adele
Short form music video: Rolling in the Deep by Adele
Song of the year: Rolling in the Deep by Adele, Adkins and Paul Epworth (songwriters)
Best R n B album: F.A.M.E by Chris Brown
Rap performance: Otis by Jay Z and Kanye West
Rap album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
Rock performance: Walk by Foo Fighters
Rap/Sung collaboration: All of the Lights by Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie
Gospel song: Hello Fear by Kirk Franklin
Country solo performance: Mean by Taylor Swift
R n B song: Fool for You by Cee Lo Green and Jack Splash


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Open Letter to the Local Music Industry

I’m not in the music industry nor do I know the ins and outs of the game, I am merely a consumer who’s passionate about music. The industry has been a boom in recent years.

Our artists perform on the international stage, they’re getting international accolades and there are even local music channels, shows, festivals, concerts and awards popping up all over the place. And yet, we still see the same company running things in the music video production side and just a few improvements on the production quality.

Firstly, I suggest that musicians and record companies start investing more money in producing music videos. Stop expecting too much for too little. Secondly, give other production companies a chance to showcase their talent instead of using one template for all your music videos. I’m tired of seeing half naked girls next to a swimming pool looking concerned about getting their weaves drenched in the water. It’s not all gloom and doom; there are artists, record companies and production houses that produce world-class music videos and artists who work hard at it. We just need to see more of that.

Take a look at some of the fresh reels I found and consider them for your next project. I’m sure there are young, creative and hungry companies out there waiting for that opportunity like a cobra waiting to strike.

Pilot Films Reel 2011

Mastermax Films Showreel 2011

It’s all for the love of music! – Vusi Khoza

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A Tribute to a Legend: Whitney Houston

As we woke up to the shuttering news of the passing of Ms Whitney Elizabeth Houston, born on the 9th of August 1963, daughter to the gospel starlet Cissy Houston and Dion Warwick’s cousin, we look back at the life and times of the legend.

We celebrate the music she will forever live through. Whitney is a true example of what music is about; she redefined the essence of music, gave meaning to soul and reached notes no one could reach. She inspired many who came after her and those who were there long before her. Quincy Jones named her “a true original, a talent beyond compare.”

We take a look at her career, the ups and downs, her peaks and her lows. Her life should not be looked at as unfortunate, or perhaps the mistakes she made should not be frowned upon, but a lesson to us all. Fame, fortune and misfortune are clearly closely related. She lived to tell a story of what happens when one forgets what purpose you are brought here to serve. Realise that she made her mistakes for us all to learn from; remember she was human after all. Many of us cannot understand how she ruined the blessings she received, the incomparable voice she had, and the astonishing talent she possessed. I strongly believe that when it’s written, it is meant to play out like that. If it were meant to be any different, then it would have been.

Whitney lived her life the best way she knew how to. She characterised technique, drama and strength in her vocals and made history when she was named America’s highest earning black female entertainer. She wowed the world in a sterling performance alongside Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard, and serenaded us with impeccable vocals in The Preacher’s Wife starring alongside Denzel Washington. Nineteen years later, the chat topping soundtrack “I Will Always Love you” a timeless classic of note, remains an international anthem for lovers across all races, it continues to blow many away with the effortless tone and strength of what once was, a voice that set the bar very high.

Her life took a direction no one expected after a marriage to bad boy Bobby Brown, who received much blame for the trouble in Whitney’s life. Bobby  was believed to have introduced her to drugs. Their toxic love carried them through to over a decade of marriage, in that time saw her endure his abuse with alleged rumours of his jealousy of her accelerated success. After much needed intervention from her mother, Whitney was able to regain her strength, went to rehab and left Bobby Brown. The pair was blessed with a daughter Bobbie Kristina Brown, who has been rumoured to have indulged in drugs herself.

In her 2009 comeback she Read the full story

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Music Review by PMash: Eltonnick’s Time

Soul Candi artist

Artist: Eltonnick

Album: Time

It’s sad to see how there isn’t too much noise around this kid. I like how he describes the album as “touching, mouthful and emotional” – and the album delivers just that. Eltonnick’s Time has some tribal House elements in most of its songs but it’s hard to box it into a certain sound. It features a lot of vocals delivered by some of Mzansi’s finest House vocalists like Zano, Trevor Mako, Kafele and Zaki Ibrahim. The lyrical content revolves around relationship and life issues; this is evident on songs like Secrets, and Love Has Taken Over. It’s a much laid back album, something to chill and unwind with. The production is on point, and the album art sleeve makes it almost irresistible not pick it up!

Ratings: 4 out 5

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Music Review by PMash: The Hot.99 Dance mixed by Just Mo

Music Review by PMash: The Hot.99 Dance Mixed By Just Mo

Album: The Hot.99 Dance Mixed By Just Mo.

Artist: Various Artists

With just a month into the New Year, the music scene is still quiet. There’s barely anything new on the shelves… but I came across The Hot.99 Dance mixed by Just Mo. At first I thought it was just another House compilation, but then again it grew on me. The compilation features the likes of At Jazz, Nasty Nev, and Donae O. The compilation opens with a very jazzy “Quietstorm (Darque’s Afrodrum Mix)” by Andy Compton. If you’re a tribal house fan, look out for some afro beat infused song ‘’Hung Up (Infinite Boys Remix)” by Nasty Nev.  All in all, depending on what you’re looking for in a compilation, it’s not a “Wow” compilation, but it is nicely mixed.

Ratings: 3 out 5

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