For the fourth instalment of the True Music Africa tour, we’re tuning our ears to the cosmical four-to-the-floor beats coming out of Johannesburg and turning our cameras to the city’s hottest original music-makers and broadcasting their DIY sound to the world.
It’s by no fluke that Johannesburg is one of planet’s EDM and house music centres. Step out into the streets and you’ll instantly be enveloped by a deep, soulful kind of beat blasting out from taxis and street-side stalls to the high-end bars and restaurants. In short music is everywhere in Joburg. There’s no escaping from it, but when the local music scene is so vibrant, why would you want to?
EPISODE 4 JOHANNESBURG: A MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE
Meet the rising stars of Johannesburg’s underground scene in the next part of our True Music Africa documentary series with Boiler Room. Get familiar with the sounds and stories of what it takes to stay true and thrive in the City of Gold from the likes of Symatics, Moonchild Sanelly, and Uncle Partytime.
The House Music Joburg built is a unique cut-up style that falls outside definitive boxes and categories, with influences from all corners of the continent and beyond. Along with Boiler Room, we’ll be shining a light on the emerging music scene fuelled by a digital revolution taking over the soundwaves. Expect a show full of over-amped, electro mixes full of raw afrocentric sounds. Delicious.
Kicking off the two-day celebration will be a Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Forum, an evening of talks starting with a conversation between Grace LaDoja- Skepta’s well respected manager and recent receiver of an MBE for services to music- and local music journalist Helen Herimbi who has graced the pages of Rolling Stone South Africa, GQ, ARISE and the New Age. The pair will be covering Africa’s place in global creative influence and the DIY mentality that has infiltrated the new generation of music makers and hustlers from the continent.
We’ll also be partnering with OkayAfrica to spotlight South Africa, Kenya, and Cameroon for a conversation covering the Digital Transformation which has acted as a catalyst for young creatives, helping them to create new platforms for their art. We’ll be hearing from the likes of Jepchumba (one of Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2012 and The Guardian Africa’s Top 25 Women Achievers) as well as True Music Kenya alumni Muthoni Drummer Queen plus, founder of creative and digital magazine Unlabelled, Phendu Kuta.
Our last panel conversation we’ll be focussing on a deep dive into the impact of Club Culture on the Birth of New Genres and features Boni Minsi (from This is What Makes us Girls fame), Theresho Selesho (Oppikoppi festival), South African hip hop DJ Kenzhero and underground top tip DJ Doowap.
An evening full of dance-floor shaking live performances and DJ sets wrapped up this special True Music Africa double bill. The main stage action included a whole host of home-grown heroes of gqom and house music artists, proudly showing the world that the beat of Johanessburg is banging harder than ever before. Check them out below:
DJ Maphorisa is behind many of South Africa’s essential club hits. The multitalented performer/producer was born and bred in Soshanguve, Pretoria and has previously collaborated with Major Lazer, Wizkid, Davido, Black Coffee and more. His creative prowess has seen him play across the world and receive some of Africa’s most coveted accolades, including Best Collaboration and Song of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards.
Symatics is an artist/DJ based in Johannesburg and one half of Weheartbeat, the music collective responsible for bringing over the likes of Soulection, Mndsgn, Young Fathers, Masego, Kojey Radical and more to South Africa. The collective is at the epicentre of the alternative music scene and have consistently championed both international and South African emerging talent over their decade in music.
Signed to Black Coffee’s Soulistic Music, this Limpopo-born DJ-producer specialises in delicately galvanizing house music. He released an excellent debut album, Surreal Selections Vol. 1, in 2014, and is a fixture on the South African festival circuit. Da Capo’s prolific stream of online mixes has earned him a sizable following and a South African Music Award nomination for Best Dance Album
Moonchild Sanelly fuses elements of experimental electronic, afro-punk and edgy-pop with hints of her strong kwaito, hip hop and jazz background. Originally hailing from Port Elizabeth, the singer first made a name for herself in the Durban poetry and music scene. Her music reaches audiences beyond South Africa’s borders; she has played festivals such as SXSW in Houston, Texas and Primavera Sound in Barcelona.
Lindokuhle Junior Mabunda, better known by his stage name Uncle Partytime, is a DJ born out of the scene in Braamfontein. Specialising in Hip Hop and Gqom music, he began his solo DJ career in 2015 with shows at Onyx Rage, Kitcheners and Great Dane. He has since gone on to play at various local events and major festivals around the country such as Ultra South Africa and Red Bull Music Festival Johannesburg.