Author Archives: robsartefacts

Get dipped in MaXhosa by Laduma this Winter!


With Winter poking its head around the corner it’s time to start thinking about stocking your wardrobe with thicker threads to keep your warm during those icy days ahead… And this local range of knitwear should definitely be on top of your list.

MaXhosa by Laduma features authentic local design inspired by the likes of traditional beadworks to iconic Xhosa patterns incorporated into trendy knitwear items relevant to our fashion conscious generation. The brand was founded by in 2011by Laduma Ngxokolo, a rising star in the fashion world who is putting SA designs on the map. At 28 years-old his talent has been recognized across the world with showcases being held in major cities like Berlin, London and New York. Last year he received a standing ovation at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Joburg and showcased his work at the Oslo Trend Exhibition. Most recently he has been announced the winner of the Vogue Talents “Scouting For Africa” competition. Laduma took the title out of 11 finalists from all over the African continent. This achievement means that he will showcase his designs at the Palazzo Morando in Milan, Italy this September as well as at the Africa International Fashion week in Lagos, Nigeria in December. In a recent interview with Vogue Italia Laduma described his inspirations that drive the aesthetic he creates, “All my icons are South African: Credo Mutwa, Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko. The patterns and motifs of MaXhosa by Laduma are specifically inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork. After the Zulus, the Xhosa are the biggest cultural group in South Africa, and my brand interprets traditional Xhosa aesthetics in a modern context to capture the future African spirit”. Feast your eyes on these incredible local creations on the links!

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Hakesy the Fat Cat


We chat to Hayden Manuel AKA Hakesy the Fat Cat. Sneakerhead, Streetwear Afficianado, Blogger and Radio Host at Assembly Radio.

What influences your style and the way you choose to dress?

I’m a bit older now so I think my style is a bit settled and consistent. I’m a sneakerhead so it starts there and I base my outfits around that. Also, I’m a cozy boy, which means I’m big into comfort. I basically look like a thugged out pro athlete everyday.

Who are your personal style icons?

Kanye West, Rick Owens, Marc Jacobs, Pharrel and Nigo.

What are your favourite local and international brands?

2Bop, They Know (obviously), Bape, Vandal A, 10Deep, Diamond Supply Co and Supreme.

What are your thoughts on the street wear/ fashion coming out of South Africa at the moment?

I think it’s bubbling. There are a lot of kids trying to make it and doing it DIY style and those kids are the future. We also have brands doing it big like 2Bop & Sol-Sol who are putting out product of the highest standard. The passion to create and the drive to actually do it are really the only things you need and we have it in abundance.

Following street style trends can easily open one up to becoming a hypebeast. What are the signs that you’re doing it wrong?

If you’re a dude who buys clothes and shoes to impress other dudes then you’re a hypebeast. Wear what you wanna to wear.

What is the worst trend you’ve followed or style choice you’ve made?

The ridiculous belt buckle trend. Hurts just typing this. I had one that had a stack of $100 bills. So stupid!

What is your most prized piece of clothing or accessory you own?

My Nike Air Yeezy collection…easy. They go for about 30k a pair these days.

What is the biggest mission you’ve made to get hold of a particular item of clothing or pair of kicks?

Police be lurking online these days haha.

What are 5 essentials that any man should have in their winter wardrobe?

Invest in good denim.
Headwear is essential.
Well crafted work boots are a good look. Timbs and Red Wings all day.
High end track suits are popping. The more structured the better.
A solid beard game!
As a host of the BMK rap show on Assembly Radio you stay abreast of all the latest rap coming out. 2015 has seen an amazing list of releases. What have been your 5 favourite releases this year alone?

2015 has been a great year for music!
Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful
Boyzn Bucks – Mswenkofontein
Curren$y – Pilot Talk III
Mashayabhuqe – The Black Excellence EP
Petite Noir – King Of Anxiety EP

You’re a blogger for ‘They Know’ and your personal blog ‘Hakesy The Fat Cat.’ How did you get into it and what keeps you at it?

I’ve always been fascinated with all things digital, I got into online shopping earlier than my friends and peers. People would ask me where I’d get my things and influences so I decided to start a blog where I could “put people on” so to speak. The idea was to expand tastes and open up the door to people who weren’t that familiar with the internet. That blog is still going strong hakesythefatcat.

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Andile Mbete on personal style – from beards to bucket hats


Andile Mbete is a youth engagement strategist at the Johannesburg-based creative agency, AndPeople. Known in both Jozi and Cape Town as a man with a standout personal style; he has been covered in GQ’s Style Diary. He has also co-founded a pop culture blog called Andile’s Bored Company.

What influences your personal style the most?

Music has played a really big role in my life and my dress sense is mainly influenced by the music I listen to. I’ve spent most of my life obsessed with Hip Hop, post punk and No-wave so my fashion choices kind of reflect that in a way. Essentially I spent half my time trying to dress like Beans from Anti-Pop Consortium who was my favourite rapper in my late teens.

What are your favourite brands locally and internationally?

Locally, I’d have to say Punk and IvySol-Sol and this brand Soigne’ that make some really rad shirts.
My favourite brand has always been Adidas. I’ve always associated that brand with my favourite era of Hip Hop and I’ve had a very romanticized perception of the brand – I even worked at the Originals store at varsity.
Other international brands I like are Kitsune and Brooklyn Circus. Too bad I can’t afford them.

What is the worst trend/ style choice you’ve made?

Cornrows, without a doubt. I thought I looked like Larenz Tate but I actually looked like a frightened deer for two months with the itchiest scalp.

What are your thoughts on the street wear fashion coming out of South Africa at the moment?

I think SA fashion is in a really interesting place. The street wear explosion has really democratised fashion and made it more accessible to some amazing young talent. I love the entrepreneurial aspect to it. Like RHTC which is an online store started by this young kid who saw a gap in the market and created something quite unique.

What are your thoughts on bucket hats? A lasting style item or are they played out?

Bucket hats are rad. The hype around them is really, really dumb. The bucket hat trend is what I hate the most about hypebeasts. Ruining a perfectly simple thing because the internet told you it was cool. I can’t speak too much on it because it makes me angry.

Is there a fine line between being trendy and being a hypebeast/ fashion victim? 

Well, yeah. Street wear and street style really opens itself to inauthenticity by some individuals. It’s a “buy in culture” really. Wearing Supreme doesn’t immediately make you street but some people really think it does. Having said that, I started out like that. I thought I was super cool in my Boys of London denim even though I looked silly. It was only when I kind of got a greater sense of who I am did my style choices change and develop.
I think the best kind of street style guys are the ones who really use brands and clothing as a facilitator for individuality rather than, like, a statement or because it’s cool.

What is your most prized piece of clothing/ accessory you own?

I guess that would have to be a black denim jacket from Topman. Not so much the jacket itself, but it’s become an unofficial showroom for my patch collection. I really love patches.

What are 5 essentials that any man should have in their winter wardrobe?

1) Beanies.
2) Bad ass boots.
3) Long-johns (for real).
4) Sweatshirts for days.
5) Bold ass knits.

You’ve been known to rock a big manly beard. Give us some tips on how to maintain it. Do you go el naturelle or do you have to regularly groom it and shape it up?

Shampoo and condition on the reg! Like, the beard hype is a bit dull but girls only started taking interest in me once I grew one so it has it uses. Shampoo and condition and regular trimming is the biggest difference between a fly beard and a Vietnam war veteran beard.

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Catch Up with Keetz

kita profile

Cape Town-based rapper  Kita Keetz has been making moves this year. The hardworking Rude World Records signee dropped a slew of killer singles and videos, collaborated far and wide and also resurrected his rap crew, Part Phunk, with long-time friend and collaborator Tahir Khan. Together they are set to drop their debut album in early 2015. We catch up with Keetz to get the lowdown on the project and find out about his takeover plans for next year.

Q: You seemingly came out of nowhere and then dropped a bunch of dope singles and videos already signed to Rude World Records. Could you tell us a bit about your background in the rap game and your original crew, Part Phunk?

A: Well, originally we ( Part Phunk) were a drum n bass/dubstep DJ duo. At some point in 2010, I think, we ended up trying to spit bars for shits and giggles, and realized that we got more fulfillment from rapping than behind the decks. I then pretty much spent the better part of the next two years developing the skills and trying to make sure that I can make music that I can be proud of. I spent a lot of time just going to events and observing. Hip Hop was the first genre of music I ever really listened to so I guess it was only right that I would end up going full circle and ending up back in it.

Q: Part Phunk is back together and there is an album on the way. Could you tell us more about it?

A: Firstly, Part Phunk never separated. We have been silently putting the pieces together behind the scenes. The dynamic of being all grown up and having to manage real life meant that we had to work on music less regularly but more intensely. The album is still in infant stages and we don’t want to rush anything. I don’t think at this point in the SA hip hop industry any rapper, or rap crew, can afford to put out a sub-par body of work. We are working on another Part Phunk project that will drop probably early 2015, most probably an EP of about 8-10 songs of which “Faded” featuring Ameen Harron will most likely be one. The response to “Faded” so far has been awesome. Not a single bad review so far, so that’s always a blessing.

Hopefully once the video is released its impact will exponentially increase and give us a chance to get our music to the masses of people who have never heard of us before.

Q: Do you find you have a different approach when working in a crew as opposed to your solo work?

A: I think when we work as a crew things tend to be a little more planned out, as opposed to when I work alone it’s usually a spur of the moment, run to studio and lay this shit down quick type of thing. Generally I think my sound is pretty similar to our crew sound with the exception that when we rap as a crew I think there is a vibe that is hard to replicate when you are in studio alone.

Q: Your debut on Rude World, the ‘Call Me Keetz EP’ was released for free download. How do you manage to put out free music while making a living off rap?

A: Performances, odds jobs, smart saving and I’ve also been a qualified photographer for a couple years now, so I do that too. It’s always good to have a plan B and C. Cohabitation also helps.

The EP has a dope list of features. It can’t hurt having some of the best up-and-comers in various genres as label mates. Collabs are always an amazing thing. Sometimes just being in studio with a whole bunch of artists reminds you why you love what you do. It also gives you a chance to sit back and learn from your peers. I think the session that we recorded “Next On” was like the most fun I’ve had making music in a long time. The cats on the come-up in CPT are also bringing top quality constantly and I think it wont be long before the mainstream starts to realize the work these guys put in. Shout out to Youngsta, E-Jay, Tahir Khan, Ben Caesar, Copa, Jerain, Ruby, Black Vulcanite, Ill Skillz, Camo, Boolz and every other come-up kid in CPT. Its just a matter of time.

Q: Other than rapping do you have any other musical talents we should know of?

A: Yeah, I actually started producing just over a year ago and I’m finally getting to a point where about 60 percent of my music I make completely myself. I also used to sing and play keys, but I wouldn’t say I’m a singer or a pianist. They serve as helpful skills when it comes to song creation though.

Q: How would you describe your sound ultimately?

A: I would probably describe it as mildly alternative hip hop. At times there are noticeable influences from the EDM genre and at other times it loosely resembles “JazzHop”. Yes, I just made up a genre there. Also, I think my music is an ever evolving thing and to try and put it all under a single title would be foolish and naïve.

Q: You’ve gained a large fan base in Cape Town where you’re based. Has your music made traction in other parts of the country as well?

A: Well, I lived up in Gauteng for a large chunk of my life so I think a lot of those connections I made back in the day are mainly where my music is circulating from outside of CPT. But I definitely have a countrywide takeover plan in the works so you are welcome to ask me this question again a year from now.

Q: If not rapping for a living, what else would you be doing?

A: I would probably a product tester for Southern Comfort. That would be dope as hell. Or a Ferrari test driver. That’s a pretty sweet gig. Couldn’t do them both, though. Pity.

Published on Axecess here.

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Profile: Alpha Longboards

alpha longboards

In 1999, when Kent Lingeveldt entered the inaugural Red Bull Downhill Extreme in Cape Town, he didn’t realise his overseas counterparts would rock up with such specialised equipment. “Obviously we didn’t have longboards. We just thought a board is a board and took the widest board we could find and went down a hill,” he says, laughing. Longboarding had not yet gained much popularity in SA and none of Kent’s fellow skaters had taken up this form of boardriding. He had, however, been street skating for the past five years and as he was living in the mountainside community of Woodstock at the time bombing down perilous gradients at hair-raising speeds was just one of the inevitabilities of his daily commute.

On race day he arrived at the top of Kloofnek, the starting point leading down a steep, winding road to the finish line in Camps Bay, and found competitors from the USA and Europe suiting up in full racing leathers and polishing their space-age-looking helmets. Kent, armed in basic protective gear (elbow and knee pads and a helmet) took part on his usual street board. As one would expect it couldn’t handle such high speeds and he ‘speed wobbled’ much of the way and took a few tumbles going down. At the end of the day he earned himself a 12th place finish, but left determined to excel on the downhill racing circuit and knew what gear he now needed to do just that.

Getting his hands on the new setup proved to be no mean feat. The boards in skate shops were way out of his price range and he knew no one in the scene from whom he could buy one second-hand. Kent’s solution: make one. “Being from the Cape Flats you don’t really have money, you know, your parents are not going to give you money for a skateboard. So I went to a hardware store and bought a flat piece of wood, shaped a board and went from there.” He learnt by trial and error and had a great deal of practice shaping boards for friends. There were no established shapers around or how-to websites to turn to then, so he approached boat builders, who bend wood for features on their watercraft, to learn how to make concave decks. One of the features of an Alpha longboard is its fiberglass coating, which Kent learnt from local surfboard shapers.  He soon got the hang of it and saw a business opportunity in crafting custom-made boards at prices that were more suitable to the average skater’s pocket and formed Alpha Longboards in 2001, operating out of his garage.

Kent’s progress in downhill racing and shaping went hand in hand. From 2004, he began competing professionally which saw him travelling the world. He is also known to be one of the few riders to have partaken in all four Down Hill Extreme races.

Fast-forward to 2013. Sidewalk surfing is arguably at the height of its popularity. While big brands are churning out trademarked planks on an assembly line to meet the heightened demand, Alpha Longboards has managed to stay true to Kent’s original D.I.Y approach and it’s starting to strike a chord. Kent recently received the 2013 Constructus Award from The Jupiter Drawing Room, which granted him a hefty sum of money as well as ongoing mentorship with the acclaimed ad agency for his back-to-basics business model which hearkens back to the roots of the sport when individual expression was key.

Alpha Longboards is now run from 52 Wright Street, a small warehouse nestled in the byways of a bustling part of Woodstock. There’s no specialized machinery doing all the work. “Nowadays you get guys who use plenty machines, that’s not my thing. I work on maybe four boards a day and that’s a lot,” he says. Kent only shapes for customers by appointment and each board is handcrafted to meet their own requirements. “I have about 18 shapes which cover from your street skateboarder who want to cruise with a kicktail through the streets up to the guy who wants to seriously bomb and slide and then anything in-between. So my shapes generally cover almost all aspects of longboarding but if there’s something different that you want…” he shrugs, “then boom”.

Taking personalised boards to a new level, Alpha also offers once-off commissioned art works through a network of artists that Kent has worked closely with since 2009. Since the launch of the Alpha Art Board series he’s worked with artists closely linked to the Cape Town graffiti and pop art scene such as Atang Tshikare, Nard Star and Khaya Witbooi, as well as photographer Jakub Fulin.  Alpha’s flagship art range, the Local Legends series launched in 2011, pays homage to people who have made an impact in our country such as Nelson Mandela, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and Zola Budd. “Board Games”, a short documentary on Alpha, comes highly-recommended to witness the board company’s unique approach and contains a must-see moment where Kent hands over a Desmond Tutu board as part of the series to the Archbishop himself.

Published in Traffic Magazine.

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Profile: Cape Town Food Trucks’, Limoncello


Popularised by the likes of taco trucks and the upmarket grab ’n go fare from the streets of New York, food trucks have become the gastronomic symbol of pop culture. They’re cheaper to set up than restaurants, and are the greener option. There are even reality-TV shows based on food trucks owned by celeb-chefs. South Africa has followed suit with this trend, with its own offering to the street food world – in the form of Limoncello. Locally it’s the first food truck of its kind, a fully-equipped restaurant on four wheels, and it’s setting the Twitterverse ablaze.

Limoncello is owned by Luca Castiglione, a third generation chef from Napoli, who introduced the gourmet food truck experience to the land of Mzansi in March 2012. Seeking a new challenge after running his family-owned restaurant in Gardens, Limoncello Ristorante, for 12 years, he decided to pack up his belongings and take his business to the streets, after seeing the enormous impact food trucks have made in similarly cosmopolitan cities around the world.

He laid his hands on a classic 1978 Ford Motor Home truck which he found on Gumtree, and had it retrofitted with a complete restaurant kitchen which can cater for up to an astonishing 200 people. For the wooden branding to go with the truck’s retro exterior, he approached the people of the Cape Town-based creative agency GOOD DESIGN.

Castiglione prepares all his food fresh; he bakes paninis in the truck’s oven, and collects the catch of the day at the local fish market, which determines his menu for the day. He also serves other types of southern Italian food, like calzone, risottos, pizzas and spaghettis from his truck.

Cape Town has proven to be a great starting point for the business as there is a thriving foodie culture and an adventurous spirit when it comes to tasting the culinary diversity this melting pot city has to offer.
“Capetonians eat out a lot, and they are spoilt for choice – but they are always looking for new spots and culinary adventures,” he says. “We already have over 2800 followers on Twitter, and we only started a year ago. I think that demonstrates the reaction of the public to our concept.”

Castiglione believes that trading from different locations every day as opposed to being confined to the bricks and mortar of his previous restaurant location has been the best lifestyle choice possible. A quick glance at Limoncello’s Twitter page will tell you why.

“In Wellington for a wedding looking forward to it see you all on the road next week #ciao,” he tweeted recently. “Menu del giorno, @Oudekraal weather looking good for a meal on the rocks trading from 12 to sunset” reads another update announcing their main trading spot amongst the curio sellers on the seaside road near Oudekraal just outside Camps Bay. They can also be found trading weekly from Harrington Street in the bustling CBD.

No matter where Castiglione is, his food is always freshly prepared, from paninis baked that morning or fish caught that day.

Although the novelty of being the first food truck in the land has meant Limoncello has gained much popularity in a short span of time, pioneering this type of street commerce has not come without its own set of challenges. Without the right procedures in place, the City of Cape Town has provided street traders with limited space to operate. Castiglione is working to change this by rallying the troops. He has registered the trademark Cape Town Food Trucks in hopes of expanding and diversifying the local food truck scene. Uniting a fleet of trucks under one banner will hopefully help the council see the potentially positive effects street trading has on the economy and granting the trucks the liberty to move around more freely in the city could mean better quality foods with a creative touch being brought straight to the consumer.

Published on The Public Magazine here.

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Profile: Rent a Mercedes, Cape Town

When brothers George (42) and Nick Acker (37) bought Rent a Mercedes over it had only 7 cars left to it’s name, all of which were all in really bad cosmetic shape. With experience as established owners of a rental car company they knew what needed to be done. They sold all the existing cars or scrapped them for parts and replaced them with neater vehicles, rebuilt the booking website and spread the word. The concept of long-term rentals was not an immediate hit and it took 3 months for them to receive their first enquiry. Now a decade later, they have a fleet of over 40 vehicles and have found their niche client base who share their passion for classic 80’s Mercedes-Benz’s.

When did the idea for Rent a Mercedes come about?

Rent a Mercedes was established in 2003 when we found a need for safe, reliable and affordable transport in and around Cape Town.

Renting a vehicle long-term is a very cost effective option for tourists. Rent a Mercedes is a budget car rental company with high standards and supply a much needed niche market.

I see a lot of 230E’s there. What is the reason for mainly stocking this model?

We hire out 230E’s as well as the 200’s and 280’s. All these W23 models are very safe, run high mileage and are spacious with big lockable boots for surfing gear, kiting equipment and luggage. They have power steering and are available with automatic and manual transmissions.

Who is your main clientele?

We specialise in renting to European and American students, interns and tourists from abroad visiting Cape Town. Europeans love the Mercedes-Benz, as they are comfortable, reliable and well built cars.

We also have a lot of kiters, surfers and windsurfers in the past and have been honoured to have a few celebs renting like Gregory Smith from TV series Everwood, Lewis Crathern ex UK kiteboard Champion as well as UK wavesailing champion Jamie Hancock to mention a few.

Are there any challenges with maintaining these vintage models?

We have very good, experienced mechanics onsite maintaining our cars. Mercedes parts are unfortunately expensive and some are becoming hard to get. We have built up a large stock of parts over the years, and have had to start importing some parts. We have a good relationship with all our suppliers, and they keep us well supplied.

We love these cars and are very passionate about our business so we will do whatever it takes to keep them on the road.

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Rub A Dub


We’ve been on 7Ft Soundsystem’s case for ages trying to get him to produce this mix. Well, the badgering has finally worked and today he’s dropped the second instalment of his Honey, I shrunk the dancehall series. Since we’re getting these self-confessed ‘PROcrastinating’ musicians to put out more dope tunes then surely we’re doing something right and we’re taking some of the credit. So stream and enjoy today’s Mahala Friday Mix/ Honey, I shrunk the dancehall Vol. II and find out a little bit more about the man who blessed us with these riddims.

MAHALA: Can you tell us a bit about the mix you put together for us today?

7FT SOUNDSYSTEM: Well, I guess it’s a short preview of the stuff I’ve been working on of late, predominantly unreleased tunes that showcase the different sounds I’m playing with that incorporate my love for digital tunes as well as incorporates the more organic tones of traditional dubs.

So how did a Jewish kid from the southern suburbs of Cape Town become a dub master?

My dad hates reggae and my mom is completely tone deaf, bless her soul. I’m like the King Tubby of my congregation… haha. To be honest I’m not exactly sure how to explain my gravitation towards Jamaican music over the years. All I can say is that since I got the reggae fever, it’s been tough for me to listen to anything else.

But in the 90’s I was strictly hip hop and I discovered “reggae” music as any other white suburban would – through the sounds of bands like Sublime and, of course, Mr Marley himself. But as a bass player, I started appreciating instrumental music more and more and eventually I was listening to obscure digital dub records from the early 80’s. It’s been a very natural progression.


You’re staying in Antwerp, Belgium at the moment. How come you made the move there? Has it been a sound decision for your music career?

Well, as much as I love Cape Town, I needed to be surrounded by sound system culture in order to truly understand it and learn from the people and crews that paved the way for me. I thought I knew about soundsystem until I stepped into my first proper reggae dance. You just can’t understand these beats until you’ve heard them in the correct environment on a traditional, highly optimised soundsystem. As far as my career goes, I definitely had to step up my game in a big way. I went from playing to people that had no idea of the refernce points of my music to people that lived and breathed the culture so it definitely helped me to raise the bar.

What’s the digital dub scene like over there compared to Cape Town? I assume there’s a bigger scene there. What’s it like having more ‘competition’ for lack of a better word?

When I started 7FT in’09, there wasn’t really a digital dub scene per say and by the time I left Cape Town I noticed a drastic growth in the sound and people in the city were picking up on the producers and sounds that inspired me. The “competition” thing is actually a blessing. It’s easy being the “best” soundsystem when you’re the only soundsystem. Europe has a deep, rich history with the culture and there are crews that have been living and breathing soundsystem since before I even knew what it was. It’s been quite humbling.

What are your thoughts on the modern Jamaican scene? Any ambitions to pursue further links with other contemporary Jamaican artists?

I think today, the older the artist the more prestigious the accolade. The golden era of Jamaican music for people like me was the 70’s and 80’s, so linking with artists from that time is truly humbling and very rewarding. I look forward to what I refer to as a rub a dub revival in Jamaica, where we see new, young artists aspiring to capture the tone and energy of the original dancehall days and step away from the “dancehall” mentality. But it’s happening slowly I think.

I wouldn’t go to Jamaica myself until I had hard drives full of very heavy riddims.

It seems a lot of the digital dub stuff is coming from Europe. Are producers pushing the boundaries more in that scene?

Well, Europe has the resources and the external influences, so yes I think producers are pushing the genre forward in a big way. I think since its conception reggae music has been severely affecting producers on a global scale.

Has being based in Europe allowed you to meet and collaborate easier with the kinds of artists you’d like to work with?

Most definitely. Three years ago I was listening to records that inspired my whole sound and now I’m gigging with them and even having the honour of collaborating with and remixing some of my musical role models. The reggae community is very welcoming. If you are making a postive contribution to the culture you will be well received.

How do you see the dub movement in general, is it growing or becoming increasingly niche?

The genre isn’t mainstream enough to inspire that fame and fortune mentality which I like. People make dub music because they genuinely love it, there’s no pot of gold involved. Touring, pressing vinyl and linking with like-minded people is pretty much the vibe. But I think there is a growing understanding of the reference points to the real culture due to producers like Major Lazer and a lot of dubsteppers have converted as well. But the genre remains constant and predominatly unchanged, it doesn’t flucuate like other music “fads” (no diss). A dub listener won’t stop listening to dub after a few years so it’s timeless like that.

Do you play live sets as opposed to DJing your music?

Yeah, I make a point to play live at every show. Plus I’ve never DJ’ed, it’s not my strongest point and traditional dub is always done on the fly so I wanted to pay homage to that style.

Who are the biggest influences on your sound?

Coming from a hip hop background I think it still has a strong influence on how I hear music. I love loop based grooves and I think you can hear that in my drums from example. As for other sounds, there are so many names but if I had to name a few: King Jammy, Stand High Patrol, Mungos HIFI, Jahtari, Maffi, Ernest Ranglin, Roots Manuva, I could go on…


What phases and stages did you go through before your sound become what we’re hearing now? How has your style evolved over the years?

Here it is in a nutshell: My first CD was The Simpson’s Sing The Blues, then Monster Hits 3 or something like that. When the grunge thing came about I was deep in that, played guitar, raged against the machine, etc. ’96 was when I discovered hip hop on a trip to New York to visit my cousins. I smoked my first joint and got given a CD single of Puff Daddy’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” which led to Busta, Tribe, Wu, stuff like that. And in ‘99 I was introduced to Sublime which was really the catalyst for the reggae seed being planted. From there I went into new roots, dancehall, followed by dub and the love for instrumental music which led to soundsystem culture as I know it today. I like to bring the rawness and melodic vocals of hip hop into the dub sphere. My sound today is just how I want to hear music. I try not to follow any rules which dub allows me to do. If I want to put my kick and bass abnormally loud, I can.

Your debut in 2009 had quite a long list of collabs, from Denver Turner to Zolani Mahola and Indiginus. How did you go about making those connects when you were still quite new?

That’s the “beauty” of Cape Town – everybody knows everybody

You collaborated with Riddim Tuffa from Edinburgh on your latest EP. Tell us about the process of putting it together.

Since the early 7FT days, Riddim Tuffa and I were communicating via the internet and when I moved to Europe they invited me over to Scotland. I spent the weekend there and tasted every beer Scotland had to offer, wrote four tunes and named each tune after the beer we were drinking at the time. The version on the B-side of the vinyl for example is called “Crabbies Riddim” after Crabbies, the alchohlic ginger beer.It was real cool, Shout out to Tuffa crew.

7FT started as a crew if I’m not mistaken. When did you decide to go the solo route and do you prefer having complete creative control on the beats you put out?

Ha, yeah, I’m a control freak. Honestly I do prefer working on my own, however, when the vibe in the studio is right and you work with the right people, shit is golden!

Tell us about your record label Bombaada. Where is it at now since forming in 2011? Who is involved in it? How do you decide which producers and artists to work with?

Fletcher (African Dope) warned me when I told him I wanted to start a label “DON’T DO IT” he said, followed by “ADMIN ADMIN ADMIN”. Haha wise words in hindsight. There’s nothing like giving a stoner, PROcrastinator more admin to do. However after two years and the launch of a new site, I feel that we are finally getting there. Josiah (co-founder of Cold Turkey event) and I run the label together and have been doing things at our own pace to create a place local producers would be proud to be associated with as well as use our international links to push SA’s sounds. To be honest after one year of being functional it feels like we only starting now. Exciting times.

What’s coming up in the world of 7FT Soundsystem in terms of releases and upcoming gigs?

I’ve got some killer gigs lined up for the end of the year. Unfortunately I can’t give away to much on request of the promoters, but three of the names I mentioned earlier on my biggest influences list are involved. And I’ll be in Glasgow again in Feb to play at Mungos HIFI weekly night Walk n Skank.

Big Up all my Cape Town people who I keep in my mind everyday during my pilgrimage here in Europe. #SApontop. Bless.

Click here to see the published version on Mahala.

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On Fire


We chat to 23 year-old up-and-coming producer Muzi who describes his sound as ‘mutant trap, hyper bass and African soca’ hot on the heels of his latest release entitled Fire Up The Bong EP. He’s got big dreams and mad steez to match. Keep your eyes peeled for this cat because he’s definitely going places.

What has the response to Fire Up The Bongo been like so far?

First of all, thank you for the interview 🙂 , now to answer your question …
The response has been great. This EP has got more plays in a few days than my last one, Bundu FX, did in 6 months. There is definitely progress.

Tell us about the making of this EP. Why did these six tracks make the cut?

I started making this EP around the same time I dropped the Bundu FX EP. The last track I made was actually the title track Fire Up The Bongo. I wanted to work with my favourite rapper as well, a guy called Moshine Magnif who is part of Witness The Funk. He’s also from Empangeni. I got to work with him on the track ‘Hit the Floor’ and it’s one of my favourite tracks. Just like the first one, this one was also based solely on the tracks feeling right. A lot of tracks didn’t make the cut because they weren’t as good as the tracks chosen plus they weren’t as solid as a body of work.

Put us on the game. What sounds/artists have you been listening to around the time of making this EP that may have infiltrated into your beats?

This is a hard one. I rarely listen to other people’s music. I hear stuff here and there but I never really focus on it. With that said my musical heroes put out some really dope stuff during the time. Wolfgang Gartner always kills it. Deadmau5 is insane. Linkin Park did this track with Steve aoki and it was just awesome in my eyes. Also got a bit into contemporary and world music which you can hear in some of the tracks, like ‘Fire Up The Bongo’.

Mostly though it’s all subconscious I guess. As a kid I heard all types of music from rock ‘n roll, to reggae to kwaito to hip hop to eastern music on Eastern Mosaic. So all these influences come popping up when I create.

You released Fire Up The Bongo through UK/ Dutch label and blog Generation Bass. How did the link up come about? How important do you think it is to extend ties internationally while you’re still building a fan base here in Mzansi?

On the first EP we worked with a promo company in SA called RedFlag. They got Generation Bass to feature us on their site. That’s how it started. Then we started talking to them about the possibility of us dropping an EP because of the support they continued to show us after the 1st EP had dropped. That’s how this EP got dropped on their label.

I think it is very important and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Building one Muzi fanbase, here and abroad, no matter where the people might be. Music is universal. A language we all understand. No point in just doing it for people here when there’s 7 billion people on earth. I am putting no border whatsoever on the music I’m doing and how far I can go with it.

You’ve done some dope remixes of tunes by rappers like Riky Rick’s Amantombazane and Casper Nyovest’s Doc Shebeleza recently. Are you interested in producing for rappers sort of how trap producers like TNGHT have been doing for the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West? Who would you like to work with?

Thank you for the compliment. Of course I am interested in working with other artists. The challenge is always an exciting one. Obviously, whoever I work with has to be at a level to match up the dark bass I put in all my beats LOL. Jokes aside though, I’m keen to do stuff in the near future. I’d love to work with Wolfgang Gartner, Flux Pavilion, The Prodigy, MoodyGood, and Skrillex just to name a few. Already talking with a few of these people on a possibility of something popping off. In terms of artists , M.I.A would be awesome . Anyone really who can bring something fresh that will make sense to both of us musically and artistically. If I ever do something with someone, that track has to be next level for the both of us.

This is the second EP you’ve released in succession for free download. What considerations do you have to take into account when balancing the need to get your tunes out there and make a name for yourself, but also needing to make loot at the same time?

Awesome question. Right now I’m at a level of investing in myself. If I do this properly, the loot will start coming. No one knows who I am so I can’t start selling stuff immediately. I’m in the process of finding my crowd and even though not much has been made in return, it is slowly growing. Investment is the same everywhere, you risk, you make nothing initially and if the investment is good, you start cashing in. Let’s hope I’m a good investment LOL.

Your name is becoming a fixture on line-ups of big parties and festivals these days. Could you share with us a story of your craziest gig of late?
Ha ha! Was late last year. Was doing a gig in Cape Town at a place called the Side Show. I’m talking +2000 kids jamming to my tunes. When I mixed in the last track, something was wrong with it. It just sounded uber slow and shit. Now imagine, I just had the crowd going nuts for an hour then on my last track my laptop fails me. So instead of being sad, I stop the music, jump into the crowd and yell, “YO!! I DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WITH THAT LAST TRACK BUT I PLAYED MY FUCKIN HEART OUT. THANKS FOR SHOWING ME LOVE. MY NAME IS MUZI ” … and the crowd goes insane. Girls grabbing me, guys shaking my hand . I felt like a Skrillex or something. Was definitely a glimpse into the future LOL. I could’ve used the microphone but screaming just felt more natural.

Where can fans catch you live in the near future?

Playing at Arcade Empire birthday (PTA) on the 12th of April (Sat) ; Have an Ultimix on the Freshdrive 5Fm on the 7th of April (Mon) at 6PM ; and a few very cool upcoming shows that are yet to be announced.

We know you stay grinding. Can you let us in any upcoming projects we can expect in 2014? Full-length album, maybe?

Currently talking with a few big names in the electronic scene here and internationally on a possible collab. Also have a few artists that I’ve produced for. Nothing is set as yet though so I can’t really say.

I’m probably going to drop a few tracks for free like every month LOL and maybe another EP in the second half of the year. I’m growing as a producer so I always have this urge to share my music. Too early for a full length album I think.

Are you big into social media? Where can peeps stay in touch with Muzi?
Facebook :
Twitter : @muziou
Soundcloud :
Im not on instagram. Unless if y’all want to see a 1000 pictures of an elephant logo , LOL

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Interview: Ben Caesar

We catch up with up-and-coming rapper Ben Caesar who was instrumental in the making of ‘Follow Us Home’, a campaign to create more unity in the Mzansi rap industry.

‘Follow Us Home’ is not just a song with a really cool music video. Please tell us why you call it a campaign and what that entails.

We wanted the people of CPT to see their artists in different capacities and see us link and chill together. So we did interviews with the artists, shoots at the studio session and music video sets. I figure if people see their artists hanging and supporting each other, they’ll be more likely to support them themselves. But there is a bigger vision to Follow Us Home with collaboration at the heart of it all.

Why the need to make a concerted effort to bring CPT musicians together specifically? Is this happening less in CPT than, say, in Jozi in your opinion?

We started it in CPT so we wanted to rep it. There’s actually a lot of collaboration in CPT, I think you hear about more Jozi collabos because that’s where the media hub is, so whatever happens is more likely to get broadcasted. But I wouldn’t say Jozi does more.

For me a part of this campaign was about taking our culture and media in our own hands, CPT music struggles to get TV and radio so we wanted to take it and push it on our own terms without relying on tv/radio.

Tell us how the project came together.

Initially Azuhl approached me, Youngsta and Ill Skillz to do a song. I thought why not take it further, get a bigger diverse mix and shoot the whole process. I spoke to Diego, my manager, and we fleshed it out more. We went back to Azuhl and he was down with it, we pooled our resources and connections. I brought Stanley John Films on board, they composed the beat and shot the interviews and music video. Azuhl got us a session at SAE and Metalloid Studio and organised the video screening at Classics, we got Ross Gabriel to edit and master the song and it was on. There was a lot of thought and strategy actually.

SJ Films, Azuhl and myself selected artists that have made a name for themselves and who could show some of the diversity of CPT. Shout out to all of them for seeing the vision, they rocked it.

Do you think the project may kickstart something that get local cats to collaborate more? What are some of the reasons for hip hop artists not wanting to reach out or sticking to their own cliques?

Hopefully yes! That’s a big part of the project- to inspire more collabos. To show what can be done when we ‘gather’ (S/O Youngsta). We didn’t have a budget for this but we pooled our resources and made it happen in 3 months, that says a lot about the power of unity. I think fear and a scarcity mentality is what prevents people reaching beyond their own cliques, its just sad.

How important do you think collaboration is for the growth of the Mzansi hip hop industry?

It’s essential. I personally have learnt through this that if you work with like minded, inspired people, together you can achieve what you couldn’t alone.

You’re well-travelled. Tell us where you’ve been and if any of the places you’ve been to have made an impact on your music.

I’m blessed to have travelled so much. It’s been my best education. From New York, Paris, St Lucia, Holland and all the other places I’ve been to, I learnt how diverse and alike we all are. That has fed my music, music has the power to bring people from two different worlds together.
To be specific, I love the London music scene. Being there when I was young kinda sewed it into the fabric of my artistry, I guess it figures as a lot of music in the UK has been influenced by the Caribbean so dubstep, garage, bass music I understand on a level. But the SA music scene is incredible as is the Caribbean……Ah there’s too much to even start on.

Tell us about your love affair with CPT.

My mother being an activist moved down here to work so I finished my schooling here, and pretty much started my music career here. Cape Town is my Godmother she has sheltered and challenged me. I have many homes but CPT is one that fate has brought me to start my music career in. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Where did it all start out for you? Tell us how you laid the foundation in the industry before making a name for yourself.

Lol, I don’t know if I’ve made a name for myself yet, man. I learnt early that good music markets itself. So you don’t need a label or a rich family to get out there. Make music that people will talk about and connect with. That’s been my strategy from the start.

With popular tracks like Yummy Yummy and Sunday Times, it seems like a strong visual component to your tracks is always very important to you. Are you working on any new video material at the moment?

Visual has always been important for me, it’s a form of communication. The visuals add to the experience of the music they’re an extension of it. I see it as a part of the storytelling. I often work with Stanley John Films because they understand this. Dale Fortune of Stanley John Films, he’s my boy, we came up together, he produced beats on my first album! We saw it as mutually beneficial to work together so we did.

Recently we’ve been editing a lot of footage from gigs and doing interviews so more interactive visual content to come.

You’ve expressed a love for cooking in your track Yummy Yummy, what are other interests you have outside of rap that people may not know?

Honestly I love talking and engaging with people, people are amazing. I love producing actually, I’m that cat that will sit in studio all night picking out the snare. I love going outdoors, I draw, I meditate.

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