From Kriel to Paris: Oscar Mbo On His Beginnings, Brand Partnerships, Music & Fashion
South Africa is teeming with deep house DJs and producers, but not many have the inimitable capabilities possessed by DJ and producer Oscar Mbo. Born Oscar Mbongeni Ndlovu, Oscar Mbo is a matchless breed of modern DJs and producers who is known for his precise mixing and timing technique which touches the soul and leaves many astounded yet dancing or sluggishly moving their head.
Born in Pretoria and raised in a small mining town in Mpumalanga called Kriel (West of Witbank), Oscar collects and plays an array of eclectic genres which sets him apart and has the capability to make you fall in love with whatever genre he is playing on that particular day. “Oscar Mbo is a collector of music, an entrepreneur, a travel fanatic and a big lover of fashion”, he shares briefly about himself.
An Occupational Health and Safety graduate, the Bog O (as he is affectionately known amongst his fans) follows his passion as a DJ and podcaster of his own show titled ‘The Ashmed Hour’, under Podomatic — a show that has been most downloaded under Deep House for nine consecutive years even above world renowned Freerange Records Podcast. “The Ashmed Hour is a podcast that I formed in 2011, it caters for various sounds; lounge, trip hop, neo-soul, latin, break beats, soulful and deep house music”, he shares about The Ashmed Hour. On its 100th episode and 4th year now, The Ashmed Hour has grown tremendously from what started as two mixes (local house music one and international on the other) which were released weekly and then bi-weekly, spearheaded by the man himself and the show was later joined by Ezra and Luu.“ The idea of putting out mixtapes that I record in my personal space for the world to consume drove me crazy but as I grew with it I realized that I need to come with a system that’s going to keep people intact and I moved from dropping them weekly to bi-weekly then eventually ended up dropping monthly to date”, Oscar shares more insight about the history of the podcast. Along the years Ezra and Luu joined in on the show, which meant that we were going to rotate between us on who does the Special Mix – Lounge, Downtempo Mix, Main Mix – strictly international House Music and Local Mix – South African produced music. Then on each and every show have two Guest DJss (a total of five mixes monthly). The show grew for itself, quality being the main contributor — people fell in love with the idea and its consistency I’d like to believe, then numbers racked up gradually”, he elaborates.
The show entails five mixes per month, one by himself and the othe two by the other Golden Boys members (DJ Luu and Ezra) as well as two chosen guests on submission. All of the mixes are recorded on the first Thursday of the month at a venue in Middelburg, Mpumalanga (Junxion Lifestyle) — which is always packed upon recordings. The show is freely available for download on iTunes under the podcast section as well as directly on www.goldenboys.podomatic.com.
Golden Boys Entertainment is another movement Oscar Mbo is known for and one where he works alongside Ezra Mlotshwa and Daluxolo Sithole, it is an entertainment company that was formed in 2010 which focuses on lifestyle events and was primarily built to host social events in the eMahlaheni region of Mpumalanga. “It is purely the love of music that elevated into other forms to keep the culture alive. Our field has the smallest community and everyone who’s involved can help it grow with their own creativity and influence”, he explains the concept behind Golden Boys. Golden Boys Entertainment has hosted a vast number of national DJs on different platforms and themes such as ‘The Golden Boys Easter Hangout’, ‘GB & Friends Picnic’, ‘GB Dress Up Sundays’ and ‘Annual GB Birthday Celebration’.
Inspired and influenced by a strong musical background, Oscar fall in love with music at a tender age and went on to discover and pursue different sounds and eventually pursued DJing and subsequently music production. Fresh from delivering remarkable sets at the world famous Djoon Club in Paris, Oscar Mbo continues to tease us with snippets of his upcoming album on social media. “Djoon was an amazing experience and has opened many doors for me, I would like to thank Shimza for affording me and Darque this very unique opportunity and my album is almost done — it has been tiring and challenging but I will announce the release date after submitting the project for mixing and mastering”, he shares about his trip to France and his album. “I’m a groovy DJ — I play sets that get you in the mood to bob your head, dance or have fun where we are. Same element goes into studio, like I mentioned earlier it’s all about connecting with you as a stranger”, he shares about his song making process and the concept behind the album. “I’m into soulful and deep house sounds, so when going soulful for instance, a certain scenario or sound is usually in my head then the work begins, creativity usually meets up during that process”, he elaborates.
Oscar Mbo is not only known for his ability behind the decks but his ability to dress well which has led to him being appointed by Diesel Menlyn Mall to be part of the monthly in-store promotion titled ‘Denim Friday’ where he plays throughout the day alongside guests as that are aligned to the brand. He invites his followers to check out new season stock as well as frequent sales and specials. The shop has been breaking national records of sales during the promotion day ever since he’s been involved and he plans on nationalizing the movement. Having overcome a number of challenges in this volatile industry he advises one to always be professional and learn from the people you work with which makes your brand solid and respectable.
His love for life-changing stories is what inspires his music and one can surely patiently wait for this album as it will be a blissful musical journey. Having started the first half of the year strongly, Oscar Mbo promises a documentary, compilation and lots of singles (after the album release) and his birthday tour in August for the latter part of the year. As we patiently wait for his album you can download and stream his single ‘Show Me Love’ by Oscar Mbo & Spuman on all digital platforms.