Vitu: Fearless in his expression and carving a new path in film & music
Honest expression is something that is difficult to come by and expression that knows no boundaries can easily translate into a form of liberation. An unbiased observation of society and particularly its youth, since the youth is going to be carrying the torch and pushing society into the future, is important in trying to understand how important expression is to young people. One can even stretch the notion to a point where we can hold creativity up to a high-esteem and treat it as a commodity. With mind-blowing advancements in technology, it feels like time is moving faster and more people are starting to feel left behind in life and work. In these fast moving times, the burning question is: Who has the power to mold, move, lead, direct and create culture? The answers that may be derived from that question may vary from person to person, but one thing that goes without doubt is that a creative mind has the power to move mountains and often times, art is what shapes society and unfortunately it does not gain the acknowledgement that it deserves.
It is not easy to go out and carve your own path to do what you love, but one individual is fighting off the struggles that life brings and that individual is none other than the Pretoria-born, Cape Town based creative, Vitu. Vitu is an artist that takes up a stance of making people realize the power and value in art and this is reflected in how he chooses to live his life and his career choice.
His understanding of the influence the places you may or may not have a choice to live in shows in how he crafts his music. “I am originally from Pretoria and spent some time in Jo’burg for my studies and moved to Cape Town for work. When I was in Pretoria, I was making Pretoria-sounding music and when I was in Jo’burg I was making music with a Jo’burg feel. And now that I’m in Cape Town, the city reflects itself in my music”. What we gathered from that statement was that Vitu is an artist that has a deep understanding about how location has a huge impact on work that an artist creates. Here is an artist that is connected to his surroundings and an artist that knows how to connect how he feels, what inspires him, people he comes across and the spaces he inhabits, which is absolutely amazing.
“When I was in Pretoria, I was making Pretoria-sounding music and when I was in Jo’burg I was making music with a Jo’burg feel. And now that I’m in Cape Town, the city reflects itself in my music”
Vitu forms part of a musical outfit called Arcade Music, which covers feats like beat production and the creation of quality music. The fact that the members of Arcade music are friends allows for a genuine synergy when they jump in the studio to create music.
Photo credit: Arcade Music. Courtesy of Arcade Music Facebook Page.
Creatives are often challenged by one thing – and that is balancing working and doing what they truly love. In Vitu’s case, that is not necessarily the case as he works in an industry where he gets to do work that he is passionate about. “At the end of the day, I need to eat. I can’t disregard the importance of having a job and making sure that I survive. I don’t necessarily struggle with balancing my work life and my creative life, because after work when I get home I get to work on my music. It gets crazy, sometimes I sleep late. “I love working in the industry that I’m in, being in the film industry in Cape Town is cool. I get to build crucial connections that I can later on use in the future. Let’s say I want to shoot a music video, I would have access to people that can help me conceptualize and shoot it.”
“At the end of the day, I need to eat. I can’t disregard the importance of having a job and making sure that I survive.”
When asked about the differences in the respective creative scenes between Jo’burg and Cape Town, Vitu had the following to say: ” Cape Town is very small which makes it easier to connect with people as opposed to how big Jo’burg is. Jo’burg is more fast-paced and you can get things done quite quickly. Due to the size of scene in Cape Town, things are slightly slower but one can’t take away the amazing creative work that the city produces. It made sense for me to move to Cape Town after spending some time in Jo’burg.”
When it came to the topic of music, Vitu made it quite clear that he wants to make music and that he doesn’t want to be boxed in any category that will limit the lengths his creativity can take him when he creates the work that he puts out. “I think it’s unfortunate that when you make music that is not necessarily popular, you get tagged with the word underground. I really don’t like that word. I just want to make music. And just because I made a few jazz-influenced tracks with a boom bap feel doesn’t mean that I will never make trap. Don’t get me wrong, I love trap. But the reason behind why my music sounds the way that it does at the moment is because of what I have been listening to recently and the space that I was in.”
Photo credit: Vitu Maphenduka
“I think it’s unfortunate that when you make music that is not necessarily popular, you get tagged with the word underground. I really don’t like that word. I just want to make music.”
Artists often face struggles when it comes to creating the music that we enjoy so much and it is unfortunate that we hardly get to see the challenges that they go through to create. “Last year, I didn’t make a lot of music. I wasn’t in a space where I could make music. But this year, I was like let me go at it again and things started working out. People responded quite well to my first single, which is great.” Vitu released about 5 tracks this year and people responded quite well to ones that are particularly going to be in is new project which will drop in 2017.
“I recently got a new laptop after my other laptop got stolen. And unfortunately that laptop had a lot of music that I worked on that I had initially planned to be in my next project. I am making beats and trying to recreate what I had worked on, but it seems that I am taking a direction that differs from what I had initially planned and it is coming out quite well” he said. He is working with a lot artists that he has met in Cape Town, which includes his partners in Arcade music and DJ Skinniez. 2017 is looking quite great for Vitu and it seems as if it will act as a defining moment, so to speak.
When asked about when we can expect his next project, which is called This Time Next Week, he said the following: “I am still working on music and I plan to release it on Bandcamp for downloads for free and people can pay what they want if they want to and on Soundcloud for streaming. All the other platforms like iTunes, I will consider later on but for now I want people to be able to access the music” he said.
“If all goes well, I plan to release the project in March so that I can have February as a month for promo” he said.
Vitu is scheduled to impress in 2017 and we’re quite excited about that. We’re looking forward to what he will deliver in the next year.
Our movement, help us define it.