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Digital Digger's Choice Music

Mutual Intentions: Oslo-based record label re-imagines creativity and music in Europe

Collaboration has been a catalyst for a lot of human triumphs throughout history. Most of the breakthroughs that humans have made came about through collaborative efforts. The saying “no man is an island” holds a powerful truth which, if you dig deeper in its significance, hints at the role collaboration plays in human progression. The year 2010 was a defining year, and this is arguable, for youth collaboration across the globe as crews like Odd Future and Progressive Era started hitting the internet by storm. The most fascinating aspect about the two respective crews, which consisted of mostly black American youth, is how they took advantage of the variety of talents and creative skills within the friendships that they had cultivated throughout their childhoods to create something the world would swallow up and replicate. In this case, replication is not a bad thing because it gave birth to a lot of different crews and collectives that realized how capable they were in solidifying their names in history. You could go anywhere in the world to witness what collaboration brought to the global creative landscape.

From Africa to Europe to Asia to North and South America, incredible partnerships are happening which carry the potential of shifting conventional thinking. The notion of collaboration brings us to mention an Oslo-based crew called Mutual Intentions. Mutual Intentions properly popped up on a global radar in late 2015 with musical releases from Ivan Ave, Fredfades and Yogisoul. At the time it seemed as though the Norwegian creatives were plotting a complete European takeover, judging by the quality of the releases towards the end of 2015. With planned releases through the Cologne based record label, Jakarta Records, 2016 looked like it was going to be an interesting year for the collective which at the time was just that, a collective. But Mutual Intentions was not like any other crew as they extended their musical and overall creative footprint in Europe and North America. Let us not forget the 2015 release of the Fruitful LP, which was a collaborative effort between Fredfades and Ivan Ave. Mutual Intentions displayed its intent on shaking things up in the European space and how they were forming part of a new group of European artists that are changing the narrative of how music as a medium of entertainment and education was packaged and created. With globalization and internationalization happening at an insanely rapid pace, it is no surprise that a crew in Norway is relaying messages and art that have an inherent international appeal that supersedes borders and cultural boundaries.

The end of 2016 marked a time where the official solidification of the crew as a creative organization. Mutual Intentions then became a record label which would house all their creative endeavors under one roof. For the creative world, this is important. Not long after the announcement, another announcement followed which was about a new release from the impressive Norwegian lyricist, Ivan Ave. The release was to include a new visual drop. We have to note that this happened after a string of releases that happened from different corners of the Mutual I camp. Another impressive release came in the form of a compilation that was composed of work that the crew had worked on.

The work that Mutual Intentions has put in has been nothing short of incredible. The crew is cementing its name into history and the way things are set up, it seems as though we are in for a treat.

Follow Mutual Intentions on Facebook for updates. Follow them on Bandcamp and Soundcloud to listen to some of their musical work.

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Interviews Music

ECHLN: Defining a new sound & breaking into international markets.

For South Africa creatives, there is no better time than now to take advantage of the power of the internet and how it allows for international collaborations to happen. In 2017, you simply need a laptop, a creative mind and an internet connection to create a solid digital footprint. Let us not forget a well put-together email pitch and a determined spirit. Simple tools to get you going to create a legacy for yourself. Sure, for African creatives, a constant access to the internet may be a challenge but being the costs of having a solid internet access are a necessary evil for creatives. The internet is the fuel to launching your digital takeover. There are quite a few young creatives that are doing amazing things and forming connections that would probably never happen 10 years ago if an artist did not have record label backing. The gates are open for artists to take up a DIY attitude.

An example of a South African creative that is breaking into international markets is the Cape Town based creative, ECHLN. With a creative collaboration with Darker Than Wax, an international electronic music label and international music collective based in Singapore, ECHLN stands to add weight to his name across different parts of the globe. Darker Than Wax boasts a 43 000 Soundcloud following which the Cape Town based creative can take advantage of. We got an opportunity to chop it up with ECHLN to find out more about him. Peep the conversation below.

Extending appreciation and our gratitude to you is something that we need to clear out first before we jump in. We appreciate the time taken to speak to us. We came across your work through DARKER THAN WAX on Soundcloud, which is an incredible platform that pushes a certain musical culture. After spinning your tracks, our team was quite impressed by the quality of your music and we decided to do our research. Upon our research, we found out that you are from South Africa, which was even more incredible. Can you please tell us more about yourself?

ECHLN: My name is Kwetsima Maluleke. I was born on April 7 1995. I was raised in Johannesburg and then Pretoria when I started Grade 1 and I’ve been a Pretorian from then till Matric. I know stay in Cape Town and I’m studying Bachelor Arts of Sound Production at SAE Institute Cape Town.

Your style of music is quite unique, it has an immediate international appeal that one can catch after a listen or two. It is certainly not bounded by any borders. Who or what are some of your musical influences?

ECHLN: Always trying to create moments like that and for me, that is creativity. Listening to Pharrell composed music made me think this way. It the little things that make the biggest difference

When did the journey into music begin? Is music a venture that you intended to go into full time? In the times we live in, we are witnessing more dynamic artists that manage to hold down jobs, start and run businesses and also find time to create music.

ECHLN: It started off as something fun I’d do at my cousins’ place because they had FL Studio on their computer and I started to enjoy it more and more to the point where during my early high school years, after homework I’d go or sneak onto FL Studio and make some beats. Switching fully to Propellerhead Reason got me a lot more serious about the thing and I knew that this what I wanted to do.

What can you say has been the biggest highlight since you started putting your music out online?

ECHLN: Definitely, Darker Than Wax hosting two of my songs. I’ve been a fan of them for 4 years and I didn’t ever think I’d be on their and releasing projects with them. It’s not the first time an overseas label noticed me but this was the most significant.

Dead or alive, which artist would you like to meet or work with?

ECHLN: Pharrell Williams.

 

Do you feel that the general South African music listener would be receptive of the music that you create?

ECHLN: No to be honest. My music isn’t exactly commercial. People that listen to my music listen to international acts a lot and especially from Soundcloud but I’ve accepted that and I’m addressing that by adding more local elements into my music because it’s cool having your music played from the US to Singapore but I’m from South Africa and I want my sound to be bigger here.

Let’s talk about platforms, do you think there are enough platforms in South Africa that give young artists like you a platform to share their music?

ECHLN: There are many platforms but not good ones. It depends on who you’re trying to target. You just must know which platform to use really. I knew Soundcloud would get me a lot of international listeners for example. For some artists, radio would be better than that. You as an artist just must know which is best for you.

In closing, where can people find you or your work online? Do you have any words for your supporters or the people that will start following you?

ECHLN: You can find me on soundcloud.com/echln and echln.bandcamp.com and @prodbyechln on Twitter. All I can say for now is that I have an EP with Darker Than Wax coming soon this year and some other projects I can’t yet mention yet so stay tuned.

ECHLN has a bright future in the creative space in South Africa, more specifically in music. The work that he has put is outstanding and is worthy South African export to international markets.

Follow him on Soundcloud.
Follow him on Twitter.

Join our journey of African internet radio disruption.

Categories
Culture Interviews

Lebo Molepo: Cultivating a budding creative scene in the province of the rising sun.

South African millennials exist in a time where they can see their ideas grow and live, despite the challenges brought forth by South Africa’s brutal exclusionary past. A past that killed many of the dreams that today’s youth’s parents carried during Apartheid, although the country is still pregnant with societal issues and youth frustration linked to the lack of resources. The country’s youth migrates from small towns in great numbers to fast-paced cities like Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town in hopes to study and better their futures. Most of the youth that migrates to the bigger cities in South Africa ends up staying in those cities because of work opportunities and they find themselves integrating into those urban spaces. It has become a really rare case of finding young people that choose to stay in the lesser known South African provinces due to access of resources, particularly in the creative sphere. The notion that you need to move to the bigger cities to make a name for yourself is slowly fading out and one individual from the small mining town, Evander in the Mpumalanga province, is a great example of how you can build a name for yourself and build a scene at the same time in your home town. The individual goes by the name of Lebo Molepo, a skateboarder, film-maker, creative and just an overall awesome person.

We caught up with him about the creative scene in Mpumalanga and how he is becoming a very important component in building a budding creative scene in Mpumalanga by using skateboarding as starting point for his creativity. Peep our conversation with him below.

We appreciate your time for awarding our team the opportunity to connect with you and find out more about you and the movement that you’re pushing. To kick things off, please let us in on who you are and tell us a little bit about the movement that you are pushing?

Lebo Molepo: I am a youthful creative individual with superior self-beliefs and objectives for my life. I am dedicated, loyal and I will forever respect you until you disrespect me first. I am Lebo Molepo. Formerly known as ‘tallasskid’ but currently more renowned as Digital Rapper TV, since mid 2016 because of my passion, vision and beliefs. I consider myself a rapper, but there is a catch. I ain’t no lyrical rapper just digital. I express my thoughts, visions and life experiences in a digital way. I see myself as rapping digitally and not lyrically, hence I am the digital rapper. It’s only fair that I express myself visually and I need a TV screen to do that. I guess that’s where the Digital Rapper TV productions originated from. Simply stated ‘Doctor TV’ productions. It’s crazy how everything started with me being that tall ass kid carrying a skateboard everywhere I went. I got formally introduced to skateboarding through my older brother Phila Molepo, way back in 2010. Skateboarding became my lifestyle ever since then. I used to be a razor scooter homie back then[laughs]. The skate scene in Secunda used to be very wild and untamed back in the days of Craig Pike, Jay Pateman and Charl ‘Skippy’ Steyn. Those were there prime skateboarding days in MP, producing visual projects like ‘Sticks & Stones‘ which is still fresh and relevant today after so many years. Unfortunately I caught up on skateboarding after all this happened. The skate scene in Secunda started dying. All the skaters either stopped skating, got injured or moved out of town.  In a particular case, Jay now lives abroad, pursuing the skate life and getting sponsored in the process. Last time I checked, Craig Pike, was in Cape Town, he is a well known skater. Lastly Charl is now a famous Pretoria shredder and is the co-owner of Plankie skateboards. I was lucky enough to find a few skaters who were active in those prime skateboarding days. We used to have daily street missions and I learnt a lot from skaters like Byron, Jaco, Marcus Myburg, Wian Brown and David Otto. Those were the prime skateboarding days. I took it upon myself to keep MP skateboarding alive, when myself and Phila were the only ones pushing plank. Things became easier for us when we connected with other skaters from Standerton. Cats like Lebohang ‘SteezTheRipper’ Mabele and Mxolisi ‘Shakes’ Luvuno. We started making missions together and became a brotherhood of skaters. Lebohang was the brave one who started the MPSkate Facebook page. Together with myself, Mxolisi and Phila we became the admins of the MPSkate movement. The skate scene started reviving and MPSkate became our movement. I dedicated my life to make it a success. Things took a dark turn when the OG’s of MPSkate, Mxolisi and Lebohang, moved out of Standerton. That’s when all the inspiration kicked in. I became MPSkate. I started filming and trying to gain exposure for MPSkate, that’s when I created the instagram account @mpumalangaskate. I have been progressing ever since. Until this day.

Music often shapes youth sub-cultures and inadvertently becomes the soundtrack to many youth movements. What role does music play in the movement that you’re building up?

Lebo Molepo: It’s actually insane how one trick can literally make your project a success or a failure. Every musical piece has to go hand in hand with the current project I am working on. It’s that deep. The way I see, the importance of music in the skate and film life is far greater than shaping the movement. It’s more like the foundation of everything. It’s that deep.

The one interesting aspect about what you do is how DIY your approach is. You’re not waiting for anyone to give you handouts. Why do you think it is important to have a DIY attitude as soon as you can as a young creative?

Lebo Molepo: I’m actually quite stoked that you took note of my DIY attitude. Creativity has no limits.It should not have boundaries either. It’s just a battle one should conquer with their inner creative nature. Everything about creativity is about doing it yourself. Once you cannot do it yourself, that means you depend on someone or something else. As soon as that happens, your creative objective is under siege and is not a guaranteed success. I believe one’s creativity is at its fullest potential when you are able to achieve an objective by yourself. As a young creative, I cannot stress the importance of a DIY attitude enough. Jump on that steez mate.

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You combine skateboarding, music and videography to come with original content. What is the creative process behind your creations?

Lebo Molepo: Those who pursue the skate life will know that inspiration will come from various things within the skate life. From as little as watching someone else do a single trick. That alone can have you hooked for days as a skateboarder. Just try and imagine how it is for every creative who also skates in this movement. It is filled with inspiration from local scenes all the way to highest level of international skateboarding. I normally try to be  creative within my boundaries and allows for my originality to shine through. I would find myself filming the other skaters around me and simply watching the raw uncut footage, a creative vision will show up to me. At times I get a mind-block, but as soon as I get inspiration from music, everything becomes smooth again. If you’ve ever tried to make visual project without music on on Adobe Premiere Pro, you will understand the type of inspiration you get from music as an editor. At this point, nothing is solid in my creative process. My ads end up different every time. The process I try to stick to is to be creative every time I try something new. 

Let us in on some of the challenges that you face as young creative in Mpumalanga. Too many creatives in Mpumalanga, access to resources that could further their message or art is an identified challenge. What are some of your challenges?

Lebo Molepo: Let me add on the identified challenges. Things like access to production equipment, finances and transport are obvious challenges that we face. As much as these are our challenges, we as the MpSkate brotherhood encounter much deeper problems like keeping all the close skaters on their boards, and keeping the scene alive and kicking. There are no skate shops this side, no skating facilities either, just street. You often find homies who want to buy boards and skate but they have to travel to another province first! On the other hand, you get those homies would hit me up, talking about how they need a spare truck or even a bearing sometimes because they want to skate. That time the homie is in Standerton and I’m in Secunda. It becomes a challenge to the extent where some homies stop skating because it’s hopeless without skate equipment in Mpumalanga. One other thing that would be exposure in MP. Locals are not fully supportive and understanding. We are still seen as Taboo, every time we make town skate missions. We need exposure amongst all the people, whether you skate or not. The one thing that makes me happy is that we ‘MpSkate’ are becoming familiar in the vocabulary of the local rappers and the local skate scene in South Africa. You see your favourite rapper and skater mentioning MpSkate and you then wonder who MpSkate is, until you realise that they are in your town.

What is your process of selecting music for a video part?

Lebo Molepo: I wouldn’t consider my selection as a deep process. I basically get inspiration from life, the scene around me and I try to keep up with what’s good in the hood by all means. Recently I have been switching up the focus to local rappers but we’ll see how that goes.

Let’s talk about creative direction. We recently saw MPSkate ad on Facebook and we were quite impressed with how it was crafted. What was the starting point for the creative direction for that advert?

Lebo Molepo: Documentary Ad! I am pretty stoked about that ad. Yeah, I hit up the Secunda regulars and The Ghost Town homies too. We hooked up an OG MpSkate brotherhood skate session. That session was gnarly. I an bummed that I missed out on most of it as a result of being behind the camera all session long. The ad was crafted by using my favourite scenes from the day. Giving the viewer visual pleasure was what I had in mind. The ad is actually about MpSkate documentary that we are currently working on.  It serves to show the true courage and love for Skateboarding that it to keep the skate scene alive in MP. Keep your eyes out for that one.

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MPSkate connects skaters from the Gert Sibande region in Mpumalanga and the whole Mpumalanga and the movement is composed of different types of creatives, from photographers to producers and rappers. How do you plan on combining all those different skills?

Lebo Molepo: It’s insane how much you learn from simply living this type of life. I meet professional individuals who admire my creative art and they create a buzz about it. In actual fact, these are individuals that I have been admiring and supporting for a long time now. I am part of a creative production company that is still on the rise to success. Shout out to Excuse Me Sir Official, I am exposed to the creative industry and I plan to stretch my abilities beyond measure when it comes to working with other creative individuals in the scene.

In many cases, a lot of skateboarders are influenced by the music that is played in video parts. What are some of the genres that you got exposed to through watching video parts?

Lebo Molepo: [Laughs]. I actually came across a video part that had Korean and American rock and track music. I later got formally introduced to Jay Park, Cha Cha Malone and some Korean bands through Jaryd Uken aka Proda-J, my homie and music producer. I have already learnt a lot and I am a fan of Jay Park. He is truly something else.

In your opinion, does skateboarding enhance the music experience or does music enhance the skateboarding experience?

Lebo Molepo: I feel like skateboarding enhances the music experience. I have made many music adventures all because of skateboarding and what I want to achieve for the skateboarding life.

What is the bigger goal when it comes to combining skateboarding, music and videography?

Lebo Molepo: The bigger goal is to ultimately be a strong force to be reckoned with and be an influence in every aspect of what I do. Skate, music and videography. When I am skating an MPSkate skateboarding to my music while watching visuals that I have created. I will finally give myself props for getting to start what I am all about. #SkateLove.

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Which songs are currently playing in your playlist right now?

Lebo Molepo: Man! Throw in some TDE in there, Bas, J-Cole, The Internet, Miller Mae; my white nigga Larry Fisherman and don’t forget about those blue Anderson .Paak days! As for my local rappers, Revivolution be the clique and the rest can eat a big fat D. On a real note, shout out to my Mp Rappers out there! Pava Gunz and Inspektah Gadget. GK entertainment shout out! Mental Case, Kickz, Mozzy Beats. Massive records shout out. Sean Drums and Jaryd Uken. Shout out to Excuse Me Sir Official! My playlist is a jungle. I have been up there on Nusoulhub’s SoundCloud too. Their station is rad.

In closing, where can people find out more about what you do and the projects that you’re involved in? Do you have any words for people that support what you do and those that will find out about you and what you do?

Lebo Molepo: I’m always around the scene! Email me on: Lebomolepo@icloud.com. I have got Facebook: pages too @MpSkate and @DigitalRapperTv. Instagram: @mpumalangaskate, @digitalrapper_tv and @iam_thedigitalrapper. I’m also on Twitter: @lebo_molepo.

Ultimately you can view my projects on my YouTube channels @DigitalRapperTv and @LeboMolepo. We got that Vimeo just for you too, @MpSkate. Shout out to the MpSkate Brotherhood. Special shout oiut to Phila, Thabang, Mxolisi and Lebohang aka NVDA clothing OG! We out here skating and ain’t stopping anytime soon. Keep up the support and buy us decks, or maybe build us a Skatepark, Lol. Even if you come say; “Hi” and pop an ollie, we still value and appreciate your time and support. Peace out. #MPSkate.

Special mention to the Nusoulhub Radio team for having me. It’s been a great interview and I appreciate your time and effort. One Love.

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Join our journey of African internet radio disruption.

 



Categories
Culture Interviews Music

Twobirdypanda: A Johannesburg based DJ that is defying traditional practices in the South African music landscape.

Avant-garde DJing, a perspective that entails forward-thinking and innovative mixing, pushing sounds that are uncharacteristic to the a vast amount of South African music lovers and a determined spirit. Those descriptions are a perfect fit when speaking about the Johannesburg based DJ, Twobirdypanda. The aura and the image he has built for himself can have one asking the following question: “How does he do it? Where does he get the bravery to do something that has never been done before in South Africa?”. Twobirdypanda forms part of a select group of creative people that completely disregard traditional practices within the creative spaces that they find themselves in to create something that makes sense to them. Artists that think like Twobirdypanda are a rare find and to be more specific, the DJ realm is full of mundane characters that rarely push the boundary and innovate and he is relentless on leaving a mark in history. South Africa is a huge contributor of House music to the global community that loves and appreciates the House music genre and this means that if the country carries such an accolade or responsibility, there should be a large population of people that come up as House DJ’s. Twobirdypanda chooses to assume a position that is completely different from his DJ peers and other counterparts. This is seen in how he chooses to do things and how chooses to express himself.

With a style that is reminiscent of early Joe Kay and the UK’s Ralph Hardy and this notion is supported by the fact that he has set up his brand in a way that has innovation in its roots. He thinks differently and by that he is quickly building up a name that will have weight in future. The world is looking at South Africa as a House music destination and it is difficult for the world to expect something different from the country and that alone opens up the gates for Twobirdypanda as he has the space and the leverage to disrupt South Africa’s DJ scene. We cannot limit or box Twobirdypanda, which is one of the great characteristics of the creative. The innovation and forward-thinking is what sets him and his team apart.

We had a chat with the young creative from Tsakane, Johannesburg to find out more about his art and his creative business endeavor called Soft Pardy Island. Peep the conversation below.

We always kick things off with extending appreciation and gratitude. The Nusoulhub Radio team is always psyched to get to connect with talented artists like yourself. We were compelled to get you on board to know more about you after hearing your mixes online. So tell us, who is twobirdypanda and where are you based?

Twobirdypanda: Twobirdypanda is a reloaded version of myself(Ndumiso Mahlangu),basically a character I see myself in, when I’m out of my comfort zone. Based in Tsakane(East Rand).

When it comes to your music, when did the journey start?

Twobirdypanda: Haha it was in 2012 when I used to share music with this artsy girl I was dating. So in the process of sharing, my playlist got dry, so got our relationship lol. That’s when I went online and literally looked up “All types of music genres”   haha it was crazy. I got exposed to a lot of great musicians and you know I started collecting.  So on her birthday I compiled a mix(Soft Pardy) and uploaded it on Soundcloud,the feedback was exceptional and I made more Soft Pardy mixtapes.

You have rather an interesting name, which definitely caught our attention. Can you tell us about the story behind your chosen artist name?

Twobirdypanda: Referring to the Twobirdypanda logo , birds giving birth to music in early mornings,pandas dance to win a companion during mating season. So two birds and a panda were so convenient to define what I’m about.

You have quite a unique style of curating your mixes, particularly when it comes to song selection. We are easily reminded of early Soulection, Boiler Room and Ralph Hardy sessions on Radar Radio. What inspires you to push the type of music that you do because it is quite uncharacteristic in South Africa, but definitely a breath of fresh air?

Twobirdypanda: I’m convinced that 80% of South Africans have a good taste when it comes to music, it just goes down to what people are exposed to. Commercial music is as good as non-commercial music. The challenge is quantity, what we hear on tv and radio is a drop in the ocean compared to what the internet has to offer. So I don’t just see myself as a DJ but a channel where people can easily discover new music.

When it comes to the style of DJing that you do and the types of genres that you push, do you think that you’re creating a scene or forming part of a scene that has already kick started?

Twobirdypanda: I’m definitely forming part of a scene. I remember in high school when I came across Nu Jazz,Trip hop,etc I thought it was only perfect for studying and reading books until years later, I got exposed to local DJs that play this music as Lounge music, which for me was really fascinating. I’ve always liked the idea of people socializing with good chilled music playing in the background, lounging that is. 🙂

South Africa is internationally known to be a House music destination and majority of the events are House and most of the population consumes House music. Do you see that as a challenge in making sure that your mixes get the listener reach that they deserve?

Twobirdypanda: I don’t really see it as a challenge because House music is also part of the Soft Pardy package.  What me and my team do,we go to some of these “House” events and hand out cds(Soft Pardy mixtapes)  to selective people,which is classic and the way forward.

What motivates you to keep on doing what you do? It may be particularly difficult to pursue a creative endeavour in South Africa, so what keeps you soldiering on to do what you love?

Twobirdypanda: As practical as this might seem, I’m motivated by music. As if the whole world is musical and every time I think of that, positivity kicks in, I no longer see myself as  just a South African but a universal being, who can make it anywhere.

What is your opinion on collaboration? Collaboration is a major life force for many scenes across the world, take Los Angeles, Tokyo and London for example have incredible creative scenes which are built on collaborative energy? Judging by the way South Africa is set up, do you think that Jo’burg and Cape Town can have world renowned music scenes within the domain that you play in?

Twobirdypanda: Collaborations are essential. They bring different types of energies together.There’s already big movements like ‘WeHeartBeat’ that are doing the most right now, as a start up it would be really wise to follow their footsteps and learn.


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DJ’s have a very important role of breaking new sounds to the masses and that is a duty that needs to be respected. What do you think modern DJ’s lack today?

Twobirdypanda: These DJs don’t lack anything,they cool. lol

What are some of the struggles that you face as a young creative in South Africa?

Twobirdypanda: Not having free Wifi in our households,the internet has so much to offer. I hate it when people can’t download/stream  our mixtapes because they struggle with data.

Is there a grand destination or goal when it comes to what you do? Where would you like your creative efforts to take you?

Twobirdypanda: Yes, owning a record label. The music talent in my area is very intriguing. The challenge is, there’s gaps between musicians, gaps like “ I have a really awesome voice but where can I record?”  or “I’m really good at playing lead but who can I play with?”  so if we could close these gaps,we can move forward.

We’re currently living in a digital age and for us to connect with you would not be possible if it weren’t for technological advancements. Do you think that the rise in internet usage and social media for example is great for artists? How do you do you use these digital avenues to spread your message and art?

Twobirdypanda: Yes, as an artist you should take an advantage of social media. People spend more time on their phones than watching television. So basically ,we should see social media as a marketing tool.  I try to be more visual when I post stuff and you know people respond much better to visuals than just words.

In closing, where can people find you or your creative work online? Do you have any words for the people that follow you and the ones that are going to get to know you?

Twobirdypanda: 

soundcloud.com/twobirdypanda

Facebook : Twobirdypanda

There’s also a musical movement me and my  team are busy with, you can check that out on Facebook: Soft Pardy Island

Uhmm my Instagram is still dry for now lol  but you guys can still follow me: Twobirdypanda

I’d like to thank everyone that’s been supporting and I love you guys.

Thanks to Nusoulhub Radio for the feature,it really means a lot.

 

Follow Twobirdypanda on social media to catch more updates on his new mixes, remixes and events.

 

 

 

Categories
Interviews Music

Introducing Nemek – a talented but elusive beat maker who chooses to stay away from social media

Throughout history, the art realm has given rise to some characters which chose to distance themselves from their work – some have published creative work in anonymity. Take Banksy for example, who is the world’s most recent street art icon and has created some of the controversial pieces of street art which has, in many ways, offered an uncensored critique of politicians, society and other powers that be.

In music, you can mention artists like MF Doom and the French powerhouse duo Daft Punk, who have respectively chose an anonymous route in how they present themselves. In an age where people are constantly dishing out details about their personal lives-which often leads to a point where we know what one loves to eat, where one likes to eat and we can even stretch that to a point where we even know what one likes in bed. Weird you might say, but we are all overwhelmed by the power of social media and in many cases it feels like it is a bare necessity. When an individual decides to stay off social media and be completely offline, it may be seen as a brave and revolutionary act. The act of breaking down the chains that social media has on society can be a significant one. We are all aware of the power of artists-whether we deny that notion or not-the fact remains, art is powerful. When an artist chooses anonymity over fame, it is rather odd and unfamiliar, but powerful.

Through using our techniques of finding music online, we managed to uncover an artist that is not a fan of social media and is not phased by the grip it has on people. The artist is none other than, Nemek. The Phoenix, Arizona based artist recently spoke to us and we got figure out who he is and what his trade really is. He may not be an artist that chooses to conceal his identity, but he is a silent force to be reckoned within the beats scene-who is adamant in his decision to live offline.

We always kick off our interviews with sending out love to the artists. We would like to extend our appreciation for taking some time in your schedule for this interview. We came across your work online and we were immediately converted into fans. Who is Nemek and where are you currently based?

Nemek: The name “Nemek” was created back in middle school. It’s my name in the graffiti “world”. I also have a passion for graffiti art despite of being a music producer. Friends & people started knowing me as that, and that’s what I went by, till this very day. Just a human being that has a passion for music and art, simply an introvert low key type of guy. Phoenix, AZ is where I’m from.

How has your upbringing shaped the artist that you are today? Do you sometimes source inspiration from your childhood memories?

Nemek: Honestly, being an upcoming music producer, it simply just happened out of the blue really. Didn’t really have any intentions having being what I am as a kid.

Your soundcloud profile has the following description “Creating new instrumentals combining Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul and R&B”, which is quite intriguing because you have a distinct sound which is a blend of those genres. Tell us about your creative process and
why you chose to combine those genres?

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Nemek: I grew up listening to jazz, R&B, & soul. Growing up as a kid my father would always have those types of music playing in the car, especially jazz. As I got into my teen years that’s when i started listening to more artists from those types of genres of music, along with hip hop, boom bap especially, as well as late 70’s hip hop. Overall I was intrigued and captured by these types of genres. Jazz is my main one. I found that combining these genres created a unique distinctive sound. Creating and combining them.

When did your journey in music begin?

Nemek: I grew up in a christian church. Around the age of 12 that’s when the drums got my attention, where the journey of my music started along with becoming a drummer. By the age of 13 got my first drum set, and was playing in the church band. Realizing that I had a thing & a passion for the drums, along with percussion. From there my drumming expanded. Different styles of drum grooves would intrigue me & simply drumming ever since then, until this day. It’s about 11 years now that I’ve been drumming aside of producing music. Now I just drum at home, I’ll either play jazz, funk, & fusion type music.

Who are some of your musical influences? The ones that basically laid the foundation for you to do what you’re doing now.

Nemek: One of the first musical influences was Dr. Dre when I first heard his album “The Chronic”. Realizing that he was the one who produced that album and he created G funk. The way he equalized his beats and how he would use the moog synthesizer, blew me away honestly! From there it was Q-tip, J Dilla, DJ premier, & pete Rock. Producers that I found out about as my knowledge for hip hop music grew. These producers, firstly, Dr. Dre, were the ones that influenced me in where I am today with producing music. Their styles & techniques.

What do you aim to achieve with your music?

Nemek: Recognition of the passion that I have for producing music, make it a living, not so much for the fame and money. But for the passion that i have for it. Although yeah fame and some money would be nice, nothing wrong with that. & Also to become a recognized producer of where I’m from. Arizona isn’t really recognized for much, other than the grand canyon, but more so music wise when it comes to undiscovered producers. Plus from what I’m aware of, there aren’t really much producers out here that have the same taste as I do creating music. The producers that are here throughout Arizona mostly do the same thing, which is creating trap music, and follow each other rather than creating and having their own style of producing. That’s just me though.


The global instrumental Hip Hop scene is growing rapidly and it is great to see Instrumental Hip Hop producers get the accolades and recognition they get. On a personal note, do you feel that the growth of the genre is a good thing? For a long time, the scene was quite small and now more people are starting to listen to the genre.

Nemek: The fact that Hip Hop is becoming more and more recognized and that it is growing, I most def believe that it’s a good thing. However if people are gonna be listening to hip hop they should really know where it came from and how it was originally created. To have somewhat of some knowledge behind hip hop, how it has evolved ever since. How it got its name, recognition, what it means, & the culture behind it.

We connected online and the internet is what made our connection and this interview possible. How are you leveraging the internet’s power to make sure that your music heard?

Nemek: I always take advantage of the internet to a certain extent of course. Honestly though, Soundcloud is the only site online where I have my work posted for the world to hear. Even though there are various other websites where I can have my compositions posted on. I’ve just been content with Soundcloud, I know I can have more sites where my music can be heard.. just haven’t really looked into it.

On the topic of the internet, it has been increasingly difficult for artists to monetize their music as piracy is relatively easy on the internet. Is monetizing your music a priority for you or do you form part of the large amounts of artists who are losing a lot of potential earnings due to internet piracy?

Nemek: There are times where I do consider or fantasize of making money off my work that I have done. At the same time though, I don’t, because its a passion that I have for it. But if I’m going to be investing time into each production that I compose, I suppose I would want to monetize my music. However I would also have to agree on losing a few potential earnings due to internet piracy.

For someone who may not be familiar with your sound, how would you describe it to them?

Nemek: I would describe my music as… Boom Bap from the 90s east coast Hip Hop era. How back in the 90s some hip hop beats would consist of a good amount of reverb. Giving it that echoey sound on the snare, bass drum, the Hi Hat or even on all the channels on the mixer. For example, how Pete Rock would equalize his beats or Q-tip. Along with a jazz & soul feel to it.

Can we expect a new project from you? Are you working on new music?

Nemek: I’m currently working on a few tracks, however I have been procrastinating due to my job. They’re in working progress though. Like I’ve always said “You should never rush the composition of art, because then it won’t come out how you wanted it to be.” Art takes patience. Lastly, I’m thinking of making a new project sometime soon next year, most likely. Therefore yes, i’ll keep you guys informed when it is finished.

Do you live by a certain motto when it comes to your creativity and life in general?

Nemek: I really don’t have a motto that I live by when it comes to the creativity of my music. Whenever I find a nice unique sample I’ll put it into work and create something out of it. I’m not the type of producer where I say “okay I’m gonna sit down and produce a track.” I’m more of the type that simply lets the creativity come its way into my mind or whenever it strikes me at a random moment. When that happens, thats when i mostly end up creating something new! The motto that I have for my life in general is, don’t sweat the small stuff, when it’s all the small stuff. to take life one step at a day, because we are all learning students in life.

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In closing, where can people find you online? Do you have any words for people that have been following your work and those that are going to be introduced to your work?

Nemek: Soundcloud is where the world can find me at online. Other websites like Social media sites don’t really appeal to me. For example, Facebook, Instagram, etc. The following people that i do appreciate and i would to thank are: KreamBeat, Crl Wthrs, Crate Digger, BoomBap Sorcerer, & You guys, Nusoulhub Radio. Much Love.

And for the those who will be introduced to my work, Thank you for taking their time listening to my music. The best is yet to come for all of us.

Listen to the a project Nemek released in 2016 called Rhodes below:

Follow Nemek on Soundcloud here.