Besa Pharaoh is a Kempton park based rapper known for his masterful grasp of the English language, mind-blowing lyricism and an enviable unique swagger that most rappers would kill for. His journey started a few years ago when he drop a string of hot releases on SoundCloud where he worked with many of his creative peers from his hood, designing and crafting an original sound that perfectly depicted and explained life in the East Rand.
Two years ago, he released the W.O.F.M.S, a six track EP which served as his introduction to the South African rap game. The project carried a strong 90s boom bap feel to it and on it, Besa Pharaoh effortlessly floated on the production detailing his aspirations, frustrations, hopes, faith and dreams from a place of sincerity and hunger – hunger for success. As part of four-man rap crew, Soul Quest Klan, Besa Pharaoh built his rep up as a fierce wordsmith with capabilities of going to toe-to-toe with other equally dangerous spitters.
This year Besa Pharaoh pushed to stretch his sound and experiment with new sonic textures. Moving with one of the best urban music labels in the country, innanetwav, has afforded an opportunity to access a bigger audience. He drops a song called ‘For Me’ which is his first song releases with the UU team. The 808x and oshxku produced banger is a dancehall-inspired tune which sees Besa Pharaoh adopt a melody-oriented approach, making for a major summer smash. On the track, he still shows his incredible penmanship and he delivers a rather unique performance. The song is a great listen. Stream the song below.
Indie afro folk artist, Msaki, is an East London born pioneer who is bringing a fresh new energy to South African live acoustic music as a performer and a composer. She has carved her own lane by being aware of her calling and staying true to herself, and that has allowed her to build special connections with music lovers locally and abroad.
As an artist, she carries versatile traits that allow her to experiment with different sounds and genres. In South Africa, she has won the hearts of many house music lovers with her collaborations with great local house acts such as Mobi Dixon, Da Capo, Prince Kaybee, Black Motion and the legendary REVOLUTION.
We got an opportunity to chop it up with her ahead of her performance at the Endless Daze Festival. Check our conversation below.
Describe what you do and your artistry in five words. Song-catcher. Dreamer. Time traveller. Romantic. Collaborator.
What is the one thing, lesson or experience do you want people to get from your music? I would like to believe I leave a fragrance of bravery to go to emotional fault lines and places that hurt. I hope this is accompanied by hope for true healing. It’s what the music gives me so I can only hope I can give the same thing away.
What is the one thing you love about performing for South Africans? South Africans are expressive and generous with their emotions. They sigh, clap, sing along, exclaim, cry. It’s easy to feed off of their energy. In my two month long Euro Summer tour I noticed the audience there processed things more internally. I was surprised when all my CDs were being sold out and the warm feedback after shows because during the performance people had been dead still staring at me so I thought they were bored. South Africans have spoilt me.
You are performing at the Endless Daze Festival. What can we expect from your performance?
A mess. I am in a sonic, aesthetic and spiritual transition. I will be presenting my set as a singer-songwriter with some electronic and symphonic departures. Loads of emotional experimenting but still quite simple.
Johannesburg based new kid on the block and UU gang artist, popsnotyourfather, is a breath of fresh air in the buzzing youth-driven urban music entertainment in the city of gold. A new entrant in the game, he puts his best foot forward with the release of his debut single entitled DTF – a song that carries a dance bounce.
The song may be short in composition, but on it, pops flows and floats with a melody-driven approach which pulls some stylistic elements from dancehall and afrobeat. Solid tune from a dope artist. Pops still has a lot to contribute to the game and we look forward to the progression.
The release of DTF is part of the Flood The Streets campaign that innanetwav is pushing and it sees the progressive label release music daily for a week.
Kidofdoom is a legendary Pretoria based rock band from the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria. With over 10 years in the game, shifting and shaping culture, breaking new ground and taking South African rock music to new heights, Kidofdoom has built a loyal following and has gained respect from the local music industry as a trusted innovators and pioneers. The four-man band pulls its influence and inspiration from different sub-genres of rock music to create a truly unique blend of rock music, a sound which they call deep space champion pop.
We caught up with Kidofdoom band member, Ryk Benadé, ahead of his band’s performance at the Endless Daze Festival happening next weekend. Check our conversation with him below.
Describe what you do and your artistry in five words. Instrumental seismic audio visual soundscapes.
What is the one thing, lesson or experience do you want people to get from your music? Have an outer body experience!
What is the one thing you love about performing for South Africans? Crowds in South Africa are very engaging and not scared to express themselves when watching a live act. They’re also welcoming to new ideas and being entertained.
You are performing at the Endless Daze Festival. What can we expect from your performance? An audio and visual extravaganza and a generally good vibe!
Where can people follow and support you online? People can stream or download our albums on Google Play, Spotify, Apple Music or the App store. You can also find us on Facebook and YouTube.
The Brother Moves On is a trail-blazing Johannesburg based band that is gifted with a good rapport with South Africans that love authentic, meaningful and hard-hitting live music. With a string of powerful and impactful releases under their belt such as The Golden Wake, The Black Tax 1: Shiyanomayini EP, a new myth and ETA, they have managed to build a solid audience locally and have caught the attention of live music lovers in the international arena. The band leader of the Brother Moves On, Siyabonga Mthembu, is part of groundbreaking jazz outfit, Shabaka and The Ancestors, which released Wisdom of Elders – a critically acclaimed album released through UK based label, Brownswood Recordings.
We caught up with Siyabonga Mthembu ahead of his band’s performance at the Endless Daze Festival happening next weekend. Check our conversation with him below.
Describe what you do and your artistry in five words. Disrupt, praise, remind, search, lose control.
What is the one thing, lesson or experience do you want people to get from your music?
That South Africa has its own spiritual language, deities and consciousness and we need to remember this through ingoma nokungoma.
What is the one thing you love about performing for South Africans?
They get it and it’s vital to them.
You are performing at the Endless Daze Festival. What can we expect from your performance?
We have a new member, Mthunzi Mvubu, who is one of South Africa’s most prolific jazz horn man. He has the ability to make a horn sound like a synth.
Lucy Kruger is a dream pop and psychedelic folk master artist who is flying the South African flag high in Europe. Signed to UK based independent label, Fuzz Club, as part of innovative noise pop duo Medicine Boy, Lucy’s name holds weight and her artistic range allows her to wear many musical hats.
We caught up with Lucy Kruger ahead of her performance with her band at the Endless Daze Festival happening next weekend. Check our conversation with her below.
Describe what you do and your artistry in five words.
I keep company with quietness.
What is the one thing, lesson or experience do you want people to get from your music? There is no lesson. I want to be the hand that turns over the snow globe of strange feelings.
What is the one thing you love about performing for South Africans? I guess it’s always meaningful to play at home where there is some sort of shared history. Many of my favourite artists are from different parts of the world and so a lot of the cultural references do not ring true and I am somehow excluded. To hear someone who has grown up inhabiting the same spaces/places as you share musical/artistic intimacies is particularly special – even when the themes explored are very universal. Well, that is my experience. I guess I like the feeling that I could offer something of the same.
You are performing at the Endless Daze Festival. What can we expect from your performance? It will be the first time I’ve played with the Lost Boys in a while. They are my very best friends. So there will be a lot of excitement. And love. And although I write music that is rather intimate, I think the Lost Boys really come alive when there is also space to get loud. I don’t suppose there will be much stage diving, but I hope it will be engaging in other ways.
Live music lovers and appreciators are in for an amazing treat at this year’s Endless Daze Festival happening over the first weekend of November. The Psych Night in partnership with Vans South Africaevent boasts an impressive line up of exciting local and international live music acts that are sure to leave an impression.
Despite the challenges, The Pysch Nights team worked very hard to curate a festival lineup that is progressive and innovative. With 28 acts on the bill this year and a beautiful location, a life-changing weekend is what you can expect.
We are back with another amazing playlist and there is one thing I can assure you – eSwatini’s music industry is in safe hands. I personally feel like this is the best playlist we have been able to put together so far, our artists have raised the bar too high. The music keeps on improving day by day, we’re surely moving in the right direction, this evident with the international recognition and features we are getting. In this edition we have a couple of songs by local artists which feature South African artists.
Amanda Mo ft DJ Maphorisa – Phula
2018 has been an amazing year for this sensational songbird with a number of high profile collaborations like DJ Qness and Big Dreamz. Her latest single, Phula, features the amazing and well established South African producer, DJ Maphorisa who has produced a number of hits for a number of high profile artists. To be honest I was not really impressed with the song but it’s not entirely bad.
DJ Touch of Soul ft Holly Rey & Zolani G – Think About You
Touch of Soul is one of the most hardworking local DJs, he is back with a banger featuring Deeper hitmaker Holly Rey and Zolani G. Think About You is one of those songs that will put you in a mood to dance, with the Gqom inspired drum kit.
80 Script ft Una Rams & C-Tea – Yaya
This is not a new song but it has been trending again, reaching 4th position on 5fm charts. It is about time it trends, actually it’s long overdue. Beautiful production from C-Tea coupled with stellar hooks and verses from 80 Script and Una Rams. Check out all the beautiful ladies doing the #YAYAChallenge on 80 Scripts Instagram profile.
Ghetto Villah – Ma Ada
Each time Villah releases a new song I get excited because he never disappoints with the kasi rap. Beautiful production and an awesome way to give us a preview of what is yet to come in his album which is due for release next month.
Diba Diba – Msayingoma
Diba Diba is another rapper that never disappoints, impeccable in every aspect. But this is not the best from Sleek Ace and Diba Diba who in the past have given us amazing songs, production is just bland and lets down with the hook being monotonous and can put you off. You might have a different opinion about it.
MotherLand X never disappoints and this new joint is just beautiful. Rendition is a musical genius and Remedy, MLX’s new sensation is another kid to look out for. Bad for me is impeccable and a song to set the mood for the night. This is one of my favorite songs on this edition of fresh picks.
Zoe Genesis x Mozaik – Naked
Now this is a jam! It is just beautiful and unique. Zoe has an amazing voice which is accompanied by Mozaik’s production and raps. This is a song you are still going to hear for a while on radio. The song should have been a bit longer but overall it is an amazing song.
LEO – Izingilosi EP
If you are a fan of electronic, ambient, experimental sounds then you definitely have to follow this guy. Amazing stuff, I was left speechless when I first heard his work. Impeccable production which will leave you amazed.
Stickx – 5% t[in]t 9 featuring Travis Scott
A personal favorite, Stickx never disappoints. One of the best products from the kingdom. He takes on this Travis Scott joint and murders it, literally murders it. If it was a remix competition he would be part of the top 2, trust me.
Swazi Jive Records – Next Generation Mixtape
Another beautiful and well put together mixtape. You won’t regret copping this one as it has songs for every mood. Gucci Bandana by Amarii is undoubtedly the best song on the tape.
Thor Rixon is not your conventional house music artist. He defies conventions, breaks rules and displays excellence in how he crafts his blend of dance music. Having started and built his career in music in South Africa’s hub of electronic music, Cape Town, Thor has managed to carve out a lane for himself and curated a unique signature approach to dance music, allowing him to attract crowds locally and abroad. Yes, he is an artist, but Thor Rixon has positioned himself as a brand that can build worlds and build worlds where all things imaginative, avant-garde and exciting exist. With his music, he comes into his own and centers himself to create sonic experiences that are extraordinary.
Thor Rixon’s catalogue grows as every year passes with each project showing a different side to the multifaceted artist, and this reflects his growth as an artist and most importantly, as a person. His process is not typical and predictable, he constantly pushes thresholds that exists in the space that he exists in and he has allowed himself to curate a space which prioritizes progression. The progression is seen in his new offering titled Michele, a seven track album which sees him experiment and play with sounds in an innovative way. What makes this album more special is that it was co-directed and co-created by his mom, which the project is named after. Think of Thor’s mom as the executive producer or the creative director of this album as she coached her son as he conceptualized and built this seven track offering.
It took Thor Rixon about years to record and complete Michele whilst living in between Cape Town and Berlin, and for the album to be completely finalized, his mom had to give it a nod and approval before the world could hear it.
Watch the video for ‘Our End’, the first single of Michele.
The project features Mx Blouse who has fast become one of Thor’s frequent collaborators, having working with them on co-producing their break out song called Is’phukuphuku. It also features Roxy Caroline and Duduza Mchunu, who is most popularly known for her work on The Foxy Five, a groundbreaking womxn focused web series created by Jabu Nadia Newman.
Michele makes for a great dance album that shows Thor Rixon’s growth as an artist, allows him push the envelope and create a new avenue for South African dance music.
South Africa is undoubtedly one of the most diverse countries in the world, with eleven official languages and a myriad of different cultures each possessing beautiful traditions and practices. This cultural diversity makes for an exceptionally beautiful nation filled with promise and potential, notwithstanding that there may be issues that the country still needs to address and correct, South Africa is a wonderful place. Now with all of these different cultures, you can imagine how groundbreaking the arts industry in the country is, as the artists can pull their narratives and influences from the cultures they have access to.
Being proud of your roots is one of the key identifiers of South Africa’s millennials, and this reflects in the art that this generation makes and the subject matter that they choose to focus on. The Steezies, a South African band that celebrates the rich cultural diversity of Mzansi, has multiculturalism embedded in its vision and ethos. Merging different musical styles and using different languages to curate a truly authentic and original musical experience that genuinely reflects the South African experience. Their music is an experience and a celebration of life, and also serves as a medium for them through which they get to touch on some of the societal ills that South Africa experiences.
The Steezies is one of the most exciting musical acts that South Africa has currently. Aesthetically, they are on another level, very bright and colourful in presentation. This band is the future!