Music Reviews

tronpyre: A Pretoria-based singer you never knew you needed in your playlist

Hailing from South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria, tronpyre is creating sizeable waves in the city’s music scene. Coming from a city so rich in postmodern South African history – most notably Apartheid as Pretoria was the chosen headquarters of the nasty regime – is definitely telling.

The city also boasts an incredible musical history and culture, which often has an evident impact on how South African pop sounds and also informs the direction the South African music industry takes. Culture and language are two of the most important things in Pretoria – you are confronted with the beauty of culture and language as soon as you start engaging with the locals. S’pitori is not just a language, it’s an attitude – one that is definitely distinguishable and can easily be deemed a national treasure. Unbeknownst to most, creatives in Pretoria significantly inform and inspire local popular culture.

Now, when an artist is equipped with cultural currency, magic happens. But how does the history of tronpyre’s place of residence and the culture therein influence his artistry? The answer to that is simple – historical context. When listening to tronpyre’s music, you cannot immediately tie him down to where he is from but what happens is that you are inundated by the atmosphere his music creates. You light up instantly as his voice is powerful – you are left moved and amazed by the talent. A voice that can fit easily fit in the traditional Rhythm ‘n Blues sphere, but what sets him apart is his content. The lyrics in his songs are youthful, modern and relevant to the times, and that’s something that allows his fans (most of which are his peers) to connect with the music more.

He is not your typical singer, he represents and embodies so much more. Burgundy, a project which seems to be his first move to introduce himself to the world is a world-class body of work – one that could fare well if exported to other markets in the RnB and Soul categories. As much as Pretoria, may be more known for commercial and deep house, tronpyre has commissioned himself to show people a different side of the city. And he’s young, so so young, which is even more impressive because the music is incredibly mature but not too mature to defer his young audience from listening.

A legend in the making, tronpyre is destined for greatness. Do not sleep, I repeat DO NOT SLEEP!

Stream his latest project below:

Culture Featured Music Reviews

Shaka Shoelu: Challenging the status quo & ushering in a new school of thought

Boundary-pushing creatives push culture forward. Think groups like BROCKHAMPTON, Odd Future and local groups like FAKA – who are challenging the status quo. When we first come across these artists, we are reminded of icons like Prince and Rick James who changed how people thought of gender, identity and alternative lifestyles. Conservative ideals of existence are thrown out the window, ideologies are stretched using the most powerful tool known to mankind – music. Globally, young people are realizing how toxic and problematic the powers that be are and that doesn’t leave them complacent – it prompts them to act.

Beautiful times, we live in. Globalization, though having certain some destructive and negative elements, has connected the world in blurs cultural lines forcing you to become part of a bigger one-world culture. Nowadays, there is little to no difference between a kid in South Africa with access to the internet and a kid from South Korea. We’re connecting more than ever, which is why our roots are increasingly important. Artists that make us uncomfortable, challenge us and show us new avenues of art should be heralded. South Africa is no stranger to those types of artists as the internet is strengthening their voices and improving their visibility. The same can be said about enterprising South African artist, Shaka Shoelu, who confidently champions his trans-identity. A growing, vital voice in gender politics especially in Africa where the LGBQT community is often confronted with violence for living out their truth. What better way than to use music to challenge society’s archaic, primitive moral compass.

Though only having 4 songs on Soundcloud, Shaka Shoelu has covered a lot of ground in getting people to pay attention to his avant-garde style of electronic music. Korobela, being the most successful release boasts over four thousand streams on Soundcloud – a feat which is impressive for an independent South African creative. Shaka’s personality comes through, rather, strongly in his music and we get traces of his personality through his Twitter account. The music is not directly political, packed with content that challenges societal norms but Shaka’s comfort in his own skin is revolutionary in itself. The world ruthlessly forces people to project a watered-down and diluted of themselves, so when someone confidently steps into their being that is seen as a revolutionary act.

Artist development and purposeful art movement, Woke Arts has provided Shaka Shoelu a life-changing platform to communicate his art. Shaka is pro-black, proud and comfortable and that’s what we need from the leaders of tomorrow. We need people like Shaka Shoelu to provide the masses with a different lens to view the world and its complexities. In short, Shaka Shoelu is an important figure which South Africa is yet to meet and be blown away by.

Culture Music Music Industry Insights

Listen to our interview with Woke Arts founder, STY7EZ

We were recently afforded the opportunity and privilege to interview of South Africa’s rising creative entrepreneurs, STY7EZ. STY7EZ is the founder of artist development, creative showcase and creative business platform called Woke Arts.

Our founder had a long interesting conversation with STY7EZ about how he started, plans for the future, the importance of African creativity and purposeful art.

We got an opportunity to showcase how we use the devices that we have at hand like smartphones and laptops to run and operate our radio station.