INNOVATION comes from the music producer. Period. They sit there, fiddling with their gadgets and witness an idea become an actuality that stirs up ingoma inside an artist.

The process of making a beat may seem simple from the outside looking in but a lot goes into music production. A listener with a good ear, might know that something’s off with a particular track but not comprehend why- it could be that the sampling is atrocious, the mixing terribly done or just badly mastered.

These are things which some artists don’t completely understand too, hence workshops such as the Beat Makers Market (BMM), are important in educating listeners and those who interact with music on a professional level. “The event is an innovative networking event geared towards artists and music producers to build successful business relationships,” says event founder Enzo Slaghuis.

The BMM will be a gathering of people who wear various hats in the music business such as independent artists, movie supervisors, A&Rs, music executives and songwriters. “The concept was launched in 2017 at Slaghuis Studios in Diepkloof. The purpose of the last event was to launch the idea to beat makers and consult with the artists on how and what they would want from the Beat Makers Market event,” says Enzo.

This is the same man responsible for the legendary Slaghuis Hip Hop movement that gave the world guys likes of Pro (Kid), Pitch Black Afro and Siya Shezi among the long list of lyrical beasts from the South Western Township.

The event will have a panel discussion with some of South Africa’s celebrated Hip Hop producers. It will feature Dome, PH, Battlekat and Omen where they’ll explain, among other things, the recipe of a hit song and how the model for producers has been redefined. While the day’s beat maker competition will have the winner walk away with prizes comprising of M-Audio studio equipment, SAE Institution Music Business short course, AKAI MPK Mini, Monkey Banana Studio Monitors and a case of Redbull Energy.

At the time of writing this, there were 147 beat makers who had already entered the anticipated rivalry. Nyambz, Omen and Dome will have adjudicating responsibilities on the day. “We are also hosting the 30 minute beat challenge where interested beat makers will be challenged to create a beat on the spot using provided sound packs and a sample,” Enzo tells me.

The event takes place on the first Sunday of November at Newtown’s Good Luck Bar in Johannesburg. There will also be live performances by rappers Rouge, TLT, Makwa Beats, drummer J Star, Jed Nery and Morgan the Beat boxer.


Being the last day of the historic youth month, throngs of young people gathered at the Constitutional Hill to enjoy some of the country’s finest artists, express themselves at the three day festival which kicked-off on Thurday.

Saturday was the much anticipated music concert that featured what you could say are different eras of  South African youth. From the likes of Skwatta Kamp, Samthing Soweto,BCUC, Sho Madjozi the BLK JKS, Moonchild and Muzi.

The latter was playing his last gig in the country, before heading out to Europe for his month long tour. While he was playing Basha for the first time, Muzi gave the buoyant crowd reason to dance on Saturday night with a set that included a remix of Margret Singana’s We Are Growing (Shaka Zulu theme song) to Ye’s All Mine and some.

“It’s dope…getting people that really vibe with the music.  But that’s the thing about umculo dawg, the shit is universal. You can connect with everyone if you do it proper,” said Muzi. The producer from Empangeni was irritated though, by someone who he says interfered with his set. “There’s a guy that kept tapping my shoulder, telling me about time and that I have to finish up. Which I really didn’t like,” said the producer.

“I like enjoying my music. So I’m not the stay behind decks, and look cool typa guy. Sometimes I leave it, I just press play because I’ve mixed it proper, and vibe with the crowd.” He did that by grabbing the mic in the first half of his act, to perform one of his songs.

His European tour will see him play at Northstar in Scotland, Beatherder Festival in England and Base in Milan, Italy among others throughout July and returns just in time for Oppikoppi in August.

He doesn’t prepare different for an overseas audience, juxtaposed to the audience here at home. “…Even us as black people, we’re still kinda indoctrinated so we still have to relearn our culture. When I play a song uZenzile for instance, which I couldn’t play here, I get the same reaction from everyone. Nathi as abantu abamnyama, we’ve sort of assimilated to whiteness and that’s what we think success is. It has to be honest music…it can’t be sugar coated to suit a certain crowd.”

Madjozi’s performance which was just before Muzi’s was enjoyable, whilst Skwatta Kamp’s energy on stage was impressive for men who no longer perform week in week out. Bar the fact that singer Relo, looked a tad uncomfortable throughout their performance. A young looking Pro (Kid) performed some of his new songs, but the crowd were eating off the palm of his and when he played classics such as Wozobona.

The BLK JKS’ performance was also a big crowd puller. They had the crowd singing ‘aweyawo’ when they performed Molalatladi while everyone was charged up by Mzabalazo. The festival lived up to its theme, Join the Movement, which each performer did in their respective style. A scantily dressed Moonchild gave a great performance, as though channelling her inner Brenda Fassie. Black Motion’s stage presence and showmanship is right up there with some of the country’s best.

It was embarrassing though, when the night’s MC butchered DJ Akio’s name before his set began- the crowd kept screaming the DJ’s actual name to correct the blunder. It’s always a good sight seeing an artist who isn’t on the line-up, attending an event just to have fun. I spotted Kelly Khumalo, Petite Noir and Lunga Shabalala among others in the crowd, having jump at the festival.

I was impressed by the security presence at the event, not only that but how they never imposed themselves on the patrons. I never saw one being manhandled for rolling a joint unless, they were staring trouble. I was a victim of pick-pocketing on the night, after my cell phone was mysteriously stolen, but was fortunately able to recover it with the help of a security guard and crowd members who were ironically victims of the dude with a number of phones in his pocket. He was taken-in by the security.

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