Category Archives: Artist Interviews

Behind The Knife

If you’re on social media then I’m sure you’ve seen this young man around. When he’s not in the kitchen you can find him either catching some big waves or bombing the hills with his skate crew. Whatever idea it is you have about what a traditional chef is like, forget all of that. Keanon certainly breaks all the moulds and in doing so has carved out his own path. He not only worked extremely hard at doing this, he’s also doing the most to pave the way for the next generation.

Sooooo, you know, obviously we had to catch up with him. Ask him a few questions and get to know who Keanon is when the apron comes off.

Also, please find him on social media and tell him that we all want one of the #KeanonsKitchen snapbacks. Seriously though, tell him.

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Tell us about yourself.
After matric, I did a national diploma in catering and hospitality studies. I started in hotels and worked my way through the ranks of the kitchen. In 2011 I was chosen as an inflight chef for Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi.  I was responsible for wining and dining prestigious V.I.P guests in first class. I cooked for the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Coldplay and many of the royal family in Abu Dhabi.

Keanon’s Kitchen was a dream that started in 2009, but finally materialized in 2017. It’s based in Strandfontein, where I grew up.  My kitchen was based at the Strandfontein pavilion adjacent to the tidal pool. It’s so much more than just a catering/private chef business. It’s a proudly Strandfontein initiative, aimed at uplifting the community and other businesses and artists.

Keanon’s Kitchen focal point is to bring the restaurant experience to the comfort of your home. We want anyone to be able to afford a high culinary experience affordable to most people. Keanons Kitchen covers all culinary styles, tastes and preferences by no means limited to just fine dining.

In the past 18 years, I have been blessed to travel the world and work under exceptional chefs like Heindrich Koen, Marcus Ree Taylor, Grant Cullingworth, Linsay Venn and Sanel Esterhuisan. I use what I have learned from them and my travels to put together a unique culinary experience, showcasing fresh local produce and flavours.

9 Miles Winter 2017

When did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
From the age of 9, I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen. My mother is the main reason I took an interest in cooking.  At that age, I used to watch her cook and my passion for cooking was sparked. I was given the freedom to use my imagination to cook and create what I wanted. My mother is an exceptional cook and I wanted to be as good as her.  Through the years I continued cooking, constantly creating and experimenting with food.

I continued my journey with food all the way to the age of 16, where a visit to Cape Sun Intercontinental hotel in Strand Street changed my life. It solidified my career path and focus on my passion. Being exposed to each facet of the kitchen just grew and fuelled my passion for food and cooking even further.

Do you have a favourite dish that you like to prepare?
Without a doubt, one of my favourite dishes is curry, all sorts from Thailand, Malaysia and India. But the one I’m most fond of is my “cape curry” which incorporates my favourite spices and my travels abroad. Curry is something so complex yet each one has its own unique characteristics, depending on who and where it’s being cooked. Each curry is unique, and only once you’ve understood spices and flavours would you be able to unleash a truly delicious curry.

Do you follow trends in terms of food/wine pairings?
I keep myself updated with what’s happening with food trends and which direction food is taking. I do this mostly as a point of reference for my clients who inquire about trends or things they’ve seen. I’m fond of doing new and exciting dishes, or taking something old and put my own twist and signature on it.

What is the one ingredient you can’t live without?
Not fair!!!! LOL, for a chef this is super tough, for me it has to be citrus fruit (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit) these are my favourite. I use citrus fruit in both my sweet & savoury applications, hot and cold.  The smell and flavour in both the fruit and its skins are what I’m after. Fresh acid is essential in my cooking style. Acid is crucial in getting the perfect balance of sweet, bitter, salty and sour. It can be the UMAMI in the dish and has certainly been that for me on several occasions.

When you go to eat out, what do you avoid ordering?
It all depends where I’m eating. If I go to a steak restaurant I will be expecting my steak cooked to my exact requested temperature. I love the freshness of Asian cuisine, fell in love when I travelled to Thailand and Korea. So I have a tendency to have Asian food once a month at least. I avoid sushi, sushi is a very personal thing as the chef wets his/her hands constantly to work with the sticky sushi rice. If I don’t know the chef personally or if the sushi was not referred to by someone’s whose palate I respect I won’t eat there.


When you’re not making magic in the kitchen, what do you do to relax?
I’m a surfer firstly and everything else follows after that, I have been surfing since the age of 16 at 9 Miles beach, Strandfontein. That’s my local surf spot. For me and the rest of the 9 mile locals, we represent so much more than just surfing. Being one of the largest coloured surf communities I am 3rd generation 9 mile local. Many pioneers have paved the way for us and fought relentless battles during the apartheid era, where they weren’t allowed to surf on the “WHITES ONLY” beaches. Pioneers like the late Ahmed Collier and Robbie Abrahams surfed 9 Miles and inspired others. Today we are a strong brotherhood of surfers all of which lived in Strandfontein and we still surf together today. Surfing has always been an escape for me from all the pains, stresses and disappointments that life constantly throw at you. When I surf I feel free of all my responsibilities, problems and all I feel is calm and joy. The stoke of riding a wave and being one with the ocean for that duration is something few people get to experience. It’s the most alive I have ever felt in my 36 years of existence, the feeling of getting deep inside the barrel and getting spat out onto the shoulder of the wave… Only a surfer knows the feeling. It’s also a great work out, incorporating upper body muscles your core and heavy cardio, lol.

My other love:
When I’m not surfing I bomb hills in and around Cape Town with my downhill skate crew, Tarbound Skate Crew, based in Woodstock. I learned to slide and bomb hills in Woodstock while I lived in Walmer Estate, the speed of bombing in a pack @ 80km gets the heart rate up, I LOVE IT!!! We’re not just about sliding and going fast down hills we’re friends first and foremost and constantly support each other wherever we can. I thank my crew for pushing my limits not just in speed but in life, in general, we all about positivity and lekker vibes.

My Love for dancing:
Once a month I attend We House Sundays, for 4 to 6 hours I dance to my heart’s content. It’s a great way to relieve stress I love to dance, always have since I was a child, came from a rock/hip hop background. My 1st encounter with house music was in 1999 at a club called MORE based in Loop Street Cape Town this legendary club was the pioneer for the house music scene in Cape Town in my opinion. It was an adjustment for me coming from clubs like Vibe & Galaxy & Dockside the beats were slower, deeper the vocals more sensual the instruments were live. And ever since then I have been dancing to deep house music so much that It’s an essential part of who I am. So once a month I jam to deep beats and sensual vocals played by the resident DJ’s Leighton Moody, Cassiem Latief & David Lawrence.

What is your favourite local dish?
It would have to be my mother’s chicken curry & roti, anything cooked by my mother Cheryl Michaels is next level yummy, packed with umami. My mother will hands down out cook me, she is also one of the culinary mentors and someone whose palate I respect and trust. But her chicken curry and her super flaky (almost puff pastry like layers) in her roti are the best I ever had and anything who’s tasted it can attest to what I’m saying.

If you wanted to impress someone, what dish would you cook for them?
Something out of the box that would change their perception of a dish or a certain ingredient. My cooking is an extension of my loud, bold personality, I’m loud so my flavours are bold and my presentations are a symphony of details, textures and colour.

See, these are the snapback’s I’m talking about.

If you could invite 3 people, dead or alive, to dinner, who would it be?
My Grandpa, Michael Van De Burg, he’s passed on but he had a huge appetite and a big love for family.
Lance Jansen (Chef & close friend lost to cancer, he would have been my Sous Chef at Keanon’s Kitchen) I know how proud he would have been of me making my dream a reality. We discussed this for years while we were chef de parties working 16-hour shifts during the opening of the Cape Royale Hotel in Greenpoint. We also worked together at Madam Zingara and Arnolds in Kloof Street. He was a super passionate chef, we loved every second of the blood, sweat, swearing, violence, stress, no sleeping beast that is the kitchen and the life we chose. He will always be held in high regard to me when it came to passion and work ethic, I measure every chef including myself based on Lance’s work ethic.
Kelly Slater, 11-time world surf champion, in my opinion, the greatest sportsman of all time. I mean Michael Jordan was good but he retired Kelly is still competing and still kicking ass!!! I had the honour of meeting him in 2007 in Jeffreys Bay on a Surf Trip.

On Tuesday 6 March 2019 I launched my cooking show Rolling with Chef Keanon

I’ve also had interviews on Bush Radio, Heart FM, Yoh Radio, GoodHope FM and RSG, had an amazing 33 appearances on the Expresso Show on SABC3 and judged for the SA Navy Junior and Senior Culinary Finals every year since 2015. I have been blessed to be sponsored by Plasti Pak in Salt River, Fish4Africa & my custom handcrafted knives by Scanlen Knives.

Please view these articles and links of Keanon’s journey so far:
We House Sundays – Sunday people
Nick Aldridge via Instagram
Bizniz Hustle
Versatile Lyle

Novocaine The Band

Cape Town based Novocaine The Band is a 8-member group that does cover songs to your old favourite songs to everything that can turn a party to a night to remember. Their love for music is what brought this band together.

This 6-year-old band, met through jamming but you would think they have been rocking stages for a very long time. Originally started with just 4 musicians with family music background playing rock. Their style didn’t really fit into the community as it was different so that is when the style of the band changed and other vocalists came on board. Some came and went as the band was still trying to understand their sound, until they got in contact with a close friend that fitted the band perfectly. Needless to say, the match up was complimentary.

Behind every band name there is always an interesting story to tell, Novocaine The Band is no different. From what initially started as a grunge rock band to loving the Green Day, when they did a cover song by them “Give me Novocaine” the name Novocaine stuck with them forever. Little did they know when they were doing that cover song, this name will be what gets them known in and around Cape Town. With so many bands that are with the same name internationally, you would think they often get confused with other bands but because of their unique sound and interesting take on our favorite songs, this has set them apart from all the other bands. This in its own nature has branded this band the best ‘party band’ in Cape Town.

Having a band that comes from a different music background, we were intrigued to hear that every band member has been doing music for over a decade, if not longer. Apart from the younger members, like Rameez, Faghri and Ishmail, although, based on their musical talents, it would seem as though they’ve been in this game for much longer. Being a cover band, selection of songs serves as an interesting task on them as they get to know the crowd they will be playing for prior their performances thus allowing them to cater to the people they will be playing for. This kind of task allows them to mix their musical background and styles to a performance people will never forget.

One amazing quality that stood out to us, was their sense of humour, treating each other like family, and their mutual respect and understanding for each other. Faaghira Maloon being the only female in the band explained how this band has made her feel safe and protected when they go play in different places. Their sense of humour and the great relationship they have as a band, is what will keep this band growing stronger.

Talking about family, 5 out of 8 in the band are married with kids, but having to juggle families and the band came with so much understanding. This came with having the same vision as a band to know that there will be family emergencies but they work together as team to still pull the best performances. This is really a family band.

In November 2017 they did The Anthems of the Ages that introduced them as a band to the people of Cape Town. It has been met with a surprising success and they feed off that positive response from the audience. Since this, they have added their own bits and pieces to covers, which some of their keenest followers have become familiar with. The main thing that the audience appreciates from them as band is the energy they emanate on stage and the versatility they display in terms of musical genres. Their amazing skill to be able whip out a Mariah Carey ballad and get everyone emotional and then the next instance they have Zaid rocking out a reggae tune and having people on their feet in no time. It’s quite a pleasurable experience for a viewer or listener.

Novocaine The Band are currently in their journey of creating their own material in studio. With the amazing established sound of being a party band they will be going down this lane of continuing with the sound but also introduce their versatility allowing both their lead vocalist to showcase their ability vocally and tug a bit on the heart of strings.

As any band, they have their wishes to share a stage with some of their favourite artists, we were not surprised when they mentioned @YoungstaCPT because he is young, current and relevant and they have similar roots and upbringings, not forgetting the likes of Celine Dion, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Rockets is also a band they would love to share a stage with. The older band members, like Rezaan, Faseeg and Zaid, are big fans of theirs.

In any band, growth outside the band is something they want to explore. We know how hard it may hit the band when the band members go their separate ways. But, Novocaine The Band explained that should this be something that hits the band, it will be treated with the respect and maturity it deserves. They love each other and support one another completely.

Music is a language that people relate to in different situations. Connecting with your audience is one of the most precious moments. They have had instances where members of the audience would come up to them and give thanks for performing a specific song and that’s what keeps them going as entertainers. A while ago at a corporate event they had a guy come up to them to complement the way they kick started with slow and intimate jams while people were enjoying their meal and then moved into jazz and progressed into the full on party. They would love nothing more than to venture into original material that is aimed at sending a message in a few songs, particularly to the youth.

With aspirations to tour the country showcasing their amazing sound to new listeners in South Africa, they are looking forward to opening up for some amazing artists throughout the country should the opportunity present itself. But until they do, if you are in Cape Town and would love to dance to some amazing sound of the Novocaine The Band, do follow them on these social pages and be sure to contact them for any booking queries:

▪              Tel: +27 71 923 5196

▪              Email:

▪              Website

▪              Facebook

▪              Twitter: @NovocaineCPT

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Thank you so much for joining us for yet another amazing segment of #GettingToKnowTheTalent. We look forward to introducing you to more Cape Town talent.

I am “Intombi yaseMazangweni” holding it down for CA Live!!!

TwentyOne Q’s; Jitsvinger

Who is Jitsvinger?
International award-winning performing artist from Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town. Social commentator, traveler, cultural enthusiast, word-architect, rapper, musician, composer and songwriter.

Please tell us about your musical journey.
I was born with a musical ear which my father sponsored through paying for my piano lessons and buying me keyboards since I was four years old. My late brother influenced me through playing a lot of rap music in the early nineties. I formed my first rap group in ’96 in high school and changed my name to Jitsvinger in 2000 after deciding to rap in vernacular Afrikaans (which I call Afrikaaps). After going through many ensembles and crews, performing at matinees and competitions, recording demos and getting it played on campus radio stations I recorded and released my debut album in 2005 through an independent record label based in Woodstock. Opportunities to travel, rub shoulders with the likes of Fokofpolisiekar, Godessa, BVK (Brasse Vannie Kaap), Tumi and the Volume, David Kramer, Antjie Krog, and international talents led to a new perspective on what I’m supposed to do as an artist.

Grasshoppers seem to be your favourite shoes. Can you tell us why?
It’s comfortable, simplistic and elegant. I had my first pair when I went to high school.

You release so much music and tour/perform so much that it seems you never take days off. What do you do when you’re not working?
I binge on series and try out new recipes. I also watch a lot of documentaries and interviews of people I find interesting, dead or alive.

How has your music changed since you started out?
My writing changed from just having fun with the language to being more introspective in relation to the everyday struggles as I grow older. My “diet” is made up of conversations, interviews, watching documentaries and reading the newspaper. Listening to and working with different artists, musicians, writers and producers helped me develop my technique when approaching music.

What is your least favourite thing about the Cape Town music scene?
Not enough venues where multiple disciplinaries share the same audience. The art-forms must come together more often.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
My mother

Jitsvinger is almost synonymous with an Afro and Afro-pick. How long have you been growing it?
I can’t remember! I think since 2005 or thereabouts.

Professionally, what is your goal?
To be able to influence the economy around the arts and to be a new business model for musicians and artists who are pursuing an independent career.

Name three artists you would like to work with.
Can’t name three, but basically anyone who inspires me to be a better artist, who pushes my abilities and further my craft.

Do you think it is easy for artists to get radio play on Cape Town commercial stations?
I think it’s easy to get your music out there once you make the effort to polish your tracks, knowing what your message is and contacting the right people at the radio stations that will secure interviews on the appropriate shows. You can’t expect to get somewhere if you’re not observing the scene to make the right moves.

If you could change one thing about Cape Town, what would it be?
To have a live scene (24/7) with licensed venues, where you’ll find midnight street markets, safe public transport systems connecting to all parts of the country and beyond, artists having access to public spaces…

In your opinion, what roles do artists have in society?
Art is the mirror that reflects society to itself therefore artists carry the load of being that uncensored voice that attacks all our notions of safety, health, comforts and assumptions. The artist has to make her/his society question everything!

Which themes do you like to pursue through your music?
Identity, language, health, attraction, power, history, etc the list still continues!

We spoke about you touring a lot. Does it ever get lonely? How do you deal with that?
Aweh*, it doesn’t take long before I miss my malva pudding, koesiesters** and my wife turning the music volume down when she gets home from work. To cope I video-chat with her for hours, follow the local news and use the few local recipes I know just to calm my soul.

*Pronounced “ah-weh”
A South African slang word used to acknowledge something or greet someone.
“Hey guys”
-“Oh aweh man!”

**A koeksister is a traditional Afrikaner confectionery made of fried dough infused in syrup

What would be your dream project?
Making real the stories of our people regardless of production size and critical acclaim is always a dream come true for me. Every day I hear different parts of the world who don’t know or get to hear or experience our worldview. Afrikaaps was one such project in which we got to share the history about Afrikaans without having to subvert it to a standard just to make it “appeal to the masses”. Let me also add that it garnered a few awards both locally and internationally!

What can we expect from Jitsvinger in 2018?
Since I’ve been away for most of 2017 I am refocusing my aim to find new breakthroughs in the music industry utilizing most of what I’ve learned on my journey.
New music, of course!

Do you have a favourite producer to work with or favourite studio to record at?
Arsenic has been my fellow studio ninja for the past decade at the Metalloid Lab. All the vocals and post-productions for my latest offering, Jitsologie were done there.

You’ve done many collaborating projects. Who was your favourite artist to work with and why?
I find the process to be the best part of the collaboration. One such experience was with Melanie Scholtz during the recording of her album, Our Time. Work-ethic was on point, respect for the work-space, ego-less productivity and all-round sincerity towards her team was nothing but admirable.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
I see myself living and working abroad and on my return injecting new influences that will improve the live performance experience of South Africa.

What advice would you give to a young artist?
Allow yourself to make mistakes. Learn through the mistakes of others. The most important opinion you can rely on is the opinion you have of yourself.

Facebook: Quinton Goliath | Facebook Page: Jitsvinger
Twitter: @Jitsvinger1 | Instagram: @Jitsvinger

TwentyOne Questions with Sean Dryden

Who is Sean Dryden?
I’m a normal dude from next door – during the day I do my job, which I love, as a facilitator in the corporate world.  After work I sing, act and have fun.  But why have fun on your own if you can help others to explore their potential and talents? That’s why I started the community theatre group, Legend Productions, helping the ordinary achieve the extra ordinary on stage.

What got you into theatre?
Since I can remember I loved telling stories, especially writing them and getting it performed.

Sunday school was a great platform for me experimenting. Musical theatre came alive for me when I bought an instrumental cd in London. The cashier accidently put the wrong disc in the holder. It was Les Miserable!!! I instantly knew then that my life will take a new adventures direction.

You’ve been in so many musicals. Which was your favourite?
If I exclude my own productions, most definitely Annie, Houtkruis, and One Voice

To date, how many theatre productions have you written?
About 6

  1. King Saul
  2. Heroes
  3. The Witness (Revised South African version
  4. I will follow Him!
  5. Forgiven
  6. Judas

Your latest production, Heroes; The Musical, seemed to be well received. Knowing all that you do now, what would you do different if you could?
Very difficult for me, but learn to relax more. There are just certain things that are out of your control.

What would be your dream project?
I would love to convert an old building into my own theatre!

With Heroes; The Musical, you’ve had to change venues after a lot of work has already gone into the production. How has this affected the overall production and cast morale?
It was one of the most difficult things to have gone through.  It affected finances, prior agreements with other stakeholders, cast availability etc. however the cast did a great job sticking out.

What is your least favourite thing about the Cape Town theatre scene?
It’s a horrible industry to work in, unfortunately. The Afrikaans saying “Elkeen vir homself en die duiwel vir die res” sums it up perfectly.

*Each man for themselves and the devil for everyone else

Who is your biggest inspiration?
God and the super hero now and then jumping up in my head.

Do you have a favourite theatre to work at?
As a performer, ArtsCape and as a producer Roxy Revue Bar @ Grand West Casino.

Which themes do you like to pursue through your productions?
That only depends on the actual theme of the story itself, however, if you come to my shows then be ready for lots of Drama!

How do you balance a full time job, family and your theatre commitments?
I think the answer is in your question – by maintaining a healthy balance between all your commitments. The one is not more important than the other.

In your opinion, is social media adding to or subtracting from the youth?
I refuse to answer this, for it will give away my age. LoL. I think it’s more subtracting but not necessarily any fault of their own.

Professionally, what is your goal?
To be the best I can be and help others to the best I can.

Name three artists you would like to work with.
Anna Mart van der Merwe, Jonathan Roxmouth & David Kramer

What can we expect from Sean Dryden in 2018?
After just being done with Heroes, I’m taking a bit of a breather for the rest of the year. My mind, however, won’t stop working on ideas for new productions though. I will also take part in The Producers Musical at the Masque Theatre in July.

Do you think it is easy for new artist to get roles in the bigger productions?
Yes most definitely – My advice would be to accept chorus roles, prove yourselves and build up relationships.

If you could change one thing about Cape Town, what would it be?
The weather! AND we need rain!

What roles do you think artists have in society?
In the fake world we live in they have a responsibility to motivate doing good, telling the truth and never stop being inspirational. In a country where artists hardly get any support from government it’s the communities responsibility to allow artists to do just that.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Hopefully on stage, my happy place

What advice would you give to a young artist?
Be self-critical and informed enough to know if the work you are doing stacks up to the work you would like to be hanging next to.

Never stop challenging yourself! Hang around people who are better than you think you currently are.

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Facebook: Sean Michael Dryden | Instagram: @SeanChippie

Michelle Koopman; Soul Songstress

Who is Michelle Koopman?
I am this plat op die grond* girl from Atlantis who had to start working straight after high school as my granny’s pension could no longer sustain both of us. I grew up knowing that I would be different and that I have been given many gifts, but most of all the gift to LOVE all people equally.

*Down to earth

As far as we know, you sing and act. What else do you do?
At night I’m writing my memoirs/story about my life. I also have my own blog on Facebook called MY SISTER where I share my mistakes and experiences with women in order to empower them to overcome. I love animals and spend a lot of time taking care of my own as well as some stray’s. I also love to nurse people back to health with my concoctions.  I have a pharmacy inside my bag!

What or who got you into the arts?
I started singing from a very young age, people used to think that it’s the radio playing when they walked pass our house. My uncles were my musical influences and Bob Marley, Whitney Houston, Randy Crawford, Peabo Bryson, James Ingram etc. became my mentors. They all had to chip in to raise me after my parents decided to divorce and leave me behind with my granny. My grandparents adopted me and made sure that I went to school where I sang in the choir and did drama as well. I also sang in the All Saints Anglican Church choir and I believe that was a good foundation for me.

Since when have you been writing music?
I was standing in the bathroom in Mosselbay about 10 years ago when I heard a song with all its musical background and I recorded it on my phone. From there I got songs in my dreams and wherever else I would find myself. I’m not a lyricist and is still eagerly praying for the right people to come my way so that we can work on my songs and then record them.

Please tell us about your experience being part of Heroes, The Musical.
It’s really strange how it all came to pass. The casting for Heroes; the musical was already done and the cast was already rehearsing when I stepped into the director, Sean Dryden’s home one night after work. The guy who gives me a lift daily, my best friend, asked me if he could please just go rehearse for this thing he is part of and if I could possibly just wait for him. Me, being the supportive friend said, “NATUURLIK my maatjie.”* So whilst sitting in the lounge I was invited inside to sit with all of them and that is when Sean, the director, recognized me from my stint in the Passion play that was on at ArtsCape Theatre a few years ago. He immediately invited me to come and join rehearsals and that’s how it began.

*Of course, my friend

When you’re not gracing the stages, what work do you do?
I’m a client liaison officer for Route Quest (Pty) Ltd where I assist and attend to matters relating to financial analyses for transporters and private clients.

What would you like to achieve in the next 3 years?
I would like to become an advocate and volunteer at the SPCA/Animal Cruelty and come up with ideas and interventions to educate our young people on animal needs and care.
I would love to complete some of my songs and collaborate with other local spoken word artists to do outreach at various institutions where our young people are being rehabilitated for drug abuse etc.
I want to complete my book.

What is the best part of your job?
My colleagues, Pieter and Daleen, they’re the most caring people I have ever met.
Oh yes, and the fact that I do things that I never ever thought possible for someone without a degree!

Do you think that artists have a social responsibility or should they just go on and create their art?
I completely think so, yes!!!
From a young age I knew that I am a fighter for people’s rights and at one stage I became really dark and sick because of not having a platform to express myself and help others, but I realized soon after that I needed to create that platform. In 2018 I am creating that platform.

If you could change one thing in Cape Town, what would it be?
The inequality between rich and poor. The crime on our streets. The rape of our women and children. The stigma and colored mentality that most of us still adhere to and practice on a daily basis.

Do you think that it is easy for new artists to get their things on the radio?
This industry is ruthless so unless you know people, have lots of money/influence you will have to GRAFFFFFF to get somewhere, let alone on radio.

What is your least favorite thing about the music scene?
Jealousy and spitefulness among artist. When music is no longer the passion, but money is.

What is your opinion on the current water situation in Cape Town?
Water is a basic need and a right, according to our constitution, right? I’m honestly caught up between facts and conspiracy theories right now. hahahaha!
But in all seriousness, I think we can learn from this, work together and practice saving water every second of the day. This is making us more appreciative of the source of LIFE.

If you could work with any artist/producer, who would it be?
I just love Nasty C and his realness about where he comes from, it’s all there in his music. I would love a collaboration with him.
I think as a singer/mentor, definitely Karen Kortje, the best singer of my life. She would be able to guide me through this industry because of what she has already faced.
Song writer: Craig Lucas, most definitely! He is a genius!!!
Theatre: definitely Sean Dryden and Christo Davids.

You’re a very confident, big bodied woman. Any advice for young women struggling with weight issues?
I used to hide under huge T-shirts and long skirts or pants for many years as a child. I was so depressed and cried myself to sleep until one day I realized that THIS WORLD IS MY RUN WAY. This body is MINE!!! I need to love it and be proud of it! I’m still very conservative in some ways and do not wear short skirts, but BODYCON is my thing y’all! Curvy, big booty, classy woman! There was no stopping me from there on. Now I wear bikinis at the beach and I live my life to the fullest, flip the rest!

What was your highlight for 2017?
Sjoe!* I think being part of a Body positive photo shoot was just the cherry on my cake!!! I was so honored and proud to be representing fuller figured women. And obviously Heroes; the Musical.


Please give us your opinion on talent competitions like SA Idols, The Voice etc.
I think it’s great for ordinary people to have opportunities like these shows, however I myself feel that I would not want to go for these shows because it’s not ALL REAL with regards to the vetting process etc. I do like THE VOICE though and would perhaps go for it one day.

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since you started singing?
Trust your gut. Sing with your heart and soul, listen to your band and blend in with them. Be open to new things and most importantly, BELIEVE IN YOUR TALENT.

During the time you were working on Heroes; The Musical, how did you balance family life, work and the demands of the show?
I am a multi-tasker, so it was really not that hectic doing dance rehearsal on Monday and Theatre and song rehearsal on Thursdays. Plus, we were all like a family who supported each other through thick and thin.

What can we expect from Michelle Koopman in 2018?
I want to uplift my people. I want to start at least 2 of my projects and use local talent and creatives to assist me. I want to be more REAL than ever and fight injustice, abuse, stigma, body shaming and so many other trials we face in this world.

What advice would you give to young people from communities like where you’re from who want to make it in the art world?
Your now is not your tomorrow. Do not stop dreaming, I still day dream and set goals even if its just in my mind. Educate yourself, my sisters and brothers. Be HUMBLE and ask for help. DO NOT carry grudges. BE YOUR TRUE SELF AT ALL TIMES, if not, then find that person within.



Instagram: @mimilovekoopman | Facebook: Michelle Mimi Koopman

TwentyOne Q’s with Just Acoustic

Who is Just Acoustic?
Just Acoustic is a band combined of passionate musicians, Nizaam Williams and Jason Cupido who are trying to bring a unique style to modern genres.

What or who got you into music?
Both of us played a variety of instruments from a young age, inspired by family musicians.

How do we choose which music to play?
We just jam and choose what we enjoy the most and what we would like to play.

For those of us that don’t know ,please explain the Cajon.
The Cajon is Peruvian hand drum that is not as harsh as a drum kit but provides a unique sound.

What is the best part of your job?
Being able to entertain a crowd that appreciate our music. Being performers is one of the best jobs, because you are doing what you love.

What would you like to achieve in the next 3 years?
We both have our individual goals but as a group we would like to grow and add members that could add value.
We would also like to be performing more often and have a bigger following, not only local and international.

Tell us about your debut single that you played at RAW.
The song was written by the Williams Brothers (Nizaam & Tashreeq) and produced by International producer Ameen Harron.
This was the first time Nizaam Williams performed an original live song, he was accompanied by Jason Cupido (Percussion) and Lloyd Stuurman (Keyboard).

In your opinion, how can artists use music to influence positive change with the community?
They can do it in the lyrics of their songs and the example they set to their local fans in the community.

If you could change one thing in Cape Town, what would it be?
We would try and get everyone in the music industry to support each other so that Cape Town will be internationally musically known.

Do you think that it is easy for new artists to get their things on the radio?
It’s not easy for all new artists to record radio quality produced music, as these come at a cost.

What is your least favorite thing about the music scene lately?
There’s not enough platforms for new artists to showcase their talent and that is part of the reason we think Cape Town hasn’t been put on the map yet.

When you’re not working on music, what keeps you busy?
Nizaam works as a personal trainer and when not doing music, he enjoys hiking, playing soccer and training in the gym.
Jason is studying Bcom Marketing and when not doing music, he enjoys training in the gym and being a socialite.

Explain your writing process. What comes first, the music or lyrics?
It’s honestly a mixture of both, we vibe to whatever feels right. Sometimes we find chord progressions or melodies and then add lyrics that we feel are fitting.

If you could work with any artist/producer, who would it be?
There’s definitely a few we would like to work with, but someone that we can both agree on who stands out is Bruno Mars.
We really enjoy the vibe he gives off and he is unique in his style.

What was your highlight for 2017?
The highlight of our year was performing at The Great Wizoo, this was one of our first performances together as Just Acoustic. The feedback and performance was amazing.

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since you started singing?
Vocal training is important and really does make a difference. Warming up your voice and doing regular vocal exercises helps you learn about your voice and how to control it.

How do you guys balance work, families and the band?
Planning our practice sessions around work makes it easier for us to balance everything out. Our families are very much involved when it comes to our music so they don’t mind when we practice at home.

How do you prepare for our performance?
We jam through a song selection and arrange them to our style. We then put the songs into different sets and practice the sets.

What can we expect from Just Acoustic in 2018?
More original material, better quality marketing material and more performances. Our goal is to build our band and provide a platform for other artist to showcase their talent.

What is the most embarrassing moment?
Not to jinx it but we haven’t had any embarrassing moments and we hope that we can keep it like that, but sometimes these things happen and as artists we try to make the best out of these moments.

What advice would you give to new artists that are hoping to make it out there?
Do it because you’re passionate about it. No matter how much knowledge you have you can always learn something new. Don’t try and be someone you’re not.


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Nizaam Williams: 074 672 9111
Jason Cupido: 083 984 1588
Instagram: @justacousticsa
Facebook: @JustAcousticSA

Twenty Questions with Sishii

Who is Sishii?
I am a songwriter and performer who is in the business of making good music and I use as many of my personal resources (talents) as possible to create a story on stage or in studio.

What/Who got you into music?
My influences got me into music. Namely, performers who touched the world and sparked my ambition to reach others, artists, kin and my beliefs.

How would you describe your sound?
Very experimental. I’ve never been able to answer the “What is your genre?” question.

Please tell us about the Concrete Beach project.
Concrete Beach is about Durban, but for driving anywhere during the sunset in Summer. The project was made with that intention and for my personal reminiscence of Durban, my beautiful hometown. What contributed the most was the fact that Simphiwe (BKRM Studios producer and close friend) understood the vision for the song as he’s also a Durban native. Funny enough, it nearly didn’t make it on the EP.

Is your stage name trademarked?
No. It’s just my surname with an extra “I” at the end so I never thought that far.

How has your surroundings or upbringing affected your music and what you write about?
At this stage, I’ve only written about my surroundings and things that happen in my life, so they’ve contributed significantly.

How, in your opinion, can artists use music to influence positive change within the community?
An artist shouldn’t be expected to create change unless that’s what they aspire to do. And if it is what they aspire for, then they should continue being and writing about whatever matters will influence that change.

Who is your inspiration/role model?
My inspiration is currently Black Coffee who has shown every African that there is no geographical limit to what we can achieve.

Who handles your daily business activities? (Bookings, promotions etc.)
My friend Nolita Mvunelo assists me greatly with promoting myself and branding, but I handle everything in terms of agency and PR. My peers have contributed immensely to my marketing though.

How do you think the Cape Town music scene differs from Durban?
Cape Town has a very vast underground scene and I’ve found it’s easier to get gigs.

When you’re not working on music, what keeps you busy?
I recently completed my 2nd year of University so my side hustle involves being an aspiring Economist.

What was the last gift you received?
A t-shirt.

If you could work with any producer, who would it be?
It would have to be Lido.

What do you think of talent competitions like SA Idol, The Voice, SA’s got talent etc.?
I think they’re very entertaining.

Which is the one song you would like to shoot a video for and why?
Concrete Beach; because it has the most commercial appeal.

What would we find in your fridge right now?
So much still water that I have put some on top of the fridge.

How do you prepare for a performance?
Chamomile, honey, ginger and lemon!

Which artist would you most like to work with?
To get in studio with Black Coffee would be a humbling experience.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
In 2012, I performed Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” in front of a 400+ audience and tried to do the falsetto in full voice but it was too high and I hadn’t warmed up. I wore a full tuxedo and shades, but it went south and people walked out during my performance. I was the laughing stock for about a year.
At least I danced well though.

What advice would you give to a new artist that’s hoping to make it out here?
Reaching an audience beyond your peers is something you need to work on as much as making your craft!

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Twitter | @Sishiiofficial
Instagram | @Sishiiofficial
Facebook | Sishiiofficial
SoundCloud | Sishii

Gemini EP is available on all streaming platforms
(Tidal, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Deezer, SoundCloud)

TwentyONE Q’s; Tasneem Williams

Who is Tasneem Williams?
I am me, what you see is what you get. I am honest, I say what’s on my mind (most of the time) because there is a time and a place for everything to be said. I’ve been told I’m a jelly bean, I think it’s true; hard on the outside, soft on the inside.
A true Leo. LoL
I’m an advocate for the disadvantaged, I don’t use the word weak cos no one is weak. We all need help in some way or the other and I was raised to always help where I can.

How did you get into music?
I started singing in pre-school. My teacher would ask me to sing the Aladdin song “a whole new world”. Then I sang in primary school concerts. I played an ugly sister in Cinderella and high school I also sang in school concerts.

How would you describe your sound?
I listen to everything so I would like to dabble in everything, but for now It’s Pop/R&B with a bit of soul. I feel that music is a universal language and I want to reach as many people as I can.

Professionally, where do you see yourself in 3 years’ time?
In 3 years, I would like to have released an album, toured South Africa and maybe even sing on a cruise liner.

Tell us more about your typical day.
Eat, sleep, write and learn.

In your opinion, how can artists use music to influence positive change within the community?
I think if we talk/sing about the problems and how to change them we would be doing something great. People don’t want to listen to a speech by someone they don’t know, but they will listen to their “idol”. We as artist are really like super heroes, our voices are our super power and people would rather listen to a song and subconsciously they would think about things that matter.

E.g. Black Eyed PeasWhere is the love.

What is the best part of your work?
Seeing the reaction on people’s faces when I perform live. Sometimes they cry, Sometimes they are in shock. LoL
The smile on someone’s face when they hear a song I’m singing and remember something good. Being able to have an effect on someone even for a moment.

Who/What inspires your music?
I have many influences on a different day, from Adele to Demi Lovato to Whitney to my mom.
Strong women.
I grew up listening to Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and I’ve always wanted to do big songs but right now I’m very into a mixture of Adele and Sia. Both extremely strong vocalist but their songs are very differently written or even produced. Sia has more of a roughness to her music I think.

What do you think about the support artists get in Cape Town?
We don’t get enough support, we are constantly asked to perform for “exposure” but when we need to the support then there’s nothing. We only get “support” when we can do our job for free. I think the music industry is starting to change tremendously in a way that there is a space for all of us to thrive, but our own people would rather buy a ticket of R1000 to see artists from other countries than pay R200 to see their own.

What is your least favorite thing about the music scene lately?
No one wants to share, there’s a place for us all in the music industry but no one wants to help each other. But it’s also due to the lack of support we get. Every artist is just trying to survive.
It ties in with question’s 10 answer.

When you’re not working on music, what keeps you busy?
Family, I love being with my family, they keep me grounded and we are extremely close. I dabble a bit in photography as well. I love beautiful things I love capturing beautiful things.

Tell us about the projects you’re currently working on.
I just finished working (on a roadshow) with the Western Cape Government for the 16 days of activism against woman and child abuse.
There’s a couple things I have in the pipe line for 2018 but I’m not at liberty to discuss that yet.

If you could work with any artist/producer, who would it be?
I have much respect for many of our local artists, J.Dubz, Jimmy Nevis, Shekinah. Producers would be Ebrahim Mullam.
I can’t really choose, there’s too many

Do you prefer late nights or early mornings?
Late nights

Describe your dream project.
Music festival, but I actually want to organize it.

What would we find in your fridge right now?
It’s my mom’s fridge so whatever she bought lol, but cheese, eggs and pomegranate juice is a must.

How do you prepare for a performance?
I’m nervous as hell lol, so I just breathe and warm up the vocals. Drink some tea with honey and I try to talk as little as I possibly can which I usually fail doing.

What has been your highlight in 2017?
My 30th birthday concert, it was held at the city hall on Nelson Mandela’s birthday. It was called Bag it for love. Basically, it was a free concert, people payed with bags of clothing, blankets, food Items and I donated the clothes to different organizations and shelters and homes. Even at a free concert there wasn’t much support, but I was truly thankful for the support I did get.

In 2018, what can we expect from you?
Releasing a single, definitely. Traveling to London to produce some music.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
I honestly can’t think of one. I think I’m more embarrassing everyone around me than I embarrass myself. LoL

If you could give one message to the world, what would it be?
“Always ask questions” and “what other people think of you is none of your business.”
“Be confident in everything you do.”

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Facebook | Tasneem Williams
Facebook Page | Tasneem
Twitter | @Tazzw1987
Instagram | @tasneemwilliams501
YouTube | Tasneem Williams

Tracy Gore: it’s Gorejous

Who is Tracy Gore?
Tracy is a single mom and full-time solopreneur.

What sparked your interest in fashion?
I’ve always loved fashion, but Barbie sparked my interest as a child; how making her clothes reinvented her.

Describe your creative process.
My process is definitely a creative one. I never follow trends; I go fabric sourcing and allow it to happen organically

What made you take fashion serious enough to make a career out of it?
It wasn’t a decision I made, was made for me, when I got retrenched I couldn’t find employment so I taught myself to sew and sold to friends to keep the lights on

Do you remember the first garment you ever made?
I made a purple cotton knit tank top by hand, now owned by a friend, that is  what started it all.

Describe a typical day in the Gorejous studio.
Every day is different, some days it’s all machine work and some days it’s fittings, interviews and marketing. Some days I cut patterns until I fall over. LoL

In previous jobs. Were you part of the planning phase for any projects you worked on?
Yes, at Shoot the Breeze Productions I got to sit in on production meetings for content.

Are you working on any new projects?
There are a few projects being finalised but I learnt the hard way to work in silence.

Do you ever have doubts about your decision to become a designer?
I have doubts every single day. It’s not easy by any means, but I really love what I do and hard work has never scared me.

How do influences find their way into your work?
I’m influenced by everything. It’s hard to explain, but I feel like fabrics and prints speak to me.

What is your favourite childhood memory right now?
It has to be my brother, Regan and me listening to dad’s sea stories. My pops worked for De beers, they both passed away since then.

How do you stay organized when you are provided with multiple design ideas?
Everything gets written down on my board and the toughest task gets done first and then no sleep until all are accomplished.

What is your least favourite thing about the fashion industry?
The least favourite, hmmmm… How catty the industry is. If you’re not sitting at the cool table, opportunities are lacking. There’s also huge judgement because of choosing to be a fashion designer as opposed to being normal (having a normal job).

What genre of music do you like to listen to while you are working?
I listen to all different genres. Old school, like Biggie and Tupac keeps the momentum going.

Which word/term do you use the most and why?
It is probably a tie between Gorejous, my brand and delicious. Those are my ways to describe things I love. It drives my friend’s nuts. LoL

What jobs have you had prior to being a designer?
I worked in the TV industry as a production manager and stylist. I was also a visual manager at Woolworths.

Which project that you’ve completed are you the most proud of?
There are so many, probably having two fashion shows on the same day in Cape Town and Johannesburg few years ago.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started designing?
My biggest lesson?
To not tell your plans to everyone. I’ve learnt that some people want you to do well, but never better than what they are doing.

If you could change one thing in Cape Town, what would it be?
I would love creative’s to help and support each other. That would change everything.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
Don’t think I have had many, or I’ve blocked it all out. LoL

What advice would you give to young designers?
My advice would be to never give up, work harder than the next person and ask for help. You need people around you who talk about ideas and not other people. Never allow anyone to tell you what you are capable of, we are what WE think we are and no-one else can change that.

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Facebook | Tracy Gore
Facebook Page | Gorejous
Twitter | @tracygorejous
Instagram | @tracygorejous
Website |

twentyONE Q’s with Jerome Rex

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Who is Mr. Rex?
Rapper, singer, songwriter. Husband and father. Employee, leader, influencer, public figure. Maker of grown-folk music!

Also, you don’t want to try me in Street Fighter when I’m playing Blanka.

What got you into hip-hop?
KRS-One turned me onto hip hop before I even knew his name. I heard one of his tapes from a classmate in my early teens and the sound grabbed me, shook me, and left me wanting more!

From there I started writing my own lyrics and got involved with the b-boys at school. I’d follow them around everywhere they went, although I never danced myself.

How has your music changed since you started out?
When I started writing I would try and introduce a concept, unpack it and neatly wrap it up with a resolution by the end of the song. I’ve since learned that art doesn’t have to present all the answers. This shift has helped me write music that will hopefully provoke thought and discussion among my listeners, instead of dictating my opinion to them.

At first I would try really hard to be impressive, to prove that I could be lyrical. I’ve since adopted the belief that it’s more important to make your listener feel something than to purely put on a display of technical ability.

What do you do when you’re not behind the mic?
I work a 9-to-5 job as facilitator and learning content developer, so I’m not a full-time artist.

When I’m not at work or gigging, I want to be around my family – braaing (barbequing) at home or playing board games with my children, or taking a Saturday morning drive to explore Cape Town. I also try to dedicate set times for song writing.

I have a serious GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) problem, so when I have the time it’s great to play some tunes on my guitar or my ukulele, or to open Ableton Live and play with my collection of pad controllers.

Tell us about The Corduroy Pillows.
I work very closely with my DJ, IV Beats. We’re always trying to develop our live show so that it’s more than just him playing my songs with me rapping over them. I’ve incorporated my own DJ controllers running Ableton Live into our sets, all in an attempt to showcase the dynamic between emcee and DJ as a fluid and entertaining live performance.

When I met Shadley Easthorpe, a professional drummer, I challenged him to play drum machine for one of my gigs. It went so well that the 3 of us started playing together more often – Shadley playing percussion on drum machine and iPad, IV Beats on the cuts, and myself doing vocals and playing some leads in Ableton Push and on ukulele.

Later we were joined by Ashleigh Davids, a solo performer in her own right, and an incredible singer and songwriter.

The idea for an experimental electronic band developed organically from the 4 of us working together. We wanted to try something different and I was keen to showcase especially the DJ’s turntable as an instrument, not “just” a media player.

Our first show as The Corduroy Pillows took place at the start of July, and we’re currently talking about where we would like the concept to go from here. It’s a fun and refreshing outlet, but can be challenging to balance alongside other responsibilities as we all have music careers as solo artists that we manage ourselves.

What is the best part of your work?
Without question, the best thing is hearing from listeners how my music has affected their lives. Whether it gave someone a sense of peace while they played my songs at home, or meant something to a couple struggling with challenges in their marriage, those stories are priceless and validate what I do.

Other favourites are:

  • Performing for an audience who’s really into the music and we’re all having a jol (a good time) during my set, and
  • seeing people dance to my music when it comes on in the club. Ultimate!

Anything you’d you like to achieve before the end of 2017?
I’m working on an ep, which is a follow up to last year’s Fynskrif (Fineprint) ep. I’d view it as a big achievement to finish that this year, as well as all the guest appearances I’ve said yes to! I’m working on it guys!

I also want to learn how to do a handstand. It was one of my goals I carried over from 2016. I still have a few months left so I remain optimistic.

Who is your inspiration/role model?
There are so many. I draw inspiration from my circle of friends, peers and mentors. Undoubtedly DJ Ready D is a major role model to anyone in hip hop, especially in Cape Town. He’s massively loved and respected everywhere he goes, but he’s not complacent. He’s always innovating and dreaming up new ideas and concepts. He’s relentlessly creative. When you’re around him you get the feeling that anything is possible and no dream is too big.

His longevity is also a big motivator. He’s like the Bernard Hopkins of hip hop – 30 years deep in his craft and he’s still knocking out these young bucks. That’s something to aspire to.

What are your views around Cape Town hip-hop; underground/commercial?
I’ve gotten over myself since my early years in hip hop culture. At the time Puff Daddy and Mase were the enemy, the antithesis of all things good and right in hip hop. Then it was 50 Cent, then Drake. Today it’s an entire sub-genre (mumble rap) that gets the flack! When I discovered that this perceived threat to “real hip hop” is not new and has in fact existed alongside hip hop culture for decades, I adopted a much more laid back approach about it. I no longer distinguish between underground or commercial music. If people are making good music and I enjoy it, then I’m down for that!

I do take issue when artists who have no roots or connection to the culture of hip hop are misrepresented as its spokesmen. That drives me crazy. If you’re involved in the culture then you have a responsibility as an ambassador but if you’re not, just stay in your lane!

Cape Town’s hip hop scene is thriving. It’s multicultural and vibrant and diverse. Each area has its own style – Delft, Mitchells Plain, Ceres, Worcester, Kuilsriver, Ocean View – across the length and breadth of the City and the Western Cape you’ll find b-boys, graffiti artists, emcees and DJs who are influenced by international trends, but still bring their own unique identity to the melting pot. Hip hop has always been about self-expression, creativity and competition and these traits are alive and well here.

If you could, which politician would you feature?
Gwede Mantashe is hardcore. The way he lays into the media and puts people in their place, you just know he’s got some bars and presence on the mic. He’s like the Sean Price of politicians. I’d get him on some grimy, Apollo Brown-style beats and just flip non-stop punchlines. Dope.

What superpower would you have and why?
I would love the ability to read and respond to emails on time. Is that a superpower? And also super-admin abilities that allow you to sniff out the right SAMRO representatives when making telephonic enquiries! I’d take over the world!

You’re very involved in the Expression Sessions series. Can you tell us more about that?
Expression Session is a community of creatives that aims to build, grow and strengthen connections and partnerships between artists of all kinds. One of the ways we try to accomplish this is by organising regular monthly events where artists can express themselves in front of an audience. The events are all free and family friendly, and offer a great opportunity for anyone interested in supporting the arts.

From here we’ve seen people connect and collaborate, or come back to market their own paid events which our people go and support. It’s about building a market where emerging creatives can learn, earn and (through their passion onstage) burn!

I’m curator of the Kuilsriver instalment but there are also Expression Session events happening in Worcester, George, Oudtshoorn, UWC Campus and Paarden Eiland, our newest event. Anyone interested in attending or performing can contact us via the Expression Session page on Facebook.

Do you think that commercial radio stations make it easy for artists to get their music playlisted?
Yes I do. I believe that, because commercial radio stations have a certain format, sound and target audience, it becomes easy for the artist to match their own music and sound to the station and show where they think it would fit best. This would give them the best chance of getting playlisted.

The real challenge is the sheer volume of submissions radio stations have to deal with. If a station is receiving 40 songs a day it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.

So it’s easy in the sense that some stations make the submission process clear and transparent. The artist still has to be prepared to submit and follow up, and be open to feedback (and rejection, and being ignored), and submit again until they get the nod.

When you’re building a house, digging a trench is a tough grind but the principle behind it is easy. Getting your music playlisted can be the same thing!

That being said, I don’t believe that radio is the only way for one’s music to be heard. If that’s your thing then pursue that. But if for whatever reason you don’t want your music on the radio, there’s no shortage of alternatives – club DJs, web streaming, live performances. Radio airplay by itself is no guarantee of a successful music career.

What would we find in your fridge right now?
Dhanya chutney! I love the stuff!

If you could either rid the world of one thing or add one thing to the world, what would it be?
I’d make a TV channel that plays every episode of The Great British Bake-off over and over. That would be my gift to the world. I love that show!

What is your least favourite thing about the Cape Town music scene?
Artists who only attend events that they are booked to perform at. If we are to create a culture where people buy tickets and pack out shows by independent artists, it has to start with our close contacts. We need to be the change and build our own circular economy.

How do you prepare for a performance?
I try not to perform my songs exactly as they sound on the CD. I imagine where I’d like to involve the audience or introduce an element specific to the event, and then edit the backtracks to make room for that. I spend hours finding the right musical backing to make my set different but still add value to the show. I might even throw in a mashup or cover a song that I believe is significant. When I performed at a Mr Devious tribute event I had a lot of fun learning his lyrics in order to cover one of his songs. All that takes preparation and time.

If I’m performing with my DJ, IV Beats we’ll spend time rehearsing our interplay and trying out new ideas as they come up.

If we’re working with a drummer or bassist as well it takes even more preparation.

Every additional element requires more rehearsal and preparation time. I like to have my music and lyrics well-rehearsed so that I can focus my energy on performing and engaging the audience on stage.

What can we expect from Mr. Rex?
I want to be different, but cool different. Not just different for the sake of. I’ve released music on cassette, was the first hip hop artist in Cape Town to successfully crowd-fund a project, my debut album was a “best of” compilation! Expect more of the unexpected.

I’m planning more fun projects with other artists, similar to the Flow Motion album. IV Beats and I are busy with a collaborative project, and I’ve just agreed something exciting with another artist that I’m keen to tell you about in the coming months.

I prefer short EPs to singles, as they allow you more freedom to create an atmosphere and a story around the project. It can be limiting to squeeze a collaboration into just one song, especially if there’s great chemistry between the artists. Ideally you’d want to explore that across a wider soundscape.

I love radio. I co-hosted a hip hop show with Earl Scratch on UCT Radio a few years ago. If the opportunity ever came up to do something similar I would jump at it.

Tell us about your dream project.
I’m a big fan of Thandiswa Mazwai. Making music with her would be like a dream!

I’d also love to be involved in a project that honours the music I listened to as a young hip hopper. Something that takes the iconic songs of POC and Black Noise and re-releases them for today’s listeners. Imagine rapping alongside Shaheen on Cape Crusader. Or singing the hook of Ready D’s I Remember District 6. That would be epic!

How do you balance a full-time job, music and family life?
With great difficulty! The reality is that there’s just more work than you can practically do in one day. Often that means knowing when to give up trying to balance things and rather defer them to tomorrow, next week, or even next month!

Everything still gets done, it just takes a little longer.

Having a supportive family unit is crucial though. If you’re in studio recording all day, those hours have to come from somewhere. If your family has released you for the day with a smile and their blessing, it’s a lot easier on your conscience.

Any advice for a young artist?
All I can offer young artists are clichés. Because they’re true! Hard work does pay off. You absolutely have to be yourself. Persistence really is key.

Take time to reflect and define what you consider to be success. How would you measure it? How long will it take you? Write that down and then position your strategies to help you get there.

FaceBook: Jerome Rex | Twitter: @JeromeRex