Tell us about your start as an artist/band...
Started deejaying at the age of 13. At age 16 I had already been playing clubs and making my own music. Obviously I was still CRAZY over deejaying as compared to making music. Fast forward years later, 2014 - I landed my first big festival booking in Cape Town, Rocking The Daisies. In 2015 I had my debut released licensed to Sony Music for the House Afrika Dj All Stars compilation. That track basically put me on the map, until this day people always tweet about "A Message To Larry Heard". I didn't look back since then and only kept on growing stronger. I obviously didn't put out everything I was making. I always believe that not everything I create I will release. 2018 - Collabed with Marco Resmann and we released a vinyl EP on Watergate Records. Not forgetting to mention we had Oliver Hunterman on remixing duties for that release. 2019 - Played my first gig abroad, Rise open air showcase at Sage Beach , Berlin and played at Watergate too. 2021 - I released my debut single on New York's ICONIC Nervous Records, which was a dream come true for me.
Take us back to the very beginning…
I started off as a DJ playing clubs and playing shows alongside Black Coffee , Culoe De Song and Dj Mbuso to mention a few. I mean I was way younger and I had the energy of a youngin' HAHAHA. One thing I knew for sure I was not a Dj but a musician. Started palying my Dj sests alongside a live saxophonist which was a step closer to the idea of being a live act. Fast forward to now I'm one man band and I have an actual band. To me it has always being about re-inventing myself as an artist and finding more interesting ways to present my craft and keep things fresh at the same time.
What’s Your Songwriting Process?
I do a lot of live looping on Ableton when writing music. That helps me find the groove muchc quicker and keep the energy/creative juices flowing.This is a process that grew on me as I started to perform more of my music. It also helps me keep the energry of the song when performing it.
How has COVID impacted this?
I had already BEEN backing up my catalogue, writing new music on a daily basis prior the gloibal pandemic hit. The only thing COVID impacted was not being able to perform the music I had been working on and ofcos not being able to earn from performing live shows. Above all I personally feel the global pandemic bought me more time to finish projects I had been working on overtime and to spend time honing my craft. Now I have an amazing band that I'm looking forward to perform shows with once things eventually go back to "normal".
What does being Independent mean to you?
To be have total control and freedom in whatever I do. Telling my story in my own voice.
What can we expect from you 2021 - 2022?
HAHAHA more like what can you expect from me for as long as I'm still alive. Firstly, I'm super excited for my debut album goes live on 9th July 2021 on my new label MFENGU. Apart from the album I have a string of projects and collabs that are yet to be released. Also looking forward to put out an EP under my other alias "James Blond3" which I have been spending lots of time writing music for. 2022 - I'm looking forward to travel once it's safe to do so. Write music with my band (not just by myself) and ofcos put out more music on my label.