Monday, May 4, 2009

South African Music Awards 2009 Winners


The winners:

Best African Traditional: Rebecca Malope - Ujehova Ungu’ Madida
Best Contemporary Jazz Album: The Moreira Project - Volume Two Citizen of the World

Best Maskanda Album: Imithente - Simqonda Ngqo
Music Video of the Year: The Parlotones - Overexposed
Best Urban Dance Album: DJ Kent - Mixing Buisness with Pleasure
Best Urban Pop Album: The Gang of Instrumentals - Round 3
Lifetime Achiever Awards: Anton Goosen & Yvonne Chaka Chaka
Best Afrikaans Pop: Eden - Kniee Lam

Best African Pop: Theo Kgosinkwe - I Am

Best English Rock Album: Zebra & Giraffe - Collected Memories
Best Rap Album: Teargas - Wata Wata
Best Kwaito Album: Brickz - Stop Nonsense
Best Selling Album: Lianie May - Vergeet My Nie

Best Producer and Best Dance album: Goldfish

Newcomer of the Year - Andile Mseleku
Duo or Group of the Year - Soweto Gospel Choir
Best Female Artist of the Year - Lira
Best Male Artist of the Year - Abdullah Ibrahim
MTN Record of the Year - Rhythmic Elements

Album of the Year: Lira - Soul in Mind

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

KWAITO IS DEAD a movement in 6 parts

This just might do nobody any good. At the end of reading this, it may be possible to say that I’m making a very comfortable positioning for many more uncomfortable. It could be said that is giving a platform to dangerous, and even heretical ideas. Flitting whispers, uttered in the taxi ranks and office corridors alike, the suburban streets and township backways, from the mudhuts to the mansions, people are giving voice to rumor and allegation. Now it must come to light. Well, here goes nothing. KWAITO IS DEAD. There, it’s out. Now go back and re read it again, slowly. KWAITO IS DEAD.

 You may not believe it, you may not like the way it sounds, you may not agree with it. It’s ok, denial is the first step to acceptance. But realize, that in death, there is liberation. In death there is change. Be willing to embrace that change and accept it. For only through acceptance of the truth can we gain an understanding of the present reality.

The truth is, evolution is calling. There are times when life calls for a transition, like the seasons. We have had our Spring together, breathing in the fresh air of the dawn in an era with M’du and Spikiri, Arthur, and Oskido, whose new style of music was like naked baby feet on fresh wet grass in the morning,

My man, back in the day, I used to beat program, slowing down those international house tracks and putting some African chanting over them. Those tracks like TRAFFIC COP were the birth of Kwaito, -OSKIDO

 Oskido’s elated reminiscence is evident in the timber of his voice over the phone. I managed to catch up with him in the midst of his busy schedule shuttling between, the UK and heading up one of the world’s most successful black owned record label empires. He continues to confront the rumour that Kwaito is dead like a proud father at his son’s graduation party,

Kwaito started from House Music and us putting our lyrics over it. When we first made that music no one said, ‘hey it has to stay at a certain BPM or it’s not Kwaito’ bull shit, to do that, to define it would be to put limitations on the music. There is no definition like that. You can’t do that. You have to change with the times, you can’t do the same beats. Most of the Kwaito that is doing well now is up-tempo, but it’s 100% Kwaito. Kwaito is not dead, Kwaito is a revolution!-OSKIDO

KWAITO IS DEAD pt 2 0f 6

And the speed of the revolution must be increased. This was Arthur’s take on Kwaito in 1998 in a conversation with Oskido upon returning from the music conference in Ibeza,


When I came back I did an interview with Oskido, and I told him,  “If we are going to take this Kwaito music thing internationally, then we need to go back to the normal speed. Only by doing that can we fit into those international formats and take what we are doing to an international level."
Those early songs which I did, “Don’t Call Me Kaffir,” and “President,” the BPM was over 126. In those days we never put a limit on the speed of the music.-ARTHUR

KWAITO IS DEAD pt 3 0f 6

Now we are smack dab in the middle of  the Festive season of Kwaito’s existence. With the release of his 3rd studio Album Mandla “Spikiri” has finally caused South Africa to march to the tempo of a different drum, altering Kwaito forever and killing off the older assumed idea that Kwaito had to exist in a certain BPM. 

By doing so, he placed the genre on par with the international house music from which it is was derived. The release of CURRENT in the summer of 2005 moved the focus of Kwaito lovers from the dusty streets of Egoli to the Golden Shores of Kwazulu Natal.

Current, which I did with Professor, was 118bpm. That song was a big change in the way Kwaito was made, but Kwaito is flexible. I don’t agree with people who say Kwaito is dead. Kwaito is still alive and it’s kicking. When these internationally DJ’s who we work with, like Lois Vega and Dennis Ferierra, come to visit us in South Africa or we see them when we are abroad, they commend us on what we are doing. They say that this KWAITO we are doing is original and nothing like anything else in the rest of the world.

Kwaito, is not dead, I can say that. I’m in studio now with Brown Dash, he’ll be dropping in two weeks. Jakarumba has an album that will drop in September. I’m working with Mapaputsi and Thebe. Come September into December this year, my man, we will be rocking! -SPIKIRI