Interview: Sai and Ribatone

Sai and Ribatone

“Soulistic to us is more like a family than anything else and as with any family every child is different.” Sai and Ribatone.

IDM: Who are Sai and Ribatone?

Sai: Sai is a childhood nickname I got from a friend. My real name being Sandile Mavuso. I’m a normal guy with a 9 to 5 and an abnormal love and passion for house music. Riba’s name comes from his surname, Mahlatse Riba. He is the pianist and vocalist of the group while I’m the DJ.

Riba: I actually met Sai at a Kwani Experience gig I was playing. He approached me once I had finished and told me about his music and the ideas he had. We met the following day and made Sunday Showers that very same day. From there we knew we had chemistry and the duo was formed.

IDM: Coming from different backgrounds musically, who brings what to the group?

S&R: It all goes with the ideas each person has at the time. We both always contribute differently yet equally to a production.

IDM: For a while you only released a few singles at a time. Why the decision to do your first full length album, Here and Now?

S&R: Before this we wanted to play it safe. We wanted to work with people in the industry who shared the same drive as us. We were also conscious of our image and a formula that would work for us, and all these things take time to find. Hence we only released an album now.

IDM: What was the journey like when it came to creating this album?

S&R: The album has been a long time coming. Some songs are from as far back as 2007, and we had over 400 to choose from. More than anything we wanted to showcase an album that represented us and our personality.

IDM: Wow, okay! So I guess there is some significance behind the title Here and Now?

S&R: Definitely! ‘Here and Now’ is the spirit we carried throughout making the album. We believe no matter what, you have to work with what you have here and now.

IDM: How do you find it working with Soulistic, and where do you feel your sound fits in with the label?

S&R: Soulistic to us is more like a family than anything else and as with any family every child is different so our sound fits in just right. Of course we appreciate the guidance we receive from Nathi (Black Coffee) a lot too.

IDM: Ribatone, what is it like working with Kwani Experience and how is this different from the Sai & Ribatone project?

Ribatone: Unlike being just me and Sai, Kwani Experience was an 8 piece band and has been a great experience. Both projects have been my babies and I take pride in watching them grow and seeing how far they’ve come.

IDM: So what are the plans for the future?

S&R: (With a laugh and a smile) Work! Work! Work! We’d like to grow our brand both locally and internationally and hopefully one day even perform with a full band.

IDM: Any chance of solo projects?

S&R: Solo projects happen without a second thought and when we do get there it won’t be due to disbandment but rather because we both just make music every day and like to share this.

IDM: Who inspires you?

S&R: Everyone plays a different role when it comes to inspiring us, from Oskido and how he grew as a brand to the family at Soulistic, and generally everyday life and the things we see around us.

IDM: Lastly, craziest experience while performing?

Angola was definitely hectic. We played till 7.30am!


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