These two producers from Polokwane have been hard at work putting together a fine selection of exclusive tracks, sublimely mixed by DJ Swizz. We got to know PUNK a little better…
Growing up listening to early afro and deep house, what is your earliest recollection of a track that really changed your life, musically?
PUNK: I would say the song that changed my one-dimensional view on music while growing up would have to be Jazztronik’s “Samurai” which was released in 2005. The song itself is a fusion of House, Jazz and Broken Beats. Till today I still regard it as one of my all-time favourites as it inspired me to want to make timeless music.
You, along with Da Capo and Swizz all grew up in Polokwane. There seems to be an active music scene there; or at least a growing list of DJs and producers. Tell us a bit about the music scene there…
PUNK: I believe what brings about the growing number of DJs and producers in Polokwane or Limpopo as a whole is the unity that they have, which is very important in such a tough industry. As an upcoming artist you need to be surrounded by people that have the same vision and work ethic as you. I think that’s how most of the artists progressed.
As a young producer making his mark in South Africa; what are the biggest challenges do you think producers/DJs face when trying to break into the industry?
PUNK: South Africa is unique in its own regard as we have a great number of producers/DJs, with that said the biggest challenge for a young upcoming artist is getting your music across to the mass through the correct channels. This becomes difficult since everyone wants to be heard, which causes an overflow of music. Knowing what to release and the timing is very crucial.
Tell me about the day Surreal Sounds came into being; was it a long process of discussions or one of those spur of the moment things where one of you said “hey let’s start an imprint/label.”
PUNK: Surreal Sounds began as a movement, without the name of course. Whereby we would do most of our music businesses together, till Da Capo brought about the idea that we should have our own record label, where we would have our own distinct sound and give a platform for the underground talent that S.A possesses. We started throwing around ideas from what the name should be to how we want it to be structured.
In Da Capo’s interview he cited Swizz as a big influence on you guys and that’s why he mixed the album. Tell me a bit more about Swizz and the impact he has had on the Polokwane scene.
PUNK: Swizz really is a big influence, since he manages most of what we get up to. The biggest impact I would say is how he managed to help us get to where we are as a team right now, and being acknowledged in our own home town.
Your first E.P. “The Roots Are Calling” – how many tracks had you written before this first release?
PUNK: It took me quite a while to have that sound that I wanted for my first release, which was in 2010. I had quite a few songs before my first E.P. of which till this day aren’t released. I don’t plan on releasing any of them; I’ll just keep them as mementos to remind me where it all began.
Describe a regular day for PUNK…
PUNK: I wouldn’t say I have hectic days. I’m still in varsity, so most of my regular day would be taken up by my studies. I find myself producing music in the spare time that I have, or hanging with friends and family.
What inspires you to start a new track?
PUNK: Inspiration strikes at any time and my moments are usually just random. It could be from something I hear in passing or in some cases I just have a melody which I can’t get out of my head until I lay it out on a track. The best feeling is when it comes out exactly the way I imagined it to be, or even better. I try my best not to put pressure on myself or force myself to make music.
Name one song you like listening to that you think your friends would be surprised about…
PUNK: Vikter Duplaix – Make A Baby. I just love how his voice compliments the production.
What is your favourite track on Surreal Selections Vol. 1”?
PUNK: This one would have to be “Be That Change”, where I featured Zothea on the vocals. The message behind the song is what makes it to be my favourite. You can easily relate to what she’s singing about, and at the same time you feel motivated to take on the world.
Name one track (local or international) you would love to remix but know deep down you probably will never get the opportunity…
PUNK: This is a tough one, but I would have to say “Joey Negro, The Sunburst Band – He Is”. This song is just timeless.
Last question… who, in your opinion, is the most underrated house producer in SA at the moment…?
PUNK: I would have to say Ta-Ice. He really is a talented producer and I believe his music would also do well with the international audience.