Soul Candi proves once again to be ahead of the urban house game, as Tendai discovers, chatting to some of their brightest new signings. Welcome to Soul Candi’s Class of 2013…
Muzart: Star Pupils
There is a calm and jovial air when one is in the presence of Soul Candi’s latest act, Muzart. Despite coming from spectacularly different backgrounds, they all seem to gel like old friends sharing childhood memories and happily welcoming you into their world to share in their experiences as a growing band.
Marking the register.
Muzart is an emerging talent coming out of Soul Candi. As one of the star products of the Class of 2013, they have huge shoes to fill but something makes me feel they’d much rather kick off their shoes and leave their own barefoot prints in the sand. The group is made up of five artists, Tshegofatso ‘Tazzy’ Lehutso, Victory ‘Vic’ Chauke, Rorisng ‘Rori’ Thandekiso, Nkanyiso ‘Nka’ Khanyile and Sol Mosetle.
Patience is one of the key ingredients in the pot of success and it seems this eclectic group of individuals has it in bucket loads! When they first started out, the group tells me they decided to send their demo CD to Soul Candi, but it took a year before they got any feedback from the label. This included a whole three months where the label was trying to locate them and a further three months before they had made up their mind on the deal. All this waiting didn’t deter them though and they kept refining their craft. Now they feel they fit comfortably under the wings of the same label that has released shining stars such as Mi Casa and The Layders.
Fuelled firstly by a desire to glorify God’s name, the group cheerfully describes their sound as “modernized old school”, a fitting description for their mature and yet ever so funky grooves. Their main goal though is to provide music that listeners across all borders can relate to. A tough order for the group but certainly one they plan to tackle head on.
In the midst of all the laughter that laces the interview, I enquire how they feel working under Soul Candi has influenced their career. They unanimously agree that now, more than anything, they are aware of the music industry and how it functions. After working independently, signing to the music powerhouse has allowed Muzart to break into the public domain and receive a steady amount of recognition and attention. Their lead single, Jukebox has enjoyed heavy rotation in DJ sets and on radio stations.
Interestingly enough Tazzy mentions that this single, a song he penned, took three months to make but only two hours to record even though it was only the second time they had met band mate, Rori! However long the song took to see the light of day, the end result is clear to hear. Jukebox has managed to garner the attention of individuals across all borders and has seen the group being invited to perform as far out as Japan!
By the time you read this, Muzart’s album will probably be on every music store shelf and in even more digital baskets. There is no denying that Soul Candi is onto something here. A group of talented friends before they are musicians, one gets the sense that the mutual love and appreciation for each other’s talents will be the elixir that will see them ascend their dreams. Without as much as a music video they already have the ears of the masses glued to their speakers and there are no signs of them letting up.
These Soul Candi graduates will undoubtedly continue to be the proud torch bearers for their record label and we doubt Soul Candi could have found any one better!
C.9ine – Head of the Class
In the class of 2013, C.9ine sits comfortably at the top of the register. As long standing Soul Candi alumni, they’d mostly likely scoop every other award there is to offer if the label was to have a speech night. However, it doesn’t so until that day comes – they’ll just continue to keep pushing the boundaries of their music and excelling beyond everyone’s expectations.
Meeting the two artists that make up C.9ine, Danny and Skitzo, is an interesting experience to say the least. Their music is known across all corners of the house nation but besides the live shows and an album cover; few people can put a face to their great music.
When not making music, Danny and Skitzo are a pair of down to earth guys and even they agree that they’d like to be more visible and step out of their somewhat shy personas. So it’s inevitable as we sit at a little café not too far from the Soul Candi offices, that our interview casually turns into a conversation between three music lovers sharing their experiences.
Lesson number one
C.9ine is known for picking amazing and equally ‘off the beaten path’ type artists, so my first question was what inspired their choice of artists to collaborate with?
“The people we work with, like Kholi, Joao Orecchia, P’Oliveira and the like, are all people who understand our sound. They are not just vocalists but also talented musicians who bring their own expertise to a song.” This then leads to the collaborations that will be featured on their second album, A Million Sprockets, and true to form they’ve stepped out of the musical box and pulled artists from all spheres of the musical world. A Million Sprockets features collaborations with Ziyon from Liquideep, Garth Brown, Mpumi Dhlamini, Cosmic Gate and more!
Sound Garden was a hugely successful album for C.9ine. It was well received across the board and firmly launched them onto the international scene as one of South Africa’s top groups. According to them, the album itself took just three months to make and all the vocals were recorded over a single weekend! But since then it has been three years since the duo released; why the delay? “One of the challenges was trying to make an album that’s different to Sound Garden. We wanted to paint a different picture. Even our album art and title paint a different picture. It was also a challenge fusing all these different artists.”
Whatever challenges they may have faced, they definitely blew them away and are back harder than before. The lead single from A Million Sprockets, Tonight, is an infectious, feel good jam featuring Mr Dex. Danny and Skitzo laugh as they recall how the single changed over twenty four times! “It started as a break beat but something was missing. After Mr Dax laid the vocals though, we knew we had to change it until it felt just right.”
A New School
C.9ine weren’t always under Soul Candi but they had wanted to work with the record label for a while. Fortunately for them when they finally got a chance to join forces with the label, it turned out to be a match made in heaven, “They definitely handle things in a more professional manner”.
Soul Candi has also given the duo a chance to spread its wings beyond their own music. “We have our own artists we’d want to release in the near future like Garth”. We can’t wait to hear that!
It’s easy to forget that these two friends are only two albums deep into their career, yet they continue to grow their musical clout at an alarming rate. They are a perfect example of letting the music speak for itself; one can’t help but hope that in time even more people are exposed to the unique and proudly South African sound that is C.9ine.
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