One of the central parts of the South African music scene visits Oslo World.
The label and music agency Black Major, based in Cape Town, have established themselves as one of the most important and influential movers on the South African music scene. They have worked with a lot of local artists with an obvious potential on the global music scene, like DJ Lag, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Beatenberg, Doowap og Dwson. They have been showered with awards, from MTV Europe Awards to over twenty South African Music Awards. Black Major artists have guested several festivals like Glastonbury, Primavera Sound and Sonar, and the label was evolved in “Future Sound of Mzansi”, the groundbreaking documentary about the electronic scene in South Africa, produced by former Oslo World guest Spoek Mathambo.
People who follow the global pop and club scene closely knows that a lot is going on, both with Black Major and the South African scene in general. How alternative expressions have found their way into the mainstream, how expression from the avant garde and other scenes like fashion and video art has gone into the creation of something brand new. Much like a collective like Nyege Nyege, also represented on this years Oslo World with their own club night, Black Major has had a unique and confident perspective on how music from different parts of Africa can contribute on the global scene. In a year where Oslo World wishes to highlight visions of how the music scene of tomorrow might look, where we want to look at the utopian potential of the different scenes here and now, Black Major is a collaborator which is in equal parts natural and indispensable. We are proud to feature them at this years Oslo World.
Since the debut album Umlilo in 2012, Bongeziwe Mabandla has kept on evolving. He started with a blend of xhosa lyrics, traditional music and folk stylings, but the sound has grown, letting new elements from contemporary pop music flutter around his distinct voice. The result can be heard on Mangaliso, the first album he realeased in collaboration with Universal Music. More music is on its way, the song “Zange” is the first taste from the next album.
Teboho Mochaoa, who goes by the artist name Morena Leraba, mixes rock and electronic music forms with the accordian based sotho music famo, who was invented when people from Lesotho worked in South African mines in the 1920s. Similar to most famo musicians, Leraba is from the Mafeteng district in Lesotho. He has however been inspired by a lot of influential genres and artists from the whole of the african continent, giving him confidence to try something similar with his own heritage. He got his debut as a guest artist on the song “Do You Know Lesotho” by The Freerangers. Since then, Leraba has recorded prolifically both as a solo artist and collaborator.
Shiba is a UK-born, Malawi-bred media maven, voice-over artist and curator based in Cape Town, South Africa. She operates the media department at management agency Black Major, while producing content for culture platforms such as Red Bull Music, TRUEAfrica and Afropunk. For this set, she puts her curatorial skills to work to present clips from Black Major’s latest project-in-progress, Global Bass — a documentary exploring the source of a subversive sound-system that echoes throughout the planet, directed by Chris Kets. Focusing on the roots, rhythm and rhyme from sonic ecosystems such as Brazil, the U.K, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique, Global Bass traverses emerging genres and electronic music subcultures within Africa and its diaspora.
Dj Nefertiti has made Oslo move to kwaito and kizomba for a decade DJ Nefertiti has become an Oslo World veteran in recent years. She has hosted her own club nights and dj’ed before concerts and in connection with several other festival events. When she began dj’ing in 2009 her mission was to bring arabic and african genres, such as afrohouse, kwaito, highlife and kizomba, to Oslos dance floors. This kind of music was, at the time, lacking from the club circuit, but it was warmly received. DJ Nefertiti has played at The Villa, Internasjonalen, Turkish Delight and Jæger, among other places. The dance floors have been packed from the beginning. Over the last ten years, the music she plays has become more common in Oslos clubs – people know more about it, and seem eager to learn. DJ Nefertiti points out the increased availability as the main cause behind this change. But a huge part of the credit goes to ambassadors such as her, spreading the word, night after night.