South African hip hop artist Leslie Mampe (born in Washington, DC), popularly known by stage name DA L.E.S moved to South African in 1993. DA L.E.S first became known to the mainstream community in 2005 when he appeared as a member of the motherland crunk group “Jozi”. He released his debut album, Fresh to Def under Ghetto Ruff Records in June, 2008, which includes fresh tracks “Tippy Toes” and “On Fire” to mension a few
Cashtime fam is an extension of TEARGAS, Inspired by the concept behind the legendary Kwaito group “Tkzee Family”, Cashtime Fam is South Africa’s first Hip Hop group of its kind. Cashtime Fam consists of Six members namely, Smashis, Kid-X and Ab Crazy, the group also includes the award winning members of Teargas who are, K.O, Ntukza and Ma-E.
Senzo ‘KWESTA’ Vilakazi was born 11 August 1988 to school teacher Thabsile Vilakazi, on the East Rand of Johannesburg. It was during his high school days at J.G. Strydom where the dream of becoming a rap superstar began, he was a constant irritation to his teachers for writing verses and poems during lessons but as time went on, the very same teachers started asking KWESTA to give examples of his writing by reciting whatever “student friendly” verse or poem he had for the class.
For Booking Kwesta , Kwesta ‘s Booking details : firstname.lastname@example.org / 0813401356
When Kiernan Forbes linked up with his fellow schoolmates to form a group called Entity, little did he know what was in store for him. KORA Award nominations along with setting the hip-hop music video landscape ablaze were testament to the sense of innovation that were part of his genetic makeup. Entity went on to establish their credibility with their smash hit “Touch N Go” and A.K.A’s stock was increasingly on the rise, featuring on material from artists such as Loyiso Bala.
Unfortunately due to the journey that is life, Entity were forced apart by the various new roads each member wanted to venture alone. A.K.A’s path remained en route towards musical superstardom. He linked up with his musical mates, Buks and Kamza to form a production collective known as The I.V. League. His passion for production kept him active in music, albeit behind-the-scenes.
Whilst in the shadows producing the majority of PROKID’s Dankie San and other records with The League, he’s been taking the time out to craft his solo offering. His influences, ranging from the acoustic to the electric, are well represented in the music that’s slowly piecing together his album. With the entire soundtrack to his thoughts and views being woven by The I.V. League, A.K.A is looking to be honest yet engaging, something he’s been able to do as time is on his side. His experiences as a young musician chasing the dream are vividly retold over beds of beastly beats. The thread of innovation that he’s accustomed himself to is apparent as he moves away from conventional stories that have been retold over and over again. Rather he opts for experiences that would be deemed too “honest” for an MC to speak of. He’s candid. He’s well aware of the risk he’s taking but thrives on it. Refreshing, especially considering the current climate of clones and unoriginality.
He’s starting off 2010 on the highest note possible. Having collected all the hits from 2009, supplemented with more incredible music that was initially meant to appear on his upcoming debut album, he’s gone on to offer the 24/7/366 EP as a substantial appetizer for those who see his promise plus any doubters posted in the bleachers. Serving as a strong signal of intent plus a palette of musical colour, it goes to show that technically and creatively AKA is a force to reckon with. Facebook and Twitter remain abuzz with fans exchanging quips on their favourite lines and concepts that have been woven so well together, you would think he’s the most Bespoke of tailors.
With songs such as “Mistakes” and “Do It” (which achieved #1 status on 5FM’s Top 40) already on the lips and minds of the urban massive and an EP filled to the brim with quality material, he’s steadily building up the clout an artist of his potential deserves. Knowing it’d be to his detriment to leave this potential unrealized, he continues to push boundaries – including his own and those of the musical realm.
– 2005 KORA Awards
– 2005 Rand Easter Show
– 2006 Edgars Music Series
– 2006 Castrol Motor Show
– 2009 Levi’s Rage 4 The Revolution
– 5FM Top 40 (#1 Do It RMX)
– Metro FM Rhyme & Reason top 10 (#1 Do It #1 Mistakes)
– YFM Hot 99 Hip-Hop (#1 Do It #1 Mistakes #2 In My Walk)
– YFM Fab 5@5 (#1 Do It #1 Mistakes)
– Formed Entity in 2002
– Signed to Creative Kingdom Records in 2005 at the age of 16
– Released “Royal School of Hip Hop” in August 2005
– Nominated in “Best African Hip Hop” Category at KORA Awards 2005
– Performed at KORA Awards 2005, at Durban ICC
– Formed The I.V. League in Q4 2007
– Production credits include:
PRO -“Dankie San”
Tuks -“The Monopoly”
Andile -“I Am Not A DJ”
Shugasmakx -“Numba 1”
Entity-“Royal School of Hip Hop”
Psyfo “The Afterparty”
Jub Jub “Rare Breed” -Artist Collaborations include:
Loyiso Bala – “Blow your mind”: “Step To The Throne” and “Blow Your Mind Remix”
Bala Brothers – “Bala Brothers”
Jae – “Amazing”
JR – “Y.B.R.F”
Proverb – “Super Official”
For Booking Aka , Aka Bookings Bookings@djsproduction.co.za / 0813401356
South African born and Mmabatho bred, Khuli Chana is a talented musician who practices the skill of rhyming in vernacular rap, Motswako. Motswako encompasses various elements from various musical backgrounds. It involves street-talk and highly influential messages in Setswana, English; and other South African languages, yet largely comprehended lingo. Khuli Chana brings a different flavor and sound, not only to this type of music but also to the Hip-Hop scene. One of his objectives is to encourage and inspire an international appeal into South African music.
Khuli Chana is not new to the music industry; in the early 90s he formed a duet with Kay-G called Jazzadaz, he then joined forces with Towdee to form the group, Morafe. Morafe has released two albums to date, namely Maru a pula and A ene which was nominated for Best Urban Pop at the 2007 South African Music Awards.
The Motswakoriginator is the album title of Khuli Chana’s first offering and was released in 2009. On this album, he brings through a distinctive sound and formula. The concept is about bringing back the show; the energy; creativity; stage; lights; and quality performance that is out of the ordinary. This project is already receiving a very positive and overwhelming response and is already a success with Khuli Chana working with some of the hottest producers in the game. He worked with the likes of: TowdeeMac and Kay-G of Morafe fame; IV League; Octave Couplet and Jazz Worx.
His two singles; Tswak Sticke’m and Sthandwa Sam featuring Towdee are already dominating the airwaves. A remix of the song, No More Hunger, has also been requested by ActionAid South Africa to be featured on the Hunger Free Campaign music compilation which features artist from around the continent and will be distributed to over 50 countries in Africa alone.
Khuli Chana – is fast becoming one of South Africa’s hip hop elite – having previously took home the best new comer award at the 2009 Channel O music awards and has just recently scooped the award for best song of the year for his hit song Tswak Sticke’m at the Hype music awards. He is also nominated for the best rapper of the year for the South African Music Awards.
Contact details for booking Khuli Chana: email@example.com
Born and bred in Alexandra township, L-Tido has made the term “self-made” his own after he self-released, self-marketed and even hand-to-hand distributed his mix-tape titled ‘City of Gold’. The mix-tape sold over 4,000 units and won him a Most Gifted Newcomer award at the 2010 Channel O awards. He’s not your average, run-of-the mill musician looking to simply make music, sell a couple of albums and blow up in South Africa.
“ I don’ t want a piece of the pie, I want everything”, says L-Tido.
His plan for world domination began last year when he released his mix-tape City of Gold, which received a lot of acclaim and woke the industry to the new, fresh sounds that puts the swag in swagger.
L-Tido’ s interest in music, especially hip-hop began when fellow artist and friend, Sean Pages introduced him to the genre at a young age. Since then, their love for hip-hop took them on a journey of self-discovery which ultimately saw them conquer the local industry, without an official album under their belt and even a record label backing them. “ I’ve always been an expressive person and out of every music genre, hip hop is the only one that allowed me to express myself as much as I want to be,” he adds.
For a while, L-Tido used it as a hobby. Far from the rapper with the stylish swagger that he’ s known to be now, L-Tido was once a suit-man with a 9- 5 financial job. “ I also studied marketing, which I guess ties up to the creativity because just like with music, you have to use words to get people’ s attention.”
L-Tido eventually decided to pursue his on a full-time basis. “ I realized as I watched some of my friends in the industry make it that It’ s okay to take the risk.” He then left his job and invested all his money into making sure his new career takes root. “I believed in myself so much that I realized that in order to be able to focus on my music, I had to give it my all. And that’ s what I did. There’ s no turning back.”
He recorded his City of Gold mixtape, launched it at club Inc in Braamfontein, sold out the venue to capacity, a testament to his rising popularity in Gauteng province and beyond. He’s fiercely independent spirit who believes that artists in South Africa need to take the reign of their own career instead on entrusting them into the hands of recording labels.
His debut album, titled All or Nothing, reveals everything about his journey and what it took for this rising star to get to where he is. The album includes collaborations with K.O from Teargas, Nigerian superstar Banky W, Tumi from Tumi and The Volume, Da L. E. S of Jozi and the Glitz Gang. “I chose new people on production because they are hungry to make it and will also bring a fresh sound from what everyone else has already done.”
“I believe this album is a great body of work. There are certain songs that make references to the title, which is all about the sacrifices I made to be where I am. I deserve to be where I am right now and all the awards I receive. I refuse to settle for anything less”
While many local hip hop artist decided to rap in their mother tongues, L-Tido refuses to limit his fan base to those who only understand vernacular language. “At the end, I want everybody to be ale to understand and appreciate my music. Why bother expressing yourself through music if only a few people are going to understand? I want mine to go beyond South Africa and African borders and since English is a universal language, the universe is where I’m headed.”
His ultimate goal? To be the best rapper alive. “ I have all the elements to penetrate the African market and beyond. And so far, the reception of my music has been great.”
This can be seen through his achievements that keep multiplying. These include:
• Crowned Channel O Music Video Awards ‘Most Gifted Newcomer’ for 2010 (An honor he received without an album).
• A lead single ‘We Rollin’ (featuring KO from Teargas) that has so far peaked at #2 the Mediaguide’s RAMS Charts.
• ‘We Rollin’ reaching number 1 on the Channel O Weekly Charts, MTV Base African Chart, ETV’s Club 808 Chart and French music channel Trace TV’s Africa Top 10 Chart for five straight weeks.
• Charted on all ALS radio stations plus Metro FM, YFM, Capricorn FM, Good Hope FM and Tru FM.
• Sold over 500 ringtones on MTNPlay on the first day of going live.
• ‘We Rollin’ is currently one of the only 4 South African acts on the Nokia Ovi Store Top Selling Singles
• Hype Magazine cover for the December 2010/January 2011 issue.
• Over a 4 million of Google search results
• Sold over 4,000 units of his self released, self marketed and hand-to-hand distributed mix-tape titled ‘City of Gold’.
• Over 44,000 YouTube views for ‘We Rollin’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATF22M4-Z0w).
• Over 11,000 fans on his facebook Fan Page.
• Over 10,000 followers on twitter. www.twitter.com/L_Tido
• L-Tido’s video for “Calling” has over 14,400 views on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXAOTpmxvtk and the video was heavily rotated on both Cannel O and MTV.
• L-Tido has trended on twitter at least 3 times.
• Shared stages with American superstars Rick Ross and The Game. He has also shared a stage the legendary Slum Village and Hip Hop rising star Maino.
“ Everything seems to be happening fast, but I’m just getting started.” – L-T
Becoming a household name within months of releasing your first single is not something that happens every day in South Africa – especially in the dance market. But when Micasa released ‘These Streets’ to national radio at the end of 2010 their lives would change forever.
Talking with lead vocalist J’ Something about it now, the singer just shakes his head in disbelief and counts his blessings. Two years later, Micasa is without a doubt, one of the hottest acts to emerge from the South African dance market.
What J’ Something still marvels at is the sheer coincidence and improbability of the groups emergence – seeing it almost like his destiny, as nothing else can explain why and how those three musicians landed up being in the same place, at the same time, with such incredibly strong musical chemistry.
Everyone knows the story of the three young guys that were lumped together at a rooftop party at the end of 2010 to freestyle on stage into what became a historical performance. The spark witnessed between the three was tangible and they walked off stage instantly knowing this was the future of dance music.
Since then, the group hardly had time to find their feet before they were signed, recorded, packaged and released into a much anticipating market, through Soul Candi. The three musicians, vocalist J’ Something, trumpeter Mo-T and producer Dr Duda became fast friends, furiously mixing their creativity and walking away with an album of warm house beats peppered with jazz trumpet and a fresh twist of soul.
Their debut self titled record instantly shot to Number 1 of several charts around the country, with the first single ‘These Streets’ rocking charts and airwaves across the country, and pretty soon thereafter, the continent. Produced by Dr Duda and written by the guys themselves, the album has spawned over 5 massive hits, and is currently sitting on multi-platinum status of over 80 000 units.
2012 was a busy year for the guys. ‘These Streets’ had rocked 2011 for them and the follow up, ‘Heavenly Sent’ had high expectations. The single smashed charts and radio waves and got the band to be one of the most booked live performers of the time. The group was literally performing 4-5 shows a week, pushing the envelope each time. After ‘Heavenly Sent’, the group released the third single ‘La Vida’, accompanied by the innovative ‘lego’-styled video. ‘Cant Get Enough’ and ‘All The Glory’ were then released, all the while pushing the group higher and higher up the mountain of fame they had created. 2012 also saw them walking away with three of the most highly coveted SAMA awards. They very humbly walked away with the categories ‘Best Group’, ‘Best Dance Album’ and the most prestigious award of the night, ‘Record Of The Year’.
This took the already insanely busy group to even dizzier heights.
Since then they have opened for international acts such as Drake, John Legend and Kool & The Gang. They have played in over 12 African countries and even performed in Ibiza, a trip that J looks forward to re-living again soon.
A highlight of last year for J was getting to perform at the Obama Presidential Inauguration in January 2013. He laughs when he admits it was the scariest moment in his life, particularly as he had to go onstage alone, without his band mates. “It was different from South African audiences where they know you and go crazy when you walk out – they just looked at me. But they loved the performance”, he says.
J admits that he isn’t normally nervous. “I’m not sure why but it could have something to do with the feeling I get that I am born to do this. You can put me anywhere, hearing 80 000 people calling for you makes me more amped than nervous.”
After winning the SAMPRA at the 19th Annual SAMAs this year, Micasa is now in the studio working on their follow up album – ‘Micasa, Su Casa’. They are excited about the collaborations involved as they have never been one to work with other artists in the past. J holds his tongue when he speaks about the names appearing on their record, but from his excitement one can tell there are some big names involved. “It’s a dream come true to work with some of these names – I cannot image just how good this is going to be”, he laughs.
The group is 11 tracks in and still sticking to producing it themselves, in their own studio in JHB Central. This album incorporates new sounds such as live elements of guitar and drums and even some choirs. Showing growth and maturity whilst still staying as fresh and relevant as ever, the album is going to be one of the most mind-blowing releases of 2013.
With new sponsorship deals, a social networking following of over 200 000 members, international gigs in Toronto, New York and Portugal planned and a brand new album waiting to drop, J- Something still marvels over how this came to be his reality. “It all grew from such innocent roots.. We only expected to sell 3000 units of our album. The idea that three guys from different places coming together for some fun, the next minute we are living this dream…..we are truly blessed.”
Look out for ‘Micasa – Su Casa’ soon. Booking Micasa , Micasa bookings : firstname.lastname@example.org / 0813401356
Zakes Bantwini (real name Zakhele Madida) is a South African dance music and kwaito artist and music producer best known as the man who discovered kwaito sensation L’vovo Derrango and for his collaborations with DJ Black Coffee.
He is also known for his song “Clap your Hands”, featuring Xolani Sithole, from his album Love, Light and Music. Other featured tracks from the album include Bum Bum and Wasting my Time.
Born and raised in Durban, Zakes is the owner of the independent record label Mayonie Productions, which he established in 2004 while he was completing his final year at technikon.
Armed with a Diploma in Jazz and Popular Music, Bantwini contributed to establishing what is known today as Durban Kwaito Music (DKM) – the genre that is a mixture of house beats and kwaito lyrics.
In 2012 he was announced as one of the seven choirmasters for the Mzansi Magic reality competition Clash of the Choirs South Africa, which aired in 2013. He mentored the choirs from Gauteng.
BIG NUZ is a well-known and highly celebrated Durban-based kwaito group under the Afrotainment record label. It is made up of three members, Mandla Maphumulo aka Mampintsha, Mzi Tshomela aka Danger and Sbu Khomo aka R Mashesha.
The name BIG NUZ is derived from the two key elements that define their sound. “BIG” relates to their vision of being a brand that aims to take kwaito to new heights across the continent and ultimately, the globe. They’re not in the business of doing things on a small scale. “NUZ” are letters that appear on the registration plate of vehicles registered in Umlazi township in Durban, i.e. Natal Umlazi. Their sound is one that is distinctly Durban.
The three hail from Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) but their musical journey began in Johannesburg. While approaching various studios in an attempt to secure a recording deal, they tried various tactics to have their sound heard. These included a jingle for the popular e-tv soapie Backstage, which gave them an opportunity to perform on the show; recorded songs in 2003 with Koloi Lebone and Beatmaker which did not make it to the record shops; and featuring on Ishmael’s album in 2006 with a song called “Boom”.
It was in 2006 however that their efforts and luck took a turn for their better. Gallo Records offered the group a record deal and their first studio album “Zozo” was released. Due to poor management, the album sales did not do well.
In 2007 DJ Tira heard the talented sounds of BIG NUZ and requested that they return to Durban in order for them to join his record label Afrotainment, under which they remain signed. BIG NUZ’s first single under Afrotainment “Uyoysholo Wena” featured on the Durban’s Finest Vol 3 album made waves and reached the Number 1 spot on many radio station charts.
Afrotainment then released BIG NUZ’s second album called “2nd Round Knockout”. The album was a chart topper and sold over 20 000 copies in South Africa. The album won the award for the Best Kwaito Album at the 2008 Metro FM Awards and received a nomination at the 2008 Channel O Music Awards. As the opening act for the ceremony, they created an electric atmosphere that started the awards on a high note.
In the winter of 2009 BIG NUZ released their third album titled “UNDISPUTED”.
The 2010 music award season saw BIG NUZ scoop three awards at the MTN South African Music Awards: Kwaito Album of the Year for “Undisputed”; Album of the Year and Record of the Year by public vote for “Umlilo”.
With the number of tours that haven taken place elsewhere on the continent with huge success, BIG NUZ are a brand that continues to take the uniquely South African brand of music known as Kwaito to the rest of the world. Their latest album, “Made in Africa” released in spring 2013 has already taken the music scene across the continent by storm. Their hit singles “Hawaii” and “Inazo” are definite summer anthems.
TEARGAS is made up of three like-minded young men namely; Ntokozo “K.O.” Mdluli from Piet Retief in Mpumalanga, two brothers Ezee “Ma-E” Hanabe and Bantu “Ntukza” Hanabe from Soweto. They all met at Vaal Tri-angle Technikon in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, where they became best friends due to common musical interests in hip hop. Although the group officially came into being in 2004, prior to that the guys were mostly making moves in the underground hip hop circuit.
Inspired by the country’s political past where police used TEARGAS to disperse protesting crowds in South Africa’s townships, the threesome opted to call themselves TEARGAS, where they see their music as a tool to disperse socio-economic ills like crime, HIV/Aids, poverty, etc.
Booking Teargas , Booking K.O , Booking Ntukza Teargas : email@example.com / 0813401356