From the muso's mouth

rollingsmouthSometimes writing about music is like dancing about architecture. And thus, we bring you a collection of citations by S.A. artists for S.A. artists. This way you will hear it straight from the horse’s mouth… Flavour of the month: SELLING OUT versus STAYING TRUE TO YOUR (HE)ART…

Compiled by Chantall Grobler




Kahn Morbee from The Parlotones_ In Mahala interview by Andy Davis

Q: Do you have to endorse and promote KFC, computers and wine to make it as a band in South Africa – or do you just take those opportunities when they come along?

A:Endorsements have been necessary for our career… We enter into short term commitments with corporates whereby we still retain full ownership of our music and careers; this is contrary to how the music industry used to work whereby artists were owned by the record companies for years and years. Let’s not forget Bob Dylan recently did a Victoria’s Secret endorsement. The Beatles did endorsements, and why not? Why should endorsements be the exclusive domain of sport stars and actors? I hate to upset the critics but there’s a lot more coming…wait I lie I love to upset the critics.”

AfrikaAfrika Mkhize the 2012 winner of the Standard Bank Young artist Award for Jazz _ in Rolling Stone interview by Evan Milton

Q: Do audiences want uncompromising sounds that don’t make it onto TV and radio broadcasts?

A: “People do want this music. I’m not gonna complain about record companies and promoters who don’t pay us enough for food and travel. Every Wednesday at Wish in Melville, the place is packed for the music that we’re playing…We, as musicians, need to make it happen for ourselves. – that’s the only way we can make it happen"



Nic Dinnie from Desmond and the Tutus  In Rolling Stone interview by Damon Boyd


Q: Seriousness versus having fun as a band?


A: “The industry is in such a strange season; not much capital is being made. So taking things seriously can mean commercialisation, playing corporate gigs, even putting your name to a bottle of wine, no band can say NO to capital, it’s what keeps us going, depends on what kind of band you’re willing to be. Are you going to be a bottle-of-wine kind of band or something else?”


 Zolani Mahola from Freshlyground interview with Riaan



FreshlyGroundQ: Do you compose your music to a certain style or market?
A: “No, it’s just gut feel. Our music is from the heart and from what we experience. The band normally gets together and then we play music. A song starts with an idea, and then I will start singing and write the lyrics. Some of the songs are written individually. We never know if the song will sell well. You can’t write with that in mind, you have to follow your heart.


 ArnoArno Carstens from The Springbok Nude Girls in The Rolling Stone interview by Diane Coetzer



Q: What are the ups and downs of working in the South African music industry?

A:Everyone’s trying to survive in an industry that is changing. At the end of the day, you have to survive. And sometimes you have to compromise and your standards have to change





Hip Hop Pantsula in ( interview by Isaac Mahlangu


Q: Was it not difficult to convince record label executives to believe in SeTswana rap music?
A: “Well, at the time when I joined, Zulu was the most common language of command in the music industry and I did receive a lot of pressure to try change the language I rap in. But, because I was/am so good, they tolerated it until the rest of the country did.”




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