When Vince & I were in South Africa a few months back we heard about the Durban Sound.
One of the guys behind this new sound is a dude we met at the Ghetto Ruff studios, DJ NKOH.
There was one song in particular which blew us away called “Kabishi” which you can hear over at his REVERB NATION page or below via the RN player!
DJ Nkoh is not a newcomer to the South African music scene. If you know ZULU LOVE LETTER by Skomplazi & TOUCH LETS GO by L’vovo Derrango, he is the man behind the balls of production.
Anyway, he has his debut album, “Flying High”, coming out on Ghetto Ruff this month and so I thought it would be a prime opportunity to get some interview questions sent over to him.
Before we get on to that, listen to some of his brilliant stuff:
THE INTERVIEW : BACKGROUND
For those who might not be familiar with who you are, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Nkombose madlala AKA Dj NKOH from Durban, Malakazi. I was born in Port Shepston, I’m a kwaito, house and Hip Hop producer.
I started as a pantsula dancer and in 2004 I was drawn to hip hop music (writing lyrics). I then formed a group called FIRST CLASS which was a mix of kwaito and hip hop. We went and recorded our first demo, while recording I fell in love on what the producer was doing, composing beats.
I then bought myself a PC, started to produce my own beats and now I have worked with many artists from all over the country. Namely Jozi, Malik, L’vovo derrango, Big Nuz, Dj Tira, Skomplazi, Dj sgqemeza (Ukhozi fm), Hhashi Elimhlophe (maskandi).
UP COMING RELEASES
Tell us a little about some of your upcoming projects/releases.
Now I have my House Debut Album Titled “FLYING HIGH”.
It has fourteen tracks, its a commercial/ Deep House album. I worked with many different talented artists including the likes of Ishmael, Jozi, Malik, Ringo Madlingozi and MXO.
What is the current scene like in SA?
The SA scene where I play is divided into House, Kwaito and Hip hop. I am more into house music with a tempo of 125Bpm, and Kwaito with a more mid tempo feel.
What new names do we need to look out for coming from this scene?
Firstly it will have to be me DJ NKOH lol!!! And the producers that helped me finish my album Dj Clap and Sir Bubrin. Also Jozi , Malik, Ishmael and Ruff X.
Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences in SA post Apartheid?
It’s going to take a couple of generations to get over the effects of apartheid.
There is going to need a lot of education and support to really get us through the post apartheid period. The economy is still suffering even after the world cup. We have to be positive because we are the shining light in Africa.
Hugh Masekela is very vocal about it. He says Colonialism and Apartheid were an insult to SA and that SA has forgiven but will never forget. What is your take on this?
I agree with Bra Hugh! Because we were not united as a global community at the end of the day we are all the same no matter where you coming from.
Looking back we must learn from our mistakes and make the future brighter for our new generation and the many generations that are to follow.
Please give us your TOP 5 Records, dance or otherwise!
Who/what are your musical influences?
There are many SA musical giants that have inspired me from Brenda Fassie, Ladysmith Black Mambaso, Stimela, Prophets of da City, DJ Cleo, Ishmael.
Your all-time favourite song/piece of music?
It has to be “Zulu Love letter” a song I have produced for Skomplazi.
Your greatest influence – music or otherwise?
What is next on your musical agenda?
For now I don’t have an agenda I just have a goal which is to make my album become a success. I will be doing remixes check them out , look out for the DJ NKOH remixes 2011.
GRAB A COUPLE OF FREE TRACKS!!!
22-year-old Arnold Nkombose Madlala AKA, DJ Nkoh hails from Malakazi Durban, the home of South Africa’s unique house music sound. He as always had a passion for music, and as a youth during the “Kwaito” era, he expressed himself through Pantsula Dance. At the age of 15 Nkoh had no particular knowledge of production or making beats, he and his friends were into dancing entering dance competitions, and perform publicly with a group as backing dancers for local artists.
Nkoh’s first experience with producing came about during he latter period of high school, when his mother bought him a pc when he was in grade 11, and before he knew it he was a “bedroom producer” producing beats for friends.
In his matric year a group was formed called “First Class”, where her produced demos and sent them out to community radio stations, getting constructive criticism and encouragement to follow the right path.
DJ Nkoh initially hit the producers’ scene as an underground HIP HOP producer, and later moved onto producing House music by fusing his pantsula/ kwaito dance background with his hip hop influence.
His first break came when he entered a competition for the community radio station Mbokodo fm, to feature on a compilation CD courtesy of Loxion Recording studios. He won the competition, and doors began opening for the young gunner.
Amongst some of Durban’s up and coming DJ’s, one finds Nkoh, who from the age of 18 to date has worked with some of Durban’s finest in the literal sense, such as such as Lvovo Derango on the track “Touch and Go” and “Izangoma” off the album “Heavy weight’, DJ Sgqemeza (Ukhozi FM), ft. maskandi singer Hhashi limhlope,
In 2008 he met Vukani (Skomplazi) in a Recording studio in JHB, and his beats caught the artists’ attention and he was asked to work with the group. Shortly after having worked with Skomplazi in 2009 on the title track “Zulu love letter 2”, Nkoh, began working on his own album, at the Ghetto Ruff studios, where he got the opportunity to work with Jozi member Ishmael and Afro Soul artist Malik
2010 sees the release of DJ Nkoh’s debut album featuring the likes of Johannesburg’s most featured, house vocalist LOLO, who is particularly well known for her work with DJ EUPHONIK (Track, “Inkosazana”) and DJ FRESH (Track, “Masingeta”) along with a number of artists, from genres ranging from Kwaito to Hip Hop and R&B such as Skomplazi, Ishmael, and Malik, adding his Durban style touch to the Joburg scene..
The first single released on DJ NKoh’s album is “Break Free”, Featuring Malik
His sharp and edgy kwai-house production style makes for some powerful collaboration between producer and artist. This Dj is certainly heading to leave his mark in the Jo’burg music market.
CREDITS & LINKS
Skomplazi ft. Dj Nkoh- Bhoza
Skomplazi ft. Dj Nkoh- Zulu love letter