South African producer MUZI is set to release his debut album ‘Boom Shaka’ on his own imprint WE.THE.BUNDU via !K7. Tipped by Stormzy, Diplo, The Prodigy, Rinse FM, Noisey, iD, and more, MUZI is widely acknowledged to be the hottest DJ and producer emerging from South Africa’s burgeoning electronic music scene. He recently relocated to Berlin, a move that’s set to take his unmistakeable sound to Europe and beyond.
We caught up with MUZI to ask him a few questions about his new album, his influences and skateboarding:
How did you start producing and making music?
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, I really appreciate it.
My mom got us a computer back in 2004 and my big brother installed Fruityloops on there. Started messing around with it and I never stopped.
What were your earliest influences back in South Africa?
My dad played a lot of 70s/80s south african electronic/pop music so I heard a lot of Fela Kuti and Chicco Twala as a kid as well european groups like Faithless. Everyone at home had different tastes in music so I grew up hearing a lot of genres.
Who are your current Top 5 artists/producers?
I love what Jamie XX is doing; Timbaland will always be in my top 5; Pharrell, Tourist and Troyboi.
Who should we be looking out for – in terms of new artists - from South Africa?
There's so many. Mashayabhuqe ka Mamba, Nonku Phiri, Maraza, Breeze, Rouge, Annalyzer ... so so many.
How have you found the move the Berlin? Why Europe?
It's been great, finally getting around to learning the language too. Well, we chose Berlin because cost of living was the closest to Johannesburg.
What was it like hooking up with Stormzy? Do you listen to much UK grime?
I kinda knew about it but I didnt listen to any Grime music before meeting Stormzy, so shout out to him for putting me on.
Tell us about Boom Shaka – can you pick some of your own personal highlights (please include tracks with anecdotes or a story/influence behind them, and include Township Mozaic)?
Even though I've released a couple of EPs before, I feel like Boom Shaka is my first project. Creatively I'm reaching a place where I can make exactly what I hear in my head. I was able to somehow merge all of my influences into 11 tracks and that's super cool to me. For instance, Township Mosaic is a result of all the years of watching a show about eastern culture when I was a kid called ' eastern mosaic '.
We hear you’re big into skateboarding? Would you have gone pro as an alternative to a music career? Do you still get time to do it in Berlin?
I never wanted to go pro. I just wanted to be good at it. I got to that point then I got hurt so I had to stop for a while, but I'm back at it now. I skate as much as I can, just ain't doing any big tricks off stairs and ledges anymore. Keeping it safe LOL
What would be your advice/tips to young bedroom producers?
Find what works for you and keep doing it. Sometimes we think we need big studios with huge mixing desks to make good music but that's not entirely true. Yes the machines/equipment can help but you're the one that makes the music, not the equipment. So pick your program/instruments, know your process and master that shit.
What’s next after the album?
We're currently jotting down ideas for our live show so I'll be working on that.
Current Top 5 tracks:
Muzi - WTF You Mean (VIP mix)
Hollow and Akimbo - Solar Plexus
Tourist - To have you back
Q-Tip - Gettin Up
Muzi - Khululeka
Listen to WTF You Mean here:
‘WTF YOU MEAN’ AVAILABLE NOW (INSTANT GRAT)
ALBUM PRE-ORDER: https://Muzi1.lnk.to/BoomShaka