Emma Kelly

Emma Kelly

Emma Kelly

Friday, 08 February 2019 13:44

INTERVIEW: The Sun Xa Experiement

The Sun is Out! Cape Town are you ready?! Sun Xa has landed and they're about to take you on some seriously beautiful ancestral musical journeying, starting at 7 pm tonight, don't miss them at Jägermeister's Up the Creek 2019

The Sun Xa Experiment began in 2014 and its meaning simply means "the Sun is Out."  Combining a fusion of world music with ritual dance and a mixture of IsiZulu, Sesuthu and English languages, the philosophy of Sun Xa is to use music as a means of healing.  

This weekend sees the launch of their much-anticipated tour on the shores of Capetown.  Sun Xa is super excited and amped to be (in their own words) "presenting our music outfit and engaging with new people, sharing some healing on stage. The journey starts tonight @ Jägermeister's  Up The Creek 2019, followed by "Psych Night & Vans present: The Mauskovic Dance Band & Sun Xa". Then into the whole tour,  independently programmed and curated by Diggingthoughts and Camilla Rose Coutts (aka Cami Scoundrel)  with awesome back up by Jägermeister, who have played a bright role in making sure we execute this amazing tour".

No new kids on the block, Sun Xa Experiment have been exploring and honing their craft for quite some time, and with some ancestral guidance and fine-tuning,  they're manifesting and achieving their objective and same-titled upcoming album "Umculo Umuthi" (Music Is Medicine). 

Sun Xa's Music aims for healing and uplifting, with the goal of playing stages throughout the country, from festivals to remote stages that are not commercially known. Sun Xa are researchers, creatives, conductors and educators through life and that is heard in the lyrics and the movement on stage.  The tour is going to be a whirlwind of great experience and music as the band will also be playing more music from their rich catalogue during the tour to alternate the venues. 

Where are you all from, and how did each member come to be a part of Sun Xa?

Sun Xa Experiment is a 7 piece spiritual engagement band that hails from Soweto and some parts of KZN, born in the hearts of 7 gifted people on stage and a team of well-nurtured creatives.  Each member came into the band through the good energy attraction as the years went by, everyone who is part of the band was meant to be.

Can you describe your music-making process processes?

Our Music creation process relies on synchronicity and understanding during the jam in our rehearsal spot and from an improv song good music comes out. SO it is a spiritual thing.

Favourite memories/gig so far?

Travelling as a team and seeing different beautiful places and people in our country, those are the memories we created ourselves. Favourite gigs so far we have not much as we respect all the events and festivals that book us and we give them all a hundred percent of our energy on stage.

Thoughts on the music scene in your current city? South Africa? How can it improve?

Our thoughts are simple, unite and conquer, that's all we need as bands within our respective cities, not going against each other as to who is the best, but uniting to build ourselves a solid self-run industry, as the current is on its tipping point.

Any pearls of wisdom for someone wanting to pursue music as a career?  

Fight on, stick to your plans no matter what happens, Do not let go even when it breaks you, find another way at all times!

What are your thoughts and aspirations for the future, for both South Africa and globally?

To be a portal of healing and connecting people through what we do and to of course grow it to not its max but beyond. Global thoughts to bring the globe home eventually.

What's next for Sun Xa?

We are lead by the spirit, God and our ancestors and we allow time to lead us and yes we work with a plan and that is to grow and be able to plug others as well to share the experience.

How can fans gain access to / purchase your music?

The easiest way also is to google Sun Xa Experiment and it will take you to everything we have done thus far. Mostly on Facebook, Instagram, I tunes, Amazon and a few other online platforms.

Follow SUN XA EXPERIMENT: Facebook | Instagram | SoundCloud | iTunes | YouTube

Friday, 12 October 2018 08:23

Save A Smile Fundraiser Event

Join Tribal Heart & an incredible jam-packed line-up of musical magicians and artists at Shapes of Africa in Mount Moreland, Durban this Saturday, collectively joining forces to help Save a Smile!!

Workshops throughout the day include Yoga by Doing Yoga Now, Bellydancing by BellyFusion and a live interactive "Public Canvas" session by Art Go Round. Funky art, craft, clothing and organic health products can also be found at the market whilst meandering through Shapes of Africa stunning venue. Don't miss this beautiful gathering of like-minded beings uniting for an extremely good cause!


10:00 am - 10:45 am ~ Kat&Kirst
10:55 am - 11:40 am ~ Rustic Spring
11:50 pm - 12:35 pm ~ Chad Jubber Music
12:45 pm - 13:30 pm ~ Muddy & The Mothership
13:40 pm - 14:25 pm ~ Steve Fataar
14:35 pm - 15:20 pm ~ Dawn Morey
15:30 pm - 16:15 pm ~ Shomon
16:25 pm - 17:10 pm ~ Luke Falconer
17:20 pm - 18:00 pm ~ Scott Venter

...and special guests. ~•~ Tickets ~•~

Who is Tarryn Jolly?

Tarryn Jolly is a local Durban North Documentary filmmaker and humanitarian. thegypsyproject.co.za

"All I need is space to breathe in the fresh air of our Universe.. The breeze of the wind, the silver droplets of the rain, the warmth of the sun, the air that keeps us alive.. To be grounded in nature and one with all creatures that surround us."

From building houses for the homeless (literally) to, creating connections and consciousness, she has always given freely, with an open heart and a huge smile. A few weeks ago, whilst working in Cape Town, she was hit head-on by a taxi, which had just been hit by a bus, as it spun across two lanes of traffic straight into the front of her Atos. Miraculously she sustained no life-threatening injuries, however, her face took most of the impact. As a result of the airbag not deploying her front teeth were knocked back into her skull, breaking her palette in to at least six pieces. Her teeth have been pulled back into place and her jaw has been wired up. Six weeks from now the wires will be removed and the dentist will see if her teeth can be saved and any reconstruction will begin.

Tickets cost R55 (including Quicket fee)

All the proceeds go directly to Tarryn Jolly.

Tickets will be on sale from now until the day of the event, where tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

Children up to the age of 12 get in for free, 13 and above require an adult ticket.

~•~ Venue ~•~

Shapes of Africa has very kindly offered us the use of their amazingly beautiful venue. Accommodation is available at as variety of prices, to book contact Shapes of Africa directly.

Please note as this is a conservancy area all who enter are encouraged to respect the environment, bring good vibes and leave no trace.

~•~ Facilities ~•~

Bar, Restaurant, Food Stalls, Vendors, Clean Toilets, Free Parking

~•~ T's and C's ~•~

STRICTLY: NO GLASS - NO PETS - No illegal substances, No weapons. The organisers accept no responsibility whatsoever for injury, death, loss or damage of any nature to persons, vehicles, and belongings. This applies even to negligence by the organisers of any kind.

Entry is entirely at your own risk. Right of admission is reserved.

Facebook Event

Friday, 31 August 2018 15:34

Interview: StoneSoup - Shapes of Africa

StoneSoup - The Afro-Punks have developed a multigenre smörgåsbord of scintillating sounds that leave you wanting more and screaming Encore!

They recently won "The Battle of the Fen", earning them a well-deserved spot on the legendary Splashy Fen Stage where they were incredibly well received, and rightly so...

Before heading to Shapes of Africa's 7th Birthday Bash where they are performing tomorrow (Saturday 1st September) to further investigate Durban's uber talented Afro Punks, we decided to bring you a quick sneak peak ahead of time... 

StoneSoup is a Durban-based Afropunk band, which comprises of six extraordinary talented musicians with a new and unique sound. With powerhouse songstress Onele Makiwane on lead vocals, super-skilled duo Suthu Makiwane and Mbusi "Somgav" Ndlela on guitar, master multi-tasker Njabulo "Oudskul Funk" Nzuza on Drums, rhythm-ruser Sphelele Bulungaonon percussion and gifted Bonga Xulu on Bass, they have merged their unique talents and sounds and are taking on Durban and further afield by storm!

StoneSoup recently won Winston's Battle of The Fen for a spot on stage at Splashy Fen - congrats for winning! Were you surprised? (after hearing you guys WE definitely weren't!!)


We weren't surprised... Ok, we were a little surprised, to be honest! We were a new band on the scene, although we knew our music was good. We performed through the qualifying round before the final and won our first heat. There were some really good bands... We won the round. Even then we were quite reserved about winning the whole thing. We performed well and we deserved the heat win!

You guys definitely deserved to win!  Your sound is a melting pot of jazzy afro-punk-funk rock, where do you draw your influences from?

We have drawn sounds from African traditional, punk, neo-soul, hip-hop, funk and R&B

How would you describe StoneSoup's music-making process?

Organic and spontaneous at times... Although that's through years of musicianship...

What does the future have in store for StoneSoup?

Success... and many fans!! We're still in the studio recording our EP at the moment. We have a release plan, and we'll let you know when the tide is high! We do have material up on youtube... Live shows...   

We're looking forward to seeing and hearing amazing things in the future from this talented group of musicians, keep your ear to the ground for much more musical goodness to come from StoneSoup - The AfroPunk's studio! 

Better yet, get to Shapes of Africa's birthday bash in Mount Moreland this Saturday and experience them live!! 

Catch Stone Soup 1st September 2018 at Shapes of Africa

Splashy Fenners can look forward to a diverse blend of musical craftsmanship brought to you by one of Durban's folk legends, Matt Vend and The Tender Ten, who recently returned from Mexico, Guatemala and California, narrowly missing earthquakes, hurricanes and fires...

Matt needs no introduction to South Africa, with a few international tours already under his belt, he has been in the music industry doing his thing with multiple bands and artists since the age of 14, touring nationally, playing in most of Durban's live music venues, festival circuits and even a refugee camp...   He is no stranger to the studio and has recorded collectively over 80 songs with the various projects he has been involved with, including guest appearances with Fruits and Veggies (Durban afro/reggae misfits), Misled (Joburg’s finest new school hardcore/punk band) and Blaq Hitler (Durban MC and hip-hop producer), fronting for the Accidentals and many more.

Underground Press chatted with him pre-Splashy:


Take a listen to 'Rogue Monkey' while you read!

Underground Press: Who are, The Tender Ten who accompany your band "Matt Vend and The Tender Ten"?

Matt: The tender ten are my fingers, hahaha, but the idea is that this could be a band and there have been times when there has been a band (backing me) so it's my solo project and it's a running joke. Look at me I have a band, they are my 10 fingers, either a nervous laugh or awkward silence. My life is filled with awkward events, I write about them sometimes. Although maybe one day I'll have a 10 piece band and then I'll be like who is laughing now (jokes). I'll probably still be laughing.

Underground Press: You've been involved with and fronted multiple bands (as well as having focused on your solo career) since you were 14, can you give Underground Press readers a bit more insight into your past musical sojourns, locally and abroad? 

Matt: I started out playing in the rock/punk/reggae whatever other genres we played in a band called Sibling Rivalry for almost a decade and a half. I then started my own band Car Boot Vendors, which drew influences from old-time folk and rock 'n roll. I played in a band called The Tubby Wilsons, that was when me and my friend Yusuf Laher were absolutely obsessed with bands like Blink-182, Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms and The GetUp Kids (we still kind of are). I went on to start a band with other great players called The Accidentals, it was a bigger more full rock sound, with all the influences of my previous bands. I also jammed banjo for a folk duo called Iris and the Tokoloshe. I've played with a lot of people but am quite comfortable playing alone these days as my music is very personal to me, the subject matter is quite introspective and dark and sometimes I feel I'm the only person who is really suited to delivering it live, it really is all about the poetry behind it after all. 

Underground Press:  You release all your music under your record label "Groundsweep Records", why haven't you decided to sign with one of the big labels and what, in your opinion are the benefits of self-publishing?

Matt:  I release my stuff under my own label because no one will sign me (lol). That aside I've never actually ever looked for a record label and always considered myself quite niche and I honestly don't know where a label would position an artist like me in the market. I don't really fit the mainstream mould and what I put across in my sound and aesthetic isn't really tailored to any market. Its also a resource thing, I can make a million albums in my room and save a lot of time and money. I write a lot of material and I would owe the local studio a lot of cash if I didn't do this 100% DIY, I possibly wouldn't even afford to record at all, so I thank the technology available that I can do this fairly well from a production side entirely in my room. That said I've never actively looked for a label and there are times when I've thought, damn I could do some cool things in a great studio if someone would just pay for this. (wink hint). Any labels out there want to take a chance on me? I dare you! hahaha. But record deals are kind of like bank loans and I'd rather not owe the bank any money. But if someone, a label or otherwise gave me a pile of money to make a record I'd be honoured and hopefully produce something I'd be proud of. But I'm also just happy making my records in my room for my own label, which is slowly but surely getting off the ground(sweep). 

Underground Press:  With 4 albums under your belt, when can fans expect to hear your next musical offering?

Matt:  4 albums, wow! Hahaha, it's more like 3 albums an ep but who is counting. I'm currently working on the 5th release, I've had a bit of issues with my hearing so I've been taking a bit of a break from recording. I've written and tracked about 8 new songs so far. Half of them are folky/punky kind of stuff and the other half is a more lo-fi electronic type of sound. I try and avoid doing the same thing twice if possible. Although it's also good to develop a recognizable sound I think the new record is all about finding that balance. At this point, I honestly can't say when the new record will be out but I'm quite proud of the new direction and I'm excited to be working with new instruments like keyboards and drum machines. When I finally find a moment I should wax it out soonish. 

Underground Press: Why should people support local musicians/ venues?

Matt:  I think its important because music is highly unifying, I think we can put aside a lot of differences at a rock concert. 

Underground Press: What can fans expect from your set at Splashy Fen this year?

Matt:  Um I have fans? Hahaha, I'll be attempting to pull off some new material and I'm all on my own so the show will be stripped down. Hopefully, people will listen to the words, the words are more important than the music for me. The music is a vessel for the words. Listen to the words please....(lol)  I'm up at 3 pm on the acoustic stage and I'd love you to be there, I'll give everyone free hugs. All my albums will be on sale, but only 20 hard copies per release will be on sale so come and buy my music, it's really limited and rare. Remember we have a date now 3 pm Friday Splashy acoustic stage xxxxx. 

Underground Press: Top tips for attending a 4-day music festival?

Remember to drink lots of water, remember to make lots of friends, remember to watch lots of music instead of just jolling the whole time. Remember the music is why you went in the first place and is the reason why its happening, not just the jol (which is important too). And most importantly use sunscreen.

Underground Press:  Where can fans hear you play/buy your music? 

Matt: I am on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, search Matt Vend on Google and you should be sent to some platform with my music on it. I play less than I used to but will play anywhere and have played many different places all over South Africa and the world. Check my Facebook page for gig updates.

Thanks, Underground Press and Emma Kelly for the support and being awesome! Remember Splashy 3 pm acoustic stage.

Check out Matt Vend and The Tender Ten's profiles on Youtube, Soundcloud and Bandcamp for upcoming releases and tracks. 

We've selected a few links for you to enjoy on your way to Splashy!! Drive and party safe and don't forget - drink plenty of water folks!!

BandCamp | SoundCloud | Youtube | Video | Cool Runnings Video Link

As Stone Jets gear up for the Off the Grid Music Festival at Camphill Village Westcoast this coming Saturday 17 March. Underground Press and LK Mediabook were lucky to catch up with Given Nkanyane to find out what makes them tick and what their plans are for 2018.

Off the Grid Music Festival is an outdoor summer event set on a beautiful organic farm. Expect a fun-filled family day with great music and amazing people.  

"Camphill Village WC is home to intellectually disabled people who live and work on the farm. They also enjoy the bands along with the festivalgoers, a very special event" ~ Given Nkanyane

How many hours a week do you spend on band practice, band matters and gigs?
When it comes to rehearsal we work as hard as we can, about 3 rehearsals a week and an average of 3 gigs a week. We are fulltime musicians dedicated to one band; Stone Jets. So every day and meet up is band time, unless when we are sleeping, even then we have a dream conference call. 

What do you do in your free time?
Read books and experience some of Cape Town’s mountains and hiking trails.

Do any of the band members have special talents apart from music that we don’t know of?  
Manfred is a luthier, I can cook and Eduan is an animal whisperer(mainly dogs and cats).

What is the best advice you can give anyone about LIFE?
The power of now towers over Tomorrow and Yesterday.

What is the best advice you can give anyone about: LOVE?
Leave people in a better state than what you found them.

What is the best advice you can give anyone about: BEING IN A BAND? 
Just like notes making up a chord, everyone plays a part in making the muse in music come alive.

What is your favourite movie quote?  
“No Timmy, make it go Timmy(Under the sun)”.

Describe your perfect holiday? 
Anywhere in Africa where I am reintroduced to cultures and the African way of life.

What are the band`s plans for 2018? 
Music, Music Videos and a lot of live performances.

OTG poster 2018 Final 02 02

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