FabAfriq Magazine

DJ Mtshepang, a young South African spreads his musical wings

I think South Africa has reached that peak we’ve always dreamt of. – Dj Mteshepang

Mtshepang was born TshepoSonoNokeri and began his career in music as a self taught DJ. His early mentorship came from his record collection. FelaKuti, Angelique Kidjo, Osunlade, Djini Brown, Mzee, and Black Coffee are just a few of the influences that have shaped his global sound. This young man has accomplished a lot  considering the demands on his time. He is a student by day and has to share his off hours with his production and educational obligations.  His sound is based on what he likes to call the core of African dance music rhythms. It is a sound that incorporates chants, keys and a healthy dose of African instruments. He credits the development of his musical perspective in part to his mentor DjGanyani.

He’s gotten the attention of U.S. artists, djs and producers such as, AntonelloCoghe, Anane, and Josh Milan to name a few. All of his hard work eventually got him signed to Ocha Records co-founded by Carols Mena in 2010. He has already completed some impressive collaborations with some of the heavy hitters in the world of House.  Some of these artists and producers include; Carolyn Harding, Tamara Wellons, Azee, Brazillian Soul Crew, Tshepside and Lulma. This is a very impressive work for someone who is balancing school and production. 

Mtshepang started his own label, Karanga Records, to serve as a platform for other young African producers. The latest release to come from his musical laboratory is the spoken word vocal track Timbila - (PascalMorrais ft. Partick V). Timbilawas produced by DJ Phila&KaraboRej. KaraboRej’s vocals were recorded in "Tsonga" language which is DjMteshepang’s home language. DJ Mteshepang says the track is all about the African vibe; it will be available on traxsource, afrodesiaMP3, and more major online stores.

DjMteshepang has a direction and a vision for his music. “My goals are simple; producing good music, classics. Music you can still play after five years.” So now a few words from the man himself, FabAfriq presents Dj Mteshepang.

FA : Tell me a little about DjMtshepang?
M- I’m young, ambitious, creative and passionate young South African producer/DJ. Very humble and shy

FA : what is the local house music scene in South Africa these days?
M-South Africa is a House Nation like Nick Holder said. We are importing and exporting alot of music, also alot of international DJs are entering our territory. But few SA djs make it internationally.
FA : who were some on your early influences/mentors?
M-I’ve always been inspired by my music collection of artists like Angelique Kidjo, BoddhiSatva, Osunlade, Djinji Brown, Mzee, Black Coffee and late legendary FelaKuti. I’ve also been fortunate to be under mentorship of legendary DjGanyani.
FA : How would you describe your creative process?
M-Before I start on any production, I make sure I don’t listen to any music on the day because this interferes with the creative process. There is no secret ingredient to production; you just have to invest more time in studio to become a good producer.
FA :You got signed to a label and started one of your own how did all that happen?
After working with Carlos Mena (co-founder) of Ocha Records, he saw the passion and enthusiam for music in me. He decided to sign me to his label. About my digital label Karanga Records, I started the label to give other young African producers/DJs a platform.
 FA : What have you been up to since signing with Ocha record label?
M :I've been working on my debut double disc album, currently I am on
my second disc. Working hard and yet having fun
FA : Do you have any plans for travel in 2012?
M :Probably I will be doing gigs throughout SA and beyond, working
with few promoters to get to the US, if everything goes well I'll be
attending the Miami WMC 2012 and play at few events there.
FA : How do you manage to balance the commitment of pursuing your music and an education?
M :Honestly it is hard but I try to put my heart in both, otherwise education comes first. Music is my calling but I gotta get the degree I promised my mom to get (laughs)
FA :what has been the most challenging thing about being a young African dj/producer?
M : I Haven’t had any real challenges since  I started because I have a manager who does all. It enables me to focus on the music and nothing else. 
FA :How important is it to collaborate with artists/djs/producers from outside South Africa?
M :It is really important if you wanna go beyond home your country, It opens channels abroad.
FA :what music will you release in 2012?
M : My 2012 schedule looks very hectic, I have many releases coming out. An intro EP with Ocha Records, another one with Deeper Shades Of House and my other EPs and remixes for other stables.  Also I’m working on an another seperate album with Cubique DJ CB for my label which will be out mid- 2012.
FA :What are the most common elements  South Africa music share with other musical? genres in Africa?
M : Surely it's gotta be the vibe, you know music comes out of Africa.
FA : What do you want the world to know about South African House Music?
M :South African House Music as a standard has reached the highest peak, and we
are currently the center now.
FA : do you feel that South Africa's young djs/producers are making a contribution to the African society at large?
M : Yes, music is bringing people together and shortening that gap.
FA : Looking back, what was most rewarding for you in 2011?
M :I have managed to make new friends, get gigs, radio appearances
and interviews.
FA : DJ Mtshepang, thank you for an enlightening interview.
M :Thank you, I'm so humbled to be interviewed for FabAfriq

*-DJ Phila&KaraboRej- Timbila (Pascal Morrais ft. Partick V) was produced by DJ Phila&KaraboRej. OnKaranga Records, it will be available on traxsource, afrodesiaMP3 and more major online stores.



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