Bongo Beats; The SA producer you need to know

1st June 2020 BY Ivis Ngwenya

This has to be my favourite part about this job, I love sharing my favourite artists with you guys – especially the ones that I think are so incredibly underrated. I only bring you the best of the best and that is why I’d like to introduce you all to Bongo Beats. Having been in the music scene for the last 10 years, I cannot believe that I only just discovered him in December when I went back home – his song ‘don’t break my heart’ was on repeat for a good 2 months!

I feel like when it comes to music we all somehow forget to appreciate the producer, I know I can’t be the only one. To me, the producer will always be as equally as important as the singer or whatever, which is why I am so happy that I had the opportunity to do this interview and to be able to give you guys an insight into the mind of an actual African producer.

Who is bongo beats? And how long I’ve you been producing music?

Bongo Beats who’s real name is Bongani Shabangu is a Mpumalanga born DJ/Producer who grew up in Soshanguve, Pretoria which is where he started producing music in 2010.

Tell us an interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?

I am not just good at cooking hits in the studio but I can also cook in the kitchen and have always wanted to be a chef.

How did you become a producer music? Why do you create music and what do you love most about it?

I was inspired by my late Grandfather who was a guitar player, he used to play me a lot of classic music and taught me a lot about music so I ended up falling in love with it because of how it made me feel, even though I couldn’t explain the feeling.

Western and European artists are using African beats in a lot of their music now would you say that this is cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation?

I would say it’s cultural appreciation because looking at back in the days it wasn’t an easy thing for a local artist to collaborate with an international artist, but because we’ve managed to master and deliver our own sound that has made a lot of noise for us that the world just couldn’t resist.

Who would you say are the artists dominating the music scene right now in SA?

Sho Majozi, Maphorisa, Kabza & Master KG, looking at Master KG and Sho Madjozi, they managed to influence the world with their unique sounds and started making moves internationally, Maphorisa & Kabza they made amapiano a thing, they are dominating sound, not just locally but internationally.

Take us through the process of producing a track from start to end?

Make a really good beat, spot a perfect artist for that beat, get in the studio and then give it your best.

What is your favourite track from the album, can we expect more in the future?

Currently, my favourite track is Dance With Me, every time I play this song I become too emotional because of its soul and lyrical content it talks about something we all can relate to and yes there’s more music on the way.

Did you think don’t break my heart was going to be as big as it was?

I kinda expected it to be a popular song but I didn’t think it would put me where I am today because it was just an introduction of Bongo Beats but surprisingly it shook masses and the industry felt my presence.

Who do you hope to collaborate with in the future?

Antony Hamilton/Ami Faku both their voices are what I’ve been missing. I haven’t come across anyone who can sing like they do and I believe I can make some serious magic with them.

Lastly, where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Touring the world, making more music with people from all spheres of the world, owning my own record label and being recognized as one of the best producers globally.

Listen to his debut album here;

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