Radio is one of the most common mediums through which audiences discover new artists or become familiar with their favourite artists’ music. It’s therefore no surprise why many musicians seek to rock the air waves and listeners just the same. Artists know that getting air play on radio signifies the mass appeal of their artistry, which is a plus when it comes to selling records and garnering huge audiences at their live shows.
However, there’s more to radio than just the crusade for the coveted “most played record” title. There’s also competition between radio stations to deliver the most relevant and compelling content to their listeners. This is where different individuals involved behind the scene in radio play vital roles in ensuring that their radio stations stay relevant. Thato Hlatshwayo is one such person.
Thato is a young lady who’s cutting her teeth as a content producer at Kasie FM, and can vouch that creating content for radio is not a child’s play. In this information age where almost anything is available at a click of a mouse, it’s important for radio stay current by providing up-to-the-minute news, traffic reports, live interviews, sporting updates etc. Considering that time is money on radio, the content has to be accurate and comprehensive in nature but also condensed and summarised.
Known as “Miss T” in her turf, Thato spoke to Lavatory Records and gave us an account of her day-to-day life on radio, the changes within the scene and other insights that are important to her as a content producer for radio.
The art of emceeing, from its inception, has been renowned with masculinity. From emcees speaking with a thundering bass, to barking instructions to an audience to “put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care”; the vehement unequivocal centre of manliness and male dialogue epitomises the genre of music that is hip hop. However, as the music has evloved we’ve seen female emcees come into the game and add a bit of sweetness and spice. Ms Jalettua Nuune is one such artist who brings the softer side of the spectrum, mixed with odd high shrill here and there.
Her swift, upbeat and melodic flow added with her ability to hit the upper echelon of the vocal notes at any given time, exemplifies her exquisite breath control. She gives a demonstration of her rap skills on the Interview with Rapper Jalettua Nuune courtesy of Angela Nimah’s YouTube Channel. In typical hip hop fashion, this highly expressive femcee holds no bars (no pun intended) and shoots on many aspects of her young career. She completely opens her thoughts out to Lavatory Records about about her take on the industry politics, her come up, career aspirations and more.
If anybody has heard of acts such as Kylie and Danni Minogue, Sia, Iggy Azalea, Indecent Obsession (who made the hit song Kiss Me in the early 90’s), then you would know that they are pop singers who hail from “down under” in a place we call Oz, which is short for Australia.
Emmaline is a talented and gorgeous muso, who shares the same roots as all the aforementioned well-known acts. She also classifies her music under the Pop category, although with a slight deviation and new twist. Pop music, is short for ‘popular music’ which entails being relevant and moving with the times always. Emmaline pushes barriers in order to try her hand with Hip Hop, Trap Music, Rap and RnB. In her native land of Australia, a game which is similar to Rugby and American Football is commonly referred to as “Aussie Rules”. Even though she plies her trade in NFL Gridiron (American football league) territory, she doesn’t limit herself as she is constantly updating and recreating herself – testament to her “Aussie rules” mantra and upbringing.
Now residing in the US, Emmaline made this move in order to take her music career to new heights and access a bigger market. Lavatory Records had the opportunity and pleasure of talking to Emmaline about her journey in the music industry, her unique sound, some of the artists she’s worked with and so much more.
With hip-hop’s entire obsession with the “finer things in life” – the bling-bling, fancy cars, hot women and stacks of cash notes flying around – these images are what have become synonymous with rap and hip-hop music. It is rather refreshing to see another side to the music – the socially conscious aspect.
Sling Short is one of the emcees that have seen a gap and decided to flip the coin and bring that other side of hip-hop/rap to the industry. Earning the name Papa Slinga Linga, is down to the respect he has been able to ascertain from his days of battle rapping in the streets of Johannesburg. The streets have needed to turn to an elder, who better but a self-made man, who exemplifies social responsibility, enterprise and great work ethic? His tenured dedication to hitting cypher/freestyle spots, development of the craft and embodiment of collaboration has endeared himself to many within the community. This lead to him being featured by artists such as Hymphatic Thabs and the late Robo The Technician (may his soul rest in peace), and regular performances at numerous events across the city.
The man known by day as Tiro Dire was born and raised on the streets of Pimville Zone 5 in Soweto. Sling Short is a founding member of the group Assylum TrRribe and renown as an astute battle emcee with a style that infuses consciousness, with a hard-core lyrical delivery.
“Hold it down!” – was the projected and exclaimed command Chron Burgundy gave to the chatty, restless crowd. The phrase that he’s now known for, was initially coined during his days when he officiated and did the time-keeping for the now dormant Art of War battles league.
Chron always ensured rappers “played by the rules” by keeping it ‘official’. This has now transcended into his raps/music and “hold it down” for local hip-hop heads. He’s still calling fouls (expletives), although he’s no longer known as “Foul”. He was also a contributing writer for the South African hip-hop publication Hype Magazine, some time ago. This experience may have contributed to making him the “Ron Burgundy” (a movie character played by Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) of hip-hop – the Anchorman who holds the show down. Though his style is not based as far back as the 1970s – Chron still keeps it “old school”.
The man who dropped his first solo project #Sandcastles in 2014, serves as one-third of the group, Sounds Intense. The group released their single Money In the Bank on the 8th of May 2015. Chron took time out to speak with Lavatory Records about his journey into hip-hop, the change of names, TTE (TitusTrack Entertainment) and much more.
If anyone has heard the song “9 Elements” by KRS-ONE off his release, Kristyles; he breaks down the elements of Hip Hop. KRS-ONE makes a profound mention of kids growing up in white suburbia when he says:
“Skaters, BMX bike-riders rock
Don’t you ever stop! You are hip-hop
You doing the same things we did on our block in the suburbs
You know you be packing that black block…”
This quote serves as an ode that hip-hop is now a composite of diverse sounds and welcomes the contribution of white rappers into it. The common infusion of “Rock and Roll” has borne the emergence of “Rap-Rock“, since the inception of acts like The Fat Boys, The Beastie Boys, Kid Rock, Eminem and other similar fair-skinned contributors. It is commonly accepted that the trend started with Run DMC’s collaboration with Aerosmith back in the 1980s.
“What’s in a name”? An age old question that points to human’s fascination with history along with, “where are we from?” and “is there greater purpose” behind our existence. In response to these questions, ambitious rapper Rosswell Melow gives us a break down of who he is and what his pseudonym and artist alias ‘Paragon’ means to him.
Following the release of his mixtape, Breaking The Silence, Paragon chronicles his-story and HISTORY. Many would attest that being an “emcee” encompasses the ability to speak your truth in rhythm and in rhyme. Emceeing is about the art of storytelling, which is why rappers such as Slick Rick, KRS-1, Rakim, Nas and Big Daddy Kane have been renowned and highly revered as some of the best in this craft.
In this exclusive interview, Paragon gives Lavatory Records his take on the music industry, talks about his progression as an artist and his stable TitusTrack Entertainment and so much more…
The artist known to us Master Chef Toast is quite an intriguing person. He’s loved by some and yet not highly regarded by others. This comes with the territory when a person always speaks their mind and bares all his emotions for everyone to see. One thing about Chef Toast is that you GET IT ALL! The man who gave us his rookie offering in 2012 called Street Recipe, is always working at his vlog series called “Feel at home with Chef Toast”. This is a YouTube series which features up and coming artists who are not on any “radar” in the industry.
Master Chef Toast (Left) and the late Glen$itho (Right)
Born Thomas Kgampi Mphahlele in Ga-Mphahlele village, Limpopo province (“Lim-proper” as he likes it to be known as), recently had a chat with Thato Keikelame, the Founder/Managing Director of Lavatory Records. The interview in its entirety can be accessed via the Lavatory Records TV channel.