Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Up & Coming Initiative by Mandisa Bardill is about unearthing new, raw and authentic musical talent

Mandisa Bardill, founder of Up & Coming.
Jozi’s number one live music showcase, Up & Coming, presents an exciting set of emerging talent to perform at Winnies Soul & Jazz Restaurant, in Woodmead.   

Up & Coming is designed to give undiscovered talent a performance platform. Now in its fifth year and supported by The Departments of Arts and Culture, it provides a monthly showcase of musical performers primarily within the African, soul, Latin, RnB, jazz and folk genres every last Wednesday of the month.  
Mandisa and guests at the show.
This heritage month, it features neo Afro-soul singer-songwriter Thunzy and rapper Jankie Mokapa, and special guest artist, SAMA 2014 winner, singer-songwriter, Kabomo.
Mathunzi Macdonald (25), stage name Thunzy, said she is extremely excited. “This would be the second time I’d be performing as a featured artist on this stage. I have grown in what I do and I can’t wait to share it.”

She added that she discovered her music talent and music passion ages ago. “As with most people, church is where it starts. But moving into the more commercial scene was driven by my studies in jazz and pop music at the Tshwane University of Technology.
Thunzy said she has other artistic pursuits, such as acting, writing and talent development. “I am also a student and work on a few philanthropic projects.”

Jankie (29)’s music journey started in 2008. Apart from music he is interested in learning other crafts such as acting and presenting. “I feel honoured and blessed for this opportunity by Up & Coming as my album titled Phala is coming out on 12 October 2015.  

Mandisa believes is providing a platform for others.
Mandisa Bardill, founder of Up & Coming and Bardill Entertainment, said she is passionate about fresh, raw talent. “This reflects the unearthed and yet experienced musically talented artists we have here in SA. The showcase is not for first-time singers who are trying this thing out. It is for emerging experienced musicians who are looking for that break, who have studied music, and, or have been performing for a number of years in the garage, or at weddings, anywhere they can to gain the experience of performing, but have never had the opportunity to perform in front of a relevant audience made up of music industry players, media or entertainment industry personnel who could potentially assist them with taking their craft to the next level.”

A performer and artist herself, Mandisa added that she has a passion for developing talent. “When I see promising talented musicians, I want to assist, and see them fly and grow to be the best that they can! I am also passionate about raising the overall standard of our performance art and work ethic in South Africa.”

Check the Up & Coming music showcases at Winnies Soul and Jazz Restaurant in Woodmead on every last Wednesday of the month. Tickets sold at the door. 
For more info like the Facebook public page: Mandisa Bardill and stay informed.
Follow her on Twitter: @mandisabardill. 

* A summaried version of this article was published in Dailysun in September 2015.  

*All photos by Drawn to Light:

Emerging local acts get platform through Up & Coming monthly showcase

Photo: Facebook/Supplied

By Refilwe Thobega

Joburg’s number one live music showcase Up & Coming presents an exciting set of emerging talent that will be performing at Winnies Soul and Jazz Restaurant in Woodmead, Johannesburg, on Wednesday 29 July 2015. 

Up & Coming is designed to give talented musicians a well-deserved performance platform. Now in its fifth year and supported by the Departments of Arts and Culture, it provides a monthly showcase of musical performers, primarily within the African, soul, latin, RnB, jazz and folk genres. Next week’s showcase will feature vocalist-guitarist, Xoli MJ, Afro-soul singer Vuyokazi, and funk rock guitarist, Urban.

XoliMj has a bag full of dreams, passion and soulful lyrics. She is a singer, song writer and a music lover.  
Xoliswa Mjekula, the mother of one, hails from the Eastern Cape and currently resides in Lombardy East, Johannesburg.
“My genre is folk music, but I call it DopeFolk. I have been working with Pilani Bubu, another folk artist that I met through Mandisa Bardill. I write music with a message based on life experiences and situations I've seen and some that I lived through,” said Xoliswa.  
Like most up and coming artists who are pushing the hustle on the side, she has a Monday to Friday, eight to five job. She added: “I studied business admin and management. I am now working as a pastel assistant in accounts for a small firm in Bedfordview, Joburg.”
Xoliswa said that she fell in love with music from the tender age of 13 but didn't have the confidence and means to pursue it. But thanks to Idols SA season seven, that passion for music was stirred and she gained all the confidence and reassurance she needed to follow her heart. She took part in the competition in 2011. She made it to the top 60 – group stages.

She added: “The experience was good and bad but mostly an eye opener, which drove me to actually pursue music seriously. When I left Idols, I doubted myself and wondered if I’m actually meant for this. I was broken and wondered if this really was my path. I didn't sing or wanna be seen on stage anywhere, until one day friend, Cynthia Ayeza, told me to shake it off and be who I was destined to be. I got up and haven't stopped pushing since.”

After Idols SA she joined the worship team at her church and started pursuing her music career. “Then one day Mandisa Bardill spotted me at Nikkis when I was performing with some friends.”
Mandisa Bardill is founder and managing director of Bardill Entertainment, which provides event services and also serves as an artist booking agency. She is the brain behind the Up & Coming initiative.  She said: “I started it in March 2011. It was born out of what I saw was a real need for our local emerging artists to have a platform to showcase their talents. I had the opportunity to meet many talented artists during the opening and closing ceremonies of both the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 Fifa World Cup in my role as segment producer. Their stories and frustrations inspired me to start the Up & Coming platform. We also invite members of the music and entertainment industries to the shows every last Wednesday of the month, in the hope of creating further opportunities for the featured artists. To date, we have showcased about 140 local music artists at Up & Coming, the brand that has become known as Jozi's number one live music showcase.”

And of course, XoliMJ is excited to be on the line-up. But this is just the beginning.
She said in the next five years she wants to be “that artist who has been able to spread her music to any ear or heart that needs comfort encouragement and love. I want to take my music to the hearts of men and women. My music talent will go where God leads it.”

She added: “The hustle is hard, most times I ask myself if I’ll ever make it in this business, but the burning desire and being assured by a power beyond me that I’ll succeed drives me.
What does the future hold for determined Xoliswa?

“I am not signed by any label. I was never really after any label from the start. I'm finalising my single now. The album will be determined by how the single does. I won't jump into an album now. I’ll probably follow on with an EP, something in extension to the single. I take things one day at a time and if it gets harder, I take it one minute at a time,” she concluded. 

*This article was also published on on 28 July 2015.

We spoke to International DJ's Schlachthofbronx on their Sub-Saharan Africa tour

The duo that make up Schlachthofbronx: Jakob and Benedict. Photo by David Rasche. 

By Refilwe Thobega
Last week Tuesday German DJs Schlachthofbronx played a live set at Kong Club in Rosebank, Joburg as part of their tour through Sub-Saharan Africa.
The event was hosted and organised by the Goethe-Institut. Benjamin Keuffel, PR officer at the institute, said: "The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. It promotes the study of German abroad and encourages international cultural exchange. Whenever possible, we organise workshops and get togethers with local artists. For example, in the recent TEN CITIES project this idea has led to a variety of musical collaborations between major cities in Africa and Europe, enabling about 50 DJs, producers and musicians to co-operate and produce music together."
Schlachthofbronx, made up of Jakob (32) and Benedict (34), are  known for a very particular sound that is not only influenced by traditional Bavarian music, but also by rave, dancehall, dubstep, baile funk, bounce, and cumbia. 
The event in Rosebank was attended by a mixed audience of people interested in innovative electronic music, as well as some media representatives and bloggers.
Introducing themselves Benedict said: "We play music that you could put into a lot of different genres: dancehall, hip hop, techno, dub, footwork, etc. But as we play nearly exclusively our own music, it always is something special and has our own twist on it."
Jakob added: "Basically, we ‘re in the studio during the week, producing new tracks, and do a lot of cooking in our off time. And you know, the usual..."
The guys are both from Munich, Germany. "It’s a pretty nice and wealthy small city. So growing up there was pretty standard for Germany" said Jakob. He added that they knew each other for a long time because they were in the same circle of friends. Then in 2008 they got into talking music and started to work on some stuff together."
About the event, the guys said: "We were happy some friends and people turned up. We even had die-hard fans driving to the Rosebank event from soweto, so it was good to hangout as well."
When asked about what they enjoyed and hated about what they did, they said: "The best thing about what we do is we get to meet so many different people and get to travel to so many exciting places. That is really rewarding and always mind-opening. The hardest thing is difficult to say, as we know our 'job' is a pretty nice one as we are able to do what we love and make a living out of it. Maybe the actual travelling, like sitting in an overbooked early morning plane after you just got from a club playing, heading out to the next thing without sleep or food, sometimes can get a little demanding, but it’s part of the whole greater thing so we will never complain."
About their thoughts on Mzansi and the Rosebank event Jakob said: "We actually played in Bassline in 2009, together with a friend we collaborated with, spoek mathambo. So it was really nice coming back to SA and Joburg. We love the city, the food and the scene."
After the SA event, The DJs are travelling to Yaoundé, Cameroon, then to  Kampala, Uganda. Then they will be going to end the tour in Nairobi before heading back to the festival season in Europe.
"The tour has been great so far. It’s an amazing journey. You can get our album as a free download via No strings attached. Just because we love you," the happy duo said. 
*This article was published on on 18 May 2015