Dubane Connect brings young artists from eThekwini together
© Tyrone Bradley
A project that sees a number of Durban's young artists with different backgrounds collaborate on this 5-track compilation
Red Bull Dubane Connect is a 5-track compilation that came out of a collaboration session between 12 artists held in 2019. Featuring CampMasters, DJ Asvnte, DJ LeSoul, Garde, Mnqobi Yazo, MusiColours, Nipho Hurd, Nobuhle Khuzwayo, uBeyond, Robin ThirdFloor, Emex & King Bruce, the 12 artists descended on the state-of-the-art recording studios of KZN Music House and received mentorship from the legendary Madala Kunene over the course of three days.
The session saw artists from different genres come together and produce tracks that may otherwise fall outside of their regular sound. The session was also an opportunity for the artists to learn from each other as King Bruce explains: “For me, it was fascinating because I was curious to know the creative process of the other artists I’ve been working with. Just to learn how to structure and arrange songs. To connect and see how they vibe in studio. Know how they think and approach a track. It was amazing to connect with other artists that are if not equally then more talented and more creative than I am.”
It was fascinating because I was curious to know the creative process of the other artists.
The tracks on the EP range from the deep and soulful ‘Sabela’ featuring Nobuhle Khuzwayo, DJ Asante, uBeyond & MusiColours, to the uptempo summertime jam ‘Do you believe’ featuring Garde, DJ LeSoul, Nipho Hurd & Nobuhle Khuzwayo, the bouncy beat of ‘Sum’ featuring DJ LeSoul, Garde, Nipho Hurd & Robin ThirdFloor, the deep house grooves of ‘Sunrise’ featuring Emex, King Bruce & Nipho Hurd and the Gqom flavours of ‘Kulele’ featuring Campmasters, Mnqobi Yazo & Robin ThirdFloor.
The collaborations challenged the artists to work on sounds they may not be familiar with. Says Nipho Hurd of her experience, “I didn’t think I would [like it] because I’m so opinionated. I feel like what it’s showed me is that if you’re entering something new you just need to have the same confidence that you can do it like you do all the time anyway.”
What it’s showed me is that if you’re entering something new you just need to have the same confidence that you can do it like you do all the time anyway.
Pushing themselves out of their comfort zone allowed the artists to explore sonics that they otherwise might not have. “For me, it’s always been like that. I’ve always loved stretching myself in terms of genres because I believe that’s where you grow the most. As an artist, you need to expose yourself to various sounds so you can bring out something colourful and great for the people” says Robing ThirdFloor.
As an artist, you need to expose yourself to various sounds so you can bring out something colourful and great for the people.
The collaborations during the session have led to lasting connections and the future will likely see them working together again. “I took a beat from Campmaster, a soft Gqom beat to which I’ll add African elements,” says Mnqobi Yazo.
Listen to the compilation now to get a taste of some of the artists that are forging the young sound of eThekwini.