Music

Listen to TonicMotion's 'Drums of War' EP

The 18-year-old amapiano producer's EP has been tapped by the likes of Soulection and more.

Muzi Tembe aka TonicMotion from Empangeni, South Africa, might still be a senior in high school, but is not here to play. The 18-year-old producer's new EP, Drums of WAR', showcases a new wave of amapiano we can all tap into.

In Drums of War, TonicMotion flawlessly blends deep house and amapiano together to make his own distinct sound. His signature intro—he starts off each track with the sound of kids chattering from a distance—is also distinctly recognizable and nostalgic. The 5-track EP will take you through a trance-like state and will make you want to sway your body and move your feet.

"I designed the concept of the cover art. The skeleton represents the government and the soldiers represent us, the youths fighting against the system in South Africa," TonicMotion explains. "The inspiration comes from a song I was listening to, a deep house track called 'Deeper; by Dj Mreja. The lyrics said, 'we have all heard the drums of war let us dance to the beat of love.'"


Some international DJs like Joe Kay (co-founder of Soulection), Shaka Lion, and Kevin Kofii are now closely paying attention to TonicMotion's work. We can expect more collaborations and features on his upcoming album this year.

In the meantime, check out his EP available on all streaming platforms. Also take a peek at his first and most recent guest mix on Kuruza Radio and get familiar with where his mind is at.



Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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