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This Documentary Highlights Cape Town Indie Artists’ ‘Do It Yourself’ Attitude

"If you are looking for a break, it's not gonna happen for you really in Cape Town, unless you make it happen for yourself." – Dope Saint Jude

A new documentary by True Music Africa, a joint project between Boiler Room and Ballantine's scotch whisky, focuses on four Cape Town indie artists and their hustles.


Rappers Dope Saint Jude, YoungstaCPT and DJs Aux Womdanso and K-$ all share their experiences of being independent artists in the Mother City.

K-$ comments on the perceived renaissance of the city's music scene, saying: "The only reason that we were being slept on before was because we weren't putting in the same amount of effort, and we weren't realizing that we could make things happen for ourselves. We don't have to rely on anyone."

Read: The New Era Of Cape Town Hip-Hop

YoungstaCPT, who has managed to break out countrywide, which is rare for a Cape Town rapper, ensures you know that being indie isn't all fun and games even though he loves it. "It's going to be harder," he says. "It's going to come with its own set of challenges, disadvantages, pitfalls and failures."

"If you are looking for a break," says Dope Saint Jude, "it's not gonna happen for you really in Cape Town, unless you make it happen for yourself." Words that are reiterated by Aux Womdanso: "If you'll wait for government handouts, you'll wait forever, if you want something done, do it yourself."

The artists also touch on violence against queer black and brown bodies, divisions in Cape Town, the activism aspect of Cape Town hip-hop, among other topics.

Watch the documentary below, and revisit our interviews with YoungstaCPT and Dope Saint Jude here and here.

Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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