Audio

First Listen: Swaziland’s DJ Tendaness Drops the Genre-Bending ‘Call On Me’

We talk to Swaziland's DJ Tendaness about his new single, collaboration and his future plans.

DJ Tendaness is one of Swaziland’s top DJs, having performed at the Hipnotik Festival, among other reputable events.


He has released several EPs and singles, collaborated with Swazi artists such as Velemseni, Bholoja, LO, and Smashis (South Africa), among others.

This year, the DJ seemed to have found his sound musically as he's been releasing genre-bending singles that, even though different, have a uniform sound that ties them together.

DJ Tendaness mixes genres such as jazz and folk with electronic elements, and the result is a sound that has potential to travel worldwide.

His latest single “Call On Me,” which we're premiere here, features one of Swaziland’s most respected singers, Nomalungelo. Her vocals float over a heavy electronic bass line, a tingling electric guitar and a selection of synthesizers.

Below, we talk to the Tendaness about the single, collaboration, his future plans and more.

How do you pick your collaborations.

I guess it depends of the song's vibe. Usually when I make a record I can almost hear the artist or artists that should be on the song. But a lot of the time, I actually get in studio with artists, we record then I completely recreate what was recorded. So a song recorded with one artist featuring “x” today could turn into a song featuring an artist “y” whom I recorded on a different occasion on another song. I'm a remixer at heart so that's why.

Tell us how “Call On Me” came about.

Nomalungelo is an amazing singer with a very powerful voice. We have tried to work with each other a couple of times before, but those attempts didn't really work out. So about a year later, I made  a new record that I thought she could fit well on. So we recorded, and that didn’t work, then I played her another tune I had made a long time ago, then she sang on that. But I didn't like it at that moment. So I gave it a day or two, then went back to the project and I listened to the vocal alone. It was actually pretty good. So I basically constructed the instrumental around her vocals. The same way I did with my other single “JIKA.”

Are you working towards an album?

So many people are asking me for an album. But currently I'm just dropping these singles. I have so much music to share with the fans and I’d like each of the songs to get the attention they deserve. Soon as I'm ready for an album, the fans will be the first to know!

What is your dream collaboration?

Man, I wanna collaborate with so many artists the list is super long. I really appreciate artists who have their own sound and stick with their sound all the way. Wizkid, Davido, AKA, Black Coffee and more. Internationally, Calvin Harris, Adele, Diplo, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber and more. I'm gonna continue working hard and make sure I make these collaborations to happen.

You are known as a hip-hop DJ, but your recent songs combine a lot of genres. What inspired that move?

I've always wanted to have my own sound. I've worked for a years trying to find a lane that I will be happy with. It excites me so much that this lane I'm in allows me to work with musicians that many would think I wouldn't be able to collaborate with. I can practically work with any musician, and I love that because I have such a diverse ear. I enjoy so many different genres of music not just hip-hop. My playlist would shock many.

What can we expect from you this year?

This year the fans can expect more music, videos, shows and much more. Just expect more and more content from Tendaness. I'm always at work, and it always makes me happy to see the fans happy. They are the most important thing to me.

Listen to "Call On Me" above and download it here.

Follow DJ Tendaness on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and Instagram

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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