After suffering a major injury during a rugby match in the third year of his marketing degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2008, 27-year-old Anthony “Luka” Kasirivu’s dream of becoming a professional rugby player was shattered.
Almost two years later, as he slowly recovered with the help of physiotherapy, paid for by Good Samaritans, Kasirivu emerged more determined to turn what was a tragedy into a success story.
He says that with the support of his family and friends, he prayed to God for a miracle.
This eventually came in the form of music equipment donations – which would see him spend hours learning to programme and produce music.
Music became an outlet and a way to make sense of his situation for this self-taught producer, who is referred to as Luka in music circles.
“I was intrigued by music from an early age after seeing family and friends put vinyl on turntables and I saw the joy it brought to everyone,” he says.
In his quest to become the best, Kasirivu sought the advice of trusted producers in his province and elsewhere to guide him on his way to becoming a music producer.
Kasirivu cannot move his fingers and uses a pencil strapped to his forearm when he produces music at his studio.
He soldiered on and music eventually became his trusted companion. He spent most of his time learning new tricks of the trade or reading music books and magazines.
“It’s truly a reflection of what trust in God and hard work can do. I can’t take credit for anything that I do because God is the one who has shown Himself to me in trying times,” says Kasirivu. “To be able to produce music is more of a blessing than a dream,” he tells me as I catch up with him on the telephone.
Last year, one of the Soul Candi label managers, Allan Nicoll, heard Kasirivu’s song on the online music site, Traxsource.
But it took some convincing before Kasirivu finally agreed to have his music released under the cutting-edge label.
“I’m humbled, but also fully aware that there is no time to relax in the music industry. This industry is big on selling young people a dream that is far from reality,” he says.
Kasirivu is responsible for the Luka part of the Soul Candi Producer Series Volume 2, which consists of 12 tracks – some of them are original compositions while others are remixes.
On the album, Kasirivu comes across as a skilled music producer who is able to hold his own alongside UK-based D-Malice, who takes charge of the first album of this double offering.
Kasirivu enlisted the services of local and international deep House vocalists such as Mz Jay ( Joyce Friendrich), Jackie Queens ( Jackie Kwenda), RubyGold (Carla Mariza Claasen), Sarah-Jannat, Jaidene Veda and Alison Crockett.
In true new-age technology music production style, Kasirivu had some of the vocalists send in their work via email, while he worked on the music between 2011 and 2012.
“I actually recorded them [the tracks] not knowing if they’d ever be released on a physical album. I just kept working and stayed focused.”
Kasirivu says being featured by Soul Candi has affirmed that his music can speak for him and reach further than he ever could.
Though he says he does not like idolising people as this means having to idolise their mistakes and problems as well, Kasirivu says DJ Black Coffee is one person he looks up to greatly because he understands the value of hard work.
While he would like to continue making music, he feels that as an emerging producer, he needs to diversify his talents, which is why he is in the process of completing his honours degree at NorthWest University.
Kasirivu still finds time to speak to the youth in North West through regular school talks.
He says he is grateful to do this because he can give back to the community what has been given to him by God, his family and those who supported him in trying times.
Kasirivu is not only a promising music producer, motivational speaker and a positive thinker, but is also a record label owner of We Go Deep, a sound designer and music remixer. He is also a mixing and mastering engineer at SDL Studio.
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