New beats on the bloc

We­heart­beat put to­gether a trail­blaz­ing mu­si­cal line-up, writes San­diso Ngubane

The Times (South Africa) - - Big Night Out -

Fak’ugesi, Joburg’s an­nual dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion fes­ti­val, is cur­rently un­der way at the Tshi­mo­long Precinct in Braam­fontein, and on Satur­day the fest’s Beats Bloc Party will turn things up with a mu­sic lineup cu­rated by We­heart­beat, the mul­ti­me­dia beat plat­form led by the Sim Phak­isi and Do­minique Soma.

Since 2012 the duo have been lead­ing a revo­lu­tion that can no longer be called “quiet”. On stage will be trail­blaz­ers in­clud­ing Pe­tite Noir, Nonku Phiri, Beat Sam­pras, DJ Doowop, Micr. Pluto and Zaki Ibrahim, among oth­ers.

In­ter­na­tional head­lin­ers in­clude trap-jazz pow­er­house Masego, Soulec­tion founder Joe Kay and MNDSGN.

“As a brand we op­er­ate from a strong place of in­tegrity and only work with artists that we be­lieve in, and feel are push­ing the bound­aries in their own unique way,” says Soma.

“A lot of them may not seem main­stream in a South African con­text, but they are all mak­ing head­way in­ter­na­tion­ally. We are re­ally about pre­serv­ing good- qual­ity mu­sic that rep­re­sents a pos­i­tive mes­sage, and we’re try­ing to merge what’s hap­pen­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally with the lo­cal scene.”

We­heart­beat are well known to Jo­han­nes­burg mu­sic lovers for their son­i­cally eclec­tic

“The dig­i­tal and tech­nol­ogy space is the fu­ture of lo­cal mu­sic”

DO­MINIQUE SOMA We­heart­beat part­ner event cu­ra­tion, and have worked with artists such as Mashayab­huqe, Hlasko, The Brother Moves On, and many oth­ers. They have hosted global acts like Eric Lau, Young Fa­thers, and oth­ers.

“As a col­lec­tive, We­heart­beat trans­lates our in­di­vid­ual ex­pe­ri­ences and our cul­tur­ally rich and ad­ven­tur­ous en­deav­ours into mu­sic to pro­vide South Africa with a unique sonic ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Soma.

‘‘We’ve be­come the No 1 ‘go to’ beats plat­form in the coun­try at­tract­ing beat-heads, pro­duc­ers, trend­set­ters and ex­pe­ri­ence-seek­ers.”

Be­sides the live events, We­heart­beat also cu­rate work­shops, ar­range lis­ten­ing ses­sions, re­lease monthly pod­casts, cre­ate mu­sic com­pi­la­tions, de­sign cloth­ing and put on ex­hi­bi­tions. They also have a phys­i­cal record store.

Soma adds that We­heart­beat’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Fak’ugesi Dig­i­tal In­no­va­tion Fes­ti­val is an op­por­tu­nity for them to be as­so­ci­ated with an­other pro­gres­sive, for­ward-think­ing brand.

“The dig­i­tal and tech­nol­ogy space is the fu­ture. Be­ing a part of it al­lows us to stay ahead of the game, and to keep rein­vent­ing the lo­cal mu­sic con­text.

“It’s a very ex­per­i­men­tal cre­ative space, and we’re very ex­cited to see the amaz­ing per­form­ers who’ll bring Bloc Party to life.”

● Tick­ets are avail­able at R400 via Quicket, or R500 at the door.

HEAD-TURN­ING Zaki Ibrahim, among the hot acts at Beats Bloc Party on Satur­day

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