Darkie Fiction take the baton from SA greats
SONGSTRESS and cinematographer Yoza Mnyanda, 24, became famous in South Africa last year after sending a tweet to DJ Black Coffee asking how many re-tweets she needed to have to work with him – and the rest is history.
The UCT graduate got together with her partner, rapper KuthulakweNkosi “Katt Daddy” Siboto, 26, to form the group Darkie Fiction in Cape Town. A common goal was to take up the baton from artists such as Boom Shaka, TKZee, Skwatta Kamp, Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu.
Their music draws from a variety of genres: kwaito, Afrofunk, neo-soul and hip hop. After setting up the group they set their sights on Joburg.
“We met and formed in Cape Town, but I’m from East London and Katt is from Port Elizabeth. In Cape Town... there is a certain cap, especially for a black creative. We felt like we needed to make a big ‘city of gold’ move. It was like a stab in the dark, just hoping for the best,” said Mnyanda.
They said it was the frustrations they had with the music industry, especially radio, that finally gave them the nudge to form the group. Initially they produced a kwaito-like sound.
“We started having the same conversations and then we decided to just become a music duo and try and make a difference in the industry together. The kwaito thing honestly wasn’t on purpose, it was influenced by people within that genre.
“We didn’t start with the goal of making kwaito, but we did feel that no one really carried on the baton from your TKZees and Boom Shaka. A lot of people started saying, ‘You make kwaito’, so we kind of went with it. What inspires us are people that came before us; those kind of people really keep us going, because that’s music that actually meant something.
“They had a message, and it made a difference in people’s lives. And it wasn’t just talking about, ‘Look at me, I’m so rich’, it actually said something and it did something for people. It was activism in music and that’s also something that we try to do through our music.”
The duo’s new extended play record, Sobabini: A New Mzansi Evolution, features in Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight Campaign. The songs on it are Fiction Sound, My Ntliziyo, Gumbafaya, Malibongwe and Bhoza.
Not only are they bringing the spotlight back to authentic South African music, they are committed to visual storytelling through fashion, illustrated by the way they shoot their videos.
“I studied screen production, film, so I’m quite into that, but I would say that I take charge (of shooting), that’s my department. Katt is more like into the styling and the clothing we wear, and I’m more like conceptual, so we meet in the middle. It’s a team effort,” said Mnyanda.
The duo recently made their big debut at Oppikoppi and are set to perform at the #TRACEFest in Joburg next month.
Yoza Mnyanda and KuthulakweNkosi ‘Katt Daddy’ Siboto of Darkie Fiction are inspired by artists such as TKZee, Boom Shaka, Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu.