Following his recent release ‘Kimberley’ on Cadenza Music, which included a major remix by label boss Luciano and other international producers.
South African Afro-Tech titan and label head Shimza, returns to his KUNYE imprint with a scintillating new single ‘Fight To Love’ Ft. Maleh. Complete with two official remixes from house royalty Louie Vega and South African Afro-Futurist Floyd Lavine.
Shimza recently launched his label along with a series of livestreams, as a platform that connects South Africa’s established and unsung stars to international artists, peers and audiences, shining a light on the colourful soundscape in South Africa.
We caught up with Shimza to talk about his new hit ‘Fight To Love’, his career and upcomings projects …
Hi Shimza, welcome to UFO Network. Thanks for speaking with us. You are a superstar producer and DJ of South Africa’s electronic scene. But first, let’s go back to the beginning… Tell us about the first track that put you on the map in the electronic scene and the journey since. How did you get started?
I started my career as a DJ long before I produced any music. I played all the music that I enjoyed, and that people enjoy. My skills as a DJ are what put me on the map, and this later propelled me inspired me to produce music.
It’s been almost a year that you’ve launched your label KUNYE Records with ‘Calling Out Your Name’ EP. Can you reveal to UFO Family one of your next release?
You are rather discreet about your personal life but can you tell us something we wouldn’t normally find out about you?
There is a lot of things people don’t know about me but if I had to identify one… I’m an adrenaline junky at heart! I enjoy extreme sports and the rush of it all.
Your skills can be traced as far back as the age of fifteen. You have come a long way since then. If you had to pick, what single night out has been most memorable for you as a dj and producer?
When I played at Destino in Ibiza alongside Luciano in 2017. This was one of the most memorable nights for me because it was the first time I’ve ever played in Ibiza and the energy was magnetic. It is a memory I will carry with me for a very long time.
Of all the tracks you listen to, which one never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?
The song that will never get old is by Julian Jabre tilted ‘War’. I had it first on vinyl some years ago and each time I play it, it reminds me of the memories I’ve created with the songs.
Listen on Spotify Julian Jabre ‘War’
Via Kunye Records, you have the opportunity to collaborate with several artists. Can you name specific one you would like to work with and why?
There are so many people I would love to collaborate with. The new label that I am part of called Kunye records allows me to find new dope talent all the time and I feel the work that we are putting out makes me look forward to working with each and every single one of them whether big or small. I really cannot pick one.
We remember your performance at Robben Island on Nelson Mandela Day in 2020 as the first South African to have a musical performance there. Today, If you could play any festival, which would it be?
The festival that I was set to play at in 2020 was Tomorrowland. This has been one of my biggest dreams however with the devastation of the Covid 19 pandemic worldwide, my dream was short lived and unfortunately the festival had to be cancelled. I am still hopeful that one day, I will play at Tomorrowland.
Through your different hits, we feel an infectious and creative style. We’ve also heard that your fans nickname you the “Effect Master’ and ’Vinyl Assassin’. Where does your insparation come from? How do you get a track started? Tell us about your production process.
Each track comes with its own story about how its created. Some tracks are inspired by melodies that I may be thinking of or different settings that I am in. Some inspiration comes from a beat and then I formulate a track from there.
Can you hint at any upcoming projects? What are you currently working on?
I am cooking up a lot of music under my label Kunye and collaborating with a lot of dope talent. I am also busy with producing live session that we are calling Kunye sessions where various musicians who play Afro house music play to an audience via a live stream. I Am creating a lifestyle.
The relationship between a dj and the audience is crucial, and yet is seems to be a fragile one – how do you see the balance between giving the crowd what they want and treating them to something new?
I read off the energy of the crowds, so that feeling is intensely insane. It basically means I am in command of the mood of the room and that to me gives me energy that is just unexplainable.
Thanks so much Shimza and good luck with your upcoming projects!
Connect with Shimza
Connect with Kunye records
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