Thembinkosi Mdemka, 30, from Mfuleni who performs as Reign Carol, has received plenty of airplay from house music titan DJ Fresh, as well as on Lulo Cafe’s radio shows. His songs are popular on Metro FM. He is set to release an album, Manuskript, in June.
“This piece of work is for anyone who listens to music for motivational reasons, or to just let themselves loose when going out for a dance. It’s very dark, deep and deliberate in a way that it doesn’t follow anyone else’s style but its own," Mdemka said.
“It has messages. You will hear inspirational sounds from the type of styles of DJs Black Coffee and Culoe de Song.”
He has played in several local house spots, including Cafe Wallacedene, Magarana Park in Langa, uMtata Lounge in Strand and the Kayamandi Stadium, and releases music on his website www.reigncarol.co.za.
Mdemka began making music in 2005. “At the time, my mother was still a teacher and she had a Windows 95 computer with those old tube monitors. I managed to teach myself to make my first beat on that machine, even though the graphical interface of the computer gave me a hard time making out the visual picture which you’d see clearly in modern computers.
“This process symbolises my current journey I am on before releasing an official album. There are eight songs: two (Drunk Last Night and Overheat, featuring RnB singer Lady C) are already featured in quite a number of playlists by some prominent disc jockeys on their radio shows," he added.
“I am also working with Makeeda Swan and Blaq Opal. Opal is releasing a very hot song with rising star Rabs Vhafuwi.”
“I have been hearing a lot of complimentary statements from listeners, saying my style is unique. It has an influential African and techno sound, with a punchy and aggressive and crisp sounds you would hardly hear from any other dance songs, while containing messages of the current struggle that we’re facing, telling people to persevere and try hard or try again because in the end, things will work out."
On his relationship with Lulo Cafe, Mdemka said: "He says he believes in me. It’s good to have someone telling you they believe in you. It’s rare to hear that coming from someone who broke into the industry ages ago.
“He allows me to take the independent route and is not binding me to any text agreement clause.”
Drunk Last Night is his most personal song. “It may not have any vocals but the title is a message of forgiveness. I have wrote down lyrics for it but not being able to sing is a setback. I was involved in a car crash, so it’s an apology that I was drunk and vowed never to repeat that again.”
Mdemka also produces for rappers.