It was his passion for music and youth development that led music mentor and record producer DJ Monotone, real name Pontsho Moono back to home town of Lehurutshe, a village outside of Zeerust, Bokone Bophirima to share his musical knowledge with aspiring musicians.
This journey that started in 2017 saw DJ Monotone conducting music development workshops in Lehurutshe civic centre, on Saturday, September 1.
His initiative Areyeng Gae, which loosely translate to “let’s go home” Arts and Music workshops focus on educating young people on the business side of music. Some of the key issues that were addressed at the weekend included music publishing, royalties, distribution, copyright, sampling and production.
“The aim of the project is to challenge the youth by going back to the townships and villages, and inspire the young talent through mentorship and community projects,” said DJ Monotone.
The music mentor said his plan is to take these workshops nationally.
DJ Monotone has recently joined The Remix SA on SABC 1. The reality TV show is based on the global hit sensation, THE REMIX, which is the world’s biggest reality competition. Following the same format, ten groups, each made up of a trio of a strong vocalist, DJ/Producer and musical performer, compete head to head every week until only one group is left standing.
Groups are tasked with creating a “remix” within a given theme or musical genre and DJ Monotone’s task is to mentor the upcoming producers on the show.
“So we give them a challenge every week, I’m there to guide them to see if they are using the proper sounds, proper progressions, proper arrangements and they compete on stage. Being part of that journey has been an awesome experience so far,” says DJ Monotone
DJ has shared 7 nuggets to help you kickstart and sustain a music career:
1. Networking: Remember networking is not only about advancing your career but about building and maintaining meaningful relationships. This will in a long term assist you in attaining your career goals. For instance, it’s important to knowing who to call if you need an advice or which radio station to contact when you’re about to drop a single.
2. Passion and Determination: Without passion for your craft it’s easy give up when the going gets tough. The road is not easy as it looks...no matter how often radio rejects your music, you keep pushing...Persistence always conquers!
3. Understanding the basic layout of a contract: We (are) usually desperate for our careers to advance so we end up binding ourselves sometimes for life...it’s important to understand basic things such as terms and duration of contract, music copyrights, music royalties and publishing and distribution of music.
4. Knowledge: Not everyone went to music school and besides there’s always something new to learn especially in the digital space, so equip yourself with knowledge. You owe it to yourself...Do your own research, follow musicians that inspires you or that are successful. Find out how to elevate your craft to the next level.
5. Talent: Find your talent in production. Not everyone is a mixer or engineer or instrumentalist or even a singer, so it’s important to know where your talent lies in the musical sphere ..and work on developing that talent.
6. Development: It’s important to consistently cultivate your craft, it brings versatility. Always try new ways of of doing things, for example find the latest softwares that will help you improve your sound.
7. Discipline: A lot of talented artists went down under due of lack of discipline. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you can’t behave properly and don’t respect your craft and opportunities presented to you ,your career will be short lived.
The Remix SA airs on SABC 1, Sunday at 6pm.