Collaborative music project keeps SA's artists creative during lockdown
“Lockdown has been really lit,” the artist told the Saturday Star.
“I have all my essentials in the house, got my drinks and my partner. So sex and all the outside addictions are in the house, I’m good, I’m nice, I’m grateful.”
South African musicians’ careers came to a screeching halt when government imposed a lockdown and all gigs and tours had to be postponed and cancelled.
But for Sanelly, real name Seneziwe Sanelly, the lockdown couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Lockdown was already something we had discussed with my team. So mentally I was already kind of prepared for lockdown, but a different type of lockdown.
“My main focus this year was meant to be on my album, so that worked out well. I am also learning to have fun indoors, I’ve actually learnt that I am happy in stillness. The biggest punch though is that there is money coming out and not much coming in right now.
“I miss being on stage and interacting with my audience, but I am also just worried about everyone’s lives.”
Aside from working on her own album, the 32-year-old has also been involved in one of Red Bull’s revolutionary lockdown music projects.
The energy drink company has launched “Made In 72 Hours” which allows artists a platform to engage with one another while collaborating on music and exploring their creativity.
Every week, for four weeks, three different artists come together to create new music from the comfort of their own home studios.
The artists have 24 hours each to rework and record their part of a song originally produced in the Red Bull Studios.
The first artist is sent the original track and in 24 hours the artist would share with the second artist who in turn shares their part with the third artist with the final track then being mixed and mastered at the Red Bull Studios.
The track will then be released to the public in a four-track EP at the end of the month.
Artists involved in the project include Sanelly, Gina Jeanz, Not Benjamin, Mark Akol, Pierre Johnson, Hersch, Juzzy, Nalu, TheologyHD, Aymos, Avi Subban, and Lazarusman.
Sanelly said she’s had the time of her life working on the Red Bull project.
“The reason I love Red Bull is that you can even fly indoors. We got wings and we flourished and we made music.
“That project came at a good time because the usual hustle and bustle is on a calm right now. No one is rushing anywhere or super busy with another pressing project.
“We were able to meet the deadline with no struggle. Also finding out about other musicians and producers you probably wouldn’t know about. That was great.
“Lockdown has really been nice to me, and Red Bull has added to all that niceness. I have enjoyed it to the maximum, I’m not crying. I’m crying about not being on stage or on tour.
“I feel bad saying it has been good to me, but it has. I am enjoying working from home, I don’t feel bad that I’m locked down.
“Maybe we can say that I’m ready for marriage. I’m looking at the positive, there’s a silver lining in everything.”
She said collaborating with artists from the comfort of her home was a wonderful experience.
“It wasn’t unusual at all. Comfort is key for me, so the only difference was that I didn’t have to go out in the streets and potentially get coronavirus. I didn’t have to put on make-up or anything.”
Gina Jeanz one of South Africa’s hottest future beats deejays.
The producer, whose real name is Gina Mwoombola, said she had a blast.
“It’s definitely been an exciting project, I love that I got to work with new artists and at the same time feel a sense of normality,” she says.
“I’ve always appreciated Red Bull’s approach to creating platforms where all kinds of artists can contribute and collaborate. I was so grateful to get the opportunity to take part, it also took me out of my comfort zone and I’m really happy with how the final track turned out.”
Mwoombola said fans can expect an exciting EP.
“The artists have really gone above and beyond to create something special during this crazy time.
“It’s a collaborative effort from everyone involved and I believe this will also give us an opportunity to reach new listeners.”
Speaking about life under lockdown as a musician, Mwoombola said it has its ups and downs.
“Life under lockdown hasn’t been particularly easy or hard. I normally work from home so the transition for me was a bit easier.
“I do miss being able to go out, visit friends and play at my gigs, but I’m also trying to make the most out of the situation seeing as I now have more time on my hands to work on my personal projects.”