Sundays on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 17:00
Sundays on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 17:00

Independent music label Kalawa Jazmee Records adds to the Idols SA S16 fun


There’s a new Afro beat that is going to give Idols SA a local beat to jive to as S16 continues on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161)

You can’t mention kwaito and kasi and not think of powerhouse local music record label Kalawa Jazmee Records, who has for more than 25 years been releasing hits from artists like Boom Shaka, Bongo Maffin, Mafikizolo, Thebe, Trompies, Busiswa, Zonke and Tamara Dey, to name a few. And now they have signed up with Idols SA, Sundays on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 17:00, as the new music home for the Idols contestants. “This is really a big gamechanger for us,” says Idols Commissioning Editor, Mbalenhle Ntuli. “This opens so many doors not only for us, but also for the contestants.”

Idols SA parted ways with Gallo Records “on their request”, says Mbalenhle, at the end of 2019. Gallo Records was the home of the Idols contestants since 2016. “We started looking around for a new record label by the beginning of 2020, and had a couple on our radar, but when the guys from Kalawa Jazmee Records did their presentation, we were sold.”

It came down to the repertoire they offered and the various genres they are involved in. “They have been behind the biggest names in South African music for years, and their enthusiasm to groom the contestants to become their own stars, at the end of the day, was the note that clinched the deal.”

Nomsa Philiso, Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net, adds, “The new deal with Kalawa Jazmee ushers in a new era of entertainment and growth for the Idols SA contestants, and this is an exciting partnership. They have proven to be on the pulse of local youth culture, and we have no doubt that the Idols SA winner will find a space that will allow them to thrive and conquer the tough music industry.”

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Open the doors!

Idols SA judges Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung, Randall Abrahams and Unathi Nkayi are in for a real treat with Kalawa Jazmee Records joining the party, as it means much more home-grown music. “They are opening their music vault of songs for us so that contestants can choose what local songs to perform,” says Mbalenhle.

She admits that previously trying to get the rights to perform a song from a local artist was difficult. “It always was real hard work to get the rights. Sometimes the artist who performed the original song is not signed to a record company and works independently, and tracking down songs to record companies was a hassle. We also didn’t have the right procedures on our side to get these rights. With Kalawa Jazmee Records on board and their impressive list of local artists, it’s a blank canvas for contestants to fill with as much local music as Kalawa Jazmee Records has to offer.”

Mbalenhle does mention that the deal with Kalawa Jazmee Records won’t affect the show’s guest artists. “We’re still rooting to have as much of local talent coming onto the show as guest artists. The deal doesn’t lock us down to only use Kalawa Jazmee Records artists. We are always open to any artist for the show.”

Ruff diamonds

Zynne “Mahoota” Sibika, one of the five directors of Kalawa Jazmee Records (which includes heavy hitters like DJ Oskido, Mandla “Spikiri” Mofokeng, Bruce Sebitlo and Emmanuel “Mjokes” Matsane) says that they are looking for raw talent.

“I’ve been watching Idols SA for years now, and there is really amazing talent out there. It’s just that once the show is over, it seems the winner’s career ends as well. We want to change that, and we believe we can do that,” says Mahoota.

He is quick to point out that they haven’t decided yet how many contestants they will sign up. “It might be only the winner, or maybe the top three, it depends on their raw talent.” He also adds that the label might not even sign the winner, but maybe the runner-up. “Look, this is a reality show and the winner is decided on with votes cast by the public. Maybe the winner has the looks and the most votes but lacks that magic we are looking for,” says Mahoota.

Under the mentorship of Kalawa Jazmee Records, the signed artist will be given the best training on vocal range and music style. “We want to expose them to as many genres as possible, so they are comfortable performing in that,” says Mahoota.

Besides music expertise that the lucky signed artist will be introduced to, they will also learn the business side of the music industry. “It always seemed that the artists were never shown how the business side of things works. They bring out a song and a CD, and then seem to disappear from the map. With us, that won’t happen. We are like a music academy that teaches our talent all the sides of the music industry, so maybe one day they can go out on their own and do their own thing, if they wanted to,” says Mahoota.

You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on…

Watch Idols SA S16, Sundays on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 17:00 or on Catch Up

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