Behind the decks with the Superbalist 100's Kay Faith

Words: Modupe Oloruntoba | Photography: Ashiq Johnson

A sound engineer and a producer are not the same thing. That was the main take away from the evening we spent at Cape Audio College with 23-year-old Karien Barnard, whose work title as a hip hop engineer is Kay Faith. As for defining roles, the essence is this: Producer is to creative director as sound engineer is to technical director. There's definitely some cross over - calling Karien and sound engineers like her purely left-brained wouldn't be accurate, but what's fair to say is that bringing method to the madness of making music sums up her job description pretty well. We also learned that great things can happen by accident, Tchaikovsky makes for one hell of a sample, and a lot more happens to a song and the people who make it before the first beat drops.

Karien joined Cape Audio's stable of engineers after graduation and along with the collective she co-founded, Fife Avenue, has been part of the crew behind some of South African hip hop's greatest hits ever since. Outside of work she hobbies in production, and if the winds prove fair she'll release her first solo title EP - which we have an exclusive preview of below - this December.

We did things a little differently this time, recording our Q&A as Karien broke down step by step and sample by sample how she builds her music. Hit play to go behind the decks and find out what it takes to make a hit.