An exclusive half-hour mix of Brother's unpredictable and high energy sounds
Brother is the DJ duo of Matt and Wesley Billet, started in 2014 in a make-shift home studio setup back at their family home, when they still lived at home. They’ll be playing a set this weekend at CTEMF 2017on Saturday night/Sunday morning at 1am on the Club Stage.
As part of the stable of residents for the recently collectivised ‘Vacation Club’ events company that Wes co-runs, Brother have “had the privilege of playing some incredible dance floors locally in South Africa, Mozambique, and in Europe too.” Vacation Club includes the well-established We Love Summer and Kinky Summer dance music events, as well as the foodie’s party, Feastival and the recently launched Future Frequency Festival.
Dive into this 30-minute mix and get to know Wes a bit better in the chat below:
Wes, you're a driving force behind the massively successful events We Love Summer, Feastival, Future Frequency Festival that launched just last year, and Kinky Summer, which seemed to start as a collab between WLS and Kinky Disco. What motivated you to get into events, what's your favourite part of throwing them and what do you see your events contributing to the overall macro-culture of South Africa?
Events and festivals have been something I’ve been a part of and extremely passionate about, since an early age. I started hosting my own events from as early on as 15. I’ve always been motivated by the idea of bringing diverse groups of people together through music and really creating a space where they can all celebrate and connect in a meaningful and positive way.
Festivals have become a part of popular South African culture and our scene is maturing at an incredible rate, everyday the future for South African dance music looks brighter and I believe that as this scene grows it brings about extremely important social cohesion and integration amongst the youth of South Africa.
We try and push the scene forward with every festival we produce, raising our own goals and expectations event by event and showcasing South Africa’s scene as best we can to all our international artists, guests and record labels.
We've also recently started a charity project together with Sustainable Brothers & Sisters called 'Langa Sunshine Project’ to which we’ve dedicated R5 from every festival ticket sold and 100% of parking fees charged to bettering the Langa community. We’re trying to show local promoters that powerful Social Responsibility projects need to be built into the foundations of their businesses & revenue models, and that in South Africa, it’s our duty as the business community to help those around us as best we can. We’re close to achieving our initial goal of R100 000 for the summer season and we’re extremely happy and proud of the effort thus far. We hope to grow the charity over the next few years with the help of other local businesses.
We noticed you just threw the first successful We Love Summer Maputo! What prompted the move to expand beyond the borders of SA? Does this signal the beginnings of a new layer of a currently lacklustre regional touring circuit for dance DJs and performers? Where else are you planning to head to in the subcontinent, or even the rest of the world?
Touring the brand for us has always been about finding the right partners in each territory and we’ve been extremely lucky to have found an incredible team to work with in Mozambique. Last week’s festival was an experiment for us and with an attendance of over 1000, we’re very excited about the future in Mozambique and will be working extremely hard on expanding in this incredible region.
Having already hosted two We Love Summer festivals in Europe, we’ve decided to rather focus our efforts closer to home and grow our events in the Southern African region in our current SA spots and in Mozambique for the immediate future.
Europe is an already saturated and highly competitive market, so for us, growing our festivals and the local scene is not only our duty as promoters but also what makes most sense for our production company Vacation Club as a whole.
What are your ambitions for Brother? Is it an act that will blow up and start to headline massive shows and travel around the world, or is it primarily a fun way to warm up and look after the crowds at your shows and play out some of your favourite music?
I would say it’s a bit of both. We are constantly producing and putting out our own music in an organic way and I guess our growth will all be down to how that is received over the next few years. It’s been an incredible journey thus far and we’re just excited to see where it will go from here.
What does it mean to you to be playing at a festival like CTEMF? What does the annual festival mean to you and what is your perspective on its impact/place in the overall big events landscape in Cape Town?
As local artists and event producers we’ve always looked at CTEMF as an incredible representation of where the local South African scene is at sonically and we’ve always respected the way the festival is able to showcase the country’s diverse electronic music sub-genre’s and the artists that are pushing them. For us it’s a true melting pot of South African electronic music culture and we’re excited to be included in this year’s stellar roster.
What does the mix you prepared for The Way of Us tell us about your taste in music, your set at the fest and the kind of subculture you exist in?
I guess the best way to describe the mix would be a summary of the sound we’re trying to push in our sets over this festival season and we’ll be carrying this with us to the Club Floor at CTEMF this Saturday.
We’ve always found it hard to pin down our sound to a specific singular sub-genre as we feel its too restricting. Our sets are often made up of an unpredictable blend of high energy tech-house, techno and progressive sounds.
What does the year ahead hold for Brother and for you guys individually in the music landscape?
We’ve got some really exciting shows lined up this year and we’ll be focusing quite heavily on our original production in 2017!
Get your tickets for their set this weekend at CTEMF 2017, plus any other info you might need on the fest here.