The Mixtape Vol. 117

Kunzima is fusing African sounds with electronic music and seeks to create emotion in blips and beeps

Joshua Sokweba composes music as Kunzima for a living. Having realised his calling to create dance music, Kunzima goes in hard, and seeks to create emotion in the blips and beeps of his electronic sound.

Born and raised in Umlazi, KwaZulu Natal, the 22-year-old first got on board with Surreal Sounds Music via a demo he sent them, and the label have been nurturing his craft ever since.

We caught up with the young musician, asked him to make us a mix and then tell us a bit more about himself, which you can read after the jump. 

What's your sound story?

I like to express my pain and emotions through sound, and if one has a distinct ear they’ll understand this. For instance, there’s a song from my recent Theology Mix out on Surreal Sounds Music’s soundCloud, which at 13 minutes in best explains the pain that I go through every day, and the challenges I had to face as a kid growing up in Umlazi. Music keeps my soul sane, I guess.

Another artist from Umlazi, why is this area producing so many musical talents?

I wish I had the answer to this question, but hey, it’s Umlazi, I guess? Although it’s rough and concrete, there’ll be an artist that makes it out. I’m proud to be one of them.

Tell us about your affiliation with Surreal Sounds Records and Dope Wax Records.

Surreal Sounds Music is the label that found me. They were seeking demos and I sent in my stuff. Katlego Swizz was digging my sound and we started sharing stories, our backgrounds, and he actually understood me like he was my blood brother. He then introduced me to Dope Wax Records, which is our mother label from New Jersey, owned by the legendary Kenny Dope from the Masters At Work duo with Louie Vega. Dope Wax does our international releases on a broader level, and go as far as pressing our music on vinyl, which I never saw coming.

Who or what are you currently listening to right now? 

My playlist is all over the place but I like me some grooves by Souholic, 7Options, Rancido, SoulPoizen, SAMURAI YASUSA (shouts to Kususa duo, watch out!), oh and some of Rampa. My list is endless.

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