The Johnny Cradle sound is reminiscent of golden era hip-hop and bluesy rock guitars and perfect for your summer soundtrack
With roots in Mdantsane and Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and Ga-rankuwa in Gauteng, there’s a diverse influence behind Johannesburg-based three-piece band Johnny Cradle. Township slang, Xhosa and English lyrics and a sound driven by heavy bass and electronic drum rhythms mixes effortlessly with DJ cuts reminiscent of golden-era hip-hop in addition to bluesy rock guitars.
Add to that a visual creative flair that sees the creative trio directing their own photo shoots, videos and artwork, and it’s little wonder that we had to feature the exciting band on our Monday Mixtape. Read our interview with the band after the jump.
Who are you and what do you do?
We are a Johannesburg based three piece band that makes authentic feel-good music from a perspective of people that are proud to be Xhosa and Tsonga. Laz provides the DJ scratch samples and FX, Tebogo J Mosane drums the drums and backs the vocals, Sakie leads with the vocals, bass and plays the keys – together we represent the universal man that is Johnny Cradle.
What's your sound story?
Learning to love freely. The day to day balance of personal life and obligations, the tension between aspiration and what stands in the way. Wins and losses. Expressing what is relevant to us and what we are feeling. We were born to feel all types of emotions and energies, sometimes all at the same time, so who are we to mess with that. Our job is to channel all that into your sound system.
Describe your sound.
We call it Roots Electro. That's just to say it's rooted in traditional Xhosa/hymn/hip-hop/Kwaito/township things with a heavy bass foundation charged up by many electronicals that make sounds that sound nice to us.
What did you grow up listening to and what are you into nowadays?
We grew up listening to TKZee, Mdu, Brenda Fassie, Brown Dash (this era of kwaito), gospel and jazz music, as well as Amagwijo (revolutionary songs/songs of the people). We are now listening to the likes of Roisin Murphy, Damian Marley, Tyler The Creator, Dave East, Jay Z, SZA, Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Tame Impala, De La Soul and many others.
What's your favourite club to party at?
We haven’t played enough clubs to compare but Kitchener's Carvery Bar in Braamfontein takes the cup.
Who are your favourite artists to collaborate with?
We don’t really think about that, it’s ideal for us to let that happen on it’s own without us putting it out into the universe. Think about it this way, you won’t appreciate a collaboration or give it your all if it’s not the one you already set up in your head. So if you don’t have any collaboration expectations then you are good to do your best when you get a call to collaborate with any great musician, except the ones you know you definitely do not want to work with.
Tell us about this mix you've made for us.
These are some of the artists we are feeling at the moment, and you’ll find us bumping these tunes when we are not playing our own music. We work hard so its important for us to take a break every now and then to enjoy ourselves and party. These jams are some of the songs we want to hear when clubbing. Sadly it doesn’t often happen like that.
Where can we watch you play and keep up with all the things you're doing?
Website: johnnycradle.co.za | Twitter: @JohnnyCradle | Instagram: @JohnnyCradle | Facebook: Johnny Cradle