Shakes comes through with a mix of South African artists like Lebo Mathosa, Brenda Fassie, Mandoza and more
Born in the Eastern Cape and currently living and working in Cape Town and Johannesburg – Nqaba Shakes Fatman Mbolekwana aka $hakes is an artist whose talents span many disciplines.
Taught to paint in high school, as he got older he soon realised that making art as a teenager versus making art a young adult are two completely different things. This forced him to become a student of himself in order to understand the narrative that he wanted to follow in life.
Having worked as a waiter at a frozen yoghurt bar and then as a store assistant at a tattoo and barber shop, just to make enough money to fund his creative projects and survive, today Shakes is a model and actor who runs his own youth, lifestyle and streetwear brand that embodies his flair for music, art and fashion.
He also knows his way around the decks, so check out the mix he made and find out more about the artist after the jump.
What first inspired you to make music?
I needed to find a hobby for the long, high-school holidays. Most of the kids at my school were from wealthy families who could afford to go out and travel on holiday. So I learnt how to produce music electronically.
Who influenced you the most in doing what you're doing?
As far as streetwear and lifestyle is concerned, Nigo is my biggest influence – he's a God at what he does. I also like Basquiat and Picasso a lot. My high-school art teacher, Hassan Essop, was a huge influence, too. He encouraged me to never stop painting and is someone I can get advice from when it comes to my art.
What's been on repeat recently?
Darkie Fiction's latest EP is fire – especially the track 'Bhoza'. I've also been listening to 'Rolling Papers 2' by Wiz Khalifa since it dropped in July and Popcaan's latest project is a big vibe. I've also been listening to some really average pop music on TV.
Talk us through Born Out Of Boredom – what's it all about?
B.O.O.B is a contemporary, youth lifestyle and streetwear brand. My duties as creative director is to design authentic and sellable threads, create, write and publish zines, shoot look books and short films, as well as host parties, podcast interviews and co-ordinate private events and parties in Cape Town and Joburg. I do all of this with the help of my friend, collaborator and partner in business, Decaf (Nikho Rudah). We work really well together.
Cape Town is saturated with fashion/music/events – what makes Born Out Of Boredom stand out?
B.O.O.B is not about standing out. We stay in our lane and mind our own business. If anything, we're just trying to do better. I think trying to stand out is boring and requires unnecessary brainwork.
If you could collab with any designer/artist, who would it be and why?
At the moment, there's no particular designer that comes to mind when I think of a collaboration. I'm a fan of Jody Brand's Tumblr blog and I'm also a big fan of Fela Gucci from the performance-art duo FAKA. I also like Tony Gum's old work (not the stuff in galleries). If I could, I'd definitely collaborate with one or all three of the abovementioned names. I guess only time will tell.
What does the future hold for Born Out Of Boredom?
More traveling, more admin, more paperwork and hopefully more money to better the quality of everything we do. We're almost ready to penetrate the international market with what we do so more research is needed too.
What's on this mix you've made for us?
Only music from South African artists like the late Lebo Mathosa, Brenda Fassie and Mandoza – just to name a few. I grew up listening to kwaito and pop music from the golden era of the late 90s to the early 2000s so that's my feel good vibe.