17.12.2018

The Mixtape Vol. 191

Nouveaux is a DJ duo formed in 2016 by Thubelihle Nkutha and Neo Mosito who don't push a specific genre, but different textures that show just how beautiful music can be

Nouveaux is a DJ duo formed in 2016 by Thubelihle Nkutha and Neo Mosito that makes mixes online and plays live shows with the goal of taste making and shifting the paradigm of music culture both here in South Africa and abroad.

The exclusive mix that they put together for The Way of Us is an indication of the sound they identify with and the direction they want to push sound locally and internationally. There is no set genre, but different textures of how beautiful music can be with the right blends.

You can read our interview with the DJ duo after the jump. 

What's your sound story?

As the name suggests, we are all about new sounds and we like to apply this holistically. We don't really like to restrict ourselves to a genre and will play just about anything from hip-hop to house to RnB, but expect to hear fresh artists you haven't heard before with a splash of familiar sounds added for good measure. We are also big on playing future beats and dance edits of fan favourites, as a way of bringing the two worlds (namely the new and the familiar) together.

Which bands did you grow up listening to and what are you into nowadays?

Neo: Growing up I was quite the hip-hop head. There were some exceptions like Daft Punk and Usher, but mostly I would pass my days listening to acts like Lupe Fiasco, ProVerb, Kanye West, AKA and the like. I always had a soft spot for more "obscure" sounds but it wasn't until high school and my early varsity years where I really became a more eclectic consumer of music, adding acts like the Gorillaz, Jamie xx, Tame Impala and Toro y Moi to my palate. Nowadays I do my best to listen to as many new artists as I can across different genres, from the smooth R&B sounds of NAO, to the electric rhythms of Muzi.

Thube: Growing up I was forced into Gospel but then I had to be a rebel by listening to Linkin Park and Green Day. I dabbled in more commercial hip-hop like Kanye West, Jay-Z and T-Pain but never went through full bodies of work based on my parent's strictness. Early varsity changed everything for me because it is when I got full bodies of work, met a lot of friends who were into eclectic music and Great Dane on Thursday was very important for my sound. Nowadays I do my best to not limit myself; I am playing Jungle, 6lack and it goes everywhere because I need to be everywhere sonically.

What's your favourite music festival and why?

Neo: Something like a Coachella or Glastonbury is the ultimate goal simply for their size and appreciation for amazing music, but I'd love to see myself at Rocking The Daisies, both in front of and behind the decks. I'm a big fan of nature, something RTD embraces fully and being able to feed off that kind of energy in a performance would be bliss for me personally. I also love that RTD bring healthy number of in-demand international acts whilst staying on the pulse of what's hot locally.

Thube: I did my first festival this year, which was Rocking the Daisies and I loved the energy. People were friendly, we all just wanted to listen to music and share that experience. I do feel that Glastonbury is the place for me, but Daisies is the first step to getting there.

Describe your dance style.

Neo: I have two left feet so if were to describe my dance style, "terrible" is a word that comes to mind. I am prone to whoop out a milly rock when the mood takes me though.

Thube: I can't describe something that I don't have. To be honest, I am too stiff to even have a style. I do love to dance when the DJ plays house though.

Who are your favourite artists to collaborate with?

A dream collaboration for us would definitely be with Soulection founder Joe Kay as he is one of our greatest inspirations, from his skills behind the decks to his song selection as well as his ability to curate and taste-make.

What's the best and worst part about being a South African musician?

Neo: I think the best part is that South African music is kind of entering a golden age of sorts. This is with regards to the way people are consuming music. More and more people are taking responsibility for their own musical diets as opposed to just accepting what mainstream media outlets are willing to feed them. This has lead to a broadening of tastes and I feel like it feeds back to the creators in the sense that people don't have to sacrifice as much of their musical identity in order to be heard. The worst part however is that the mainstream hasn't caught up with this way of thinking. The industry is still very clique-based with gatekeepers still in control. I do think that the internet has made it easier to bypass these roadblocks if you are willing to work hard though. 

Thube: The best part is that there is a lot of international acclaim for the artists who deserve to be acknowledged, kind of coinciding as to the worst part of the industry. You want to adored locally but the ideal that you need to get an international nod before you are given the love you should have got when you were still posting on SoundCloud locally comes you feel like an overnight success.

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