HYPE Interviews JOOX’s Hip-Hop compiler Kabelo Makhudu [Read]

Kabelo, looking at South Africa’s state of Hip-Hop what trends would you say you have noticed from the “New Wave” scene and our OGs who have been doing their thing?

There seems to be a greater awareness amongst hip hop artists about the greater South African hip hop scene and artists are showing respect and acknowledging the work done by other artists. With the re-emergence of sampling paying homage has also now become a cool trend.

The streaming in South Africa, is gradually picking up in numbers and seems to be heading in a positive direction but now how would you say this affects the music industry?

Now more than ever, the music industry is becoming a DIY type of industry – which means that artists can position themselves to become a seemingly ‘overnight sensations’ – provided that they have built their fan bases right. The idea of there being gatekeepers in order to become popular is slowly dying.


We know that you are a Music Content Curator for JOOX, could you please explain to us what exactly does a Music Content Curator do?

Having to curate playlists goes beyond putting songs together. It’s about creating a musical journey, taking the listener through a range of emotions, as well as exposing people to new soundscapes and artists that are not mainstream.


You curate three different playlists being: Hip-Hop Meets Kwaito, New Hip-Hop Releases and The Life of Hip-Hop, how do you go about selecting tracks for these different playlists?

The “Life Of Hip-Hop” is a playlist that reflects how hip hop has evolved, highlighting some of the seminal songs and moments in the genre The “Hip-Hop Meets” series was created by myself, Rixton Harper-Valentine & Nevan Sias to highlight that hip-hop is more than just 808s & drum patterns. We wanted to show that hip-hop is a genre that has assimilated musical elements from orchestral music right through to jazz – demonstrating the creative and diverse nature of the genre. The series was curated in a Music Editorial, which provided people with some cool information about songs. t “New Hip-Hop Releases” showcases all the latest fire hip-hop drops. This playlist is one of the more diverse ones because regardless of artist this playlist is governed by sound purely to keep it as authentic as possible.

 The playlists that you curate is based around Hip-Hop, do you see yourself curating playlists for other Genres outside of Hip-Hop?

Yes, I listen to a wide range of music and as I also head up the weekly called “What’s New” playlist – and am exposed to all the new releases coming through across multiple genres. The “What’s New” playlist then highlights the best new music of the week. I also curate “Fresh RnB” which looks at new age rnb.


Not only do you curate playlists, but you are also a content producer for Vow FM, could you tell us more about the type of content you have produced for radio?

I am a content producer as well as music compiler and my whole approach is to listen and read as much hip-hop as possible and try to build a unique angle, rather than replicating what other people may be speaking and playing. The aim is to offer a fresh angle as there is a lot of the same kind of content out there. I try to get as many exclusives as possible whilst focusing on new and emerging artists because that is where the future of hip-hop is and will always be. New artists are always exciting to watch and to follow how they grow and adapt.


What more exciting stuff could we expect from you and JOOX in the next coming months?

Becoming more of the go to authority when it comes to rnb and hip-hop while making JOOX the music app of choice by being for the youth by the youth.

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