ASAP Shembe and Kaeb have just released their collaborative 3 track EP titled Maboteng. It’s been shared that these East Rand natives decided to come together as the genre benders that they are, in order to “fuse their unique styles to come up with something new, something refreshing to the ear”. ‘Weh Malume’ which is the first single from their collective EP was released exclusively on Bandcamp as a way to give the power to uplift these independent artist back to the fans by allowing the listeners to invest directly into their art.
We felt it was important we put the power back into the hands of the underdog, the artists with no major label support, or big PR budget. By continuing to create a culture that tangibly supports local music.
Financial progression and taking responsibility for your situation are also said to be important themes in how this body has been rolled out, and in the music itself. For example the Intro song titled ‘Blade Nzimande’ is said to highlight the environmental, social, and financial obstacles we need to navigate as kids from the township. This is what Shembe & KaeB had to say about why the song was titled ‘Blade Nzimande’ “Our living conditions are hard and rough, like Blade Nzimande’s face”. The Second song ‘Weh Malume’ highlights our responsibility to leave/find a way out of situations or relationships we’ve outgrown. And the final song ‘Maboteng’ seems to say “You chose your outlook, you are in control”.
This was a collaborative project, bringing in creators from across SADC, each song was mixed and mastered by a different engineer, two of whom are based in Botswana and one in Cape Town. Both ASAP Shembe and Kaeb are writers and producers, but for this project they decided on clearly defined roles, Kaeb handles all production, and Shembe handles all the writing, the result of that is this well-crafted EP.
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