Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Studios is taking the party to Soweto 

Ballantine’s Scotch whisky and long-term partner Boiler Room continue their pledge to create a safer and more inclusive music culture through their global event series, True Music Studios which will be returning to South Africa making its debut in the township Soweto, known as the birthplace of the popular rising genre, Amapiano.

Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Studios champions diversity and inclusivity in music through a series of events that bring together communities to showcase and celebrate local sounds, scenes and cultures. Following on from True Music Studios in Johannesburg last year which celebrated the sounds of Amapiano in collaboration with music pioneer, DJ and hitmaker, DBN Gogo; Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Studios is heading to the historic township of Soweto, home to both Amapiano and underground icon Njelic from the 15th-18th February.  Soweto born and raised, and a legend of the South African house scene, Njelic continues to shape the Amapiano genre and will be the lead collaborator for the Soweto edition of True Music Studios.

Rising Amapiano producer Njelic

Despite the most concentrated poverty in South Africa, Soweto has continued to fuel the country’s music scene and garnered fame around the world. The four-day True Music Studios event aims to recognise and celebrate the next wave of seminal talent rising out of the city who are following in the footsteps of these Sowetan legends.

True Music Studios will showcase a run of events focused on the local sounds and scenes including:

• ‘In Conversation With…’ 15th February – Hosted by Mpumelelo Frypan, two in-depth conversations will connect audiences with Soweto’s key players including collaborator  Njelic, ‘The Godfather’ M’du Masilela, the lead singer of Soweto global jazz sensation  BCUC Nkosi Zuthulele, DJ and music specialist DJ Buhle, as well as singer-songwriter  Nobantu Vilakazi.

• ‘Party Broadcast’ 16th February – Curated by our collaborator Njelic, the party broadcast  features live performances from the next generation of South African talent including  Njelic himself, Kabza De Small, Kamo Mphela, Daliwonga, TOSS and Playgal.

• ‘Masterclass with Kamo Mphela’ 18th February – Dubbed the newly acclaimed ‘Queen of  Amapiano’ and one of South Africa’s biggest stars, singer and dancer Kamo Mphela hosts  a masterclass showcasing some of the most killer moves from her hometown.

• ‘Community event with Le Grand Ball’ 18th February – Le Grand Ball will bring together  four Houses from Johannesburg to compete in a runway presentation; with the winning House receiving a R5000 cash prize to continue competing. 10% of the proceeds will be  donated to organisations that promote the development of trans and gender diverse  movements within South Africa.

Tom Elton, Head of Culture and Partnerships at Ballantine’s says, “Now nine years into our  partnership with Boiler Room, we’re committed to continuing our journey through True Music  Studios, a platform designed to move local music culture forward. Our motto ‘a friend to all  humankind’ has been on the crest of every bottle for over 100 years; True Music’s home has, and  always will be, the metaphorical dancefloor – and we’re striving to make sure that is a place where  everyone feels part of the experience.”

Ballantine’s has been a long-time champion of underrepresented music communities, celebrating  local talent through its True Music platform and partnership with Boiler Room. Over the past nine years, we have supported over 600 artists, across 70+ events, in 20+ countries.

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