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Andy Mkosi – This Audio is Visual | Creative Nestlings

Creative Network of Young Africans + Research and Development Agency

Music | Dillion Phiri | 13 March, 2017

Andy Mkosi – This Audio is Visual

We speak to Young African Creative Network member & musician Andiswa Mkosi on her journey so far since we last spoke to her, and her new EP – Audio is Visual that drops on our platform exclusively today.

Creative Nestlings: Since we last spoke to you, how have you been?
Andy Mkosi: It has been a transition of some great sorts. Just defining myself and sharpening the skill as well. I have quit my nine to five since then as well.

CN: The last time we spoke to you, you were getting ready to release an EP, your business ‘Jam That Session’ was kicking off and you had just dropped a video under LIVE MAG SA, which challenged how White tourists would behave when they visited your Township. And now you have just told us that you quit your 9-5. Take us through all that and the build up to the decision to quit your job.
AM: Well it was a matter of time I guess. I got over self-doubt and started really believing in my worth, my business in the arts, and Jam That Sessions potential. It just all made sense and I was a bit frustrated. I got tired of complaining about the job. I am at war now. Lol fair war, with no job crutch.

CN: The decision to quit your job couldn’t have been an easy one. What brought you to the point where you realised that you wanted to invest all your time in your business and craft?
AM: I had a lovely job hey, like, my mum thought I had made it. Medical aid and all, the potential for a bond, bekumnandi. But it was my unhappiness at the job that brought me to the decision. It was not making me happy. I was half-stepping on the craft a lot.

CN: Ah man, The dream! Having a stable income with benefits, not having to worry about your next meal. From a life of safety to letting go of the crutch and jumping wholeheartedly into your dreams, aspirations, and passions. How did your mum take the news of you quitting your job?
AM: I did not really give her room for opinion. I just made her see the vision. I had to grow a thick skin since then.

CN: The vision… What is the vision?
AM: To make money off my music. Make money off my photography while having fun. I wish I was more deep or some shit about this but it’s really about making these dreams work and we can. Our peers have proven many a time that it works, you just need to put the work in. Just find your formula and your market. I have a vivid idea of this ‘HOW’ for what I am building for Andy Mkosi.

CN: I guess, jumping on a limb, closing your eyes and wishing on a star is what makes the dream work, which is something which you have done. You have recently dropped an EP, tell us about that.
AM: The EP I’m about to drop is titled ‘Audio is Visual’. It is driven by imagery. It’s an attempt to merge my photography with music. It’s a very experimental project, from the sound to the imagery. It’s like an opinion piece on things going on around me.

CN: An experimental project from the sound to imagery, please elaborate a bit on this for us. Tell us about the things going on around you which seem to have inspired ‘This audio is visual’
AM: I am known to do a particular sound of music. With this EP I push myself out of that box completely. I have interpreted the messages on the songs to photographs. The things that go on around me are things like black excellence, woman abuse, self-love, just a lot of things.

AM: Eish these kids in this shop are irritating me hahahah. Ah these boys

CN: Almost done I promise
AM: Lol suwarra.
CN: When we last spoke to you, you mentioned that you felt that your sound is monotonous and that your voice is squeaky. How have you worked past that?
AM: Hahahah. I love my voice now. It’s gorgeous. So gorgeous that I will be hosting a radio show Saturdays with a radio thing that JTS has started. On a more serious note, I have found that I really love making music of any genre for that matter and that I can escape monotony through that.

AM: These kids are asking me questions – what is this, what is that, what are you doing, aaai.

CN: Let’s go back a bit. You have a background in radio and have dabbled in it in the past. Tell us a bit about the show you will be doing with JTS.

AM: It’s a show which we first tried out online with Assembly Radio called The Urban Cool. I started off doing radio as the newsreader for Bush Radio and then became a radio host for a hip hop show on there with Sabelo Mkhabela.

CN: Where do you get your internet, how do you connect with the cyber world and upload your work to the interweb?

AM: Lol. There is this cool black-owned coffee shop called Le Chome, that you have to come check out when you are in CPT. The wifi is ridiculously fast and I feel at home here man. Shout out to Hloni even when I don’t have money for coffee. Like right now I am sitting in the middle of these beautiful Indian women and their boys and they are all drinking tea. Man, I feel like I am at home lol.

CN: Amazing, I can imagine the frustration of not having access to a reliable internet connection, and having no money to buy coffee just so that you can use the wifi. I’ll definitely put it on my list of places to check out, drop your location.

AM: It’s not that bad. Location: (Le Cho Me
20 Adderley St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa)

CN: Music genres is what a lot of people decide on prior to kick starting their music career. You mentioned that you escaped the monotony through your love of making music, how has that changed the type of music you create?

AM: I have a love for beautiful sounds and I know exactly how I want my next project to sound even. I am more open to listening to various sounds and work with people beyond my comfort zone. Helps me break the monotony.

CN: Collaboration! How important has it been in the growth of your sound, network as well as the craft?
AM: Very important. Like for example with this project, I collaborated beyond South Africa even. The visuals are a collaborative effort as well with input from Tsoku Maela , Thandiwe Tshabalala and Ntsika Daki

AM: Now the dads are having tea. I feel like I am part of a movie now. lol

CN: Hahaha, you must feel amazing. I can imagine the atmosphere, the smell of tea, laughter and family all around you.
AM: Damn dude. lol such a trip.

CN: When we last spoke to you, we asked what creativity meant to you, you mentioned that you haven’t figured it out yet? What is creativity to you?
AM: It is freedom to change the world, and impact on different levels.

CN: Digital platforms have made art a lot more accessible, it has also opened up a new platform for artists to utilise as a tool to distribute their art. Do you feel this is a good thing and how have you used digital platforms to enable you to put your work out?
AM: It’s a great thing. If it was not for digital ways I would not have been able to meet with some of the producers who contributed sounds to the EP. We are a global village and it’s so exciting to know that ANYONE is able to access your work ANYWHERE in the world.

CN: Has it evened out the playing field of local vs international work? Do you feel as though we are equal or do we as Africans still have a long way to go?
AM: The African industry has a long way to go but individuals are changing the scene all by themselves we don’t need label approval now. The power is on the ground.

CN: The power is on the ground… Would you please mention the people you worked with in producing the EP, and also telling us what we should expect from you in the near future.
AM: It’s Terra Nekro Tshwane-based, Darkstar UK-based duo, AtPlay American alternative band. Vocals from Tatenda WekwaTenzi one of my favourite people from Zimbabwe but based in Cape Town. Mokhele Nto from Lesotho, Kurt Diedericks from Cape Town, Luke Langston also known as Tehsynes; who mixed and mastered the project. Five Six recorded the vocals. Might be missing someone but I doubt. In the near future, I want to travel and take the Bedroom tour around Africa. Been invited to Durban to host one so if anyone is reading this and is keen on sponsoring flights please do.

CN: The bedroom tours, for those who have no idea what that is, please tell us a bit about that. 
AM: The Bedroom Tour was an idea that just came to me this one time during Winter. It made sense too because it’s an intimate setup perfect for people to listen to what I have to say in the music. My music does not fit in clubs.I like intimacy, Bedrooms are romantic. I love romance. I am a big lover. Hahahaha. Okay. I am talking shit now. We had one in JHB and I fell in like with someone. I found like in a bedroom.Perfect setup nje.lol.

CN: guess you’re saving hearts one bedroom at a time. You were in JHB, is the creative scene different to that of CPT in anyway?
AM: I can’t tell these things. I hear them saying but andazi if it is or not. All I felt was a rush when I was there that’s the main difference I felt. Niyashesha apho.

CN: I guess that’s why it was coined ‘the city that never sleeps.’ Okay, the last question; what is it that you would like for me to take away from the EP after listening to it?
AM: Take what to you can from it depending on where you are in your life also.

For more on Andy SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Behance

Photography by Tseliso Monaheng

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