The Swaziland hip-hop scene is relatively on the come-up and one of the pioneers in establishing the scene from the Southern African country is SubJamz. With an extensive production catalogue that even runs through genres including gospel, CHEKA Digital got to pick this dynamic individual’s brain.
CHEKA Digital : In the past three years there hasn’t been a major Swazi Hip-Hop release that you haven’t contributed to. In terms of expanding into South Africa, the competition and your sound, when did you start producing?
SubJamz: 2006. A friend introduced me to Fruity Loops and I made my first beats soon after.
Did you study any music or sound engineering related course(s)?
Never. I’ve had sound engineer friends for most of my life though. Since I’ve played keys at church from a young age, I picked up a couple of tricks.
Your sound is quite eclectic. You can do that mellow organic stuff and switch to the heavy ‘synthy’ sound, but you also produce other genres which include Gospel. Could you describe your sound.
I’m eclectic; I don’t limit myself. For me music is more than just a genre, the joy of being a producer is that I am not obliged nor forced to stick to one genre.
And what’s your setup like? What do you use to make music?
I started off with a normal PC, making beats in my room. I’ve now graduated to a bigger one, built for gaming which allows me to run heavy programs faster; Cubase, Fruity Loops and Reason all at the same time. (I have) one mic, two monitors and a mixer. I started off using plug-ins and samples buy now I record my sounds from real acoustic instruments. I’m renovating my studio month end. New equipment is being invested. I’m switching to Mac (Logic pro).
You produced all of MP’s album and it was quite successful. Any future plans with MP we should anticipate?
Bright future. We were a lot younger when the first one came out and the one dropping this year will be the best ever; more relevant and more mature and with the renovations it will sound even better. We are still drafting everything so that we know what is to happen.
There aren’t a lot of producers on your level in Swaziland, what do you think of the caliber of producers in Swaziland?
I haven’t reached the level I wish to be on as yet, so I can’t really say I’m at any position to comment on how anyone else is doing. I don’t believe in competing but creating! So we all have our own path. Otherwise, Swazi producers are growing and it’s a beautiful feeling seeing what we are all building become a reality.
What artists have you worked with outside Swaziland? Or rather planning / wishing to work with?
I’m looking forward to working with 985 but then again that’s still on the table. I’m hoping to work with Teargas. I’m on fire these days so I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen real soon.
How do you pick the artists you work with? Do you work with anyone who’s willing to pay or are you pedantically selective? If you are (selective), what criteria do you use?
I think working with people makes me who I am. Everyone deserves a shot and you never really know if you’re working with the future Jigga, so yeah, I’m not that selective. I just make sure my brand is well represented. As far as cash is concerned, I love making money but I won’t rob you if I’m really sure you’re whack! Lol
First word that comes to mind when you hear “J.U.S.T.I.C.E League”
Compiled And Written By : @SabzaPassword
Catch him on Twitter: @Subjamz