The Bridges for Music Academy in Langa lived up to its vision and goal by inviting two well-known artists to a workshop with budding musicians last week.
Young artists received advice from Nigerian pop singer and songwriter Asa and the country’s top kwaito star, Zakes Bantwini.
There was a strong focus on music in the continent and African culture as well as issues such as drug abuse in the industry, the marketing of music, signing of contracts and live performances.
The duo reflected on their life, experience in the industry and personal ethos, at the workshop on Friday May 31.
One of the academy’s main goals is to become a space for learning and creative hub where young, talented individuals are able to pursue their dreams and develop their skills, through a shared passion for music and other forms of art.
It does not only teach music, but lectures are given on aspects of music production, graphic design, basic internet usage, and filming as well as entrepreneurial skills. The school has specific production facilities with the latest equipment donated by its partners.
“My sweet spot is in front of my audience, performing. My main priority is my audience, do they understand me? You need to be grounded. You must keep a manager that can tell the truth. If you keep that, you will never lose yourself,” said Asa while talking about discipline and issues related to marketing and managing.
Zakes stressed the importance of being disciplined.
“Discipline is more important than inspiration. Chose discipline over inspiration. There are campaigns about drugs so I won’t say a thing about that. You know what drugs do to people. You know if you sleep around you will get pregnant,” he told the audience.
He also advised them to head for Europe because there are opportunities there. He said the sooner they go the better. The budding artists asked questions and gave their input on some of the issues discussed. They benefited from being part of the workshop and showed confidence to continue with their musical journeys.
Culture manager at the school, Thulani Headman said the workshop was among the best that the academy had the pleasure of hosting. “The artists brought two different perspectives, Asa being anb African artist (that is touring the world and based in Europe) shared her knowledge based on her global experience and Zakes brought it home with his insights as being one of the leading artists and music executives in South Africa.
“It was an honour to have hosted these extremely talented individuals at the newly build Bridges Academy, having them sharing their stories with our aspiring locally based industry players,” he said.
Young Langa artist Ado Ludidi said he was ecstatic to mix with the best in music.
It also aims to become a landmark building in the community in terms of architecture.
The day was a special one as Asa and Zakes gave invaluable advice to the young audience.
Both artists have performed locally and internationally. They also lightened up the mood with their personal stories.
It was a rare opportunity for many of those who packed the hall.
Both stars warned against bogus or lazy managers who had no interest in the artists.
They warned about the drug abuse in the industry and encouraged young people to collaborate more and make money while they still could.