Skrillex in Cape Town:
I’ve often made it clear via BCTCBlog that I’m a UK dubstep fan over the American “brostep” variety. But I’m not the kind to cut my note to spite my face. So when news spread that Skrillex would be hosted by Bridges For Music in Langa, I was well keen to attend. I’ve never been in a room with someone who’s won 6 Grammys. I’m also aware that a brand image hardly represents the actual individual so I was intrigued to know what Sonny Moore actually had to say for himself, as a person, opposed to a production.
The “lecture” also featured Happy Feet! A gumboot troupe whose values are to do well in school and then practice the arts. They were too KA-YOOT for words! And had everyone laughing and cheering on.
Sibot, a worthy contender, opened the lecture by giving the audience a taste of how he produces his music both behind the scenes (at home) and live on stage. He spoke of his collaboration with Go-Pro which elevated his performances as it allowed the audience to literally see what he was doing, that is, to see how he was producing live. I know from my own experiences of his performances that this made all the difference in my own understanding and appreciation of his work.
Skrillex then joined the stage with Niskerone in tow. Manager of Red Bull Studios, Cape Town, Richard Romney welcomed them and played MC throughout the event. Skrillex then introduced 12th Planet and Alvin Risk, his two support acts and best friends.
I have to add that when Richard invited the audience to have free Red Bulls, the moment the Sibot DVD started, half the audience jumped up to get one. I thought this was INCREDIBLY rude, disrespectful and the height of bad manners. Are you there to learn or to pig out? Sibot’s work represents us yet all people can worry about is a R15 can of free cool drink!!! I was totally embarrassed and really expected people to have more respect for him and for ourselves. I know having Red Bull in all the photographs is a great way to seed the brand, I get it, but damn, people are so cheap and tacky! I was thirsty too (damn thirsty!) but I wasn’t going to choose a can of cool drink over paying attention to Sibot’s work whilst Skrillex looked on. Nice third world dignity there, NOT. ANYWAY…rant over…back to the work:
I had assumed that Niskerone had been included as he grew up on the Cape Flats so I thought he’d act as a bridge between the location and Skrillex. I was really interested to learn more about his upbringing and music career but he didn’t share too much about himself. Alvin Risk also didn’t have much to say for himself either which was quite comical whilst 12th Planet was jovial.
Although it was interesting to gauge the people behind the artist, I actually found the interview quite sluggish. I had anticipated learning a lot even though I have little knowledge about production, however, the 1st half of the interview was about stuff I could have read online. I thought of so many good questions myself but then was too shy to ask when the mic came around! (Such as, Does your Mother like your music? Do you get time to spend all your money? How real is it that you spent time living in a make shift loft now you’re wealthy? Did you envision creating a sub genre? How do you know when you’ve written something good? The list goes on.) I was hoping that the questions would really reveal the man behind the beats.
Skrillex gave us a few demos of his early beats (See video). The 2nd half of the interview was really interesting though as the questions came from the floor. And even though technie, geeky questions were asked, I actually enjoyed that people were asking specifics so that I could learn something. A few, fun lifestyle questions did pop up such as “Do you have any other loves in your life?” Skrillex had a chuckle and said not really as he’d been on tour for so long.
A jam session then ensued with Sibot, Niskerone, Skrillex, Alvin Risk and 12 Planet. It was good to see Skrillex bopping his head to Sibot’s beats. Go South Africa! Over all it was a brilliant opportunity. Thank you to Red Bull Studios Cape Town and Bridges for Music (a Non Profit Organisation whose aim is to create positive change through music by supporting electronic music in developing countries) and presenting this once in a lifetime opportunity for local music lovers to engage and learn with masters of the trade.