Home » Interviews

Interview with Mother City Records


20 April 2003 No Comment

Cape Town independent label Mother City Records spoke to us last night about their latest release from Inadiflo. They also speak about future releases and you get to learn more about this up and coming label. Be sure to check the Inadiflo interview coming soon. Check it out!

When did you start Mother City Records?

MCR kicked off in September 2002.

How did you hook up with Inadiflo?

I did some obscure interview in the local press and mentioned that I was looking for new artists to audition. The response was overwhelming – I must have seen close to 100 people. Some were so terrible I had to bite my tongue to look serious, but a lot of talented young artists also came my way. Towards the end of these auditions I received a call from Smash: “Hey bro, it’s us Given & Martin (aka Tino), we used to live next door to you in Seapoint remember? (Wot – that was 8 years ago – they were lighties!) – We bringing you sum of our music to listen to – ok dog?!” So the next day they came around and I was expecting another average kwaito act. When they walked through the door they looked like superstars. I thought – these guys have got the look & the attitude now lets see if they can sing – and the rest is history – they blew me away. These guyz are born to perform. A few weeks later I signed them up as MCR’s debut release. 

What is the philosophy behind MCR?

We need to decentralize the music industry from JHB. By creating some cookin’ indie labels like African Dope Records and MCR in the mother city, the rest of the country will have to sit up and take notice. This is where some of the freshest new sounds are coming from.

What other acts can we expect to see on your label? Will you be releasing any hip-hop?

Hip-hop is my background and first luv! Yes, we will be releasing hip-hop, r&b, funk, drum & bass, pop and everything in-between. African Dope are the more brilliant twisted underground f#^krs and MCR will be hitting the slightly more commercial market. 

Did you find it difficult to break into the Jozi market?

Initially it was like breaking into a concrete wall, but once they listened to the album we got a lot of love. I think they are open to some new sounds. Good music has a way of surpassing all those prejudices. I’m sure that when they see Inadiflo perform live we will win over a lot more Jozi fans. 

Isn’t the kwaito scene just run by a few select cliques?

Hey, don’t get me started here. It’s the music mafia. I even had some high profile dude (no names mentioned) tell me he is not interested in what I have to say or in listening to the album. What can I say? Hey, be careful, it may be THAT good! 

How many units do you expect to sell of Inadiflo?

I have no idea. We hope to go gold and beyond. I think it’s a damn good album and the response so far has been amazing.

What is your view on the South African music industry?

It still suks in many ways. However, the quality is constantly improving; radio stations are finally playing SA music (even though it’s with a gun to their heads); we have a lot of extreme talent out there. More than anything it is an emerging market and exciting times for an otherwise constipated global industry. We need to encourage a culture of helping each other out instead of kicking each other in the teeth. We are falling into the same trap by giving too much power to too few people in the industry. This can only result in lower standards and the same old sound being churned out. It is only a matter of time before we have international superstars wowing audiences around the world within many genres. Now if only the government and corporates could see the potential, we may have less starving musos. 

I see that you produced all the tracks on the album, so tell us, how long you been producing, what equipment/software you using?

I have been producing for about 5 years now. Before that I was playing in many different groups, including Blunt and Moodphase5ive. My first major production was the Moodphase5ive ‘Steady On’ album. I produced for a London based outfit called ‘Silversonic’ and had a UK dance hit with ‘Turquoise Dreams’. I’ve also been working with different artists for African Dope and Sony Records doing singles for compilations.
My setup is quite basic. Mainly Cubase SX, Soundforge, Acid Pro, O1V digital desk and my NS-10 monitors. 

What is your favourite hang out spot in cape town?

At home with my dogs.

What is the ultimate goal of MCR?

To create unforgettable music with longevity. To make enough cash to never have to do another radio or tv advert. 

How far is Inadiflo going to be distributed?

We have a lot of interest from an indie label in Scotland of all places. They want to distribute to the UK and USA. They also want to remix some of the tunes for Ibiza. I’m not going to get too excited until the dotted line is signed. 

Any plans for your artists to tour?

Inadiflo have just signed a management deal with Koketso of ‘Sevenlox’. They will be touring extensively in the coming months. I will be starting new projects in the studio with some surprisingly brilliant unknowns.

What is the funniest thing you ever experienced in this music biz?

Has to be when I played a gig with the ‘Roots Rockers’ years ago. In the middle of a song, with a huge audience, Gavin slipped and fell backwards sprawling over the drum kit. Everything went flying all over the place, mic stands, cymbals crashing – my keyboard stand collapsing. The drummer was left with a snare and cowbell, and continued playing, standing, as though nothing had happened! 

Do you smoke the herb?

“I wanted a successful label, but then I got high” 

What are your favourite foods and drinks?

Seafood & pasta, pasta, pasta! 

Lastly, why should anyone buy the Inadiflo cd?

In the words of Miles Keylock “A hip ‘n happening mix of African flavoured R&B, street-fuelled hip-hop and jazzy, pop-inflected kwaito grooves, where funky guitars, throbbing basslines and polished electronic textures point towards a refreshing new “urban crossover” sound.” Also, unlike many albums out there, it’s a great listen from the 1st to the 12th track.

Thanks for talking to us, do you have any last words or shout outs?

To all the producers out there. No one works harder than us in this tough industry. Keep pushing the limits musically and lets keep supporting each other. The quality of local music rests in our hands and it is often a thankless job. To all the artists out there. Before you go on and on thanking God and your favorite pet Felix, don’t forget who put in the long studio hours and created the sound that made you what you are.

To get in touch with Mother City Records email him them craig@mcrecords.co.za

Submitted by: