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Interview with the Dokter – The man behind Kallitz

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7 September 2003 No Comment

Afrikaans Hip Hop group Kallitz (pronounced “Coloureds”) will be releasing their album in December 2003 on Mothermix Records. In order to find out more about this group I spoke to the man behind this group. His name is Dokter, the beatmaker and the producer. You might have seen them perform at the Hip Hop Indaba recently so peep it.

How you doing Bevan, why do they call you the Doc? Any relation to Dr Dre?

Ha-ha! I wish! No, I just thought it would be appropriate, cos I was previously a medical student for a year and a half. My love for hip hop music was more important to me than studying to become a doctor, so I decided to stop that to doctor and apply my healing qualities to Cape Flats hip hop music, which I feel was and still is, in dire need of help. I guess the “Doctor” idea stuck with everyone who knew me at the time, so I suppose that’s why they call me Doc.

You produce for Kallitz, can you tell us for those who don’t know who Kallitz are and what they all about?

Kallitz (Afrikaans – pronounced “Coloureds”) is a hip hop group that I conceptualised quite a while back, something like 5-6 years ago. I think it’s working out quite well…What Kallitz is all about – I dunno how to answer that, but I’ll tell you that Kallitz is about music for the people on the street.

Kallitz got an album coming out in December on Mothermix, what can you tell us about the release.

I think it’s a got something for everyone on it. We tried to make it as diverse as possible, so that a wide range of hip hop tastes are satisfied. There are 16 tracks on the album. I can’t really be detailed about it, cos then I will have to explain every single track, but I’ll say that there are some hard tracks, some gangster, some bounce, some story-telling, etc… a bit of everything as I said! This album is one for the streets… the streets of the Cape Flats.

It’s coming out in 3 months time, what are you doing as a group to promote the album?

Well, I can’t really answer this question fully, as the album was only finally completed in the last week of August, and it’s September now. I guess the promoting and marketing stages start now. There were a few live stage performances to promote the music; and more will be coming. Kallitz will be performing at the next Stick Eight Entertainment hip hop event, so look out for that! Other than that, there is a plan to release one or two tracks that will not be appearing on the album, as free downloads prior to the album release, just to wet the appetites of the people who will be feeling our music. So those who are feeling the track “Die Ding Ruk Mal” will look forward to that. I’m sure AfricasGateway will get the press releases as they happen, so look out for that!

I heard that Kallitz were on Geraas or was it Pasella? Tell us more!

It was Geraas… Kallitz were invited to do that “Happy Birthday Madiba” episode.

Where do you guys come from?

The group is mainly made up of Skelm – who is from Kuils River, and Boere – who is from Bellville South. I am from Bellville South as well.

How did you get involved with hip hop?

I don’t think of it in that way… It’s a love for hip hop, particularly hip hop music, it’s something that flows thru my veins. I don’t emcee, graf, b-boy, etc… I consider myself a hip hop Producer – full stop. On the Kallitz album, I drop a few verses, but I don’t consider myself a rapper. I love MAKING hip hop music – that’s why stopped studying medicine, so that I
can make hip hop music every single day of my life!

Your beats, what can you tell me about that, how do you approach making a beat, can you explain the entire process.

You know, a lotta people ask me that… and I can never answer that cos I start anywhere – normally in my head! I’m sure anyone that has a sense of rhythm can make a beat, and I’m sure I do it like everyone else, so here goes: Basically, I get the drums going, but it’s gotta be right. A basic bass line is next, so that you can patch your samples and other instruments in afterwards. Those are the three main groupings when programming beats, but I start with anyone of the three.

Tell me what equipment you got in your studio and what software do you use?

Off the top of my head… A RODE NT1 condenser microphone for the vocal recording; a Yamaha keyboard / synthesizer; a Roland digital mixer, a Gadgetlabs soundcard; Alesis Monitor One studio monitors; a whole lotta cabling; Pro Audio software like Cubase, Cool Edit Pro, Sound Forge, Cakewalk Pro Audio, Reason, Fruityloops, etc.

Do you sample from vinyl?

Not really… I have before but I don’t do it much anymore. But I will be doing it on the next project – and that one is classified!

Are you happy with the work Mothermix is doing for Kallitz as a group?

Hell yes! No regrets whatsoever!

How did the performances at Mercury go down?

In April the Mercury nights were more of a learning and familiarising process for me and the group. We basically did 5-6 songs live on stage every week for whoever popped in for drinks on the night. Also, other hip hop artists were given the opportunity to take the stage as well. Mr Fat turned up as a spectator at our last gig at Mercury, and in the weeks thereafter,
he unfortunately went around the Cape calling Kallitz “‘n klomp dronkies” among other names. I still don’t know the reason for dissing Kallitz. It’s a pity that someone who is considered a major player in South African hip hop has to react so negatively towards an up and coming group like Kallitz. I wonder if Ready D knows about this… but as you know in hip hop, a diss never goes unheard, and NEVER, EVER gets ignored… [**grin**]

Anyway, the Friday night performance at Mercury at the Hip Hop Indaba in August went really well, we had a very positive reaction from the crowd during and after performance. Some of the Black Noise crew, DJ’s, performers and journalists all took our hand afterwards – that was great support.

What do you want people to get out of listening to the Kallitz album?

I just want people to enjoy it, that’s all really.

Who is designing the Kallitz album cover?

That’s not final yet, but a buddy of mine – Aidan Steenkamp – is working on a few designs. He’s the same guy that does the graphics and artwork for Stick Eight Entertainment. There’ll be a couple of extras in the package as well…

Any ideas for a video and what will the first single be?

We have ideas on a video, but we not sure if it will be financially viable to do a video. We still exploring that possibility. The first single – not sure either, but it’s between 3 tracks. The one we performed at the Hip Hop Indaba called “Die Ding Ruk Mal“, which is also available to download for free right hereon AfricasGateway, is one of the three.

Any other artists you working with at the moment?

No, not at the moment. I first wanna do this Kallitz thing proper. Another project I will be working on is a release on the Stick Eight Entertainment label, but that’s not confirmed yet. But I think you can definitely expect something mid-2004 again – with my name on it…

Long term goals?

Quite a few… but the one applicable to this interview – to be one of the best hip hop Producers in South Africa. (maybe the world…ha!)

What can you tell us about Stick Eight Entertainment?

I can tell you a lot, but I’m not going to because I’ll spend 4 hours.

In a nutshell, Stick Eight Entertainment is an event management company, arranging hip hop events and using a percentage of the proceeds towards community based initiatives. When I say that, I mean Stick Eight Entertainment actually and physically does it, not like others who wanna front with words like “community” when doing their “positive” thing.

After the “From Tha Beatz 2 Tha Streetz” hip hop event on the 19 July 2003, the “Soup 4 Smiles” event was hosted on the 29 August 2003 at the Proteaville Recreational Centre in Bellville South. Here we had games for the kids, soccer and rugby, after which we served them warm soup and buttered bread. After the kids had their seventh helping, we had a hip hop
dancing competition where the winner received a brand new soccer ball. It was a very successful and fun day, and the photos of both events will be up on the Stick Eight Entertainment official website in the near future. This sort of thing will happen throughout the year, ideally every 2 weeks, and sandwiches will be served next time as summer is approaching.

The next hip hop party is planned for 4 October 2003 so look out for the details once everything is confirmed and final!

How did the performance at UWC happen? What did you think of Cashless and them folks?

I assume you are referring to the “From Tha Beatz 2 Tha Streetz” event… the whole night was a success. Cashless Society came down to Cape Town at their own expense and did their thing on stage. These guys are really professional and personally, I expect them to be a leading hip hop force in the whole of Africa very soon. The Stick Eight Entertainment crew
accompanied them to UCT radio and Bush radio where they were interviewed, and spent the entire weekend with them as well.

Aight so did the people get their soup?

Just like kids at “Soup 4 Smiles”! The photos speak for themselves! It was a crazy ass party, nothing but hip hop music all night! There was no trouble whatsoever, but at the same time, everyone was feeling the party. People to this day still talk about it, and can’t wait for the next one. They won’t be waiting much longer though… the next party is still unconfirmed, but planned for 11 October 2003. I hope to see you there too, man!

Thanks man, keep doing what u doing, nuff props, you must come around for some rooi wyn one day. Any last words or shout outs?

Will do man…
Big up to Allan, Cassandra, Astrid, Bradley and Duane at Stick Eight Entertainment for doing their thing – keep it up! Big up to everyone who supported and who will be supporting the Stick Eight Entertainment hip hop events – let’s use this thing called hip hop and have a party, and at the same time use it to uplift our communities. Big up to Boere and Skelm of Kallitz – this is the first of many, so look out for the Kallitz album y’all – it’s gonna be something that you’ve never heard before!

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