SA’s ass-shaking homegrown style of dance music, Kwaito, gets a little dirty with some chunky bass lines in Nectah 2the just-released album by UK-based artist Moroka. From parties at the pyramids to becoming the next samurai master, Moroka shares his latest theories with us in an interview.





Describe your music in 3 words?

Unemotional, computerized, noisy.

How long have you been making music?

I used to muck about on an old PC with Acid Pro for a few years using samples only, moved to electronic production in around late 2009. Was rapping before that so in various unofficial forms for about 10 years.

Tell us about your debut EP, Nectah 2, how was it making your first EP?

Nectah 2 is my EP for Pollinate, a handful of tracks I worked on that came together for a nice little release. It’s really good to see it happening and it breaks the ice for me as far as releasing music to the public.

Do you have a day job? If so, what is it?

I quit in the summer to travel and relax in the park and try and get rid of the tired look. But as it’s getting colder I’m looking to get back to working in music-based education for disaffected young people in London.

You’ve lived in America, South Africa and UK; what role has Kwaito had in terms of your own style/direction in music?

In the ’90s kwaito was the thing but I was one of the only kids I knew that really liked the style, we lived in what they called a township but I went to an exclusive private school in town so on casual days at school I kind of stuck out. When I started going to Secousse nights in London I was pleasantly shocked that this style of music that I only associated with my past was actually still appreciated, this was a profound moment for me.

Why the name Moroka, is there a meaning behind it?

Well the name is already significant for a couple of reasons, it is a part of Soweto I visited a few times, it is also the family name of one of the most notorious soap opera families in SA. It was the result of a brainstorming session when I was putting out a mix and my real name fits in there somewhere as well.

The word ‘creative’ is so loosely used, too generic to describe most ‘creative’ work even. How do you define creative and producing something original?

As far as I can tell some people tend to be more creative than others, not to say that creativity is valued as much as it should be. Creative to me is starting out with a passion only and picking up the tools to show your unique vision to the world.

Are there any artists that you feel are really pushing things in a new direction?

Hard to say really, I mostly notice when whole groups of artists start moving in a new direction, its like watching a flock of seagulls or herd of Kudu who knows who’s actually telling them all what direction to move in.

Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Ordinary people with great ideas, not great people with ordinary ideas.

Do you see yourself ever returning to South Africa?

Most definitely when the timing is right, I’ll be visiting in December though to play with the likes of Scratcha DVA, LV and Kode9 alongside Cape Town’s own Step Up crew.

Well scenes tend to suck from a creative point of view as there is pressure to do things a certain way, which is not good. I can only imagine that in a place like CT being in a ‘scene’ would be bad for your health, unless you were running it of course! haha

Making beats in SA, and the ‘scene’ here – how does it compare to being overseas?

Well scenes tend to suck from a creative point of view as there is pressure to do things a certain way, which is not good. I can only imagine that in a place like CT being in a ‘scene’ would be bad for your health, unless you were running it of course! haha


How do you start a song, is there any particular process you go through?

Well usually the groove or melody ideas first, sometimes a vocal part. Have you ever seen how the Japanese make swords? They bang them and then fold them and then bang them like a sick amount of times, sometimes it feels like that but I’m still learning and I am not a samurai yet.

You’re releasing a digital EP. Most music is readily available online, and online platforms – like SoundCloud, MySpace, Beatport, Spotify etc – have revolutionalized the consumption and distribution of music. Some would suggest that artists no longer need to sign to a record label to become ‘successful.’ And then you have long-time artists like The Cranberries who might not even be able to get their new record out, due to lack of sales.

What are your thoughts on this?

Haha such a random question I love it! I don’t know much about how bands like the Cranberries would go about releasing their music but I’m pretty sure they’re in a much better position than 99% of artists on Soundcloud. Thousands would go see the Cranberries live I’m sure, that’s where the money is anyway for artists nowadays and they could sell enough t-shirts to live quite comfortably. You have to evolve with the times and I couldn’t care less if all major labels, HMV’s, Tower Records and whatever disappeared off the face of the planet. I don’t buy it when industry people start crying about people downloading music. Less packaging is better for the environment.


If you could perform live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

It would be pretty cool to throw a party at the pyramids I think.

Three albums that had a massive impact on your path into music?

Wow I would be telling a big fat lie if I thought I could answer that question honestly.

Kwaito … a description doesn’t really do it justice. But, I’m going to ask for you to try nail it for us anyway; Kwaito – what’s it all about? Speak up!

It’s like asking what is Hip-Hop so thanks for that! Kwaito is like what the naughty people do at night. If you were a goody-goody chances are you won’t be about Kwaito too much. It’s what happens when someone from a certain walk of life starts making music and tells stories that get peoples interest. Most house music purists don’t want their music slowed down and some guy shouting on the mic over it, they want to nod their head and get into a trance and there is nothing wrong with that. Kwaito to me is like it’s more about community entertainment, like baile funk or kuduro or some rap. The main thing is it’s uniquely South African, an urban phenomenon with it’s own moves and style.

Who did you album art, it’s rather African print inspired?

Shaun Bass the main ginger designer from Pollinate, and that is exactly what inspired him.

The relationship between music and visuals; is this important for you? There seems to be a strong presence of visual elements combined with live performances, it’s become part of the experience. And topics such as synesthesia, and then even looking back at artists in the ‘60s, i.e. Andy Warhol and The Factory and how it was about interactive – art, music, film… How one often goes to YouTube (a visual site) to listen to a song… the importance of the music video… Mediums of expression are not always mutually exclusive to another; there can be fluidity in art. What are your thoughts on this?

I am often more inspired by things outside of music, if I can really feel the intent behind somebody’s work it is enough to make me run to the studio and start banging out some beats, hopefully people will get a chance to hear some of this stuff when the club stuff dies down a bit. They recently shot a video in Joburg for a collaboration I worked on, its hush-hush right now but I’ll be sure to send it over when it comes out, its sexy and trendy just like your website!

MOROKA – Mum & Mugabe by Pollinate

MOROKA – The Creep by Pollinate

MOROKA – Ibizo by Pollinate

MOROKA – Moonbox by Pollinate

MOROKA – Emoshini funk by Pollinate

Moroka -MySpace
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