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  • Writer's pictureBulelwa Mthombothi

Kamu Duclass is Ready

Kamu Duclass is an artist I am certain you will soon know very well. He has

worked hard to cultivate a sound he feels will not merely set him apart but

will garner the support of a diverse audience of music lovers from House

heads and beyond to those who just want to rock, Kamu Duclass is ready to

make you feel it. I asked him a few questions to better understand this

imminent star and this is what he had to say.

BM: What led you to music? Do you have any specific memory of what

sparked your interest in making music?

KD: As cliché as it may sound, I am one those who started music when I

was very young. At age 5,6, or 7 I already had the interest in music,

because I had an uncle who was a drummer in church. It developed as I

started making my own instruments with [plastic] bottles and container

drums, I’d just play drums with different [materials] that would give me a

different sound, I would use the bottles to make [like] trumpet sounds. I then

got my cousins to join my band and we all made plastic instruments; at the

time, I didn’t think I would become a musician – it was just a natural interest.

BM: How did you finally decide to become a musician?

KD: As I was growing up, I realised the love I had for music from jukeboxes.

Before we had our own music [collections] I only had [access] to records

that were collected by my parents. If I wanted to listen to the music that I

wanted to, I had to go to a spot that had a jukebox. That’s how I came to

know that I can make my own sound, so I started collecting records in 2005

until my matric year; 2009. In matric I knew that the following year I’d be in

University in Joburg - I’m from Limpopo – so I needed to prepare myself for

whatever I wanted to do in the music [industry] because I’d be in the city.

That’s when I got into DJing, then I learnt how to produce and in my first-

year of varsity I was already producing. I just knew that this is what I liked

and the interest of being able to produce my own sound is how I got here


BM: How has your musical journey evolved and how has it influenced you

as a person?

KD: I released my first project in 2015 and when I did, I thought the follow –

up project was going to be a walk in the park but it wasn’t because it came

with a lot of challenges, the industry kept changing. From 2015 to now there

has been a lot of changes in the dynamic of music; how we release; how we

buy music etc. I experienced challenges especially after releasing that EP.

One of which was I lost my entire catalogue of music. I was young and

hadn’t had the wisdom of backing up and creating cloud accounts.

Another thing I figured out was that I use my music as a form of therapy, I personally switch to my music lab when I feel like I need to inspire myself, it’s not

always about music sometimes I just want to refocus after spending most of

my day at work. It has built me as a person because in this economic world

we’re living in you cannot rely on one stream of income and you also need a

coping mechanism. How it’s helped me as a person, is I’ve applied a lot of

things into my music: business relationships, affiliations with people I never

thought I would meet. I have grown a lot from the entire experience and just

being in the music scene.

BM: What inspires you musically?

KD: It’s a lot of things, but one thing that really stands out is my background

[it] really inspires me. In my family, it is just my uncle and I who have in

interest in music, everyone else is either an academic or just doing their own

thing. My family plays a role because one of my biggest aims is to show

them a new dynamic, that ‘you don’t have to like what I’m doing but see the

support that I’m getting.’ The support that I’m getting is not much yet but my

inspiration is that I still need to prove to them that this is possible, you don’t

need to agree on the journey but you just need to support me because I

know the younger generation is coming up and it shouldn’t be difficult as a

family to support them if they want to take on a career in music or something


BM: How is the music made? Do you have any collaborators, how do those

come about?

KD: There are lot of things that go into that, like geographically for instance,

with Sylvia Simone I didn’t have to go to New York, she has her own studio.

I approached her and said “Surely I can send you a beat and you get in the

studio with your sound engineer and record the song, send back the vocals

and then I would do the arranging, the mixing and mastering from my side.”

Apart from Sylvia, another collaborator is Nini Malooks, he is the one who

helps with mixing and choosing some instruments, my mixing engineer.

I do everything else by myself, it’s a one man show.

BM: What’s your purpose with your music?

KD: It’s for it to be heard by the people that really love the sound, I don’t

have way of engaging with people, I don’t have a large family and have a

small circle of friends. I feel like the message carried by my music needs to

be heard, and through music you can reach many people and different


BM: Since you’ve been in the industry for 10+ years now, where do you see

yourself now and where do you want to be?

KD: I’ve always been a perfectionist which is why I have taken so long to

release and I’ve always felt the need to prove my skills with every project.

Then I’d reach a point where I think I can do better than this, and I get back

in the studio and do better and so on, now I’m sitting with like 1000+ songs

and all those songs were like stepping stones. So now it’s put me in a better

position for this market and I’m not talking about a specific niche, I’m talking

about the entire market in general. Whether it’s people who listen to hits or

people who resonate with it. I just want to make music and that’s the spot

I’ve enabled for myself, where I took my time to perfect my craft. As much as

perfectionism is not a good thing, it’s good to take a bit of time because I’ve

learnt quite a lot. Within this time 2015 and 2021, there’s been a lot of

research, networking, and learning and studying in between. That EP is one

I know for sure my confidence was at a 100, because I knew I’ve done my

homework. No one is going to accuse me of anything theft or otherwise. I

took a backseat to figure out what I wanted.

The purpose for me to take my time was for to be a global artist, a global

artist is not a deep house artist, a global artist is a musician. I’m a whole

musician, I can manoeuvre around different spaces I can go wherever and

still rock. I see myself as a global artist nothing is limiting me to South Africa.

This is usually the part where I review the work released by the artist but I

feel as though Kamu has spoken to well about his sound it would be

redundant. I will say that is an exquisite display of artistry, you can tell how

considered it is in the intricate sounds displayed. There are four tracks to

this EP and it features a collaboration with vocalist, Sylvia Simone on the

first track entitled “Work It Out” – a soulful but mildly upbeat song about a life

of struggle a familiar and sad tale but the layering of instruments provides a

sort of silver lining as the lyric says “Still gon’ work it out.” The entire EP is a

mix of sounds that lead you to wherever the musician tells you, it’s an

instructive sort of feeling the music give perhaps because as Kamu has

detailed it’s that the music is a form of therapy for it is almost prescriptive in

its invocation. Listen to Manifest EP while reading this article and you’ll

understand why Kamu decided to wait this long and how apt the title is not

only because of the vibes emitted but because being intentional and working

towards your best self are essential to manifestation and that waiting is not

always a bad thing.

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