PMB producer’s killer move

2010-10-26 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG music producer is one of two South Africans chosen to have his remix of Flash Republic’s new single, In The Name Of The Dance, included on a bonus CD which comes with the group’s new album, Killer Moves.

The other South African mix has been created by well-known DJ, Roger Goode.

Joshua Gray, who lives in Bisset Road, won his place on the bonus CD in a competition run by the bestselling South African group. But, he admits it almost didn’t happen. “I tried downloading the material twice, about a week before the competition deadline, but I just couldn’t get it downloaded, so I asked a friend to try.

“He also tried a few times before he managed to get the file. He gave it to me on the Thursday and then the electricity went out. On the Friday, I went to work [at Scottsville Primary]. I got home at 5.30 pm and the mix took me three hours to do. I sent it in and said I hoped it wasn’t too late.”

His work clearly impressed the group and on the Monday he got a call to say his mix had won. The four-and-a-half minute track has a Keisha­Cascada pop dance sound and is very melodic.

When Flash Republic performed live on 5fm’s The Fresh Drive show, hosted by DJ Fresh, Gray called in to congratulate the band on the single and album, and mentioned his mix was on the bonus CD.

“DJ Fresh said he was keen to play it on the show and asked me how people could get hold of me. I didn’t know what to say, so just told them to find me on Facebook, then I had to go and quickly create a page,” Gray said. “I really only wanted to congratulate Flash Republic, but being on the show has really opened some doors for me.”

Gray, who says he loves creating remixes for DJs to use in their sets, is thrilled to have one of his tracks appearing on an album for the first time. “I’m really excited. It feels like all the hard work is finally paying off.”

The young producer first began making tracks when he was a pupil at the International Christian Academy in Pietermaritzburg, a school run by his parents, Richard and Debbie. “I learnt to make tracks and beats using my dad’s computer, then I would put them on cassette tapes for clients,” Gray said.

While studying music at the International Christian Bible College in Durban he helped write and produce music for an album called Sow, working with the likes of Natalie R . Since then he has worked with a range of artists, including The Ranks and the gospel hip-hop group, Spin the Flava.

He is currently working with Pietermaritzburg’s 2010 South African Music Award nominee Mario Ogle on his new single, which Gray says has a “very international sound”, and with the group Platnim on its first studio album. He has even helped the Maritzburg-based band to get studio time with legendary South African producer David Campos, who is helping Platnim with the single I Wanna Know.

And he’ll be helping to create a new track for American gospel rapper, Da Truth from the group Crossmovement, when he tours South Africa in November. Crossmovement was nominated for a Grammy for best rock gospel album in 2006.

As for what the future holds, Gray says: “I want to work on my skills as a producer so that I can eventually be one of the best in South Africa.”

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