Event a platform for local artists

2017-05-17 06:02
Big Menaz entertains the crowd. Kagiso Mathews, aka “Arnold Kay”, successfully hosted the first Local is Lekker Bash, The Jump Off, at the Bahamas Entertainment Lounge on Saturday, 6 May. Altogether 90% of the performers, like Big Menaz, were local artists.Photo: Supplied

Big Menaz entertains the crowd. Kagiso Mathews, aka “Arnold Kay”, successfully hosted the first Local is Lekker Bash, The Jump Off, at the Bahamas Entertainment Lounge on Saturday, 6 May. Altogether 90% of the performers, like Big Menaz, were local artists.Photo: Supplied

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The first Local is Lekker Bash, called The Jump Off, was held at the Bahamas Entertainment Lounge in Kimberley on Saturday, 6 May. Altogether 90% of the performers were local artists.

The event started at 15:00 and continued into the morning hours. More than 30 local artists, including DJs, were proud to take to the stage.

The artists had the crowd eating out of their hand as they got the opportunity to interact with each other through song and dance.

The event was aimed at giving exposure to artists making their way on various digital and radio platforms.

Arnold Kay, who hosted the event, promised that part of the proceeds would go towards radio listing projects for two selected artists.

According to Jane Sithole, who attended the event, The Jump Off initiative was a good one.

“I saw a good combination of artists, some of whom I did not know very well. Local performances offered a mixture of house, hiphop and kwaito. The entrance fee of R50 is also affordable for a whole night of fun,” Sithole said.

Another attendee, Mathew Setlhabi, was impressed by the measures taken to keep the event and the parking areas secure. He added that the event was safe, because no violent incident had been reported.

“I would advise the organiser to improve on the marketing strategy, but I enjoyed myself to the fullest. The price was a definite thumbs-up and the venue was spacious and safe.”

One of the performing artists, DJ Sacs, also gave the initiative a thumbs-up and said it had the potential for growth.

“I applaud Arnold Kay and respect him for pulling off an initiative like this single-handedly,” he said.

“It took some guts to produce something like this with so little support, but he pulled it off.”

DJ Sacs encouraged local artists to use platforms like this event to boost their confidence and help their performance.

“They must hang in there and stop complaining about petty things. I am aware that they might refuse early slots and want to go straight to being celebrities, but that is not how it works. Getting big gigs requires connections,” he said.

“I only started getting my real break in 2008. Through perseverance and using small platforms like these, I am now able to perform in clubs and bars. I even shared the stage with more popular DJs.”

According to Arnold Kay, the event was the first of its kind.

“This was a pilot project, but I saw that it has a lot of potential. Seeing so many happy faces was my highlight of the event, along with the fact that no violent incidents were reported.”

He admitted that his marketing strategy was less than ideal due to limited funds and resources.

He believes the programme will be officially launched later this year, once he has secured enough sponsorships and partnerships.

“It will definitely be an annual event that will be held every year in May. I have managed to detect all the shortcomings and will definitely work on them during the event for next year,” he said.

“Local artists have already started registering for next year’s line-up.”

The selected artists will be announced right after the official launch of the programme.

Arnold Kay is known for the Stoep Hip-Hop Sessions that he organises every last Friday of the month in Galeshewe. These sessions give local hip-hop artists a platform to showcase their talent.

He can be reached on his Facebook pages at The Stoep Hip-Hop Session, The Jump Off-tjo, and Arnold Kay Communications for more sessions and events.

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