Live music revolutionary

2012-07-20 10:58

He is fast making a name for himself on Jozi’s livemusic circuit – a musician who has gone through the ranks via the school of hard knocks, battles and open-mic sessions.

Max-Hoba, as Maxhoba Maponya is known, is the man with the gravelly speaking voice that can be as smooth as golden honey when he sets it loose on stage.

The musician recently broke out of relative job security as part of HHP’s band upon their return from the rapper’s Africa is Calling tour in Germany.

We meet at The Loft on Melville’s 7th Street, where the vibe is laid-back and the drinks are cheap(ish).

For those who don’t know, tell us who is Max-Hoba?

Born and bred in the Free State (Welkom), moved up to Johannesburg and “jacked” an education from RAU (now University of Johannesburg).

That’s where it all began.

So where have you been in the recent past?

I’ve laid low because I had to make some real tough decisions, and in the same breath reinvent myself as an artist.

What do you mean?

Firstly, I was seen as part of a collective and not an individual per se.

Secondly, the music genre I was in slightly stifled my capabilities.

I feel more at home with Afro neo-soul style music, which meant I had to reinvent myself to the market and industry stakeholders.

How have you managed to make the transition from hip-hop to Afro neo-soul?

South Africa is full of richness in talent, especially in the music industry.

However, it is not bubbling with livemusic performances as it should, with all the incredible talent it has given birth to.

I have started a livemusic initiative with (musician and producer) Kabomo Vilakazi called Back II The Music.

The idea is to bring back the vibrancy and lead all the people of this country back to the music.

Tell us more about the Back II The Music movement.

It’s an initiative where live sessions are brought back to life through our genre of music.

From August, we are going to be visiting one big city a month, including Durban, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

We’ve already started with Johannesburg and Pretoria. Along the way, we hope to unearth raw talent across our country.

What else have you been up to?

I was also part of the Joy of Jazz road show, The Wailers One Night in Joburg, Oppikoppi and the Drumbeat Festival.

What challenges are you facing?

Since I’m not under any stable and independent, it’s been really tough (breaking into the mainstream).

I released my debut album in 2010, which didn’t do as well due to distribution problems.

It will be rereleased, and some tunes will also get a bit of spit and polish.

»Max-Hoba will release a live DVD at the end of November

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