Kalawa Jazmee sets record straight on “crumbling down” rumours
Daily Sun recently reported that record label Kalawa Jazmee’s empire might be crumbling down due to some of its major artists leaving the label, but co-owners Oscar “Oskido” Mdlongwa and Zynne “Mahoota” Sebika have rubbished the claims.
Speaking to DRUM, the two musicians made it clear that the record label would still be around for a long time.
“Kalawa Jazmee ain’t going anywhere; I mean it’s the longest running independent black owned record label that’s been here for over two decades, 24 years to be exact” said the pair.
On Busiswa ‘Kalawa Chikita’ Gqulu and Candy Tsa Mandebele’s rumoured departure from the label, the duo explained how Kalawa Jazmee does not stop any artist from growing.
“There is no way we as a company can stand in the way of artists who want to spread their wings by growing their brands or even starting their own record labels irrespective of the standing contract they have with us. We don’t say we are ‘university of artists’ for nothing because this is where we prepare them for whatever path they will choose in the future”.
Sebika said these rumours should not even be entertained because any artists who has been with Kalawa knows they can do their own things since they (the label) actually expect growth from everyone they work with.
“Kalawa has been home to many artists like Boom Shaka, Mafikizolo, Alaska, Bongo Maffin, Zonke, Black Coffee, Big Nuz, Thebe, Black Motion, Durban Nytes, Maphorisa and Heavy K. Most of these artists are household names and we still have great relationships with them, that’s why anytime we have something and we ask them, they actually come through for the company; no bad blood at all” he continued.
Although the pair do admit that the music industry has changed since they first started Kalawa over two decades ago, they believe that Kalawa’s catalogue remains one of the biggest and are adamant that the label is not for sale to anyone.
“We can identify talent, know how to nurture talent and turn an artist into a brand. That’s why when we spot new talent we will come through. It’s not a fly-by-night record label and there is no reason to keep too many artists in the stable, cause over the years the strategy of running things has changed”said Oskido.
He also added that it is a worldwide trend to downsize since music doesn’t sell like before and according to him, this is apparent in the closure of major record labels such as EMI, BMG, Gallo in SA and local labels like Soul Candi and TS Records.
The producer says that in 2018 they will be working on an album with Bongo Maffin and the album is set to be released later in the year. He also added that Nokwazi , Spikiri & Candy are currently in studio while the label is working on other projects that will be good for the brand and take it to new heights.
“We don’t have to sign new artists every year and Kalawa is a brand that has stood the test of time and never forget that it’s one of the biggest black owned record label and has the biggest music catalogue that we ain’t selling to no one even though we have had offers” he concluded.