INTERVIEWER (JM): Briefly talk to me about MPUMELELO KUBHEKA with regards to who he is, where he is coming from and what he does as a creative person?
INTERVIEWEE (M): Music Producer, Sound Engineer, DJ and Drummer. Started my musical journey in 2009, producing and DJ’ing, and from there got into Sound Engineering. I’ve always loved music and sound and it was a great and fulfilling experience when I was now the one who would be creating some of those tunes that people would love and dance to. I love the big stages, big Front Of House rigs that are engineered correctly. I love the technical design and work behind it.
INTERVIEWEE (M): My biggest passion and dream has always been about creating music that speaks to people, builds people and that people would love and sing along to for years and years to come. I’m still learning, I’m still growing and hope one day to be remembered as one who has contributed creatively in the South African Music Industry and abroad with works that will forever be remembered and will stand test of time.
INTERVIEWER (JM): You are a MUSIC PRODUCER| SONG WRITER| SOUND ENGINEER| AUDIO TECHNICIAN |RECORDING, EDITING, MIXING & MASTERING ENGINEERING |DJ & |DRUMMER | which title best describes you here, and why?
INTERVIEWEE (M): I would say Music Producer and Sound Engineer (covering both studio and live). I’m a technical person, and music production together with sound engineering requires a creative and technical mind. There is a lot if science that goes into the mechanics of both these. It requires one to be on their feet and think out of the box most times. They can be extremely challenging at times and they are the kinds of challenges that I love because they keep my creative juices flowing and keep me on my toes.
INTERVIEWER (JM): How long did it take you to acquire all the skills that you have, and where did you get them from (where were you trained)?
INTERVIEWEE (M): I’ve been doing Music Production, Writing, DJ’ing and Sound Engineering for about 11 years now and drumming for about 7 years with lots of breaks in between…excuse the pun. I’m self-taught in all these areas, but along the way I have met some professionals who have given me advice and taught me a few things and there is also the internet, YouTube. But above all, nothing beats sitting down and working to perfect your craft. Practice and more practice!
INTERVIEWER (JM): If you were to take us through what you do as a creative person in order of preference how would your list look like?
INTERVIEWEE (M): It’s a difficult one because I love all these pretty much the same. But maybe I’d say Producer, Writer, Sound Engineer, DJ & Drummer.
INTERVIEWER (JM): You worked at Sony/ATV Music Publishing (from March 2015–February 2020) at a full time basis, what did your duties and responsibilities entailed?
INTERVIEWEE (M): A lot of things but mainly admin, copyright, label copy stats and A&R.
INTERVIEWER (JM): You also have worked at Northpoint City Church as a “Sound Engineer, Lighting, AV Technician”, on a day – to – day basis what did this entail?
INTERVIEWEE (M): I had to check that all the sound and AV equipment is working and setup correctly at all times. I had get anything that needed fixing, fixed, and if It’ was something I couldn’t repaired in-house, then get that to a repair center. I also was the lead engineer for events.
INTERVIEWER (JM): I can see here that you studied Digital Sound Engineering at Damelin College as well as Electrical Infrastructure & Construction at South West Gauteng College, which qualification are you mostly using at your current responsibilities?
INTERVIEWEE (M): Digital Sound Engineering. All the jobs I’ve done thus far have been in relation to sound engineering and music.
INTERVIEWER (JM): Can you talk me through your motivation and or inspiration in Engineering (Sound Engineering)? What skills does one require to be able to work effectively and efficiently as an Engineer (effectively and successively)?
INTERVIEWEE (M): Passion! Nothing beats passion. It can be the hardest or the easiest job, but if you don’t have a passion for it, you just won’t survive in it. When you are passionate about something, you invest time learning and upskilling yourself in that particular field and your biggest joy is operating in that field.
INTERVIEWER (JM): Who are you collaborating with (on personal projects) and what do you stand to benefit in that collaboration?
INTERVIEWEE (M): I’ve been working a lot with a producer and writer from Cape Town, Sad Isaac. One of the songs we worked on, “Gqom Trial Remix” had a sync with the Netflix dance series “JIVA” last year. I have also been working with another artist and writer from Johannesburg, Sweet Guy, a brilliant vocalist and writer. I believe that when we work together, collaborate, we can archive greater. Each creative brings in their own flavors and when put together, something beautiful is created.
INTERVIEWER (JM): What project are you currently working on, and how long have you been working on it?
INTERVIEWEE (M): I’m currently in a place of regrouping, gathering my thoughts and recovering from 2020. So nothing new per say, but I just recently remastered some songs which I had produced back in 2014 and never released. I’ve put them out on an EP titled “Afro Waves 2”. These took me back to my early days of music production and thought they were still good to go out even today.
INTERVIEWER (JM): Which qualities do you think make a great (artist)?
INTERVIEWEE (M): Creativity, passion, dedication and focus. A self-driven individual who thinks out of the box.
INTERVIEWER (JM): What is your advice to the aspiring creatives (artists)?
INTERVIEWEE (M): Chase your dream, work hard, push your passion, be professional and get yourself out there but at the same time, don’t let yourself get exploited. The industry is good to those who are striving in it, but for those who are just starting and haven’t “made it”, there are lots of challenges and things that will cause you to loose heart along the way. Know why you are doing what you are doing and never trade who you are, your morals for anything.