On Thursday 25th February and Saturday 27th February we hosted two more workshops in South Africa to facilitate knowledge transfer and inspire positive change through music and education.
On his second visit to South Africa, this time to play the Ultra Music Festival, recent Grammy award winner Skrillex headlined the workshops and took time to meet and engage with local artists in underprivileged communities. The event was proudly presented by G-Star RAW as part of their project to support upcoming talent and promote educational initiatives in the creative space.
The first workshop took place in Kliptown, Soweto, South Africa’s biggest township in Johannesburg. It was hosted at the Soweto Kliptown Youth Centre (Sky) which serves as a safe haven, housing 40 kids and feeding over 200 children a day from the community.
This space has been run for 30 years by Bob Nameng who maintains the belief that ‘music is here to destroy boundaries’.
Skrillex was joined on the couch by South African Hip Hop star Riky Rick for an engaging interview that explored each artists’ journey as well as offering advice on how to operate in the creative industry and what it takes to achieve one’s dreams through self belief, hard work and determination.
The proceedings were kicked off by Euphonik (one of South Africa’s biggest club / radio DJ’s) and DJ Lag (the king of a new style of South African house music called Gqom) and ended with an impromptu DJ set from Skrillex plus an explosive performance from rapper, Riky Rick. A highlight of the workshop was an on-the-spot decision by Ultra to invite all workshop attendees to the festival which received a large cheer as Skrillex announced the news.
Our second workshop took place in Cape Town at the T'soga Centre in the Langa Township.
This location has just been taken over by Bridges for Music to build our Music and Entrepreneurial school, a project that we are currently funding through various campaigns globally.
The Cape Town workshop featured Cape Town’s biggest hip hop act Driemanskap, prolific D ‘n B DJ/Producer/Promoter Niskerone and local Langa Music Producer DJ Fosta who is also part of the Bridges for Music board.
DJ Fosta met Skrillex during the Dubstep superstar’s first visit to South Africa and ended up playing back-to- back with him at Glastonbury festival a year later.
The workshop ended with Skrillex, DJ Fosta and Siphe Fassie - an 18-year-old artist from Langa who has been working with BFM since he was 14, sharing the decks for a fun-filled performance. That evening Siphe was invited to join Skrillex on stage at the Ultra Music Festival, a moment he will never forget.
“Working with Ultra this year and running these workshops has been a defining moment in the evolution of our organization. It is so inspiring to see how Skrillex engages with everyone he meets and takes a genuine interest in their stories and our country. He has been so supportive of what we are trying to achieve and it was an emotional moment when we showed him the school premises he has helped fund” says Bridges for Music African Director Trenton Birch.
Skrillex has been a Bridges for Music ambassador for several years and has played a vital role in helping to generate funds to build our first Music and Entrepreneurial School.
Photo: Beliah Oh