PROJECTS
1 June 2017
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Bridges For Music scholarship program has been running since 2014 as a means of providing short part-time, as well as full-time educational scholarships for young creatives. 
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30 June 2017
DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS
We have hosted over 20 development workshops in South Africa townships over the last 3 years with the aim of inspiring local creatives, bridging social gaps and generating awareness about these local communities. 
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5 May 2016
LANGA MUSIC SCHOOL (SOUTH AFRICA)
Bridges For Music first learning space is being built in the township of Langa in Cape Town (South Africa). A new pioneering learning space which will bring new opportunities for young creatives in the area. 
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10 March 2016
SKRILLEX WORKSHOPS (SOUTH AFRICA)
Skrillex landed in South Africa willing to explore new communities, understand their challenges and engage with local artists from those areas. We hosted two workshops with him, Riky Rick and other great local artists in Soweto and Langa townships. 
 
Photo: Paul Ward 
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ENHANCE
OPPORTUNITIES TO EARN A BETTER LIFE THROUGH MUSIC
INSPIRE
THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS THROUGH MUSIC
CONNECT
DISADVANTAGED AREAS AND ITS TALENT WITH THE WORLD
RAISE
AWARENESS
THROUGH MUSIC AND ARTISTS
GATHER
PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES BRIDGING GAPS THROUGH MUSIC
BLOG
German renowned techno artist Stephan Bodzin joins Bridges for Music for a special studio session in Cape Town on Thursday 30th November.
 
This is the first session of a collaboration between Bridges for Music,  Music People and SAE Cape Town, where it will take place.  The aim is to connect the best South African up and coming talent with an internationally renowned artists like Bodzin, who will share some of his studio tricks and insights with the participants. The session will also count with the participation of South African house producer Ryan Murgatroyd. 
 
Only 6 spots will be offered per session to guarantee that every participant gets something out of it. Some spots will be given for free to artists APPLYING here  and some very limited " Fast Track Tickets" will be available for purchase at R2000 by contacting BFM on connect@bridgesformusic.org 
 
Stephan Bodzin will be playing in Cape Town on December 1st at the Zip Zap Circus , 2nd at Truth in Johannesburg and 4th at Rage Festival in Durban. 
The music and entrepreneurship school we are building in the township of Langa (South Africa) is close to completion. The structure has been erected and we are starting to work on the interior. We hope to complete this phase of construction by December 15th to make the space fully operational by beginning of 2018. We are excited to see the place coming alive from what it one day was just a dream.
Thanks to everyone that has supported the project along the way and has believed in its mission to reshape the community through music, art and education. Special mention to Resident Advisor and everyone that particiapted in the Cycle to ADE to help us raise the kickstart capital for this project. 
 
For all those cyclist enthusiasts out there (or not as in Ryan Murgatroyd's case) we'd like to invite you to take part in the worlds largest timed race.  Drum roll please...  The Cape Town Cycle Tour (also known as the Cape Argus) which gathers 30,000 cyclists to ride 109km around the Cape Town peninsula, probably the most stunning ride you can find. 
 
The funds raised will support the Bridges For Music education program, funding scholarships, artist grants and contribute to the first Bridges Music and Entrepreneurship School aimed to empower the youth in South Africa. 
 
You will be joining 30 people, mainly music lovers, djs, promoters and some other fund folks. Ryan Murgatroyd (Get Physical)  has been the first to join with many more to be added soon.
 
We know, music industry people aren't the fittest, but we are committed to get everyone up to  a good fitness level to make it to the finish line. 
 
Expect a proper training program, some welcome dinners and maybe a nice party after we achieved the goal. 
 
Sign up sending an email to connect@bridgesformusic.org and we will give you all details. 
 
 
#ride4education #BFMcyletour
Fosta is a born and bred Langa local, a township (economically challenged urban areas) in Cape Town, South Africa which is also a burgeoning hub for local house music.
 
In fact Langa has a long pedigree of outstanding Jazz artists dating back to the fifties and Fosta himself belongs to one of these musical families with both his dad and late uncle being working musicians. The late, great Brenda Fassie, an icon of South African music also came from Langa.
 
Ironically this didn’t mean he was automatically welcomed into this career path and although surrounded by music with the opportunity to tinker on his father’s grand piano whilst growing up, it was his experimentation with Kwaito (a local form of dance music from the 90’s that uses predominantly vernacular tongue) that had the elders wondering why he wanted to make ‘simple, repetitive music.’
 
“It was around about ’97 that all the guys my age started listening to Kwaito, so this is when my tastes shifted from Jazz to this new sound, but we were the first generation so it was quite tough. The older people didn’t understand this type of music. I remember when I was working on my father’s synthesizer, programming beats, my uncle would say that it sounded like a scratched CD, because of the repeated loops,” he laughs.
 
Of course Kwaito was the precursor to the massive house music scene that now exists in South Africa and Fosta’s ‘hood’ [Langa] is a creative melting pot of house music producers and DJs today.
 
‘It took them [the elders] about 10 years to finally accept this music and believe what I was doing,” he adds.
Fosta’s early productions were all done solely on his dad’s Roland XP-50 – no computers, no music software.
“It was hard. It would take like 2 or 3 weeks to finish a track sometimes and the problem was if you made a mistake you’d have to delete the arrangement and start again.”
 
But the negative influences that the youth are faced with daily in the townships impacted on the young man and he end up running with the wrong crowd, the result being a 4 year stay in Cape town’s Pollsmoor Prison.
 
The universe does not keep a good man with the right intentions down though and this hard life lesson was where he turned his life around.
 
“When I was serving my sentence they had a project for broadcasting and music and there was a full studio so this was the first time that I got introduced to music software on a PC. So I taught myself how to produce on Reason [Production software]. But even the piano, I was self taught so although I can’t read music I can play it and create it, all genres. I don’t see myself as a house music producer, just a music producer.”
 
When Fosta was released from prison he made it his goal to start afresh.
 
“When I was still in prison I told myself that when I was released I needed to make a difference within my community so when I came out I named myself DJ Fosta and started again.”
 
From learning to DJ by recording Top 20 hits off the radio onto cassette and playing these back, to writing full tracks on the Roland synthesizer, once Fosta was back home he proceeded to start his own label called 021 Records and produce music professionally and pursue his promise to himself... to work in his community to help others through music.
Right from the outset Fosta and his business partner had a different approach with the label.
Rather than sell the music they opted to use it as a calling card to secure gigs. They would spread it throughout the community and on the university campuses of Cape Town knowing that 80% of the students were from out of town and that their music would travel back to the students’ homes during vacations.
 
This forward thinking approach epitomises the entrepreneurial spirit of these hard working musicians from the townships and it was a strategy that paid off...
 
“In 2006 we did our first song which was ‘Khulula’ which went crazy ‘cos it was quite a controversial song with Kwaito and house elements and it was released about the time that the Durban Kwaito scene was getting big.”
 
The song remained number one on South Africa’s biggest national radio station – 5FM – for five weeks and remains a firm favourite almost 10 years later.
 
Fosta turns 30 in 2016, but talking to him he seems wise beyond his years; where it took many independent labels year to understand that with the changing musical landscape artists would need to generate their income out of performances rather than CD sales, Fosta and his partner at 021 Records were already doing this.
 
When Bridges for Music, founder, Valentino Barrioseta put out feelers for his first visit to Langa Fosta’s was a he was recommended to meet.
 
“The Bridges for Music concept was very much in line with what we’d been doing with 021 Records. Our objective has always been to help up and coming artists and develop the scene so when I heard about what they wanted to do it was exactly in line with us. I saw BFM as a vehicle to fast track all of this work so I was immediately in on the concept.”
The concept of bringing massive international artists such as Richie Hawtin, Luciano and Skrillex to the townships for workshops Fosta says was invaluable.
 
“Township artists often don’t think bigger than their local ‘hood,’ or past South Africa. When these guys came to town it made everybody realise that there is a whole world out there to explore and there is a whole world out there that wants to explore our music as well! When Richie Hawtin told us about his life and how he started it was inspiring especially for youngsters who maybe doubting whether to chase their musical dreams.”
 
Fosta and another highly talented DJ/Producer, Thibo Tazz, performed at Glastonbury on behalf of Bridges for Music.
“I was really worried about what to play and for a while I thought maybe I should just play deep house but then we got invited to a secret party at the Rabbit Hole where we performed back-to-back with Skrillex. He told me to just be free and play what I wanted. After that I realised that I did not travel all this way to play other people’s music so we played all original compositions from South Africa and they loved it. Afterwards Skrillex was like ‘Fosta I need that crazy music,’ so for it showed that we shouldn’t doubt our sound because it is quite unique and people are always looking to hear something new and different.”
 
Fosta sees the planned music school BFM want to build in Langa as the next obvious progression from the workshops.
“The workshops are not only a brilliant way to educate and encourage young producers but it is also an excellent networking platform for guys to talk amongst themselves. But now the school will provide the necessary tools for teaching music production techniques and will also be the perfect meeting place for young producers to share their musical ideas. Also when these international artists come down in the future they can actually work with local producers at the school, in the studio, and collaborate on a track, as well as do the workshops.”
 
There is so much talent waiting to be unleashed from townships like Langa, the biggest obstacle being the resources to nurture this. The music school in Langa holds the key for many of these young musicians to elevate their dreams into reality.
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