23 November 2015
The story of Siphe Fassie (South Africa)
The story of Siphe Fassie (South Africa) beneficiary of one of the Bridges for Music scholarships.
 
At 15 years of age Siphe Fassie left an indelible impression on the inaugural Bridges for Music workshop held in Langa, a township (slum) in Cape Town, South Africa.
 
Everything that was spoken about; the plans put into place and the intentions by those driving this initiative forward, in one timeless moment when Siphe put up his hand and asked SA’s biggest DJ export, Black Coffee, how he could one day also travel the world and be like him, it was then that the message and intentions of Bridges for Music became crystal clear.
 
Then he got to meet Skrillex during the second Bridges for Music workshop in Langa. One of his biggest dreams had come true and would give him the inspiration and motivation to keep pursuing his dream.
 
Siphe was 15 years of age at the time. Today, two and a half years later he is completing his school education and his dream to produce music and DJ around the world is stronger than ever, thanks to the Bridges for Music scholarship program.
 
“At the moment I am focusing on finishing school and I want to learn and understand business too so that I can combine my passion for music into a business. It’s my dream to have an organization where young upcoming DJs, Producers, rappers, songwriters, sound engineers, and many others who want to be in the music industry come together and work as one.”
 
He hasn’t sat back on his laurels either since that memorable first workshop.
 
Growing up in a family he says was surrounded by music all day and night; “even when we watched TV, someone sitting there would be humming a tune. I can’t even remember when I first started listening to music.” His musical family includes being related to the late great South African songstress Brenda Fassie, a true icon of the country.
 
Fast forward to 2015 and Siphe’s dedication and ambition has seen him spend many hours at the Love Life Community Centre in Langa using the aging computers to not only make music, but to teach friends too.
 
“There are so many kids my age all wanting to produce music. I mean a lot of them come to me and ask for my help and I meet them at Love Life and show them some of the stuff I’ve learnt. I’m still learning myself but of course I show them what I can. It’s not so easy because the computers and the speakers are not great but it’s better than nothing. It’s a community centre not actually a music place, but still we learn on FL Studio and Reason.”
 
Realising his passion for music, Siphe’s mom did save up enough money to buy him a computer but he maintains that the community centre is still a good place to share knowledge with others and “learn from the best.”
 
Recently Siphe was awarded a Short Course Scholarship by Bridges for Music at the SAE Institute in Cape Town to study Electronic Music Production in Ableton.
 
“I learnt a lot I must say. the nice thing is I learnt to write Dubstep, techno and even reggae as well as many other genres. I didn’t even know where the play button was when I started,” he laughs.
 
For Siphe the musical journey may only be starting but already in the two and a half years since Bridges for Music came to Langa, the young man has realised that dreams can come true...
 
“The people I’ve been working with [Fosta and Diloxclusiv] and the ones I’ve met at the workshops, I’ve been able to understand them, not just look at them from afar but actually talk to them and this has inspired me to make music my life.”
 
For now he is loving life, going to school, visiting the community centre, sharing knowledge, learning more and continuing with his dreams.
 
“If a music school can open in Langa, there will be lots of guys queuing up wanting to learn to DJ and make music. We have the talent, we just need the resources,” he concludes thoughtfully.