Consulting date December 2014
12 December 2014
In honor of its 20th Anniversary, Pioneer DJ is partnering with both Sonar Cape Town  and Bridges for Music to fully fund a workshop and industry barbecue in the township of Langa on Sunday, December 14th, featuring the Bloody Beetroots and local artist Ryan Murgatroyd. A select group of local township artists will be performing as well. This event is part of its 20 years in the dance music industry celebrations and also part of SEED experiences partnership with Bridges for Music to generate positive change. 
 
Sonar representatives will also take part of this workshop to explain and introduce the story of Sonar to local artists and producers. 
 
The aim of this workshop is to bring the culture of Sonar closer to the townships, create a cultural exchange between artists from different backgrounds and unite through music. 
 
Running Order
 
Workshop:
 
3:00 pm- 3:45 pm: Ryan Murgatroyd & Mizz
3:45 pm- 4:00 pm: Discussion with Sonar Director Ventura Barba 
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Bloody Beetroots 
 
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5:00 pm – 9:00 pm Barbecue and drinks with local artists performing in the garden 
 
5:00 pm- 6:00 pm: Lavish - Websta 
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Dilo - Mizz 
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Fosta 
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Ryan Murgatroyd
 
8 December 2014

In December, 2013 OWSLA partnered with the electronic music-focused non profit organization Bridges For Music to launch Nestivius. The result of the campaign was monumental, with a marked increase in subscribers and social interaction, and most importantly, $8,000 raised for Bridges for Music to assist in their building of a music school in Langa Township, Cape Town, South Africa. The Langa township has a vibrant music scene where house music has become a driving force for the youth. Bridges For Music actively supports electronic music development in developing countries, leaving a positive impact in disadvantaged communities and helping to raise global awareness about local issues through music. In our globalized world, electronic music is a universal language for giving back and dismantling socio-economic boundaries between the rich and poor, and we have been humbled to have Owsla's help in sharing this message. We are excited to be close to raising the funds to start the school in Langa as we continue to identify new communities of influence and growth in 2015. 

 

Join the campaign here: https://drip.fm/owsla

2 December 2014
South African DJ Black Coffee defied a devastating injury to achieve his musical dreams. Now with Bridges for Music, he’s helping another aspiring musician do the same.
 
In June, Levern Williams received a yearlong scholarship for certification in sound production at SAE Institute Cape Town, sponsored by Bridges for Music and the Black Coffee Foundation.
 
Williams, a 32-year-old Port Elizabeth native, applied for the scholarship with an essay detailing his passion for music and perseverance following a freak accident that cost him his fingers as an infant.
 
“Next door to us there were people spray painting a car with a compressor, an engine that had compressed air with a pulley system,” explains Williams. “I crawled over to the other side and they didn’t see me. I grabbed the fan belt and it cut off my fingers.”
 
While doctors were able to reattach some fingers with limited use, Williams’s injury had a tremendous impact on his childhood and adolescence.
 
“I was usually teased a lot about it by kids who were ignorant,” he says. “In secondary school, I suddenly wasn't the straight A student I was in primary school. I was going through changes and peer pressure. It made me very doubtful about what I could contribute to the world and those closest to me. I didn't perform so well and couldn't get clearance as easily, so I had to end up doing casual jobs to make ends meet.”
 
While working, Williams obtained a cheap computer from a house doctor who recognized his talent for fixing them. After a friend gave him music software like Fruity Loops, Williams began remixing old Elton John songs and learning to produce. He also drew inspiration from Black Coffee, who overcame a car accident that left him with a paralyzed left hand to become the most popular DJ in South Africa.
 
“He also doesn’t have use of his left hand,” says Williams. “He’s also disabled, and seeing how in spite of that he goes on and contributes in a positive sense and showcases his talents and entertains people, it's something I have the utmost respect for.”
 
After his sister encouraged him to pursue a livelihood in music, Williams discovered with scholarship and decided to apply. He was at a friend’s house when he got the life-changing phone call to inform him he had been selected as the recipient.
 
“I got a bit lightheaded with excitement, because I was so shocked and in pure joy and ecstasy,” he says. “These things never happen to us in our community to go on to bigger and better things. It’s a real moment I will never properly understand, but it happened to me and I’m making the most of it.”
 
Williams began his studies in July, enrolling alongside international students in a comprehensive program he has found “extremely enriching and rewarding.”
 
“I had to leave whatever talent I thought I had at the door,” he says. “I’m learning things I never even fathomed, like features in Ableton that guys like Stimming and Daft Punk are using! I’m also learning a lot about other cultures from people who come from overseas.”
 
After he has completed his program, Williams will pursue a career in television and film post-production and launch an events company and record label. He also seeks to give back to others who find themselves in similarly hopeless situations.
 
“Port Elizabeth is a place with so much raw and unearthed talent,” says Levern. “At the end of the day, they don't know how to harness their talent because being they’re being swept away by life and temptations. They don't have anything to live for. I’d like to give those individuals a sense of hope and help them by honing talents and help them get to a platform where they can showcase their talent and start to lead meaningful lives.”