Boiler Room X Ballantine’s True Music Africa Final Tour Heads To Joburg
Published 3 years ago by

Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music today announce Johannesburg, South Africa as the final stop for True Music Africa, a four-city tour that unearths pioneering talent and their stories of hustling through the underground music scene to do it for themselves.

A first for Boiler Room and Ballantine’s, the inaugural True Music Africa has toured South Africa, Cameroon and Kenya. It’s given a platform to some of the freshest talent the continent has to offer, broadcasting their performances to an audience of more than 10 million around the world, and sharing the artists’ insights and experiences of the local music scene via a compelling documentary series.


The finale in Johannesburg will bring together an impressive line-up of local house and gqom artists for a very special night in a secret location. In the last year, gqom has been disrupting the underground electronic music scene across Europe, and house music in its many regional variants has long been a mainstay for South Africa’s music minded youth.

The show on Thursday 21st June will broadcast some of the most exciting artists from South Africa’s influential scene, including:

  • DJ Maphorisa
  • Moonchild Sanelly
  • Da Capo
  • Uncle Partytime
  • Symatics


The tour will culminate with the first True Music Africa Forum, a space for the continent’s music community to learn, exchange and build new ideas through panel discussions, a keynote conversation and performances on 20th June.

British grime artist Skepta’s manager (and also a second-generation Nigerian), Grace Ladoja will kick off proceedings with a keynote discussion.

South Africa’s biggest city will play host to some of the industry’s most respected names, who will take part in discussions across two panels:

  • Tech & Culture – Featuring Kenyan True Music artist, Muthoni Drummer Queen, Phenda Kuta (founder of youth culture magazine, Unlabelled) and Sabelo Mkhabela (OkayAfrica). They will discuss questions around how the digital age is helping Africa’s creatives to innovate
  • Club Culture in Africa – Featuring journalist Boni Mnisi (This is What Makes Us Girls), Johannesburg based DJ, Doowap (YFM), Kenny Nzama (DJ Kenzhero) and Theresho Selesho (Matchbox Live CEO). This panel will explore how evolving club cultures and new genres are challenging the typical venue set-up

The Forum will also see performances from Doowap and the Tembisa based dance crew, Indigenous Dance Academy.

All True Music Africa Forum panels will be live streamed at http://truemusic.boilerroom.tv/.

Boiler Room and Ballantine’s are committed to supporting and celebrating uncompromising artists who do it ‘their way’. With their True Music platform, the partnership champions artists with a pioneering spirit and challenges them to continue pushing boundaries.

Africa, a vast and hugely diverse continent – culturally and geographically – is known for its myriad musical styles. From hip hop to Nairobi nu wave and eclectic afro-fusion, True Music Africa is telling the stories of the varied music scenes sweeping the continent and the key innovators in each space who share an ‘entrepreneurial mentality’. Explore the stories of some of Africa’s True Music scenes here: 

Cape Town: A Right to Shine

Douala: Ready for the World

Nairobi: The New Narrative

The Johannesburg documentary will be released at the end of June.

Boiler Room’s Chief Business Development Officer, Steven Appleyard said of the project: “The Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Africa series has been a very special opportunity for us to deep dive into local music scenes across the continent, some of which were first-time visits by us. To see the possibilities that our platform offers to artists, and to feel the positive reactions first hand, has been in equal parts energising and humbling. Our forthcoming Johannesburg touch-down represents so much of what the series is about; dismantling geographic privilege & showcasing grass-roots artists to the world, artists who are pioneering new sounds and breaking through under their own DIY spirit and creative ambition.”

Ballantine’s Head of Music, Tom Elton said of the project: “True Music Africa has brought so many vibrant and diverse scenes, and phenomenally talented musicians, to an international stage. And the positive feedback we’re getting from fans has been amazing. For this epic tour to culminate in Johannesburg, one of the places True Music first visited, makes perfect sense and I’m so excited for what’s still to come. We have a very cool finale show planned as well as our first ever Forum in Africa where we will not only champion and give voice to a great roster of local talent but also an impressive line-up of some of the industry’s most respected names who are making waves in Africa and beyond.”

Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Africa in Johannesburg is happening on Wednesday 20th June and Thursday 21st June. Tune in at www.truemusic.boilerroom.tv to watch the broadcast live.

For more information visit www.Ballantines.com/za


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