The Kreative Nativez, Jacob Kapaka Sinyangwe (TRYYBO) & John Mutale Nshimbi (Dj Blocks) are self-taught House Music Djs and Producers from Lusaka, Zambia. Growing up together, the two started their journey way back playing around with sounds on popular DAW, Fruity Loops Studio. In 2017, they chose to focus on kreating music, forming the Kreative Nativez.
I had a great time with the two earlier this week, connecting via phonecall and got to know more about them. Read on for my conversion with the duo as we discuss Africa’s house music and their music endeavors.
How is the reception of house music in Zambia. Do you experience a reduced embracement relative to other genres?
So has SA influenced your style of Music?
Big time! In a huge way because guys we’ve grown to idolize are from SA. The likes of Black Coffee, Dj Cleo, Manu among other friends from SA. In the country, there’s a few of us producing house music.
(Jokingly) Is that not a good thing?
It’s both! But we’d like the industry to go. So we encourage people to do what they have to do to push the music. We’re also merging with artists from other genres, and incorporating our sounds which wins for both parties, identifying new sounds and talents. On the other hand, we don’t have the numbers. You need a population to push anything. But we are appreciative to those who have interviewed and featured us within and without. Honestly, we think we get more airplay outside which is great because we want to export Zambian music all round the world.
Is there a characteristic sound in your music that makes it Zambian?
Not really. Just the fact that it is made by Zambian makes it that. There are a few tracks with our signature sound, but at the same time, we experiment a lot across the sub-genre.
How do you approach projects as a duo?
If it’s an original from Kreative Nativez, either of us could start the project, I (Trybbo) would lay out the base and reach out to Blocks who will provide a different perspective or add elements.
With Collaborations, we get different people work on different elements.
Like the 2pac remix we just released Featuring Dj Xtrio and Lord Sky – Do for Love, we had Xtrio working on the drums. So depending on the sound we want, we incorporate talented guys who have better understanding of different instruments.
Collaborations involves a lot of file transfers, Google Drives, WeTransfer. The Internet helps a lot.
The Internet and It’s wonders, yeah? I mean, right now Kenya just connected with Zambia with so much ease!?
Yes! The Internet has done more good than harm. For us it has helped us connect with people we otherwise never would.
You mentioned including different instrumentalists in your projects. Are there any musical instruments you incorporate in your music or do you only use the DAWs.
Currently, we are only trying to learn playing with some music intruments. We know a few basics of different musical instruments but not to the core. So we are currently only using the DAWs to make music.
So we can say that one doesn’t necessarily need to learn how to play any music instrument to produce music..?
Yes, you don’t need it! It just takes the passion and the time to learn. Anything you’d want to achieve, just put in time and you can get the ball rolling.
Define Your Creative process; When are you at Max output?
At first we thought it’s at night. It used to be easier working at night after 10. It’s quiet, most studios are available too. We do not own a studio currently, so we work on our laptops and headphones… but we’re working on growing and having our own.
So anything you’ve heard is mostly made from just our laptops!
I just have to commend you. The fact that your music is majorly made from just your laptops is just epic! That shows how much passion and dedication can achieve, right?
Thank you. We had a major bump at some point. Someone broke in and stole our gear. We lost a lot of sounds, music, software, plugins, so we had to stop for a bit and rebuild. We just restarted in 2019.
So sad! I can already Imagine the music we did not get to hear because of that!
Please Mention some of the most notable performances you’ve had.
From your point of view, do you think Africa is supportive of our Music?
From What I see, I know SA, Nigeria and Angola’s major support of their music is phenomenal. Their music has a lot of plays in local stations, which is essential for a growing industry. It teaches people to love and appreciate their own.
I think people need some time to familiarize themselves with new genres. What I am certain is that good music will eventually always gets the support it deserves.
Yes, you’re right, and to add on to that, I think it’s okay to have the genres being different because support can still cut across. I’ve seen the likes of Casper, a hiphop artists, supporting house artists. Just sharing music or dancing to it could help promote a lot. We’ve had an artist, a painter, sharing his creative process on social media while playing our music in the background. This is how creatives merge different art and while at it, supporting each other.
Which is the most effective Social Media platform for you?
Although we are available across different social platforms, we are more fascinated with Instagram because it has more engagement for us. Most labels and artists are easily directly reachable via IG. Instagram is also more personal and delivers in real time.
We’re also working on a Kreative Nativez website so that our fans have a one-stop centre for all our music.
Talking of Social Media and the Internet, how do you deal with piracy?
Well, this is a global disease. Unfortunately we have no full control on this in this digital age. I mean, one could buy the track legitimately, but then share it on their blog for free. There are pros and cons to this because still, these people share our music.
Ideally we’ve tried making our music accessible across platforms. For some of these you need not to pay, just stream. As a preference, as long as people can access and share the music, we are not bothered. At the end of the day, we want people to listen to us.
Otherwise I think most music artists would agree that they best way to earn is through tours and gigs. So artists need to be commercially viable to be booked for performing acts.
What do you think is the role of Labels in music production?
For original content, labels help in providing a professional aspect. People tend to take you more seriously when you release music with labels. They help make music more accessible and traceable. For bootlegs though, (laughs) which have actually proven to be more popular because people relate more, we put them out ourselves for free since we do not have the full rights.
We will be releasing through our own label in a few months, but also still work with others from different parts of the world for the sake of networking. This is from curiosity and also to help us establish ourselves in various regions of the world.
But still we’re very independent as of now.
And being independent comes with it’s advantages, right? You dictate your terms and share music at will…
Yes, for now we are comfortable that way. Until a time comes, we just want to kreate and share music without restrictions.
What should we, your fans, look forward to?
There is a lot of music on the way. We have a lot of projects, collabos that will be offloaded soon. And for the very first time we have worked with someone from Kenya…
(Cuts) Whoa! Awesome. Can you reveal that?
(Laughs) It’s under the works… we are working on something with Saint Evo.
We’re working on something with SA’s Dj Fortee as well, more Music with Angola’s Dj X-Trio… a couple of originals with artists from here and bootlegs too. This week we’ll release a remix to Linkin Park’s In the End. Expect more music.
I’m really looking forward to what you are Doing with Saint Evo, coming from my motherland.
“Saint Evo has actually been an inspiration. He is very hardworking and consistent. That will help him go very far.”
I feel African Artists across countries should really work together, collaborate, make music… till the world trembles. Is it easy for artists to reach out to you?
Sure. We are very open-minded and our DMs are always open. We are interested in knowing what one has done and how we can combine our minds.
So if anyone wants to work with us, it is as easy as an inbox.
Lastly, What is it that your fans don’t know about you?
Hmm… the fact that we are not as serious as we look! We love to dance!
That marks the end of our interview. Thank you for your time. (Jokingly) I was the interviewer, but maybe you have any questions for me too, maybe?
(Laughs)Not really. We’re very grateful you reached out. Just to let anyone reading and listening know that #THENATIVEZARECOMING