In Session: Mellow & Sleazy

today09/08/2023 23

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Tell us about the day music found you, and the day you found each other; how did you know your energies were right?

Sleazy: I was in grade 7 and we had a school dance. In high school sometimes we would have to do “talent shows” or showcases, and my teacher wanted me to dance to Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’, which I didn’t wanna do, so we came to a compromise – and she said “if you wanna dance to something else, make a remix to it!” There was a guy in my class who knew how to use Fruity Loops, so he showed me. So that day I went home and made the remix. That’s my earliest memory of production. Mellow and I eventually met in res[idence] at Uni.

Mellow: Yeah, in university, I used to go to Sleazy’s room and fetch [stems] from him, then go back to my room and play around with them. Eventually we got into a flow and started producing together. As for energy, Mellow… is mellow, more chilled and calm. I’m more quiet but lover of a vibe you know?

Sleazy: I was looking for some things (I don’t remember exactly what) and I bumped into Mellow. We got along and started hanging out, and really just became friends from there. It really just happened organically, we started hanging out and just vibed together. I’m also chilled, I like being around my crew and friends but I love being in the studio too, anything music centred really.

Since then, how has making music together changed your life?

Sleazy: At the core, not much; only because music has always been such an integral part of our journeys… but it’s obviously brought on a lot of recognition and fame. More people here in South Africa and around the world now know us. It’s been a blessing to be able to make and share the art that we love, and being able to make a career out of it has been amazing.

How has travelling around Europe and the UK been? What have you learnt about the new audiences you play to and the way they receive your music?

Sleazy: Travelling has been awesome, my favourite place in Europe is Spain; I think it’s a beautiful country with beautiful scenery and spaces. What we’ve learnt about audiences is that a crowd is a crowd, wherever you go in the world. They’ll listen to what you play for them!

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Tell us a bit about the influence Bacardi has had on you. When did you first hear the music, where, which artists were your favourite, and why?

Sleazy: I started listening to Bacardi when I was living in Soshanguve around when I was 13-years-old. Right in front of my house, there was a shebeen that always used to play Bacardi. I also had a neighbour that would play it really loudly, so that’s the first time I heard it. He used to play it from when he woke up until late, so it was always playing in the background!

Mellow: It’s really the signature sound of Pretoria, so it’s the same for me, it was always playing around us at home, or when we’d go out, in the shops around etc… Some of our favourite Bacardi artists are Dadaman and Vusi Ma R5. Rekere is another name for Bacardi. There’s Bacardi, Kota, Rekere… We’re really just pushing ‘piano and Bacardi, and our sound stems from Pretoria which is our hometown, you know? We make and create music that speaks to the people back home, but also taking the global influences of music and putting it into our production and collaborations.

We’ve been able to produce music that is considered commercial, a lot of our music goes viral on TikTok because we love experimenting and having our fans receive it in real time. We go live a lot while we’re in studio because we love the input our fans have on our music. That’s really all that we ever want to convey, good music that people can vibe to.

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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