Keke – got a musical beat
01 January 2016
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Brad Brown: Welcome onto Old Mutual Live, great things start here, great things start now, time to chat some music once again. What a privilege to welcome our next guest onto the podcast who is part of the band Muffinz, Keke, welcome onto the podcast, thanks for joining us today.
Keke: How are you my man?
BB: Very good, I was a bit concerned, obviously when we’re recording this, it’s pretty early in the morning and I thought no, my producer must have made a mistake, there is no ways we can be chatting to a musician at 8:00 in the morning, but here you are. People think musicians party all night, sleep all day, it’s not true is it?
K: That’s so not true, I have to be up fair early cause I’m going to meet up with the guys shortly for other work that we are doing.
BB: Keke, tell me a little bit about you. Where did your musical journey start? Did you grow up in a musical family?
Keke’s road to music
K: I mean, at home they used to like sing a lot, especially the church hymns and I think I must have picked it up from there. When I was aged 14, I found myself making drums actually because I am a drummer. I made drums from buckets, tins, and plastic.
So every time when I came from school I just found myself playing those drums. My parents would always be like hey, you are making a noise, stop it with these things of yours, you’re crazy. At that time that is when it was actually that I was planting a seed. Now the fruits have just, you know, just harvesting, so yes.
BB: It must be pretty exciting. As a 14-year-old, making those drums to, now be working fulltime in the music industry. As a 14-year-old did you think that that dream would ever come true?
K: You know, what’s funny is that a part of me always kind of knew because in class all my friends would be like when I grow up I want to be a doctor. When I grow up I want to be a lawyer and I want to be this. With me, I never knew who I wanted to be. But all I knew is that I wanted to be in the arts. What it was exactly I didn’t know but I wanted to be in the arts, creative arts, yes.
BB: And your parents, I mean I’m in radio. My dad still wishes I get a real job. Are you folks pretty much the same?
Always knew that the arts were for me
K: Oh, definitely. I remember when I was in matric, just before the final year exams, there’s those open days in the universities. All my friends went and my parents were like, “Aren’t you going to the open days?” I was like no, I’m not going there because the line of work that I want to do isn’t in those institutions. They were like, “But what do you mean ‘your line of work isn’t in those institutions?” I’m like I’m an artist mum. I’m an artist. I won’t find what I’m looking for in those institutions.
You guys are going to waste money. Unless I look for a particular school that will cater for what I want to do, then yes. It was such a problem. It was such a big problem, and parents are parents, they worry and all of that. They were kind of like you are giving up to be like ‘what’s wrong with this kid?’ Some of my aunts would look at my CV or my résumé and be like we’re going to find work for you because these arts people are seriously crazy.
BB: I love that. You did go onto study. What did you end up studying at university?
K: I went to a college called CJC here in Johannesburg, and I started doing creative arts. It is a musical school as well, creative arts and all of that. It was pretty much an arts school, yes.
BB: Fantastic, and then also I’ve discovered the Keke Horn. Tell me a little bit about that and your involvement with SA’s Got Talent.
The birth of the Keke Horn
K: You see what I mean I think also at heart, I’m just an inventor. Because I made those drums with collecting rubbish, recycling stuff. I found myself also making the Keke Horn through the Coca-Cola, from a 2-litre Coca-Cola bottle, and roll-on cologne that I’d used somewhere, and plastic.
I would get those things and keep them up. I was like I’m going to make this because it was an arts and culture project that our teacher was like, it was in grade seven. They were like we need to make a musical instrument. I knew everyone was going to come with drums. I was like let me try something here and I just found myself making this Keke Horn.
It sounds like a trumpet and it became the biggest thing ever in school. I ended up getting together a team of girls and boys, and it was a band, it was like a brass band, a proper brass band, and we played everywhere. We played absolutely everywhere in the Department of Education events, and we just won a lot of awards for my school, through the same Keke Horn.
Then when I was 21 that is when I saw this whole SA’s Got Talent ad on the first season. The first ever season of SA’s Got Talent, and I entered and I thought they would not get back to me. But I got a call back and I went to go and audition on TV, where the judges have to choose and stuff. I got all three yes’ and I was through to the semi-finals and that, although I didn’t win but yes, it went viral like that.
BB: I love it. Keke, I absolutely love it. Do you know what I’m going to do is I’m going to get you back on, to chat a little bit about the band you’re involved in now. You’re the drummer for Muffinz. It’s a 5-piece that’s doing some great things and taking South Africa by storm but we’ll save that for next time. Gregory Mabusela Keke, thank you so much for your time today, we look forward to catching up again soon.
K: Thank you so much man. Thanks for having us.