Interview by: Evan Greenblo [Psymedia]
MCBN: You have quite a history in the South African music scene. Can you give me a brief outline of where it all started, and how you came up with the same Sibot?
A: I left school and had already started DJing privately. I went overseas to Italy to do manual labour and take a gap year. I was writing a post card to my parents and just doodling on the card when I drew the name Sibot coming from Simon…. I never sent the post card. During my trip I suddenly had access to all the records I was listening to and my mind was blown. “I can DJ THIS stuff”. I worked and bought lots of records and returned with a pending career.
MCBN: Tell me about your work with Say Thank You Studios?
Early on while DJing and learning to produce a door opened where I had the opportunity to win a job. The money was great, I had no ideas what I was doing but it was a great support structure, so Duncan, Markus and myself set a business of it and just winged it.
MCBN: Is there as much artistic fulfillment working in the commercial industry?
Definitely, the great jobs are few and far between but they are there. The one thing the commercial world has given to my production is the skill of refinement and also thick skin. This sometimes doesn’t work the other way because I end up being very honest with people I work with and some people find that hard.
MCBN: Would it be difficult choosing to be on top of the commercial industry or a top international touring performer?
I think there’s room for both. I’ve set Say Thank You up so if the job requires I can just creatively direct the process. My first chapter was music discovery. My second was business, taking chances losing money, making money but that gave my music a back seat. My 3rd chapter which I’m in now is back to music with the skills and understanding I’ve gathered. I have an obligation to really work hard and keep those who like my music happy.
MCBN: You released a 3 track EP on Jeffree’s in January. So far there’s over 60 000 plays. They were selected by iTunes as the Electronic Music Label of the Year 2012. Tell me about why you decided to work with Jeffree’s, and to release the album for free? I believe you have been unhappy in the past with the money made through digital sales?
Not that I have been unhappy but I just never got any money. I love the time we live in and giving people music for free is very rewarding. In some ways its backwards because we’re getting people so used to the idea of not paying but for me that’s ok cos I never got money anyway. This platform that Mad Decent has put me on is invaluable and the traction nuts !
MCBN: Out of all your old projects, which one would you like to bring back to life, under the right conditions?
To be honest, none. The process of creation is what every producer/musician love… Starting projects is full of that. It’s very rare that 2 people or more people grow in the same direction given their different up bringing and influences. I’m in the future and I’m enjoying the process.
MCBN: You’ve made use of numerous costumes throughout the years. Do you think they add an important visual element, and any standout ridiculous costumes?
It’s like throwing yourself in the deep-end. If you step on stage in a costume and you don’t deliver, the flip side is even worse so it’s a way of me pushing myself and showing the audience I’ve made an effort and I mean business.
MCBN: Any gig that stands out due to sheer madness?
One cool gig Spoek and I did was in Switzerland. We had met this kids party balloon genius a few months before. We invited him to this festival and he made this huge stage look like a jungle made out of balloons. It visually childish and very memorable.
Oh, don’t go to the front of the stage at Rage…. I got groped!
MCBN: You’ll be playing alongside Toyota & Sayyid at the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival 2013. Can you tell me a bit about the project, and what the crowd can expect?
Sayyid is one of Spoek, Ninja’s and Mike Zietsman’s biggest influences if not the the biggest. His group Antipop Consortium shaped constructus and my mind was blown when I was told I was gonna do some dates with him in France. In fact that news is the reason Spoek and I formalised Playdoe. Years later a label put us together to make a track and that lead to us working together and becoming Skype friends. He’s now staying at my house and we’re just working and working…. In a very open, creative easy space we’ve created. The show’s gonna be the usual Sibot & Toyota madness with visuals, camera’s, finger drumming, new tracks and then add Sayyid to this…. My vision is for him to bring dynamics to the show so our peaks and troughs and greater. We gonna bring the heat on clean cutting rap on my beats and then take it away into singing and pink floyd ambient jams.
It’s gonna be tricky to sell but exciting.
MCBN: Tell me about being endorsed by adidas Originals. Should more big names become involved in the South African music industry to help breed new artists? How have they helped grow the current scene?
It’s very important for the brands. If they just sell stuff here and have no endorsements or presents they suck. Brands that can regionally recognise are good with me. I get so much support from Adidas and GoPro through Omnico. Adidas have thrown great events as well as pushing icon news through there channels and GoPro have given me the freedom to explore the live video broadcast plus capture some great footage which they are now recycling into their edits. Meaning globally GoPro SA will be the first round up video showcasing night life and live performance
MCBN: I believe you’ll be releasing a new vinyl which seems to be a forgotten platform, although there are a few collectors. Why have you decided to release a vinyl, and is there anything you can tell me about it?
I think there are still a lot of people who collect. It does seem backwards but it’s considered a privilege. The labels do very small runs and its good to see actual product these days.
MCBN: Any other new releases you want to mention?
I’ve been trying to put together this mix tape showcasing my music and the vocalists (predominantly rappers) I like. It’s very hard to co-ordinate and the date keeps getting pushed out hahaha. So far I got:
- Spoek mathambo
- Jack Parow
- Damaged Good$
- Cerebral vortex
- Zebra Katz
and a bunch of local rappers I haven’t worked with but excited to expose them.
MCBN: Thanks for the interview. See you at the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival.