The Rise of the Underdogs stage was introduced to young up and coming bands who are bubbling under and doing amazing things. This Saturday, Word N Sound features one such band. Production Manager, Xongani Maluleka, caught up with BlaqSeed ahead of their performance.
How was Blaqseed formed and what changes has the band gone through?
Blaqseed was formed, the year 2010, after Gabriel, the guitarist, had just bought a new guitar which he couldn’t stop playing. At this time him and Karabo, the emcee, were already friends and had both discovered their love for music. They linked up to make a song, however they felt it needed a vocalist. That’s when they went on a search for vocalists. At first they had a lady, who had to quit the band in 2011 because she formed part of another band. In 2012 they had another lady, who also had to leave for career related purposes. Eventually they met a songstress by the name of Lesego, since then they have been graced with her presence.
We’ve seen a lot of bands break up. What are you doing to stay together?
Our method to stay together as a band is to instill lot of commitment, dedication and hard work coupled with plenty of hangouts lol, amongst ourselves.
The Vaal is continuously invading inner city Joburg stages. Is there some form of a movement with bands from there?
There’s a movement called Uvuko which caters for a variety of performance art and that’s where most artists from Vaal came from. That’s where we learnt some of the stuff we know. So from that movement we went our different ways but still remain friends with other groups and acts.
Take us through your writing process and what inspires your music?
There isn’t a fixed way in which we write our songs, Gabriel could have chords that he wants us to work on or Lesego could have a melody or Karabo could write something he wants us to work on. Thus there isn’t a specific writing process, but rather we bring in our individual ideas, themes, influences to work on. We have an incredible synergy that allows us to be open minded and flexible in working with each other in regards to our songs.
Our inspiration comes from love and everything else that comes with living.
In your band, you have a vocalist, an emcee and a guitarist, have you ever considered including more members to play other musical instruments, if yes which ones, if no, why not?
Yes, bass guitar and cajon drum.
Which performance has been the most memorable, why?
Our most memorable performance was at the Paco Rababe Band competition which was held at the University of Johannesburg Kingsway Campus. This was a stage that we had always wanted to get on. We loved the outdoor set up and the crowed was very interactive.
Which local artist would you like to collaborate with and why?
We would like to work with are Tumi from the Volume, Proverb and Thandiswa Mazwai, we love the kind of music they do.
As an upcoming band, what would you say is the one thing you wish you were taught before getting into the game?
We wish we were taught how to brand ourselves and how to get our music to the right people, also it would have been great to know how to get sponsors.
Where do you see Blaqseed in the next 5 years?
We’d like to see our selves go beyond boarders into Africa and overseas. Spreading the message of Love to every ear we can find. Our aspiration is to become internationally recognized artists who represent Africa on broader stages, the same way Marriam Makeba, Bra Hugh, Tumi, The Soil and Thandiswa Mazwai have represented Africa on international stages.
Blaqseed believes in giving back to the community, please explain to us why is that important to you and also please share with us your charitable work?
Because naturally as human beings we are helpful and are good, but throughout the years the good in us fades so those who can help, must help. That’s why we do it through our music.
We’ve been part of a fund-raising initiative for Thembelihle Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal at the Bat Centre.
What are you expecting from your performance at the Word N Sound Rise of the Underdogs Show?
We hope people hear and understand the message within the songs and hopefully inspire those listening to be better people in society.