SA zombie movie score hits a high note at Cannes

Film score composer Zethu Mashika lays down the musical beats for a local zombie movie.

Zethu Mashika: Aspiring Manchester United football players skills 'sucked' so he set his mind to composing music instead. Photo: Louise McAuliffe

JOHANNESBURG - Film score composer Zethu Mashika is producing music for the first South African zombie movie Last Ones Out, the trailer for which will be shown at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Mashika had two ideas in mind of what to do when he left school.

"One was play football for Manchester United, but I sucked, and the other was to be famous.

"I stumbled on a gold mine when a friend realised that I could sing. He said 'Dude, you should sing - girls love it. You should see how they come around you when you sing.

"I decided that I had nothing to lose. I started to sing as I wandered randomly from class to class and girls would stop and ask me to sing for them.

"This was great because I was eventually getting attention from girls. However, at the time I did not know how to maximise on it."

His love for music really started to grow from then. But his parents discouraged this interest, and wanted him to follow a career where he would earn some money.

With absolutely no formal education in music, Mashika has written the scores for three feature films: Zama Zama, Skyf and Hear Me Move.

He has also produced music for commercials for the likes of MTN, Vodacom, KFC and SANBS.

Mashika also dabbles with production of rap and R&B music.

"I am about to land a feature film in Los Angeles via the internet. They have sent me the script. Nothing signed yet but I have a verbal confirmation. They really like what I have composed for them so far and am excited to move forward.

"I am hoping to expose our talent to international directors and producers so that they have the confidence and faith, when they come and film in South Africa, to use our musical resources too. Sometimes they may want an indigenous original sound from the country where they film - and we are more than equipped to give it to them."