Moonga K, Stogie T share their thoughts on I AM HERE concert

Eyewitness News caught up with SA hip hop stalwart Stogie T and the Zambia-born, Botswana-raised and currently South Africa-based musician Moonga K ahead of the concert on Saturday.

Neo-soul artist, singer, songwriter and activist Moonga K. will be performing at  the Bassline Fest I AM HERE live music concert. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Bassline, in association with the leading pan-African music trade-event ACCES, will present the Bassline Fest I AM HERE live music concert on 27 November at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg.

Eyewitness News caught up with SA hip hop stalwart Stogie T and the Zambia-born, Botswana-raised and currently South Africa-based musician Moonga K ahead of the concert on Saturday.

READ: ACCES and Bassline come together for I AM HERE concert

"I believe it’s about connecting Africans here and across the diaspora to keep creating and networking. Removing the idea that the music industry needs gatekeepers," said Moonga K of the concert.

The Bassline Fest I AM HERE will be held at the iconic Constitutional Hill which once confined a number of prominent political prisoners during its 100-year history, including South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo, who served time there during the state of emergency in 1960, offering legal counsel to warders and prisoners during his incarceration.

"There is a great poetry about commandeering a prison and turning it into a Constitutional court. I am honoured to be a part of this vision," said Stogie T, who has been in the SA hip-hop industry for over a decade.

The rapper, who has signed to Def Jam Africa and has won South Africans over with his well thought-out lyricism and exceptional imagery, said he will be bringing a great mixture of sounds.

"I will be performing with Shane Cooper (Bass/Electric guitar), Bokani Dyer (Keys/Piano), Clement Carr (Synth Bass/Keys/Samples), Justin Badenhorst (Drums) and Bonj (Additional vocals) it will be a great mix of jazz, soul, hip hop and Afro beat," he said.

Neo-soul artist, singer, songwriter and activist Moonga K said he couldn't wait to bring the crowd to the atmosphere of love and freedom.

"I’m performing with my phenomenal band who are Phonikz (my musical director), King JHW and Lebogang Bratly — incredible brothers of mine who are so talented at what they do. This set is going to be the freest set I’ve ever performed, and I can’t wait to bring folks into the atmosphere of love and freedom".

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone but some may say the entertainment industry was affected a bit more, one can remember scenes of artists staging a sit-in at the National Arts Council in Newtown.

They said that many of them had not received their money and were left struggling. Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa admitted that the budget was mismanaged by the NAC, saying that he has instructed the department to investigate.

Stogie T said he was dealing with the effects of the pandemic to his best ability.

"One day at a time. Hopefully with a dignified resilience".

While Moonga K said the pandemic has made him aware of the power he holds as a musician.

"I’ve honestly been very fortunate to still be able to have recording sessions and have been a part of some virtual shows and face to face ones that weren’t cancelled. The pandemic has made me more aware of the power I hold as a musician and songwriter, and how important it is to make people feel".

READ: Artists protest over mismanaged R300m COVID-19 relief funds

The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence officially kicks off on Thursday and the campaign runs until 10 December, which is International Human Rights Day.

"Folks in the entertainment business have a platform that influences those that support them, so it’s important we use our voices to bring attention to the tragedies of GBV and the fact that SA has the highest rate of femicide is its own pandemic that we need to be a part of to dismantle. We must amplify the voices of victims and give them support, whether or not their stories hit close to home" said Moonga K.

ALSO READ: With the start of 16-day activism campaign, govt urged to do more fight GBV

The headline artists are South African legend Thandiswa Mazwai and Zambia-born Australia-based Sampa The Great, who has been impacting globally with her latest albums and shows.

Also billed are SA hip hop stalwart Stogie T, Lesotho's Morena Leraba, Laliboi and Ikati Esengxoweni from South Africa and Moonga K from Zambia/Botswana.

Tickets are R400 on Howler and Computicket.

The show starts at 16:00 and ends at 23:00.

Bassline Fest has partnered with the 4th Music In Africa Conference For Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES) for the I AM HERE concert.