Oskido is undoubtedly one of the most influential and important figures in South Africa’s music landscape. The DJ and producer has created many hit records that have served as the soundtrack to South Africa’s transition into democracy and beyond.
Not only a maestro of music, he is also a savvy businessman and has helped shape the careers of Trompies, Boom Shaka, and Mafikizolo as well as more contemporary superstars like Black Coffee, DJ Zinhle and Busisiwa amongst others.
When he first launched his independent label, Kalawa Jazmee, in 1992, the music industry itself, as well as the technology, were both completely different. Managing a label was a learning curve and at that time, Oskido couldn’t imagine the possibilities or the impact the label would have on Mzansi’s music industry. “When we started, we didn’t really know that it was gonna be such a big thing. The good thing is that we’ve managed to keep going as a black independent label and we’ve managed to produce good artists. Those artists have been able to start up their own businesses or be in the record business,” says Oskido.
With over three decades in the music industry, the 53-year-old musician is still motivated and dedicated to the craft of making music. He credits his success and longevity to his ability to adapt. In his 30 years in the music business, he has seen the popular sound in Mzansi switch from 80’s Bubblegum pop to kwaito, gqom and amapiano. Adaptability is part of his legacy.
“All the stuff I’m doing is dance music. I’m always on the street so I can adapt to anything. If I see that things are changing and it fits what my style is, then I will do it. As long as it doesn’t compromise what I’m doing. I love making music. It’s part of me and my life. I eat and breathe music 24-hours a day,” the North-West-born legend states.
Oskido has infused the different elements of kwaito and amapiano with his more recent works. This includes his radio-friendly record “Une Mali” (watch below) featuring Focalistic, Nokwazi, and actress Pearl Thusi as well as his new three-track EP “Back to the Future”.
In terms of business ventures, Kalawa Jazmee is the official recording partner with Idols South Africa. The record label offers deals to the winner of the competition as well as some of the runner-up contestants. Kalawa Jazmee has collaborated with Idols with the intention of helping talented musicians navigate the country’s tough music terrain.
“Idols approached us because of what we’ve done in the music industry. It was up our alley and what we want to do. So now we’re working with young talent starting from scratch and we’re enjoying the partnership,” says Oskido.
Kalawa Jazmee currently has five artists signed from the reality competition which includes season 16 winner Zama Khumalo as well as her fellow contestants Mr. Music (Lungisani Mthethwa), Brandon Dhludhlu, ZanoThando (Sonwabile Ngxito) and Ndoni Mseleku. Oskido is assisting them personally with creating their upcoming projects.
“I’m always focusing on developing new talent and helping them take it to another level. I’m busy working with them and I love doing it. It’s all about uplifting the younger generation and hopefully, they can do amazing things, concludes Oskido.
Words: Lee Nxumalo @leewritesalot
Editor: Nikki Temkin @NikkiTemkin