After the release of his first For The Culture instalment last summer, which was created to shine a light on the often maligned afro-influenced music coming out of Brazil like baile funk and rave funk, Zimbabwean Canadian producer, DJ and musician MELO-T is back with a sequel, and this time, the seasoned music maker and curator is aiming to shine the spotlight on African club culture and Southern African dance music, with his exciting new amapiano and afrohouse driven project For The Culture 2, as featured by KAZI Magazine.
The 5-track EP sees the Ottawa-based producer, DJ and musician of Southern African heritage paying homage to the amapiano sound that is bursting out of South Africa and capturing the imagination of fans and critics across the world, as well as other exciting strands of afrohouse music that are emerging from the Southern African region. Whether it’s the bass and kick-heavy log drums on ‘Knock The Drum’ and the techno and electronic stylings on ‘We Outside’, or the soulful deep house offering ‘A Piano Story’ and MELO-T’s own interpretation of the intricacies of amapiano on ‘Yanos’, For The Cuture 2 delivers on all fronts.
Speaking about the inspiration behind his For The Culture 2 EP, MELO-T says, “I’m inspired by the different afro-influenced music hubs thriving around the world. This series is all about shedding light on and highlighting African club culture, and while the first instalment focused on the afrocentric sounds of Brazil, ‘For The Culture 2’ is an ode to the sounds of Southern Africa where I come from, especially amapiano and afrohouse. Several afro-based or afro-influenced music genres have shaped the way the world listens to music today, but they’re often overlooked, I’m just trying to give these communities their flowers and accolades”.
MELO-T can’t image a time before music, and for as long as he can remember, music has always been there. As a child in Zimbabwe, he was drawn to the Marimba percussions, Mbira instruments and Ngoma drums, and took inspiration from the catchy and upbeat afropop records he heard on the radio. Now living in Ottawa, MELO-T has developed the musical sounds and cadence native to his home country. Revered for his production and songwriting dexterities, MELO-T unleashes his creative birth right and makes music that transcends demographic and borders, and as a DJ, he soundtracks packed venues and vivacious dance floors up and down North America.
Drawing inspiration from South African house music legend Black Coffee and the late great Zimbabwean afro jazz icon Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi, MELO-T perfectly injects his African music sensibilities and cultural references into global sounds to create something special. His rare sound is just one of the many reasons why MELO-T is one of Ottawa’s finest, and why his unique artistry has been recognised as a significant contribution to Canada’s cultural landscape, with Ontario Arts Council, Ottawa Arts Council, Electric Circuits Festival and Queen’s University Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts all supporting him on his musical journey.
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