The sound of South African music is something that seems to be evolving along with our country. Advances in technology and the availability of that technology has lead to the birth of a growing electro music scene in places such as Johannesburg, Tembisa, Soweto, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and in between. One of this new breed of musicians, Nthato Mokgata aka Spoek Mathambo, an internationally recognized musician and part of electro outfit Fantasma, decided to get together with filmmaker Lebogang Rasethaba, a director at Egg Films, to explore the ‘Future Sound of Mzansi.’ We got the opportunity to ask Lebogang a few questions about the documentary.
When and how did the idea of shooting ‘Future Sound of Mzansi’ come about?
It’s a story that Spoek Mathambo has been close to for a long time, a lot of the characters have been a huge influence on him, some he has worked with and so on. One day he called me up and asked me if I was interested in shooting this documentary and I was like, “Yeah, let’s get it”.
Where in Mzansi was the documentary shot?
We started in Johannesburg, and then we went to Durban, Cape Town, then back to Johannesburg, Tembisa, Pretoria, Soweto…lots and lots of missioning.
How did you go about shooting it?
We went out looking for people having a good time or making good music. And then we packaged those stories into narrative treats.
What were some of the challenges of shooting the documentary?
Maybe me and Mathambo not being on the same continent for a lot of the time? Working remotely is difficult, hard to pinpoint markers of progress. Some of the musicians told us to get lost, so that created narrative cul de sacs. It’s hard to say, there were bouts of drama throughout the whole process but we came out of it relatively unscathed.
What has the response to “Future Sound of Mzansi” been like since its first screening?
Beautiful. Lots of interest, lots of positive energy. I didn’t think so many people cared. But the bigger point is people clocking that more of these kind of films need to made, and not necessarily by us, but just as a general way of life.
What has been your favourite part of the whole experience?
Discovering the scale of electro music in South Africa. Getting to meet all these different characters, document their lives and share that with the world. The thing has been kind of amazing.
If you had to, how would you describe the “Future Sound of Mzansi” music from your experiences?