I’ve always been thrilled and fascinated by the high quality music productions from Demor. There is something in his sound that shows he is quite a few steps ahead on average house music producer. A hint of purity, delicacy & clearness, fair indicator of the greatness of his musical knowledge and a definite proof of his dedication to his work and his sense of professionalism. Where does it comes from? How can a man outreach the mass and raise himself to the height of the Best-in-the-World? There is one thing that is quite obvious to me; at one point in time, a clash of the titans happened in KZN, when Thandukwazi Sikhosana crossed path with Nkosinathi Maphumulo. Now history is made, both became separate icons aiming the same direction, spreading the same vibe! And House music in South Africa is more prosperous than ever!
Demor “The One” Sikhosana
Thandukwazi Sikhosana was born on the 11th of July, sometime in the mid-seventies, in the Bruntville Township of Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal, a small town located about 150km North-West of Durban on the way to Johannesburg. “I grew up in Mooi River but I have been moving around KZN a lot you know. My parents got divorced at an early age, so I had to live with relatives now and again but mostly with my late grand-mother who I can proudly say is my second mother. I moved a lot; Mooi River, Pietermaritzburg, Durban…” At the age of 21, Demor made a more definite move towards Durban to take his passion for music one step further. The time had come to embark for the journey that would eventually lead him to the summit, where he stands and shines bright at the moment; the time had come to fill the tank with musical knowledge. “I got my Musical Diploma from a College called Tech Union Natal which is now called DUT. It is [a type of institution that could be positioned] between College and University. I studied Jazz there and how to run the business of music. In that College I was a hard worker you know. I can say I was one of the best student they had. So they offered my a job as a lecturer for the younger students. I was teaching them how to play the piano, how to approach the harmony and stuff like that… When I graduated [in 1998], I moved to Johannesburg where I landed a job as a music lecturer full time. Then later on, I left this job to fully concentrate on my business which is Demor Music and to focus on my music productions.” But it is not an easy thing, even for the best prepared candidate, to initiate a career in the music industry. So it took Demor a few years before any opportunity for a breakthrough came his direction. “It’s not easy man to break into any industry but especially this music business. For the first few years, I spent most of my time teaching until in 2004 I met a great Producer/DJ going by the name of Christos. At that time, Christos was working on an album for our late superstar Lebo Mathosa. That was my breakthrough! We made such a great team Christos and myself collaborating on productions. We produced albums for Lebo Mathosa, DJ’s @ Work (which is Christos’s duo with Vinny da Vincy) and I found myself working with these superstars that I have always looked up to!” I asked Demor if he remembered which track was his very first contribution for Lebo Mathosa, the one he could qualify as his breakthrough in the industry;”Yes of course I remember clearly, it was a song called Brand New Day.”
Lebo Mathosa – Brand New Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ganNOpjguPM
At that time, Demor was already a member of the South African super-group, SHANA (acronym for Simply Hot And Naturally African) which was made of Nkosinathi Maphumulo (Black Coffee), Mnqobi Mdabe (Shota) and himself. Shana members met on the school benches at Natal Technikon. “We met at that College where we were studying music and we decided to form a group together. We were fellow students but when they [Black Coffee and Shota] came to the College I was a Senior student doing my last year and they were new students.” Their collaboration led (to this date) to genuine South African classic albums; “Iyo’Londaba” and “Forever Yours”.
Shana – Out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdANNrwaD6E
“Demor Music is doing great in recent years. The label has really really grown since I signed a new artist called Bucie back in 2007. We released her first album and then, I allowed Bucie to work with Black Coffee on the songs Turn Me On and Superman as a way of promoting her and my label. Bucie has been doing very well ever since and she has been doing well for the label too. This is the artist that Demor Music decided to focus on for the futur, so that eventually other artists could be uplifted through this superstar that Demor Music created. 2013 tends to be a very rich and beautiful year for Demor Music. I have recently released my own album as Demor, my first solo album [The Real Me] and I am very excited with the result. For this album I worked with a lot of my industry friends, people that I had worked with behind the scenes as a producer, as a writer, as a keyboard player… On the album I have Black Coffee, Zakes Bantwini, Bucie, Professor, Big Nuz, Uhuru and I worked also with my new talent at Demor Music, his name is Sun-El Sithole. On this album I am really trying to push the collaboration between artists in South Africa because it doesn’t happen often enough. So this is the concept around the album; if we collaborate we can be stronger and do so much more and do better.”
Is there any particular source of inspiration for this album?
“It’s life around me and it’s personal experiences. I always believed that if you write about your personal experiences, it is something that is going to apply to another person cause we always go through the same things as human beings. For example, the song titled The One, is about something I was feeling at that moment and I simply decided to speak about it. The album title is The Real Me, so you can just tell by the title that this guy is trying to deliver an Audio-Biography. So I hope people are enjoying the singles that I have released so far. The One is a beautiful single, where I’m hanging out with Bucie, Zakes Bantwini and Black Coffee. I hope people are warming up to that! There is a whole lot more in store for them!”
The One (Feat. Bucie, Black Coffee & Zakes Bantwini):
On the morning of the interview, when I called Demor on his cellphone, he was at his house waiting for Bucie to join him. “At the moment I’m actually waiting for Bucie to come through, she is like a few minutes away from my house right now. We are heading in the studio to work on her new album for this year. We already have a couple of tracks recorded, unmixed though, and I must say that they sound really really great! She [Bucie] has matured. She already has a new single with Louie Vega called Angels Are Watching Me; its a burning single! She also has recently collaborated with Atjazz and Julian Gomes, and the result is a beautiful track as well, so we are really looking forward to exciting moments this year!”
Now I have great expectations… and honestly, I have no doubt that Demor Music will succeed in pushing Bucie one step higher! The album is planned to be released sometimes in August.
Also, Demor Music is planning to release in September or October an album of a new group called Sticks and Stones formed by Sun-El Sithole, Less Ego and Oristo Cratic.
The industry described by Demor
I am always curious to hear from the main actors in the industry, what is there evaluation of the industry, their appreciation of its growth and the direction its taking: “South African House music is exciting at the moment cause I can see that it is rising up. It is like people involved had all awaken to the idea that it is our time to shine, in terms of sharing our music to the rest of the world. There are so many young artists rising up, it is really amazing! If young people are working together on a sound, such as House music, the future to me looks very bright, because they are the future. Then the industry is going to grow, this sound is going to grow, we all want this sound to break all the barriers and becomes big! I want to hear my songs on BET or MTV you know, we all want to get to that level! But at the moment, right now, if you are a House music fan, South Africa is really the place to be!”
Chuck: What is your personal favorite track from your recent release, The Real Me?
Demor: “As much as I love them all, The One is my favorite and also Under Pressure”
Under Pressure : https://soundcloud.com/demor-sikhosana/demor-under-pressure
Chuck: Who do you think is/are the hottest in the industry at the moment?
Demor: “Right now there is too much great stuff happening in the House industry here! It has become really that competitive. Hmmmm… (hesitation)… There are these young guys from Kalawa Jazzmee that are actually doing really great! Their names is Uhuru”
Chuck: Who is according to you, South Africa’s rising star in the House industry?
Demor: “There is a couple of interesting rising artists man, but one especially; Black Coffee’s (Soulistic Music) artist called Thiwe. She is going to be something, she is going to be hot!”
Chuck: What is your favorite production of your own, the one you are the most proud of and why?
Demor: “Bucie – Get Over it” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvvqz2qnky0 .”As a producer, as a label owner and as an artist manager, people always got confused as to what Demor is really about. With this song people really got to know Demor and got to hear Demor’s sound terms of production. And the song did very very well world-wide, I’m still happy to this day about this song.”
Facebook: DEMOR MUSIC
Written by Charles Pepin (DJ Chuck)