Out and About: Elastic X-factors woo Major League DJz!

Major League DJz

OF such born juggernauts very much in laser sharp repertoires, Banele and Bandile Mbere mean innocuous business. The identical twin brothers who make up the stentorian South African record-setting Disc Jockey (DJ) and music-producing duo — bird’s-eye famed as Major League DJz — are sniffing on the blindside of glory.

Demanding the absolute best by pushing boundaries, it is impossible to argue that the latter — who have over the past few months had successful releases including ‘Piano Republik’, a joint ditty sculpt with Major Lazer, an American-based DJ trio comprising Walshy Fire, Diplo and Ape Drums — are magicians in work, barely putting a foot wrong in making every second count spectacularly!

Fortune advantages the mettlesome, not so long since, Major League DJz got to the ultimate point of romance, when the pair dived flashpoint into an ocean of emotions. Combing through deep instinctive beliefs and scouring every inch of keys to find trills — surefooted of causing overripe incendiary epic proportions on intonation, as well as pitch contour that touches down and hits on the feel — what started as a game plan when the canon gems got into studio, ended in an unrestricted jaw dropping activity that conceived a cum laude song.

Dropped passably a little over a fortnight ago yesterday — for the red-hot banger titled ‘All Night Long’ — Major League DJz tap Rhythm & Blues vocalist Elaine and multi-platinum selling producer Yumbs, who flirt with the delivery and give bunches quite a lot to take heed to and be gratified with.

A robust sneak peek inside Major League DJz’s muscular memory bag elicits a coy yet high-octane tether, instrumental in keeping one’s shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone. As luck would have it for the twin brothers, they were born in exile to a household of anti-apartheid campaigners. Raised in Boston, Massachusetts — their family moved in the same social circle as fabled South African musicians suchlike composer and musician Caiphus Semenya, Hugh Masekela a trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, singer and composer, singer-songwriter Miriam Makeba, as well as Letta Mbulu a jazz singer.

As always, these associations offered Bandile and Banele a go-as-you-please pedagogy on South African jazz and popular African music — which they mated with the hip-hop euphony that they idolised in America. The brothers’ homecoming to South Africa upon the end of the country’s apartheid regime, commenced a fired approach towards the edifice of a platform for themselves as party organisers.

From throwing parties in high school, they started to experiment with DJ-ing, lining up for DJs who missed sets at their well-attended social functions. At long last — as Major League DJz — the duo’s cornerstone is crafting the sound of the future with a breathtaking portmanteau of an immersive African sonic and a futuristic production.

Patient build ups paying dividends, the music-producing pair has sustained an overflowing level of commercial accomplishment and received pettifogging plaudits across a career that spans a decade. Positively rifling the drawn-out slog on the far side of the bridge that provided leeway for the critical role the DJs are playing — in rewiring the modern musical DNA of the ‘rainbow nation’ — while experimenting with elements from hip-hop, kwaito, and Afro beats.

Excited to taste the waters, Major League DJz embraced the Amapiano genre just as it was rising to national popularity in early 2020 — releasing two terse albums ‘Pianochella’ and ‘What’s The Levol’. The latter work of anthems aided in documenting their enchantment with the home brewed sound. Besides sauntering between blithesome ballads, more uptempo party ravers on both melodious offerings saw illustrious artists like rapper Costa Titch, dancer and singer Kamo Mphela, as well as singer Young Stunna jump on the bubbling smash numbers.

The uphill popularity of the latter hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music characterised by synths, airy pads and wide percussive basslines — genre — coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic staggering spike. The effects parried gatherings. With it being so, in the midst of lockdowns rooters were not able to congregate for Major League Gardens Shows. The duo had to pivot to virtual means to keep its audience sated.

Destiny delayed not denied, this col led to the initiation of Major League DJz’s deliriously-popular ‘Balcony Mix series’. Sets off the highest level, the duet has since collaborated with auditory sensation geniuses listing disc jockeys Vigro Deep, Major Lazer, Tyler ICU, singer-songwriter Boohle, and record producer Kabza De Small — across editions of the show.

Further lifting standards, another canon craft titled ‘Outside’ followed in December of 2021. For the most part recorded during quarantine in Ghana, Major League DJz utilised the spanking body of work as a chance to tie in Amapiano with other sonic styles from across the chaste.

Heartened, three months after the latter project was hatched, the music-producing pair proclaimed a global recording deal with Atlantic Records. Since then, the Disc Jockeys have gone on to break the world record for the longest DJ set performed by a duo — playing for 75 hours from September 2nd to 4th, for a special edition of their ‘Balcony Mix Xperience’.

Sharpening success even furthermost, Major League DJz carried through the premise of its 2020 banger ‘Pheli To Coachella’, performing on both weekends of the 2022 Coachella — an annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, in the Coachella Valley’s Colorado Desert. In the light of this, the DJs were more than glad to play aboard long-time inspiration Disc Jockey, record producer and songwriter — Black Coffee. All the more remarkable, shadowing that feat with a sold-out headline show — at the O2 Academy Brixton, London — in May of last year.

Most often than not opined as broad-brimmed ceiling smashers and wide-screen pathfinders in the cultural landscape of South African dance music, by whelping the up-to-the-second ballad ‘All Night Long’ — the duo only corroborate these claims! Soliciting Yumbs (Kelvin Momo, Mellow and Sleazy) as well as singer Elaine, is a spur of the moment that bears witness to the lullaby’s stretch — as an honest-to-god South African dance euphony lover’s dream!

Returning to the forefront, although recorded in Los Angeles, the jam feels like a hot night out in Johannesburg — with Elaine’s heady vocals as the driving force as she croons: “If this is a dream don’t wake me up”. A celebration of black love and romance, ‘All Night Long’ is the archetypal of spic-and-span tunes from Major League DJz — this 12-month.

“The aim was to put out a single that would resonate with our fans as we now get ready for the spring/summer. We have played it at multiple shows and the reaction from the fans has been so positive that we had no choice but to give the people what they want,” Major League DJz said.

Pace spearheading, the Disc Jockeys’ current massively impinging creak on the road is stretching Amapiano to the international stage, with a full-throttle US tour that is bringing venues — thicken by yearning and fist whopping — to a boil. Over committed to work, buffs can as well expect roofs to be thrown off by the music-producing pair’s e'er blazing a la mode ‘Balcony Mixes’ — on the horizon.

A little pushy, letting plangency shine above the cosh — only those who do not have a good eye for a world-class point in time would find a slender speck of grisly to contend the fact that — there are no rampant stonewalls depleting stunning Major League DJz’s distinctive dexterity in execution! 

l Grant Moyo is a prolific writer, innovative media personality, entrepreneur and a creative artist who is passionate about using his creative mind for the betterment of society.

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