Keletso Manyaka is not only Brazo Wa Afrika in the mix but a computer scientist in making, as Moses Moreroa discovers.People perceive him as an artist who is, at all times, behind music and on stage, but Keletso is a third year student in BSC Mathematical and Computer Science, at the University of Limpopo, Turfloop campus. The 21-year-old established celebrated star matriculated at Calvin College in Burgersfort, his hometown.
Brazo Wa Afrika is a Limpopo Born House music producer. He is known for his vast variety in terms of production as his music sound ranges from tribal to deep. Not only is he an established music producer but also a renowned club DJ who has set the stage alights with some of the country’s finest djs. He describes his sound as Deep-Tribal as it fuses both ancestral elements and soulful pieces together.
Brazo plays on Capricorn FM every Sunday at 21H30 and goes around all provinces of the country.
It is difficult, sometimes, to get to know the whereabouts of other people. Nonetheless, chatting to him is an eye opener and you leave feeling that you know him better than Brazo. He answers our questions directly and shows his delicate side:
What are your real full names?Keletso Manyaka
So where does Brazo come from?The name Brazo is derived from the word Bravo, which people use to salute someone for a good deed.
Why were you saluted?For the music I played at a very early age, that’s where the name started.
When did you start playing and what inspired your work?I’m a self taught DJ who started playing at the age of 14 and my main inspiration was simply my love for good music and the passion to play such good music to a responsive crowd.
Why Brazo Wa Afrika and not wa Limpopo? You are a Limpopean right?Well, its Brazo Wa Afrika because my vision when I started this music thing was to see myself representing the whole of Africa worldwide and that is why I opted for the name.
Hmmm quite a big dream. Which amongst your songs, is your favourite?Its hard to pick out a single track but from the success, my breakthrough song ‘Afrikan Sax’ brought my way. I’d say that’s my favourite song. It brings endless memories.
Is there any artist you relate to?I try to be as unique as possible with my music. I do, however, take some inspiration or influence from Chymamusique, Dolls Combers, Da Capo, Sean McCabe, Jimpster and Jonny Montana.
What would you call your unique style?I have my own style of jazzy house which I produce. I fuse jazz elements, live elements to produce my own unique sound.
I guess it took you some time to originate that style of yours. Did you ever feel like giving up?At sometimes I did, but my passion drove me to keep on pushing.
What is the best thing about being an artist and the worst thing you have experienced?Best thing about being an artist is the fact that you get to share the musci you love with the masses and you get to travel and explore new environments and crowds. And abviously the fact that you actually make a living off doing something you love, it tops it all.
The worst experience I’ve ever had was when I missed a flight to a big show I had been booked for in Cape Town, that whole night was a total disaster. I ended up taking a very late night flight and running at a lose.
How do you feel when people interpret your music work differently?It is clear and understandable to me that different peple like different types of music, it doesn’t bother me much if some people don’t really like my music because that is just how it is suppose to be.
So update us on your upcoming releases and tours. Do you have an album already?My first album titled Ultimate Fusion: House Afrika Session 3 is coming out this March with 12 brand new tunes from myself. I am also working on some tracks with the international vocalist, Chappell for his new release.
As for tours I’ll be having a nationwide tour soon when launching the album I am about to release. I will also be playing in Kenya, Lesotho and Botswana these coming two months.
What do you feel as you play music?I cant really say I have the proper words to describe that feeling, best feeling ever, I’d say.
Who is your role model?I inspire myself.
Oh you sound weird. Have you ever though “this is what life was made for”. Perhaps when you were at high school in 2009 and backward?Ive had this dream fro way back, but having that I wouldn’t say I have reached my destination just yet. I am still very far.
Now lets talk about your studies. What are you studying and at which level?I am in my third year doing a BSC in Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Limpopo.
Why you never opted for media studies since you are doing music?Computers have always fascinated me. That is why I felt Computer Science was my field, to get to know things and have a stable career.
You must be good in time management. On this had there are studies, and on the other is performance. Isn’t your academic time and bookings arrangements clashing?I only get bookings on the weekends and there are no classes on weekends, so no real clash there.
Okay, do you plan to make music as long as you can or maybe your computing profession might take over?Music isn’t a career for me.it is just something I do out of the love I have for it. I will build a career out of my degree.
Let’s shift to a more personal life of yours. Who would you want to duet with?Vocalists it has to be Nickson, Kafele and Empress Lebo. Producers I would love to work with are Dolls Combers, Deep Xcape and Glenn Underground.
If you had to listen to one artist for the rest o your life, who would it be?Dave Koz, a jazz musician.
Are you in a relationship, if yes with who?Haha I am in a relationship with somebody, I don’t think its necessary to disclose her name. someone I met on campus last year.
Where do you go for eating?I am a fan of Shisanyama’s . I usually eat out at House 22 in Pretoria on Sundays on my way from gigs and yeah all my favourite meals are there.
So at what times do you eat at Hungry Lion?Desperate times.
As we wrap up, what advice can you give to your fans who would like to follow the same footsteps as yours?To the fans, all I can say is truly appreciate the massive support they give me, without them all this would still be nothing but a distant dream. And to all aspiring music producers, passion can take you farwww.infogiant.webs.com