Mpumalanga In South Africa, a town affectionately known in Zulu as “The Place Where The Sun Rises” is not just the birthplace of rising star Bruce Loko, but also serves as a fitting description for his music. With a penchant for atmospheric sounds, packed with souring unabashed emotions and cinematic flourishes, and a background as a Jazz musician and pianist, he describes his current sound as “African Techno”. Following his stellar remix of “Busy Minds” on Constant Circles, we invited him for an interview & guest slot on our radio show.
When & how did you get into music?
Everything began in the year 2000 when I received a compact disc from the renowned Don Laka (a South African Jazz Musician). I used to spend time with him in the studio and he told me I have an ear for music. He then said if I somehow happened to figure out how to play an instruments, I’d be one of the best performers out there, and that roused me to take in more about music production. I then began Djing in 2006-7, and the rest is history.
What is your production process and what are your key pieces of studio kit?
I actually don’t have a production process, but most of the time I start by playing keys, get my melody right. I don’t have any studio kit, just my laptop and earphones.
What do you think has been the key moment or turning point for you career wise?
When I performed at CTEMF (Cape Town Electronic Music Festival), a lot of people were shocked that I actually live in South Africa haha.
What inspires you, in life as well as in music?
Movies!! I mean when I watched the movie called August Rush, I already knew this is what I want to do.. create crazy stuff. On the other hand I love engineering.. I’m currently finishing my thesis in Civil Engineering.
You are part of a wave of rising South African stars – how would you describe the house music scene there, and why do you think it’s popularity has grown so much lately?
There’s a lot of talent in South Africa, but less opportunities for LOKO artists.. to be taken seriously you need to have releases on international labels. lately a lot of international labels are signing new South African artists which helps the house music scene develop.. there’s so much good music.
Tell us your deepest darkest secret?
I’ve got my imaginary friend who gets me into trouble.. cause we do crazy stuff – I’m Bruce, his name is LOKO haha.
What do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs?
I’m currently on tour with Capitec Bank, a South African commercial bank. I’m a Dj for their color run event. Plus I‘ll be playing at Sonar Barcelona this year, which is going to be my first international booking.. I’m super excited!!
I’m also releasing my EP in few months with Get Physical music, which should be interesting!
How did you put together your guest mix for the radio show & what have you included – any exclusives or surprises?
I hardly play my own tracks, but with this mix I tried to blend my sound with my favourite producers around the world. Exclusives? Yessssss! I’ve included all the tracks from my forthcoming EP.