Apiwe Bubu makes his mark on US music scene
SOUTH African-born artist Apiwe Bubu is making waves on the US music scene and there is no slowing him down. Bubu, who now lives in California, is living his dream as he pursues his passion for music. Born and raised in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, Bubu – who is a songwriter, producer and music engineer – told us how he got his big break in the tough industry.
“My biggest break thus far has been working with the Mirrorball team and with Tony Maserati, from whom I learnt a lot and got my first taste of the American music industry and market,” he said. Bubu recently worked as an assistant engineer to the renowned music producer and audio engineer Maserati, contributing to Grammy award-winning albums such as Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Keith Urban’s Ripcord and Gallant’s Ology.
How was the experience for this local star? “It was a surreal experience, to put it mildly. Given that I spent a good portion of my life working towards learning and mastering my craft, getting the validation and opportunity to be in an environment where some of the biggest records of the year were being made only solidified my suspicion that I was on the right path and had made the right progress to afford me that position.’’
Bubu graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he earned a dual major bachelor’s degree in contemporary music writing, music production and engineering, and he aims to share his skills with the world, especially Africa. “I’m opening a music studio in Los Angeles, where I want to create opportunities to collaborate with artists here (US) and home (South Africa) to make the dopest records possible.” He already has a wish list of local musos he’d like to collaborate with. “I’d like to work with Nasty C, Tshepo Tshola and Emtee,” he says, and it ties in nicely with his belief that the future of music lies in Africa. “I do believe the wave will be in Africa and artists and producers of this background will be the trendsetters and tastemakers of the global market.”
Bubu wrote and produced Nomsa Mazwai’s album Nomisupasta, which won the 2011 Best Adult African Alternative at the South African Music Award (Samas). He says his sound is inspired by life, friends and his environment. Asked about his preferred music genre and what sets him apart, Bubu said: “I explore multiple genres, but try to focus on pop, hip hop and R&B. “I have an intuitive approach and supplement it with an in-depth knowledge of the tools and skills required to craft high quality productions and songs.
“My experience, background, present circumstances and process are what set me apart from the rest.”