Africa Distinct 015: Dylan Munro
Hope you enjoyed my instalment of 014. We are back for another incredible show this time bringing light to our first guest of the year. Hailing from the Mother City – Cape Town, our guest has been lighting up dance floors alongside both local and international acts such as Tim Engelhardt, Djuma Soundsystem, Sides, Leeu and many more all across South Africa.
His love for the creative side of the human mind has pushed him towards exploring an ethereal realm of percussive & tribal sounds. Driven by the drum, he is known for tantalising his listeners who have a love for the space that lies between afro house, melodic techno and electronica. As one of South Africa’s rising stars, this young talent is slowly becoming one of the hottest new acts to come out of our country.
I introduce to you, Dylan Munro!
Where did it all begin? How did this love for electronic music form?
When I was a young child my grandfather bought me a djembe & gumboots. I would entertain my family by banging the drum & dancing. This is my first memory of entertaining & expressing myself through music. Later I joined my school choir & marimba band in Phokeng, this pushed me more towards expressing my creativity through music. When I finished school I moved from Rustenburg to Johannesburg where I was exposed to a surreal nightlife which gave me a bigger perspective on electronic music. I would go out every weekend exploring this unknown world of clubbing and music showcases. I instantly fell involve with the dance floor. A place where diversity united in celebration of music. I formed relationships with DJ’s & other artists, which eventually influenced me to move to Cape Town & pursue a career in music.
What’s installed for Dylan Munro in 2020?
I am currently planning a trip up to Gauteng & North West where I will play a few shows. I’m also chatting with some friends in Europe to organize a small tour which will consist of 3 or 4 gigs, but this all still needs to be confirmed. I would like to start focusing on producing my own music but I’ve been finding it hard to find the time since I work a full-time job during the week & play gigs on weekends, however, some collaborations with other artists in Cape Town are in the pipeline for this year. I’m also looking at starting a new event & collective here in Cape Town that will focus on Afro-inspired sounds, but this will only start taking life towards our next Summer season.
Can we expect some music released this year? Tell us a little about the production side of things.
Definitely! I’ve been finding it hard to find the time & energy to produce music as it requires a lot of dedicated time & commitment. But I am talking with other artists to collaborate & start producing some of my own material. I’ve been playing a more Afro-influenced sound so that is what I will be looking to produce in the upcoming months.
In an industry that is very cut-throat, what advice can you give young up and coming artists on how to stay relevant and make something out of this career?
Find a sound that makes you feel the most. Try to be consistent with gigs and mix releases. Don’t rash promoters or events but make yourself heard. Be professional when approaching promoters & events. Create a persona around your alias & don’t try to imitate other artists. Compete with yourself & don’t lose motivation, find inspirations from your day to day life & find a role model to look up to. Stay focused & dedicated, things will get tough but we all have the potential to be what we want to be if we just put in the time & effort.
What has been your greatest inspiration to drive you into this field of art?
I’ve just always loved the connection between an artist & his/her listeners. When I play at clubs or festivals I can feel the energy of the dance floor. I believe that it is my purpose and responsibility as a DJ to keep them smiling & get them moving. Bringing joy to a diverse group of people is very special to me, & the relationship with people on the dance floor is my greatest drive.
What can we expect from the mix?
I’ve decided to go with a faster tempo than usual. Over the past few weeks I have been performing later slots at some really cool venues & a few people have asked me to record a mix that expresses myself in these moments. I’ve incorporated a progressive sound that still has an Afro-influence. Expect groovy baselines, African chants, big percussions, & melodic buildups.
Any exclusive news or info you can give us that you are looking forward to announcing this year?
There are a few things in the pipeline for 2020. Starting a collective focusing on African inspired music is definitely going to be my biggest project so keep an eye out for that!
What’s the end goal for your career if we have to fast track a few years?
I want to travel the world & express myself through music. I will be happy if I can achieve that. I’ve always wanted my passion for music to take me abroad, mainly to Europe, South America, & other countries in Africa. My dream would be to start a record label from the event brand & collective that I have planned.
What has been some of the challenges you’ve faced starting out in the industry and how have you dealt with the ‘not so nice’ part that comes with being in this industry?
Like every industry, we will have our ups & downs. We can’t let the downs get the best of us. Whether it be a loss of motivation, a decrease in gigs, or just a lack of inspiration. All of these & more will test your love for what you do, it’s normal and everyone experiences it. Dealing with it is the best thing you can do.
I found myself playing a gig a month, if I was lucky, & this drove me crazy. I questioned myself whether or not this industry was for me but I managed to keep pushing. I recorded mixes, I practiced, I experimented with different sounds & equipment, I opened my mind to help me take a bigger perspective on everything I did & surrounded myself with music & art that inspired me. Most importantly, I found strong support through the people I surrounded myself with. People with similar interests & ambitions, as well as my family & friends.
What’s your current favourite record?
Mr Raoul K, Manoo feat. Ahmed Sosso – Bara (M&R Action Mix)
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