Determination and constant hunger to learn are key traits one needs to have when it comes to the music industry if you want to succeed. This means understanding all aspects of the industry and where you essentially fit in. This reminds us of a powerful line Sabri Suby once said: “you need to know enough to be dangerous”. Da Kruk seems to indefinitely embody that. Being a media and dance music juggler means he understands every corner of the music industry and can make that work for him as an all-rounded creative entrepreneur.
Kutloano “Da Kruk” is a touring DJ, music producer, radio host and creative entrepreneur. He is a well-travelled, sharp radio mind that likes to keep his finger on the pulse of the local and international urban culture, constantly trying to find out the frequency that connects people around the world. He hosts a dance show #ThePlayersClub on YFM as well as the first global 100% Amapiano Radio Show on a global platform called #AmaInternational on UK’s The Beat London 103.6.
He was named one of the Top 200 influential young people in the country by South African newspaper Mail & Guardian, making him the only DJ on the prestigious list. He has been invited to lecture MBA students at GIBS on “The ability to forecast urban culture trends and using unorthodox methods to build a personal brand in the digital age”, where he referenced his radio entities #TheSindaySocial and the influence of the Amapiano music movement.
We had a young chat with Da Kruk about his career, contributions to music, and what we can expect from him in the future. Here’s what he had to say:
It’s always an honour to host people who are making a positive impact on the South African entertainment industry on #LAChats. Thanks so much for taking the time to engage with us, Da Kruk. To start off the Q&A…
[COMPLETE] 2021 has been…
DA KRUK: A year of reflection, revelations, and one that has brought me closer to what my real purpose is.
You describe yourself as a Touring DJ, Music Producer, Radio Host & Creative Entrepreneur. Tell us more on your role for each title and how do you manage to juggle everything at the same time?
DA KRUK: Well it’s really easy. I’m an artist that is really inquisitive about music culture, what really moves it forward, what impacts it positively and what the cycles of culture are. Hence I’ve found touring, making music especially with people from different walks of life, having a voice to express the shift and elements at play and obviously monetizing my contribution. A perfect 360 degree that works for me and what I want to be remembered for.
You dropped your first single ‘Ngife Ngawe’ from your upcoming EP followed by One Time (London Vibes) featuring Nathan Adams. What’s the inspiration behind the two songs?
DA KRUK: Ngife Ngawe was a depiction of an unfavoured love story and how it’s also best to follow your heart and gut when sharing that part of yourself instead of listening to external voices that constantly want to tell you why love/relationships never work out.
One Time (London Vibes) was me telling South Africa that the Amapiano sound is dynamic and can live in any environment and space through unorthodox collaboration. Working with Nathan Adams was a true testament that people just want great music, irrespective of genre.
While the EP is still cooking, could you give us a teaser on what we can expect and when will everyone finally get to listen to the EP?
DA KRUK: To be honest, what’s happening now isn’t something that is forced and that is supposed to have some sort of a big end goal. I’m just creating with people that I admire and feel have a lot to offer in my journey and music in general. I’m trying to kill how we view genres and categorize music. I just want to create music that sits well on any playlist because it’s good and my next release with Kabelo Mabalane from TKZEE will prove that.
The show you are currently hosting on The Beat London 103.6 is the first global 100% Amapiano radio show on a global stage. How’s the pressure knowing that you are representing South Africa’s most treasured genre of this generation through this platform?
DA KRUK: Not once have I ever felt like I’m representing South Africa, I am really just echoing the sentiments of many South African musicians and music lovers by showing the world that our music deserves to sit alone and be recognized for how authentic it is and why it should be viewed as South Africa’s greatest export of our time.
We’ve seen international markets mesmerized by Amapiano, how has the UK reacted to it through your show?
DA KRUK: The UK is probably the first global region to show the genre this much love and the Amapiano sound has taken a life of its own in the region. I have to thoroughly commend most of the key players in the UK for pushing the sound this much and involving many South Africans in that journey to make sure that it is properly presented and preserved.
As an advocate of Amapiano, what do you think about the newly announced Amapiano Awards and the formation of the Amapiano Governing Body?
DA KRUK: From where I’m sitting, it just looks like a way for people sitting on the fringes to try eat off what they contributed nothing towards. If the proper due diligence was done and these awards came from a good place, there wouldn’t be any controversy behind them.
Through your experience also hosting #ThePlayersClub and #TheSindaySocial on YFM, what is the one common thing you can say you’ve noticed about your audience in SA and the UK?
DA KRUK: These markets are probably the biggest consumers of radio globally and they can spot bad radio from a mile away. Hence I constantly tell people to be authentic to who they are behind the mic for their radio entities to live anywhere in the world.
With the current state of things, how have you maneuvered through the pandemic seeing that the entertainment industry has suffered the most from COVID-19? How do you see the industry, and your peers, surviving?
DA KRUK: Covid-19 has proven that the MUSIC BUSINESS shouldn’t just be treated as just music and neglect the business. Now more than ever, artists need to get their business/money right and stop portraying these hand to mouth social media lifestyles.
What can we expect from you anytime soon? Any virtual performances to look forward to, new music videos, collaborations or anything like that?
DA KRUK: I’ll be working on a lot more music, collaborations and more ways to try and export authentic African art and stories in a way and tone that Africa is the first to benefit.