Rappers fuse styles to make Vibes

Rap duo Vibes, Luthando Ntshinga, known as ChingaTime, and Buntu Mawisa, known as BlaQ-Slim.

Rapper Buntu Mawisa will be painting pictures with music at the Youngblood Gallery on Friday April 26, at 8pm.

Together with Luthando Ntshinga, they will perform their hit single, Tower, which speaks to young artists, telling them that if they want the money and power, they have to start now.

Together, the duo is called Vibes, but apart, they each have their own contribution to the world of music, says Buntu, also known as BlaQ-Slim.

The idea came from taking two different styles of rapping – BlaQ-Slim being lyrical and ChingaTime, as Luthando calls himself, being more melodic, then fusing these two styles to create music they choose to label as Vibes.

“We are two sides of the coin. With Chinga, we’re a vibe, but as BlaQ-Slim, I’m more serious. I try to find a balance between being just me and being part of a duo,” said Buntu.

Buntu grew up in Montana, and went to Pinelands High School. He studied B-Com General, but didn’t finish his course.

“I didn’t finish because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. However, I got what I wanted out of it, and I was able to use the business skills as tools in my business.”

He then took a gap year to focus on music and spend time with his family.

“I’m now studying sound engineering to bridge the gap between business and music.

“In the music industry, I believe you can’t just do one thing – you need to do a little bit of everything to make your business succeed.”

Buntu met Luthando, who grew up in Langa, at a talent show in Khayelitsha called the EKasi experience in 2014.

“I had won the contest the previous year, and he won it that year. I was there to perform as the last winner, when I spotted him and I thought he was really talented. He was keen to make music and we started playing together.”

Two years later the two came together to work on a project called I Hope This Gives You Vibes, compiling the entire weekend’s feelings and putting into one song.

“We understood the vibe between one another, so we came together again for a project – this time it was called The Vibe is still Alive – and out of this came their hit single, Tower.

People chose this song because they resonated with it. We then went to Johannesburg to get the music out there and decided to bring in a new element of hip hop to the scene.

We figured that people call music an art – and what better place to put art than in a gallery – with a live band. We want to break the stereotype that rap is all about the streets by performing in a formal space like a gallery and combine the two.

We call ourselves artists, painting pictures with music and we look at art in a gallery. That was the thinking behind it.”

Both artists are sound engineers, with ChingaTime being a graduate and BlaQ-Slim still studying. While ChingaTime still lives in Cape Town, BlaQ-
Slim recently moved to Johannesburg.

“There’s more opportunity. There is a lot of talent in Cape Town overshadowed by complacency. I wanted to get out of Cape Town because I wanted to see my talent grow more than just local.

Sometimes you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. There is a whole lot of potential here, but I’ve learnt that it isn’t the lack of resources, but more the access to it. There are so many programmes that artists can tap into, but they don’t know about it.”

As part of Tower, Vibes are in the process of conducting high school tours across the Western Cape, where they will be educating pupils on how to invest in themselves at a younger age and how to be independent artists and not having to rely on record labels to further their career.

Tickets to the show at Youngblood Gallery cost R100 to R120. Book through Webtickets.