“Through Maximum Stylez, I managed to work with the best in what the Mzansi Reggae scene has to offer, while building a name for myself” – Bun’Pot
Moshe Eddie Mere, the Bad Bwoy of Mzansi Dancehall Reggae, otherwise known as “Bun’Pot”, which also translates to “Smoke The Herb” has boldly stepped out of the Maximum comfort zone into a Concrete Jungle. He and his chargie, two times SAMA Nominee Botanist, have set up an independent Record label called Concrete Jungle. The duo parted ways with their former label, Maximum Stylez Records after a four year stint.
Bun’pot hails from the Free State Province of South Africa in a small town named after Boer War Commandant Helgaardt Theunissen. Theunissen is a small town that has the only wine estate, the Theunissen Wine Farm, in the Free State province. It is located about 95 kilometers northeast of Bloemfontein (the province’s capital and South Africas Judicial Capital) and about 340 kilometers south of Johannesburg. He comes from the area affectionately called ‘Masilo” by the locals. Born into a musical family, his Father Jacob Marumo a bass guitarist, is the one from whom he inherited the musical genes. His father would take him along to rehearsals, at the age of 15, and that is where he was exposed to the art of music. It was then when he would push his first-born son in the direction of playing drums but Bun’Pot preferred the bass. He would later relocate to Johannesburg in search of greener pastures, and was one of those lucky enough to gradually achieve what they set out to do when they left home. You hear from the way he talks that he created his own luck and opportunities, though it seems the universe was on his side when he met DJ Agu of Equator Sound through a Rasta Bredren who would invite him to Reggae gigs. “I used to attend dances in Soweto, that’s where I met Muzzla who later introduced me to places like Mzimhlophe and Rasta House” he explained further.
Inspired by Black Dillinger, Bongo Riot, Ninja Man, Stitch Man, Junior Dread and Jah Seed; he gathered these inspirations and influences to mold and build on his own style that led to his first break at Rasta House in Yeoville. When Fruity Star, who is signed to Maximun Stylez Records, saw him perform he put in a good word for him at the then new label that was fast gaining popularity: “Through Maximum Stylez, I managed to work with the best in what the Mzansi Reggae scene has to offer, while building a name for myself in the process through interacting with artists like Bongo Riot, Jahzo, BaddaBadda and many more. I also worked with Sounds like Equator Sound, Yard 66 Sound, Staryaad Sound and Legion 16″
The Multi talented self proclaimed Bad Bwoy is also a choreographer and a player of instruments; he plays the Bass and Xylophone, however he is known more for his provocative, friendly and funny personality and a huge appetite for both sound clashes and artist clashes with a bag full of idiosyncratic lyrics to boot, that he even has to put out a disclaimer before the track hits the streets:
Please I beg if you hear your empress name on my upcoming single called Mystical Pum Pum jus know its for entertainment purposes and nothing else,we not gonna ridicule or disrespect your empress in anyway #PEACE – Facebook Post.
He was ecstatic and vocal on Facebook during the Maximum Stylez Crew ‘Lyrical Clash’ with the ‘The Twelve Star General’ Black Dillinger back in 2017. He and his chargie counterattacked with ‘Jancro The Memorial’ decisively claiming to have buried Dillinger and that it was time for a ‘Memorial’. Hear it here.
Nonetheless, he got songs like “Suzan” from the Love Drop Riddim and “Give me yuh Love” from the Respect Album which he recorded with Maximum Stylez owner, Pepsin, which shows the softer side of him. After 4 years with Maximun Stylez Records, change was bound to happen as it is mandatory after all; “The thought of not owning my work and being limited to express myself fully is one of the things that made me leave Maximum Stylez, don’t get me wrong MSR helped me in a huge way and we don’t have any bad blood but I needed to experience this journey on my own, be my own person”. He explained.
He and his stable mate Mohlomi Emmaunel Matlhodi known as Botanist, set out to venture on their own and make a legacy for themselves. They set up a Recording Label “Concrete Jungle” which according to BunPot the “Concrete” refers to the hardships of the Mzansi Reggae industry and “Jungle” refers to how despite the hardships, they still continue to grow. The Label currently has only two artists “but features will occur when necessary.” The First single that was released under Concrete Jungle is Botanist’s “Kebale” which fuses a typical Reggae Dancehall sound with a touch of Sesotho Trap, it talks to everyone that came to the City of Gold (Johannesburg) searching for better a life, it speaks of things we do for fame or money. Bun’Pot is currently working on his maiden Album under Concrete Jungle Label, but he is also set to release two singles called Mystical PumPum off the Hell Raiser Riddim and Kgauteng (Dreams Riddim) from other producers.
True to the concept of the label, Bun’Pot explains that the label will not only be limited to Reggae and will eventually venture into other genres to fuse and grow the sound. With Reggae still marginalised in the country, the question that surely lingers in most minds is what will make “Concrete Jungle” stand out from the rest: “From MSR we’ve been outstanding artists, Botanist and I, but overshadowed and underrated. The independence gained from leaving will play a huge role in showcasing our true potential and I don’t doubt what we are capable of, musically we are gifted but finance is a problem. I believe works will prove and answer this question soon enough; To add on to that, I know we have necessary skills and experience and we pride ourselves with the quality of music we are about to offer”
He closed off the interview with an unsolicited sound advice to independent artists like himself: “Artists need to own their craft and studios register their companies and secure everything. They have to keep strong because our industry is still young so they will have to fund their own projects. They mustn’t depend on the music but work to fund their companies and themselves”
Talent is frivolous without hard work and dedication. If there’s anything we’ve picked up and have to admire about Bun’Pot is how he strives for independence and Growth.
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