Gallant Sound System, a hip hop and Dancehall Sound System is a creative art organisation that promotes events. In February of 2014, they started an event called Street Vybz Wednesday. It is a platform for unsigned music acts and creative minds to meet and showcase their artistry. It is where local upcoming artists can hone their stage skills and engage with the audience to get feed back so as to improve on their respective art forms. In an era where the youth describe where they come from by their area code, Gallant Sound System is representing for 1632, and that is Tembisa, in the East Rand of Gauteng. MzansiReggae caught up with Lebo, otherwise known as Gazagallant, the founder of this event to tell us a bit more about Street Vybz Wednesday.
Explain to us the concept of Street Vybz, how it came about, who formed it and why?
The concept is to chronicle 1632’s real hip hop & dancehall/reggae history. I felt there is gap in rap & ragga around my hood, so holding sessions every week is a way of keeping the movement alive and to improve and grow real hip hop & dancehall/reggae in 1632. The aim is to promote and create a platform for all the creative minds and to empower new talent and make them recognized. I came up with the concept, then I met DJ Slick in one of the sessions where we were both playing; I explained to him what I wanted to do and he was interested. Wanted to bring people together and making our presence visible and embrace the lifestyle and culture of hip hop & dancehall/reggae. It is all about giving exposure to all the upcoming artists so that they can gain confidence to do what they love. So we began playing at Serge place (small tavern/our chilling spot) me Gazagallant on a dancehall/reggae and dupstep with DJ Slick aka Spliff. Oneself and Potent-kay playing hip hop & Wave City Movement doing the rap thing. Now we emerged to provide real hip hop dub & dancehall/reggae at large.
You recently celebrated a one year anniversary, tells us more about the one year you have been in existence?
Its been amazing it feels good to see ourselves making a great impact than we expected. People always asking when is the next big event, we have artists who actually started on a low, now they realized their full potential cause every week people bring their best. The audience can’t get enough, nor can the rappers.
Why do you combine Reggae and Hip Hop. Which is more popular?
I love them both, both genres share the same thing which allows them more space to experiment with rhythmic patterns. Hip hop is more popular but I don’t just listen to your ordinary hip hop. I’m more into the underground hip hop which is not popular but more socially conscious, positive, or anti-commercial lyrics and its Afrocentric.
Tell us about the artistes who have performed at your events?
Almost all of our local artist; we already had the pioneers of the game, the likes of Freddie Bosta, Blak Pharoah, Bobby Buckle aka Book of Life, R-senic, Kraft, Lyrical Sickness and the Mighty Click, Dummy (Hi4P), DaMagnifaya, Nemisis, Absolute Mc and The Art Prophets Band. There are a lot of artists that embraced us, such as Verbal Snatch, Las’DidGe, Ruff art, Edsta, Ruff Skatch, Giggsnition, Snieman se rap, Necrophonic-skillz, Deyika from Lesotho, Mr Austin from Nigeria they just moved to Jozi and DJ’s like DJ Fire, Killa Kane, Fayaloxx and DJ Miq and some are now our regular performers and we still hold it down together now and then. We also hosted a reggae artist from Vaal (Springs kwa-thema) Jeremiah Fyah Ises and on our 1year anniversary we had DJ Fanta pon the line up.
Do you have regular exhibitors, or is it just a once off opportunity?
We do have our regulars and most are our local artist Wave City, Freddie Bosta, Syllable-skillz, Blak Pharoah, DaMagnifaya, Nemisis, Abso & sum do but not every week they get time. Once off opportunity is for those who happen to be visiting our hood and get a chance to bless us.
Where exactly do you hold your sessions?
Its in my hood (ekas’laam) 152 Mashemong Sec, Tembisa 1632 at Serge Place.
How can artistes who are interested to come get hold of you, what is the criteria?
Its simple they can contact me on 078 229 4715 or email firstname.lastname@example.org | Bbm Pin : 2B5CFF86 | Twitter : Kealeboga @GazaGallant | Facebook : Kealeboga Gazagallant Lebo | Facebook group : Street Vybz Weednesday’s
The future of Gallant Sound?
Is to grow bigger and better. Continue the movement from sessions to bigger and better events to organising festivals. We promise to give back and continue to enhance and help others on their path with no intense and selfish desire. For now I see the brightness with Gallant Sound System. “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time” Abraham Lincoln said! Watch out for the 2nd Annual Street Vybz Block Party around September we ah duh dem again.