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Sketchy Bongo talks Justin Bieber: I chowed all his food

2017-07-10 13:31
Sketchy Bongo

Cape Town – We recently had the chance to hang at the Red Bull Studios in Cape Town to watch Sketchy Bongo’s live set for 5FM.

Spinning the decks for the 5Live Show with Forbes and Fix, Sketchy threw in some brand new beats especially for the live radio show.

And as he finished his set, we got to chat to the producer and DJ who gave us the inside scoop on Justin Bieber’s SA tour, Shekhinah’s hang with Jason Derulo and what he’s up to next.

Check out what Sketchy revealed during our conversation:

On performing in studio VS performing live:

It was very different, very very different. It’s difficult to sometimes not be able to interact with people. Like for me, I like to interact when I’m performing, so it was different, but it also gave a bit of room for experimentation because I wasn’t performing in a club. So I played stuff that I wouldn’t normally be able to play in a club. Like a few remixes that work for radio, but not in a club, so it was interesting, very interesting. 

Sketchy Bongo

On what he enjoys most about live performances:

I just like seeing people vibing with my music. Hearing and seeing the music, because we also have quite a visual aspect to our stuff. Like we just teamed up with these new drummers, they’re called Drum Bots, so they drum with LED lights on them and stuff like that, which is cool. 

On opening for Justin Bieber:

The Bieber show was another story. It’s weird, like we performed in the Dome before, like Coca Cola, or whatever it’s called now, Ticketpro Dome. That’s 20 000 people. This (Cape Town) is 60 000 people in a stadium, so it’s a different style of performing. Most people in this country haven’t performed to that amount of people and this was our first time. 

We went on in Joburg without a soundcheck. It was raining and negative 2 degrees, and pouring with heavy rain, and the stage is wet and the guys were like, you can go on the stage, you can do whatever you want, but if you break your neck… We had to sign indemnity forms and everything. 

And obviously with any kind of act where you open, your sound is worse than the main act. But I feel like, because Justin Bieber had his own people doing everything, so I feel like they didn’t have enough time to actually set up, because the Cape Town show, where they had like a few days to set up, was much better sound wise, everything was better. 

Like, we didn’t even have a camera in Joburg following us on stage, like you need that in a stadium show. Majority of the people are sitting in the stands, so when I went to the stands after we performed, I was watching Bieber, like I couldn’t see him unless I looked at the screen. Like most people, we’ve had such diverse points of view on the Joburg show specifically, where people were like, this is the worst thing we’ve ever seen, and then it was like the best thing they’ve ever seen. Because everyone is right there, like golden circle, they had a great time, because we were performing like we would normally perform in front of people. But the people at the back, they couldn’t see anything. 

Sketchy Bongo

On Bieber's rant on stage:

For the Joburg show, Bieber came straight from India, and he had one hour in the hotel room and then jumped on stage. And the one hour in the hotel room was when we were on stage. So like he was like tired, and he was angry with the crowd, I don’t know if you heard about it? 

So somebody threw a water bottle or something at him, but like I don’t remember what happened. And the first thing he said to the crowd, he didn’t say, ‘hey south Africa’ nothing like that, the first thing he says to the crowd is, ‘I don’t need to be here right now’. That was what he said. Everyone was like, we are paying you to be here, you have to be here! 

On chilling with Bieber:

But in Cape Town, he spent a few days, he went up Table Mountain and he did all of the touristy stuff. And he flew his family down. So when we were chilling at the One & Only, we were in the pool, and then I checked this guy, I didn’t know it was Bieber, but I checked this guy, and he looked like Bieber, but there were a lot of people dressing up like Bieber on that day. I don’t know if you saw that story in Sandton? We were there that day having breakfast and we saw him and everyone thought it was Bieber… Nway, so we went to Bieber at the pool and said, ‘hey what’s up?’, and he was very chilled, very cool. I think maybe because his mother was there with him, but I don’t know…hehe! He flew all his siblings out and his dad and his mother. 

Sketchy Bongo

On chowing Bieber’s food:

There’s a restaurant in One & Only called Nobu, it’s like a super-fancy restaurant. He got booked in for dinner that night, the hotel always books people, whenever they have big book-ins, then they book the people. And he didn’t pitch up for his booking, and we went and chowed all his food. So I don’t know what happened, but because we knew the hotel manager there, we were like hey, this guy’s not here, I know you got a tab for this guy, because we know they gave him like a complimentary dinner. And he was like, okay wait, just chill for another half an hour, if he doesn’t rock up in half an hour… he didn’t rock up in half an hour. 

On what he’s up to next:

I’m doing Coke Studio Africa, Shekinah was just up there, she did a song with Jason Derulo. I’m going up, I don’t know who I’m doing songs with. I know one person, but I’m not allowed to talk about it, I think, I don’t know… I don’t wanna get into trouble, but yeah it’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be just a whole lot of acts from Africa, South Africa and also around the world just coming together, recording together. I’m producing three episodes. And I think it’s going to be on here, I’m not 100% sure. 

On Shekhinah and Jason Derulo writing together:

I know with Shekinah’s one with Jason Derulo they sat and wrote a lot of stuff. They wrote stuff that is not even going to be on the project, because Jason Derulo also writes for other artists. So they clicked, and ja she’s just written stuff with him that they’re going to pitch to other people, so ja, I mean he writes for Meghan Trainor, like he had that one weird song. In the States there’s a lot of money in that. 

(Photos: Jono Ferreira / Red Bull Content Pool)

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