Interview: Five minutes with Kid Fonque

Kid Fonque has become a vital part of South African electronic music and club culture over the last 20 years. Uniquely accomplished in both influence and scope, he is an over-achiever, DJ, Producer, Label Owner, Promoter, Radio Show Curator/Presenter & more recently a host of his own TV show ‘Kid Fonque Presents True Music Sessions’. Firmly established as a tastemaker in his native South Africa, Kid Fonque’s influence can be felt and heard in the music of the many artists he has helped nurture within his role as label manager of Africa’s seminal dance label Soul Candi Records and more recently his own labels, Stay True Sounds and STYTRU BTS. 

Like a painter dabbing his brush into different hues, Fonque’s palette embraces everything from Bass and Broken Beats to Bossa Nova, HipHop and every shade of House. He’s been deconstructing dance floors at home and abroad for well over a decade. Kid also hosts his own radio show called ‘Selective Styles’ on one of South Africa’s biggest national radio station 5FM. The weekly show has given him the platform to showcase hidden talent from all over South Africa’s electronic music landscape and allows him the freedom to play House, Soul & Hip Hop from the local and international communities.

We had the incredible honour of getting the chance to have a talk with Kid Fonque and ask him a few questions about his life in music and we got the chance to listen to his latest track.

Tell us about your earliest musical memory?

I grew up in a house full of music.  My dad loved all sorts of music but it was when he played my Michael Jackson that I truly felt something.

At what point in your life did you have that moment where you said to yourself “This is it. This is the type of music I want to create?”

My Dad started buying this new sort of music called Acid Jazz.  He picked up a few compilations called ‘The Rebirth Of Cool’ that really changed my outlook on music.  I didn’t know I wanted to make music yet but I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to it which I am.

Please list some of the most influential albums on your creative outlook and output:

John Martin – One World,  – Shigeto – No Better Time Than Now, The Roots – Game Theory,  All of Dego’s productions,  Pepe Bradock – 4, this list goes on & on, but those impacted me the most.

What key pieces of gear/software are you using to define your sound?

I always start with my turntable.   I get a sample from music I collect and work that sample into something I connect with.

What inspires you outside of music? What do you turn to when the creative well runs a little low?

I am 100% full-on music.

I run 2 record labels releasing independent electronic music, Stay True Sounds & STY TRU BTS.

I have a weekly radio show Selective Styles on a South African national radio platform 5FM which I curate and host interviews with the emerging talent we have here. 

I have also just launched my own TV show ‘Kid Fonque Presents True Music Sessions’ where I do in-depth interviews and let artists showcase their talents.

So its all music & being a Dad which I love:)

What is your opinion on the ever-spreading sub-genre vine? Are there too many? Do you think there’ s perhaps a sub-genre that doesn’t get the attention it deserves?

haha if you listen to my tune Undefined it explains how I feel about music… “It’s not about the genre or the title, it’s just about the feeling’.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, what do you prefer?

I have always been a DJ first and I have been doing it for over 20 years with a busy weekend schedule all around South Africa.

Producing takes me a lot longer, I love both but do love the energy and love I get from DJ’ing.

As a music artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

I was on a Boiler Room panel in London in January representing South Africa and this topic came up.  

My opinion and the opinion of lots of other people in the industry here is that South Africa has an amazing dance scene that is alive and fruitful, the only 1 thing I would change is the lack of education around the music business.

Any new or upcoming artists on your radar? Who shouldn’t the world sleep on?

So Many, here are some of my fav local artists right now:

  • Fka Mash
  • YoursTruly
  • Beat Sampras
  • Dwson
  • China Charmeleon
  • Kevin Murning

So many to list actually, we have a great electronic music scene here…

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

I have just mixed a 12 track album for one of my labels Stay True Sounds, every track is exclusive to the comp and is a testament to whats going on in the underground scene in South Africa.  

It’s amazing and comes out on 1st November 2019.

Famous last words?

Do You!

Follow Kid Fonque: