• Kalawa Jazmee
  • Kwaito Revolution
  • House Music

Kalawa Jazmee was formed as Kalawa in 1992

Kalawa Jazmee (sometimes “KJ Records”) was formed as Kalawa in 1992 by Christos Katsaitis (who departed in 1995), Don Laka and DJ Oskido and took its name from the first two letters of their respective surnames (Oskido often used “Warona” at the time). Boom Shaka (Lebo Mathosa, Theo Nhlengethwa, Junior Sokhela and Thembi Seete) were the new label’s first signing, with debut album “It’s About Time” released in 1993. Joining with Trompie’s label Jazmee in 1995, it then became known as Kalawa-Jazmee Records, later dropping the hyphen completely.

The company is currently run by

Oscar Mdlongwa

Don Laka

Bruce ‘Dope’ Sebitlo

Zynne ‘Mahoota’ Sibika

Mandla ‘Spikiri’ Mofokeng

Emmanuel ‘Mjokes’ Matsane

The record label has been at the forefront of youth culture and has produced other top acts like Bongo Maffin, Mafikizolo, Thebe, Alaska, Professor, Uhuru, Dr Malinga Black Motion, Zonke, Winnie Khumalo, DJ Zinhle, Busiswa and many more.

Kwaito is a music genre that was originally created in South Africa during the 1990s

It has been described as the music that defines the generation who came of age after apartheid. Oskido was amongst the first artists to produce kwaito tracks by adding vocals to the slow tempo house beats, and it went on to become popular in South Africa and beyond. But Oskido’s music could be differentiated from the rest of the kwaito genre by its jazzy elements. His co-creator, Don Laka, who’s a jazz maestro, gave their productions a hybrid sound that set them apart from the rest. Oskido and his producing partners faced an avalanche of criticism from all quarters of the music industry for creating kwaito – the old guard felt that the youthful genre was gimmicky and not musical enough, and thought the lyrics were either shallow or offensive. His contribution to the development of dance music in South Africa earned him a Special Recognition Award at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards.
He was also part of the Kalawa Jazmee crew honoured at the SA Dance Music Awards in the same year.

Oskido is also known for his top selling ‘Church Grooves’ compilation series,

which kicked off in 2001 and changed the face of South African house compilations, making them a staple in the industry for the next twenty years. In 2012 he launched the “I Believe” project, which is also the name of his radio show on Metro FM. This programme that was started with his Madlozi partner, Maloka, and the NYDA, and seeks to turn young music names into serious businessmen and women.

In the mid-2000s, along with Greg Maloka, DJ Fresh, Vinny Da Vinci and DJ Christos, he started DJU (Deejays Unite), and this crew was responsible for equipping young music names and DJs with valuable industry information through the annual Southern African Music Conference (SAMC). The conference lead to names like Black Coffee, DJ Tira, Euphonik and more breaking into the music industry and has opened doors for many others.

In the summer of 2019, he released a new album called ‘Akhiwe’, which paralleled his distinctive midtempo sound with the emerging amapiano genre. He collaborated with a number of artists on the album, including amapiano pioneers Kabza De Small and MFR Souls, and vocalists including Toshi (who was named Top Vocalist of 2018 by Traxsource), Monique Bingham, Winnie Khumalo, Zonke Dikana, and Tamara Dey, whose career Oskido helped kickstart when she sang on BOP’s “That’Impahlayakho”.

These major names are joined by younger, equally highly gifted talent, including Drum Pope (who has collaborated with DJ Vetkuk vs Mahoota) and Mapiano, who worked on an early (and highly successful) cut from this LP, “Balambile”. The atmospheric “Ma Dlamini” features Kalawa alumni Professor.

Oskido does not focus on music only – he’s quite the businessman. Earlier in 2019, Mdlongwa shared a snap of his new restaurant, Daruma By Oskido Japanese Restaurant, in Waterfall Corner Johannesburg.

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