Masuku reshapes dog-eat-dog South Africa music industry

Zimbabwean- stable executive and disc jockey, Mbuso Masuku

Zimbabwean- stable executive and disc jockey, Mbuso Masuku

JOHANNESBURG – THE cutthroat competition in the South African entertainment industry is often detrimental to the careers of up-and-coming performers, who are mostly rejected by established recording stables.

At times, when they get that rare opportunity to record, the novices fall into the hands of unscrupulous industry bosses who scoff at their work, only to go behind the youngsters’ backs and either sell or produce the apparently brilliant product as theirs, at huge profit.

Such exploited and ignored talent has received a major boost following the intervention of Zimbabwean-born music stable executive and disc jockey, Mbuso Masuku, whose establishment in Johannesburg is unearthing rough gems and has thrust them on the path to stardom.

Musicians mostly from South Africa and Masuku’s home country are benefiting from the entertainment stable that the 40-year-old born in the southern Tsholotsho established in Braamfontein, South Africa in 2013.

Hard Time Productions, as the entertainment stable is known, was also formed out of Masuku’s frustration with some fly-by-night recording houses hindering the progress of up-and-coming musicians through shoddy work.

“Hard Time Productions was initially an idea created from the disappointing results of amateur recording labels’ failure to record, carefully mix/master and distribute artists’ music,” Masuku,
affectionately known by stage name, DJ Shoes, said in an interview with CAJ News.

“As an artist and producer, I then decided to take matters into his own hands by establishing the powerhouse music stable we now know to be Hard Time Productions.”

He explained the reason behind the naming of the professional production company. The title has nothing to do with some hardships Masuku went through when the studio was at its infancy.

“I specifically gave my company the name to emphasize that artists have to work hard on their talent, then we invest a lot of time to work towards polishing their craft,” Masuku enlightened.

“It is a production company created to reshape the state of South African music and visual arts through sheer talent and hard work,” the industrious executive said.

He disclosed it was not plain sailing at the start.

“Although its inception had challenges with regards to financial assistance and finding a suitable space to work, that did not deter me from constantly pushing on,” the music boss-cum-DJ said.

“Fortunately, I was not only able to access capital but he also secured a comfortable business office to operate in,” he said.

Among starts honed at Hard Times include budding Maskandi artist, Lucky Mthunzi, from Zimbabwe, Afropop and soul stars Pilato Luvuyo, and Asanda K as well as House songstress Darkchix and teenage hip hop sensation, Juicy Kiido (15).

Some of the stars have since performed in shows by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and rubbed shoulders with music gurus Mnqobi “Shota” Mdabe and Oscar “Oskido” Ndlovu. Masuku has created music for some SABC programmes.

He is an established musician in his own right, having recorded three studio albums titled, “Hard Time”, “I Believe”, and “Ses’hlangene.”

“My music is inspired by life experiences, God and love,” Masuku said.

Besides his passion for entertainment, Masuku’s other love is his wife of 15 years, Charity, and two daughters, Thandile Charmaine and Thembela Kayla.
– CAJ News



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