On Deck for Success: DJ ZAN-D Pushing Commercial Frontier

April 3, 2024
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The annual radio season has come upon the South African airwaves, and one DJ who’s been spinning the Hip-Hop decks on these waves is DJ Zan-D. Having secured another year on South Africa’s trailblazing commercial radio station known for its commitment to showcasing emerging talent and pushing the boundaries of conventional broadcasting, Y-FM, DJ Zan-D will be vibrating on high frequency on YTKO on Tuesdays between 18h00 and 19h00, as well as IN THE RING on Saturdays from 20h00 to 00h00 with Just Mo respectively.

There’s been many talks about the absence/presence of #SAHIPHOP in the commercial scene. The role of DJs in commercial hip-hop has evolved significantly over the years, transitioning from being primarily behind-the-scenes music selectors to influential tastemakers and key players in the industry’s commercial success. DJs now hold a pivotal position in shaping the sound, image, and promotion of hip-hop artists, albums, and brands. One of the hip hop DJs who’s been very vocal about pushing the envelope to the rise of #SAHIPHOP is DJ ZAN-D.

“SA Hip Hop has gone back to the underground. Rappers are rapping again and no one is trying to release bubblegum. The real hip hop heads are happy with the quality of music that’s coming out. The part time consumers are complaining because they are looking for hits. Part time hip hop consumers are also complaining about the lack of hip hop events but real hip hop heads know where to find their events every week” says DJ ZAN-D.

In addition to the state of #SAHIPHOP, DJ Zan-D also shared his views about #VaalHipHop: “Vaal hip hop has been the exciting over the last couple of years. Artists like Espiquet, Dj Kaymoworld, Hopemasta have contributed profusely to the game. We need more artists to shine now and gents must not remove the foot off the pedal.”

DJs often serve as a bridge between artists and their audience, providing a platform for exposure and helping to build buzz around upcoming releases. As a result, DJ Zan-D has released music that’s available on all Digital Stores.

Also check out the ADN Podcast mix he did on YouTube, which is also available on Hearthis


Leqhwa opens 2024 by penning a heartfelt verse on Umndeni Wezitha by Symon Maguire.

February 11, 2024
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In a moment that sparked surprise and exhilaration, Leqhwa’s name blazed across the latest release by Symon Maguire, under the EasternVille Music Affiliate banner. Since the explosive ICE PROJECT, Leqhwa’s presence in the music realm had been veiled in mystery until his associate and #VaalHipHop luminary, Vincent Kheswa, penned a detailed letter unveiling Leqhwa’s status in the scene. The letter, shared fervently on Leqhwa’s Facebook profile, hinted at a seismic shift in the industry.

Armed with nothing but a pen and a soul brimming with authenticity, Leqhwa unleashed a torrent of emotions with his verse on Symon Maguire’s soul-stirring track, “Umndeni Wezitha”. His raw, impassioned delivery resonated deeply with listeners, striking a chord especially among those who found solace in his heartfelt message about the complexities of family feuds.

With each syllable, Leqhwa reignited a fervor for his artistry, leaving fans yearning for more of his lyrical prowess. His seamless integration with Symon Maguire’s melodious vocals bridged the linguistic gap between IsiZulu and Sesotho, crafting a harmonious fusion that transcended cultural boundaries. This unprecedented collaboration not only showcased the boundless talent within the EasternVille Music community but also underscored its unparalleled versatility.

If the tantalizing hints in the letter are anything to go by, audiences can brace themselves for an onslaught of musical masterpieces from Leqhwa in the coming year (2024), promising a resurgence that will undoubtedly redefine the landscape of the music industry.

Umndeni Wezitha is available on all Digital Stores from the project titled INGUQUKO by Symon Maguire

Leqhwa also made the below notable appearances:

Thanks Giving / Kalkoen by T’bu Twiz featuring Leqhwa.

Voodoo Season by Voodoo Island featuring GodZeus, L-Ment, Leqhwa and Zeze Kortez.

Tsa Maleven by Masedi featuring Leqhwa and Kxng B The Great



July 8, 2023
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6AM success was obtained at 10PM, not in Italy, but in the City where the biggest Hip-Hop Festival in the continent is held. It feels like yesterday when Teq released 3 singles in one day and kept the streets buzzing ever since, continuing to show his dominance by making his presence to be loud in the streets. Yep, he’s definitely a problem child of this Hip-Hop genre.

When he crafted his lyrics, he penned down a prophecy that is manifesting over time as time unfolds. As the future becomes present he presents his vision with impactful music. On the song 10PM (Not In Italy), he touches on the gatekeeping issues of the Music Industry, even though he wasn’t given a plague, he transformed to make himself a platform and a force that can’t be ignored.

This became a reality when he won the Back To The City MC 10K Challenge of 2022, where he raised Vaal Flag for the whole content to witness, as he prophecied on 10PM (Not In Italy). Taking the No. 1 spot in the Top 8 finalists, yet again, as he said on his lyrics “I’m Top 10 and not 10, when you count back, ngiLast Number”.

He talked about trusting in the process, which is something that is not easy since it often never makes sense at a time. Maneuvering without budgets while shooting aimlessly at targets with hope that one day things will turn around and look up. Through all of this, he says the streets are something you cannot gatekeep because he got keys to every corner. This is where he found comfort to carry his vision forth. The Streets came through in numbers when they voted for him to be in the Top 8 Finalists of the 10k MC Challenge; another manifestation.

He said he won’t stop until he gets what he deserves and the sit on the table. This has also manifested as he’ll definitely be in the Main Line-Up of the Back To The City Hip-Hop Festival this year by default, as result of winning the 10k Challenge. Raising theVaal Flag once again. His lyrics are truly manifesting over time. 6AM success written in 10PM.

His lyrics are truly manifesting over time. 6AM success written in 10PM.

Watch the Music Video of 10PM: Not In Italy (featuring Leqhwa) on YouTube, amd witness the prophecy being manifested:

Official Music Video
Insights Shows

Stan SonOfman15 Unplugged Session

July 26, 2022
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Sharpeville Creations and Uhuru Family Restaurant have teamed to bring us an unplugged session with Stan SonOfMan15 on the 30th of July 2022.

The session is set to take place at the Uhuru Family Restaurant at Sharpeville from 12pm. PYRAMID Magazine then caught up with the man of the moment to get a better insight behind the artist himself, and what to expect at the unplugged session.

Can you tell us about Stan SonOfman15, and the inspiration behind the name?

Moeketsi Stanley Mofokeng also known as STAN SONOFMAN 15 to his peers and fans, was born and bred in the Vaal, Sebokeng Zone 3 to be precise. Raised by a single mother with my other 3 siblings and I’m the last of the 4. I fell in love with the art of music back in primary school but started writing and recording my own in 2012 as part of a collective called DIALECT. We released our first and last full body project titled “SPECIAL DELIVERY” during the same year. I then moved on to establish myself as a solo act and that’s when the birth of STAN SONOFMAN 15 came.

The inspiration behind the name was, at first I wanted something to rhyme with my name (STAN), but as I grew older and wiser with hip hop the meaning got deeper. I realized most of my mom’s friends called her MaJeso (Jesus’s mother) because her other name is Maria. The number 15 was my late friend’s (MPHO “Dida” Mokonyana) favourite jersey number. A month before he passed, he had promised to give me one of his soccer t-shirts so when he couldn’t anymore I thought I’d would be best I put his number on name as he is the person id like to never forget in my life, so this was my way of representing a very good friend of mine

What inspired the One Man Show, and how did it come about?

I think growth, the feeling of wanting more and building rapport with establishments outside of hip hop because this is not the first showcasing, the first one took place at Shape Café Thabong Mall branch. The whole idea started as a tour, I wanted to organise my own independent tour to promote myself and my music.

What can people expect from the show?

Beautiful music, people and a great flow of energy. Great 7 hours of nothing but good vibes

What previous projects have you released and how can people get hold of them?

STUBBORNFAITH 1&2, a short mixtape titled F.U.N (Fxcked Up Nice) MIXTAPE. They are all on both Audiomack and YouTube.

Do you have any new and upcoming music? Can you tell us about it?

I have been working on a project I want to title ALMOST and it’s gonna serve as the third of the STUBBORNFAITH sequel. I can’t say much about it now but I’m gonna perform a couple of songs from it at the SONOFMAN 15 #UNPLUGGED show. I’m super excited.

How can people get hold you on Social Platforms?

Stansonofman Fifthin on Facebook, then Stansonofman15 on all other social media platforms


A Studio is not a Record Label

June 25, 2022
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A Studio is not a Record Label – written by Lesego Ginger Dithebe

Sometimes you just need to know that you’re a good producer, not a businessman. A studio isn’t a record label. A studio has everything to do with music but not so much to do with business.

Turning your studio into a record label takes things to a whole new level that you might not be ready for. Sometimes you end up delaying people’s dreams by doing that. There are dope studios like Jazzworx. There’s nothing wrong with owning a studio. You don’t have to sign niggas to your studio and call it a label. If it’s a studio, niggas can just come for recordings, mixing, and mastering then take their shit to other people who understand the entertainment and media industry.

You understand music, stay in your lane. Unless if you can assemble a team of people with a greater vision to be involved in your label. This is what niggas do: Hustle money, buy recording equipment, refurbish the backroom and turn it into a studio. Get niggas to come and record, then boom; it’s a label. No plan of action whatsoever.

The only thing you do is to create links for niggas songs and submit their material to radio then that’s it. Radio has proved to be unreliable so chances are that now you only have a link to prove that you trying to push a nigga. Something that he could have done by himself. The only gigs you can organize are open mic sessions. You’re out of your depth and you’re not aware.

The minute you say it’s a label then you’re taking a sole responsibility for niggas’ careers. You can actually be a team instead of a label, so that you delegate responsibilities. This is why you find a studio with more than 100 unknown hits on their catalogue. After every failed project, you go back to the studio to record more hits thinking that the masses will buy into your new shit.

When actually the problem wasn’t the music but how it was pushed. You make good music that you need to handover to someone else to promote it for you. Maybe someone who can even re-brand you as an artist.


#VaalHipHop Breakthrough to Mainstream Industry | We Are Closer Than We Think

March 12, 2022

So close yet so so far. These are the words that resonate with almost every #VaalHipHop Artist whenever they drop new Music. The reach has now extended to Mainstream Television, Mainstream Radio, the Streams are growing, even gigging outside Vaal. However, when it comes to topping charts, Music Awards, necessary Headlines in the Music Industry, including Mainstream Events, our absence is very loud. 

Without a shadow of doubt our Music can shake the world, however, there is a lot that is still not in place in terms of structure, as well as the Business side of things. 

Amongst many of these things, allow me to touch on just one in particular, and that is a Key Record Label to put the talent forth so that it can reach where it should be or needs to be. I am talking about a Mabala Noise, Ambitious Entertainment, Outrageous Records, 999 Music, Kalawa-Jazmee, Ghetto Ruff, Afrotainment, Native Rhythms, that is Vaal based. 

The theory is also evident in studying independent American Record Labels, such as Death Row Records, Bad Boy Entertainment, Ruthless Records, Roc-A-Fella Records, Ruff Ryders, Murder-Inc, Aftermath, Loud Records, No Limit Records, just to name but a few. These are independent Record Labels who managed to partner with major Distributors to enable their MUSIC to be released on a larger Mainstream platform beyond their personal reach. 

The Vaal does have independent Record Labels who are really putting in the work that is very noticeable in the Industry; the likes of EasternVille Music, MoneyWay Records, Raw Music Group, Ground Level Up Entertainment. However, the truth of the matter is, one common factor behind the success of most of the aforementioned independent Record Labels [both locally and abroad] is a major funding behind them. Funding is  a major key to unlock the required resources for #VaalHipHop Artists to make a breakthrough in the mainstream industry. 

A lot of Record Labels are being run from the depths of our pockets, whereby the pockets are not really that deep, or even deep at all. Simple things such as the ability to attend Radio Interviews in Johannesburg at night are a real hustle, never mind the gigs, and just doing basic hustling at the doors of the National Broadcasters and Associations. 

A lot of events happen at night and something as basic as transportation is still a stumbling block. I haven’t even touched on paying for PR and Marketing, Branding, as well as Graphic Designers to ensure that whatever we put out is on point and attractive to the eye. At this point, doing a National Tour is an impossible task, not to even mention a local tour in the Vaal to take the music straight to the people. 

We don’t have the Motsepe Money, or even the Drug Money as most Hip-Hop Affiliated Record Labels claim in their lyrics,  required to push us to be where we need to be. It’s going to be a long way up to the top, but eventually we’ll break the code. We’re a lot closer to the price than we think.