“Jakinda means perseverance in Swahili”, is what Jakinda aptly opens with in his reply to my request for a background on him and his music. Originally from Johannesburg and now based in Cape Town, the conceptual artist’s main focus, for the majority of his life, was expressing himself through visual art – specifically drawing and photography. However, after coming across Jean-Michel Basquiat’s documentary The Radiant Child in 2014, he began to experiment with the idea of music as a medium of expression.
“Music is a much more accessible form of art than painting, for example. Music can be shared far and wide and that’s a great way to spread your message. All I really want to do is leave the world with my message, I’m not really sure what that message is yet but I’m definitely getting closer to it.”
Following last week’s single release of ‘The Answer’, today sees the release of his second EP, Afrika 3000. Jakinda states that, conceptually, the EP was an idea he had about taking people on a journey to the future and re-imagining black masculinity, love/heartbreak and self-discovery.
Musically, in the wake of the (albeit delayed) introduction of gqom and some of its subsidiary/cousin sub-genres like sgubhu to the greater South African dance audience, it holds many of the rhythmic and sustained ghoulish bassline characteristics synonymous with them. Afrika 3000 finds Jakinda playing in similar territory to the likes of Jumping Back Slash, in the sense of it being the work of someone who has absorbed these influences and authentically moulded them into something he can call his own – which is undoubtedly Afrika 3000’s greatest achievement.
He trades in the raw, club-friendly aspects of the increasingly popular ‘traditional’ gqom for restraint and finesse, but in a way that still makes you daydream of the warm [read: heaving] embrace of the dancefloor, but allows enough room for the exquisite, immaculate journey it effortlessly takes you on.
Thus far, some of Jakinda’s better known performances (to us at least) to date include Java‘s Shap! Shap! Vol. 3, YOH!’s House Party ft Olugbenga from Metronomy and the most elusive NYE party, The Search 16/17. He’s also made appearances on Jumping Back Slash’s Radar Radio Show alongside 0_0_0_0 (Faces) and a relatively new bedroom DJ set series called Under Pressure Sundays, hosted by Karl Ndebele, which featured a stellar mix of original work and remixes: