‘On The SpotLight’ this week we have the ‘massively talented’ Pretoria based ‘House Music Producer / Deejay’ ‘Cornelius SA’. Born into a musical family, that is where ‘Cornelius SA’ acquired his ‘exquisite taste for music’. That paved his way to ‘multiple chat topping releases’ and ‘crowd captivating Dj sets’ on any dancefloor. With recent success under internationally acclaimed ‘Dopewax Records’ and being handpicked for this year’s ‘Red Bull Music Academy’ in Berlin, without any doubt there is more instore from ‘Cornelius SA’.
ShoMag: Thank you for taking some time out for this ‘one on one’, just so we can have a talk with you. Just to kick things off who is ‘Cornelius SA’ and where is he from?
Cornelius SA: I was born and raised by my Grandmother in Pretoria, Atteridgiville, South Africa. My parents bought a house in Soshanguve where my ‘interest for music was established’ and years later after my parents separated, I moved to stay with my dad in Mabopane, Pretoria, South Africa.
ShoMag: How did your ‘musical journey’ start, was music something you always wanted to be a part of or did it just grow on you?
Cornelius SA: ‘I’ve always wanted to study music since my first day in primary school’, I grew up surrounded by records and cassette players never had any toys, so I spent most of my time messing around with those. I was either recording my favourite shows and music on radio or recording myself singing on tape recorders. Listening to a bunch of ‘soul, reggae, jazz’ and a bunch of other amazing records my dad used to collect, contributed a lot to what or who I have become today.
ShoMag: In recent years we have seen some deejays ‘take on’ music production and some music producers taking on deejaying. Personally which space do you occupy within ‘House Music’, are you a music producer or a deejay or do you do both?
Cornelius SA: There’s a lot of us, there’s a lot of amazing music coming out of South Africa. Well, ‘I started off as a producer’ and on some cases I had to be out of studio to test drive my music so that led to me becoming a disk jockey after getting some lessons from friends on how to sync beats together on both Vinyl’s and CDJ’s.
Image By Benjamin Tilodi
ShoMag: You are praised within ‘House Music Circles’ for being ‘creative and for having a unique approach to sound’. How would you describe your sound and what inspires that sound?
Cornelius SA: My sound is very complex and straightforward, I try not to be hard on myself and do things I’m not familiar with, and so ‘I stick to the basics while making music’. I’m also open to learning new things and sharing ideas with fellow producers. Instead of making music all the way, I would rather open a huge gap, where I just sit and listen to tons of different kinds of music of the people I draw inspiration from.
ShoMag: That uniqueness has seen you work closely with internationally acclaimed ‘Kenny Dope’s Record Label Dopewax’, how did that come about and has that added value towards your art?
Cornelius SA: I didn’t know how I sounded until my sound grabbed the attention of the legendary and four time Grammy award nominee Masters At Work’s ‘Kenny Dope’ after ‘Swizz’ from ‘Surreal Sounds’ had sent him some of my newly produced work. I only submitted one EP I had worked on while everybody else was partying in Dec 16th 2015 and the following year it was signed and released on his Record Label ‘Sometimes less is often more’. I then received a message from ‘Tortured Soul’ about the song and later they requested a remix from me and that made me the third Producer to ever work with ‘Tortured Soul’ in the Country following on ‘MiCasa and Black Coffee’.