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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Kabza’s songs given a classic twist in collaboration with orchestra conductor

Ofentse Pitse is the first and youngest black South African woman to conduct and own an all-black orchestra, Anchored Sound.

Kabza De Small, music producer synonymous with the amapiano genre, recently teamed up with music conductor Ofentse Pitse to create a “sonic experience”.

“[It’s] two worlds coming together. Hearing new renditions of their favourite songs from my catalogue, it already sounds amazing. It’ll be a sonic experience,” the award-winning DJ told The Citizen.

The collaboration between Kabza and Pitse came through Red Bull Symphonic, which is based on a novel collaboration between a modern-style artist and a classical music director, together with a full-scale symphonic orchestra.

“Amapiano is a complex genre, but in its purest form, it’s quite minimalistic in terms of the music. Some of the forms repeat themselves, you can even liken it to have a Sonata form, especially Kabza’s music,” Pitse said.

The creator of Asibe Happy echoed Pitse’s words. “The thought of it all is actually really crazy, but a lot of my songs focus on vocals. A lot of amapiano is very instrumental, so I think people will be familiar with it.”

ALSO READ: Mzansi conductor Ofentse Pitse describes performing with Alicia Keys as ‘sacred’


Pitse is the first and youngest black South African woman to conduct and own an all-black orchestra, Anchored Sound.

“It wasn’t too difficult because I’m working with a deep-rooted musician, so it was good to see the two worlds coming together,” Pitse said.

The lass from Mabopane said she isn’t a fan of the genre though.

“I have a bit of a critique when it comes to amapiano. It’s hard to ask a person in the music world to not critique amapiano. A lot of it is beats and vibes, but I would really say the messaging behind it can get really powerful. I’m a fan of his [Kabza’s] music.”

“Him being able to give me that freedom and understand that this is how my world operates, is what’s going to make this project mind-blowing.”

Last year, she was recommended as one of a handful conductors in the world who are women of colour, to work on a secret project for Netflix, celebrating Alicia Keys and the 20-year anniversary of her classic hit If I Ain’t Got You.

“If you look at both projects from a bird’s eye view, they’re both pop culture. My involvement with Alicia was to talk to what we’re trying to bring out of a song most of us grew up knowing. I was trying to keep the nostalgia but also have some orchestral well-thought off arrangements that make sense,” she said.

“Im taking the same approach with this project.”

The conductor was taken aback by Kabza’s dedication. 

“He is a pure musician; we looked at most of the songs in his home studio. I’d go to the studio and find him working on other stuff and that was mind-blowing. He’s a very well-rooted musician and very meticulous.”

Kabza said this collaboration is “surely a moment in music. Who knows what doors it could open?”

“Ofentse is a passionate conductor; she has been the pillar of this mash-up for me, and I’m learning a lot from her. Our musical worlds will definitely cross again definitely.”

Kabza recently shared the stage with Black Coffee.

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