Multi-talented South African music veteran, Oskido, has been named as this year’s Special Recognition recipient at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards.
Oskido follows in the footsteps of Africa’s most groundbreaking musicians including last year’s honoree, Nigeria’s Koko Master D’Banj; Somalian born K’Naan (2010); South African Brenda Fassie (2009) and Ghana’s George Lee (2008), to mention a few.
Oskido will be presented with his award at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards on Saturday, 17 November, a glittering event taking place at Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, Soweto – a fitting location for a man who has never forgotten his humble beginnings in the music industry.
The South African producer, music industry entrepreneur, DJ, songwriter and artist is being recognised for his virtually unparalleled contribution to African music since the early 1990s. Fondly known as Oscar “Warona” (meaning “ours”), “The Big O” and “Godzilla”, Oscar Mdlongwa’s 20-plus year career has taken him from selling boerewors rolls outside Club Razzmatazz in Hillbrow to international waters including several appearances at the famed Miami Winter Music Conference.
The leading musical talent started his career as a DJ – initially taking over when Club Razzmatazz’s DJ didn’t pitch and going on to become a formidable force on the decks, playing alongside a number of international heavyweights (among them Little Louie Vega, Frankie Knuckles, DJ Gregory and DJ Yellow) and blazing a trail for his crowd-pleasing yet innovative DJ sets. Oskido paused this skill to launch a career as a radio DJ, hosting his own show on YFM before working on the station’s Rap Activity Jam with Rudeboy Paul and hosting the legendary Church Grooves – the latter accompanied by the massively successful ‘Oskido’s Church Grooves’ CDs.
His incredible DJing successes aside, Oskido’s biggest impact has been in helping usher in a sound of the newly democratic South Africa. The main vehicle for this has been Kalawa Jazmee Records which Oskido formed with Don Laka and Christos Katsaitis (the name is a fusion of the first syllables of their surnames; Oscar was using Warona at the time) in the 90s. The independent label’s first act was Boom Shaka, which birthed the Kwaito revolution, and the label has been home to a who’s who of influential acts including Bongo Maffin, Mafikizolo, Trompies, Thebe, DJ Vetkuk, Spikiri, and Alaska. And although the partners in the business have changed, Oskido has retained the faith, turning Kalawa Jazmee into a bonafide African music industry success story that shows no signs of slowing down nearly 20 years after it was formed.
Oskido’s creative music hand has been witnessed over the two decades as well: as part of the prolific Dangerous Combination Crew production axis, he has had a hand in many of South Africa’s biggest hits – and his work with Bruce “Dope” Sebitlo in the duo Brothers Of Peace (BOP) has also yielded success including the Tamara Day collaboration “That’ impahla”, “Zabalaza” and “Victory Song”. As a producer, Oscar is leagues ahead of the competition, and is seen as having kick-started the current trend of remixing classic South African pop hits when he and Sebitlo reworked Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens’ “Melodi” into “Meropa”. Several decades after Oskido started out, he’s still scoring hits and unearthing talent – lately in the form of the likes of DJ Zinhle and Black Motion – and also keeping his own career as a radio deejay on Metro FM and that of BOP moving ahead.
Aside from artists signed to Kalawa Jazzmee, Oskido has worked with many South African legends including Hugh Masekela, Jimmy Dludlu, and Moses Molelekwa, and recently, he has also established the Oskido Legacy Programme which helps to empower young aspiring producers by supplying them with bedroom studios and training them on how to run these studios as businesses under NYDA Ithubalentsha – all the more reason why he’s deserving of being the Special Recognition recipient at Africa’s most prestigious all African music awards event, the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards.
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