MELLOW AND SLEAZY TALK NEW AMAPIANO SUB-GENRE: ‘ANCESTRAL PIANO’

ANCESTRAL PIANO IS A MASH UP OF THE ANGOLA SOUND AND AMAPIANO.

We are passionate about collaborating with other artists because there is another Mellow & Sleazy out there, a young talented artist or producer that has not been discovered.

Sleazy

Mellow and Sleazy (Phemelo Sefanyetse and Olebogeng Kwanaite, respectively) are undoubtedly the biggest curators of the current sound of the Yanos. The duo got introduced to the game by Lawd Porry and earned their spot in the driving seat of the game by feeding us with hits after hits. They have collaborated and worked on gems like Nkao Tempela, 1011, Bopha, and most recently Sjepa and Abo Mvelo.

We caught up with them to hear more about their new EP called Midnight In Sunnyside and the Bacardi sound they have revived and made popular in the game by mashing it up with Amapiano.

Phemelo Sefanyetse aka Mellow

How many songs do you have on your PC that has not been released yet? 

Mellow: We do not have a lot of Songs, but we have a lot of beats. I can safely say we have over 100 beats, and those are beats that have not been released or leaked before or exposed to any artist. It is a lot. I do not want to lie; I will end up lying if I try to give you the exact number of project files on our PCs.

Every day when we are not in our studio or other people’s studios, we are at home making beats. I make two new beats a day, and Sleazy also makes two beats a day. Then we will go to the studio and meet up with vocalists.

We tell the vocalist that we have more than 100 beats for them to choose from; go wild, pick your favourite beats, and see what you can do with them. We then listen to what the vocalist does with the beats, and then we add our magic to further complement the vocals.

You guys are always doing features with various artists, and it is clear that you are big on collaborating. What’s your belief as far as that is concerned?  

Sleazy: We are passionate about collaborating with other artists because there is another Mellow & Sleazy out there, a young talented artist or producer that has not been discovered. So, if you do not open your door to collaborating, you will never come across hot new talent to work with.

Robot Boi hands over Gold Plaque for ‘10111’ to Mellow and Sleazy
Olebogeng Kwanaite aka Sleazy

There is an ongoing discussion around producers not getting the spotlight they deserve. What’s your take on that, and what are you guys doing that is different to get the glory that comes with your hard work?

Mellow: That’s how it is with being a producer; you never get the recognition they deserve. Even with hip-hop producers, it is the same thing.

We are fortunate that piano allows us to be producers who are also performing DJs, enabling us to be at the forefront of our hard work. Most people know us as DJs and not as producers. If it weren’t for the Yanos, we wouldn’t get the love for our work, given how producers are generally treated.

The UK is embracing the sound right now, any plans of performing that side?

Sleazy: We are spending the whole of May in the UK, we have gigs lined up that side, and we are looking forward to it as we have a growing fanbase in the UK.

Mellow and Sleazy with the Sony Music team.

What else can we expect from you guys soon? 

Sleazy: It is like a mash up of Amapiano and the sound from Angola. We are trying to mess with that to see how the masses will receive it. We call it the Ancestral piano, and we can’t wait for the world to hear it.

Suppose you listened to the last song we played on Major league DJs’ Balcony Mix; that is the Ancestral piano sub-genre that I am referring to. 

We want to do an EP with Nkosazana the daughter; that is one project that we are looking forward to this year. We are also looking to drop a project, EP, with Marumba Pitch.

I am still not sure what kind of sound that will be; it might be the Ancestral piano or a mixture of our sounds, Bacardi and Ancestral piano.

Any plans to collaborate with artists in the continent anytime soon? 

Sleazy: We have artists that we want to work with within the continent, and it is just that it is hard to get them and others; it is just about aligning schedules.

As we mentioned, we are very big on collaborations because there are many talented people. You never know what might happen when you put different minds in one room. One artist that we are trying to locate so we can do some work together is Naira Marley from Nigeria. We love his sound, and we hope to work with him soon. 

What is your feeling about signing new artists? Are you looking to sign any talent anytime soon? 

Mellow: In the future, maybe, not now, we can’t sign people while we are still establishing ourselves. When we sign artists, we want to be able to make things happen for them and make sure they have enough resources to flourish.

For now, we will keep introducing you guys to fire talent.

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