Independent Cape Town artist Andiswa ‘Andy’ Mkosi is all about shaking up normality and through her intimate Bedroom Tour.
Ms Mkosi, who is based in Langa, is busy planning for her next show in Tamboerskloof next month.
When she moved to Langa in 2009 she met other people who were making music and decided to give it a go. “I did one performance and it snowballed because the response was great and I felt like I belonged in the music community.”
To date Ms Mkosi has already released an EP as well as starting Jam That Session in October 2012.
It is held in Longmarket Street in Cape Town and can pack in about an audience of about a hundred. “We felt that we weren’t getting bookings so instead of complaining, we created our own platform. We are all about being leaders and pushing what we believe has a place in the music industry. The type of stuff that we put out is not mainstream. In Cape Town especially you need to initiate your own instead of standing on the sidelines and complaining. It was creating your own and letting others showcase within that.”
She said initially it was quiet but after holding their first event people wanted more. “We didn’t put it in a box but opened it up to as wide as we could and accommodated other art forms. People gravitated towards it because it was genuine and spoke to them as alternative artists. It was important because it catered for a variety instead of a narrow niche.”
Ms Mkosi said she believed that there was still a demand for live music. However, she said, the audience had to be willing to meet the artist half way.
“We are ready as artists but it’s just a matter of getting the audience to pay attention.”
Ms Mkosi said it was important for her to tell her own story through her music. “What I say is story telling about my experiences. I feel like what I’m trying to do can be housed in different aspects of entertainment. I speak as a young black and queer woman in Cape Town.
“Although we are women and we are being sidelined, there is a new wave of artists, making our mark on the map. We are making our own things happen. It is about making a statement.”
She said she decided to do the Bedroom Tour because her music was intimate and should be performed in a space that reflects that. “ It’s a space where I want people to converse with me and interrogate my lyrics. We can talk about how the song came about. It is about breaking that barrier that the artist is on a platform higher than the audience. We are one, we are in a room.”
She has done three of these intimate performances so far and admits that some people found it weird at first but eventually found it “rewarding”. “People are still trying to adjust to it and it is a different vibe and I’m all about shaking normality.”
Local rapper Dope Saint Jude will perform with her at the next session on Saturday December 10. “I feel that in her music there are special messages that need to be brought out to perform. I feel that it is important that there are two black women at the forefront doing it.”
Ms Mkosi is also a photographer, who landed in a photography class “by accident” when she had signed up to do film, and is trying to merge the two art forms that she is involved in. She has since done several short courses in photography and has become passionate about it.
She is working on a project called This Audio is Visual. “The messages in the songs will be reinterpreted into photographs. I want to launch it in a way that the EP and exhibition is launched together.”
She said her second EP is currently being mastered and is set to be released in the beginning of 2017.
The next leg of her Bedroom Tour will be live streamed so a wider audience will be able to engage in the conversation.
She said she is also hoping to take her Bedroom Tour to Johannesburg in the near future.
“The whole idea is to take the music to the people. I think as artists sometimes we expect too much from the consumer and don’t meet them halfway other than live performance platforms. How do you take your content and bring it to them and I think through the Bedroom Tour I can do that. It’s all about consistency and hard work and having people that can constantly push you.”
For more information, or to book, email Mkosiandy@gmail.com.