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Themba shares 5 tips for successfully remixing a track

South African native Themba burst onto the global dance scene in 2018 with a string of high profile gigs and music releases.  Themba’s sound is forged from his African roots, incorporating local singers, songwriters and percussionists to create his own unique take on electronic music.

Capturing the industry’s attention, his DJ mixes have featured on radio including Pete Tong’s radio show, Apple Music’s Beats 1 and Ibiza Sonica. Themba was also nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’ and this year is up for ‘Best Breakthrough’ at the Ibiza DJ Awards and has presented a short documentary for Beatport called ‘Monitor Johannesburg’.

Themba has been made an ambassador for the Bridges For Music charity in South Africa, something very close to his heart. Themba & Dubfire hosted a workshop for young students at their school in Langa, which aims to become a learning space and creative hub where these young, talented individuals are able to pursue their dreams and develop their music skills, both in production and the music business.

1. You have to find your sound

I only remix songs I can bring my sound, vibe and feel to. Music is art so as much as you can do it I prefer to not remix a song for the sake of it. So the first question is does the song speak to you and your sound?

2. Listen over and over again

I listen to the original version a few times and get emotionally in tune with it and its vibe. It’s the only way I can understand how to bring it to my world.

3. Go to the root

If it’s a vocal track I ignore all the other stems and work with that only. If it’s an instrumental I pick 1 or two parts that I can work with and then start the remix.

4. Step by step

For vocal tracks I lay the vocal down on a normal 4/4 beat and then start with the riff and melody then work on the drums. The bass line and efx come last after I’ve laid down the overall arrangement and structure of the track.

5. Check and adjust

Lastly, I test the song out a few times and go back to tweak what could make it better.

The whole point of a remix for me is to merge worlds. So you have to stay true to your sound in approaching the remix.

Themba’s Herd Remix of HOSH, 1979 – Midnight (The Hanging Tree) ft. Jalja is now available. Stream and buy here

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