Speak, listen and learn. The music wants you to.
Some were immersed in their comfort zone; some stepped towards the curiosity of other genres. We sometimes know what we know and stick to it, or branch out sideways and liken ourselves to former or future identities being consumed by cultures- where music, art and fashion alike come to the forefront of trends, not only made by the mass, but rather by unique communities.
This is what Crossover Culture has the potential to do- plant the seed for diversity and varied taste to grow, expand and unpack our differences in packages that bring us together- in music.
For the first of its kind, a fusion was curated that set a precedent for the future of its form. The event is co-curated by Andi Mkosi, Vincent Manzini & Original Swimming Party and their intention is pure: The events will encourage positive communication about discrimination on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation. They will allow a space to explore white privilege and the post apartheid and colonial hangover our country is suffering. It will focus on fostering a community of acceptance, integration and growth through music. They want to initiate a space for sharing, listening and dialogue about the parts of us that are divided and continue to be affected by segregation, whether that be from a white privilege point of view or from being economically, culturally and geographically marginalised. They want to engage with our fractured city and move out of our comfort zones. They also want to speak, listen and learn.
And this is what we did. Crossover culture gave me the access to music I have limited exposure to. It gave me the fusion to not only digest other cultures, but to join them. My senses were exposed to a range of sounds I knew I was intrigued by, but had never had the chance to both enjoy what I know on one stage, and what I am thrilled by on another stage. With a variety of Gqom, funk, soul, Sjokojoko, experimental electronica and afrotronica, you could say an amalgamation of genres was brought to the platform, allowing people from different backgrounds, identities and preference in music to come together.
In my truth, original Swimming Party and Birthday Girl were huge factors into my attending the event; however there was a huge pull to being part of an event, of a space where people gathered to indulge in dialogue, not necessarily of spoken format, but rather in movement. Crossover Culture allowed the independence of genres and the sub-culture surrounding them to co-exist and cohabitate at a high decibel level, where the sound was dictating the environment and the community seemed to swop from stage to stage taking in everything from the unknown to their comfort zone.
I felt like it was a step towards a contemporary future, where different scenes, concepts, sounds and people’s reactions to music could be present together, and take a break from the political and emotional turbulence our country has been experiencing of late.
All photography by Klaas in Session