South Africa and its sound have been gaining more and more recognition in the House music scene with more and more artists leaving an impact and putting out music that finds its way to dancefloors around the globe. One of these artists is Durban-native Enoo Napa who has built up quite a reputation for himself with releases on Offering Recordings and MoBlack. His dancefloor oriented sound and style is a trademark that delights his audience and himself the same way, but has also caught the attention of well respected players such as Hyenah. Listen to an exclusive mix from Enoo Napa for Torture the Artist and find out more about the artist in the interview below.
Torture the Artist: What‘s the story behind your moniker Enoo Napa?
Enoo Napa: It’s actually a nickname I grew up with, I believe I was 3 years of age or even younger, when one of my neighbours gave me the nickname ‘Napa‘ and it has stuck with me since. “Enoo‘‘ – well, that came from friends, who used to call me that during dancing games. I just put the two together.
I listened to a lot of DJ Fresh compilations when I was growing up and Fresh went Electro.
Torture the Artist: How did you get involved with electronic music?
Enoo Napa: To be honest, I listened to a lot of DJ Fresh compilations when I was growing up and Fresh went Electro. I loved the sound, the vibe, synths and automations were just insane. However, the true inspiration behind it all was and still is, Culoe de Song and when he released his 2nd album titled ‘Elevation‘. A game-changer for me and my sound.
Torture the Artist: You‘ve released two remixes so far this year. One came out on MoBlack and the other one on Offering. What else can we expect in terms of music from your side in 2017?
Enoo Napa: It is three now, one being a joint remix effort with Soulem – a remix we did for Stones & Bones feat. Tweety ‘Be There‘ on the House Of Stone label. There’s more remixes to come, definitely. A remix for DJ Merlon feat. Black Coffee and Khaya Mthethwa called ‘Reflections‘ will be out soon on DM Recordings, also look out for my signature Travellerz remix of King Sfiso feat. Mbuso Khoza ‘Ilanga‘, as well as some original material.
I just have to love what I hear. I then try to draw as much inspiration from it, as if it were my own.
Torture the Artist: What does a track have to have so that you remix it?
Enoo Napa: I just have to love what I hear. I then try to draw as much inspiration from it, as if it were my own. The vocals will have to be well recorded and clear. If it’s an instrumentation, then I’d try to find elements that woul make my reproduction stand out.
Torture the Artist: Your remix for De Cave Man‘s track ‘Black Queen‘ was supported by a lot of influental people in the scene, e.g. Hyenah. Would you say that this remix was a game-changer for you and your musical career?
Enoo Napa: To a certain level, I would agree to that, however I believe my remix of Jackie Queen‘s track ‘Conqueror (Enoo Napa Opaque Mix)‘ was the one that broke the ice. My remix for ‘Black Queen‘ was just me being consistent in terms of delivering music that will be supported by everyone, more so ‘influential people‘ like Hyenah, Black Coffee to name a few.
Production can be really frustrating when the elements are not working together to form a song, an environment, an atmosphere, a mood, a presence.
Torture the Artist: What is a vice or positive feeling that accompanies you during a production of a track?
Enoo Napa: The mood is different almost every time. Production can be really frustrating when the elements are not working together to form a song, an environment, an atmosphere, a mood, a presence. It’s a great feeling once they start coming together, you enjoy the work more and become one with the project. The energy level increases and you push through to make sure that the end product is a true reflection of you and your interpretation. It’s wonderful, amazing actually.
Torture the Artist: How do you want your music to be perceived?
Enoo Napa: I bring, what is for many dancefloor music, and I always say to myself that If I cannot dance to it, then I will not release it. I’d love people to perceive my music as raw and energetic. A Sound that is full of life. Seeing people dancing is awesome, seeing them dancing to your music is even better and you know that they are at a happy place and it’s all because of your sound.
Torture the Artist: Afro-House music and especially the South-African scene is on the rise and introduced artists such as Culoe de Song or Black Coffee to a worldwide audience. What do you hope to achieve due to the increased attention?
Enoo Napa: Black Coffee and Culoe de Song have been flying the RSA flag worldwide, I could only hope to emulate them and keep spreading that South Africa vibe across the globe. Of course, I would also like to be recognised for the music I make, and one has to forge their own path in life, I’m just grateful that Black Coffee, Culoe, Shimza and many other South Africans are laying down a solid foundation for us to carry on flying that RSA flag worldwide.
Torture the Artist: Who do you consider one of the most influential people in the evolution of Afro-House, and why?
Enoo Napa: Right now, Black Coffee, without a doubt. He has taken our sound – the South African sound – to all corners of the world and continues to do so. There are so many who have played a role in Afro-House, certainly not the first but some who have played a huge role in carrying the sound are Hyenah, &ME, Aluku Rebels, Boddhi Satva, Afefe Iku, Problem Child and Da Capo. I could go on and on – for me I’d say it’s those brothers who have given the sound greater influence, with them being from various part of the world. I mean, we are all on opposite ends, but we’ve common ground in Afro-House music.
Torture the Artist: Are there any artists that you hope to work with in the future?
Enoo Napa: There’s too many to mention, I‘d go for Hyenah, Culoe de Song, Black Coffee, XtetiQsoul, Kunzima, Sio, Floyd Lavine, Zaki Ibrahim, Mondli Ngcobo and a whole lot of other talented creatives out there.
Torture the Artist: Aside from music, what is a treat for you?
Enoo Napa: Movies and Fifa if I’m alone. Apart from that, spending time with the family, more so my daughter who is now four, answering her questions is a real treat. <laughs>
Torture the Artist: Name three locations that you’d recommend our readers shall visit in South Africa. For example, a bar, a club, or a coffee shop.
Enoo Napa: I would say 033 Lifestyle in PMB – great spot for house music lovers of all sub-genres. The music is good, the meat is even better. Then there is the Moses Mabhida Soccer stadium you should just visit stand on its arch and have a view over Durban – my city, my home. And last I can recommend Kota Life Crisis that is located in the Umlazi township where I’m from, the food there is just too delicious.