Professor - University of Kalawa Jazmee
With the video release of Lento and its destruction of dance floors from the 031 to the 021, i(heart)afrohouse decides to take a look at Professor’s University of Kalawa Jazmee.
If you were introduced to Professor through the hit Woza Durban ft. Tzozo, then perhaps you, like me, also thought of him as another one-hit-wonder come Kalawa-hype-man. Today, it is safe to say, that this album has blown all of these presumptions out of the water and has secured Professor a firm place in the afrohouse ‘first division’. In general Professor’s voice is more powerful, more consistent and his flow is unwavering; he definitely worked himself into shape for this one.
As soon as you slip the disk into your CD player, the first thing that is gonna hit you is the dramatic increase in the level of production. From sound to video to artwork to performance, everything has been meticulously thought out and displays the mark of a more seasoned artist. The album’s flow is indeed still more surprising knowing how many hands have gone into the production! Professor must have had his work cut out fusing the sounds of Mono T, DJ Booster, DJ Clock, Dope and the many hot producers into one bumping groove.
The release although often refered to as a ‘kwaito album’ is clearly championing the sound of afrohouse, taking the kwaito story telling vibe into the next generation of local house beats. If you don’t believe me then just listen to tracks like Toi Toi Toi and ask yourself if it sounds anything like Oye Oye Oye ;) Beats are set between 124-126bpm along with long intros and tails making for easy mixing, and should put a smile on the face of many a deejay.
University of Kalawa Jazmee is consistently full of bangers and doesn’t stray to far off a formula that is obviously working. Most tracks have had so much exposure since its release in summer 2010 that it seems unnecessary to go through each one. Jezebel ft. Oskido was surely one of the biggest hits of December 2010 followed by Jimaphi? too a lesser degree. Imoto became an instant ‘cult classic’ shortly after and even stirred a few stories that it had inspired a cash-in-transit heist! Collabos with Mr. Selwyn on How Dare You and Speedy on Lento give it a bit of nice diversity the latter’s music video now hot off the press and creating a second coming of the album.
Dubbing the album University of Kalawa Jazmee is obviously not just a marketing ploy but as it seems, a sincere sign of respect towards Oskido and Kalawa Jazmee for what they have done for his career. Professor has been together with Kalawa since around 1995 but was always more behind the scenes until he broke through with Tzozo in 2005. Although now fully in the limelight, Professor still portrays himself as a Kalawa foot solider rather than a ‘general’ but in time we are sure that he will carve out his own identity beyond the label.
For a first solo album Prof. couldn’t have asked for more and neither could we. This album certainly puts him on the map and much in demand, if you don’t already have it then what are you waiting for? Go get it!
To get hold of the album click here
Album: University of Kalawa Jazmee
Release: Universal/Kalawa Jazmee Records 2010
Bookings: 0822168177 (Scotch) / 082 587 4422 (Nkule) / 071 572 4057 (Gcina)