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Talkback: Gemini Major

Artist & Producer By William Stokes
Published November 2021

Talkback

Malawi‑born Benn Gilbert Kamoto (aka Gemini Major) moved to Johannesburg in 2009, where he has been based ever since. The producer behind an array of South African stars such as Nasty C, Sho Madjozi and Cassper Nyovest, he has twice won Producer Of The Year at the South African Hip‑Hop Awards. Alongside this he is also an artist, with a formidable catalogue of original material to his name. As he explains, not all of his artistic ambitions fit with the genre expectations currently placed on him. “The scene here is very fast,” he says of Johannesburg. “If you want to be an artist then this is where you want to be. Because everyone’s here. It’s where people come to find their ‘American Dream’. I’ve been producing in Johannesburg and in South African hip‑hop since around 2014 or 2015. That’s when everything kicked off. Now I’m producing record after record. But, as an artist… I just want to make beautiful African music.”

At the moment I can’t stop listening to

Oh, man! It’s just African music in general right now. My soul is there. I don’t know if I actually have a favourite, I’m just in love with so much African music right now. Most recently, it’s Tems. She’s from Nigeria. She’s really dope.

The project I’m most proud of

I have to say, it’s the Gemini Major record I’m working on right now. The one I’m about to drop. I’ve never been so proud of myself. It’s called Island Water. It’s an EP. It’s a transition from what people are used to getting from me — a new direction. But it feels so right, because I feel like I’ve found myself and connected with my soul. I’ve always been making music as a hip‑hop artist, but now with this project I’ve really connected with myself. As a producer I’ve just been banging out music, all the time. But now with this project — as an artist and as a producer — I’m really proud that I’ve found myself, I’ve found my sound and it feels good. Everything is connecting and it’s where I’ve always wanted the energy to be at. It’s African fusion. I’m mixing a lot of sounds, experimenting...

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