Have you heard of Baainar Records? No??
Well listen up…
Baainar Records was created in 2003, and back then, it was nothing more than a young man selling vinyl records out of his bag to his friends. Lunga “The Sid” Nombewu was sourcing records from the internet and selling them, with no aim but to enjoy music and make some money on the side.
Lunga, originally from Port Elizabeth, moved to Johannesburg to study aviation and ended up working for SAA (South African Airways) as an engineer. It was then that he began DJing at the behest of some of his friends who wanted someone to play music in between their sets. *Little known fact, when Lunga started DJing, he was playing Hip Hop and only got into house music when he started perfecting the art if mixing. In a bid to not make a fool of himself in the process, he taught himself how to DJ and began practising furiously.
The more he fell in love with the music industry, the more he saw the need to leave aviation and work in music full time. It was at the SAMC (South African Music Conference) in 2005 that he met Rex Dasenar, a producer from Swaziland who needed help editing his song, and after discovering what Lunga could do, they decided to work together and Rex was signed.
It wasn’t until 2006 that the label as it is today, was really born. When he started bringing in DJs, his main aim was to give them a platform to achieve their dreams. He wanted to find those with potential and nurture them, helping them to hone their talents and providing them with the mentorship and facilities to make the kind of music they wanted to make, as well as marketing it to the world.
Today, The Baainar stable consists of two arms, Baainar Records and Baainar Digital. In Baainar Records, Lunga has signed eight artists, which he manages, but Baainar Digital is primarily for the sole purpose of mentorship and the nurturing of artists to be released and marketed digitally. He wanted to help young artists find a platform, and so they are not signed to the label and are free agents. Artists like Audio 5, Piper, Eric Error Mokakabye, Four to the Floor and Kaygee Pitsong are just some of the people he has worked with on the Baainar Digital side of things.
Aside from the artists Lunga has signed, Baainar has worked with a number of big names in the industry, both local and international.
House Legend, Nick Holder’s new album, which has been highly anticipated since 2007, was finally released in 2012. Not only was it released exclusively in South African, but it was released through Baainar Records, who are handling his distribution and publishing through all of Africa.
The original vision of Baainar Records was to harness and grow talent from Lunga’s home town, Port Elizabeth, and he first found such talent in Mpiwe (Simphiwe Gqushani). Mpiwe was soon followed by Patricson Snare, La Shad, Bluelle, Eltonnick, Rokker Rogers, Nkokhi and Naak Musiq, of “Qina” fame. Some of these artists have since moved on, like Rex Dasenar and Patricson Snare, but those remaining have big plans for 2013.
Baainar’s artists have been included in no less than 15 albums in 2010 alone and have released almost 100 songs digitally. Lunga was included in the 2010 SAMC panel, presenting on digital music.
By March of 2011, Lunga had been profiled as the cover story of the German based Beat magazine and “Baainar Underground Selections” EP had been reviewed in 5 magazines distributed in Miami and Chicago, all relating to the digital arm of Baainar.
Eltonnick (“Move”; “Ndiyindoda”) plans to release a new album, Bluelle (“We Are Africa”; “Galaxy”) is working on introducing electro to the Baainar repertoire whilst building his brand, Rokker Rogers (“Rainy Days”) is mastering some percussion instrument to add a new kick to their collective sound and Nkhokhi will be promoting his newly released album, (J.O.L.)Journey of Life, through gigs and remixing. Naak Musiq (“Qina” ft. DJ Sbu), currently the most recognisable name on the roster will continue trying to balance his music career and his acting on SABC 1’s prime time soapie, Generations.
Through all this work, Lunga will be trying to discover more fresh talent, trying to grow the label’s brand and focusing on the business side of things.
Lunga is also going to be working with Risal Sounds on something new and exciting, but I guess we’ll all have to wait and see what will come out of it.
There is no doubt in my mind that there are beeeeeg things in store for Baainar and it’s creatives in 2013, and to find out more about the individuals, keep an eye out right here over the next few weeks!
Keep an eye out for these merry men…and who knows, maybe one day soon a merry woman?
To get in touch with Lunga:
- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MinxSA?ref=hl#!/BaainarRecords?fref=ts
- Twitter: @RealBaainar