“Roots and Fruits has always been about recognising where we’re from, where we’re at now and where we’re going”, says Crayons founder Ra-ees. Now the media production brand is returning to Wonderland nightclub with their popular Roots and Fruits event, taking the party online in partnership with Alldayselection for their livestream edition: Keep Growing.
The COVID-19 lockdown has left many performers with no venues to earn an income- something livestreams have sought to assist with with optional donations. Besides this, Ra-ees points out that many have also lost access to equipment to practice and create. And so the seeds for Keep Growing were planted.
The Keep Growing edition of Roots and Fruits changes it up by giving DJs the platform to aurally display their own individual musical journeys. They’ve also remixed livestream donations to include items that can be bought in support of the DJs. Their giftshop includes items like tees, discounted pre-sold Crayons event tickets and face masks.
We ask ’em 3Qs ahead of their first livestream this Saturday.
Tell us more about the Keep Growing concept!
The Roots and Fruits format at its core is centered around getting as much out of a night as possible in terms of music, value for attendees money, production value and a genuinely authentic experience with regards to who is playing the music. We usually achieve this by putting as many artists on our lineups as possible. Our events are usually presented by genre. We’ve done Roots and Fruits Hip Hop, RNB, Dance and Sounds of Africa.
“Put on that mix, watch last nights stream. Listen to local radio shows and podcasts. Share things. It makes a FAR bigger impact than people think.”
The Keep Growing concept came from a desire to expand on the brand to accommodate for lockdown and offer something new in terms of both format and concept while still having it stay close to what the event as a whole has attempted to achieve.
“To provide a platform in a time of such great uncertainty is the least we can do for people who constantly give of themselves for our entertainment.”
I’d been toying with the idea of a live stream since the beginning of lockdown. I wanted to do more than just stream sets. The format itself expands on the original Roots and Fruits. But instead of highlighting a specific genres origins and current state, Keep Growing gives each DJ the opportunity to give insight into their journey through their influences and the evolution of their favourite sounds.
Live-streams are an important way of supporting the events and music industries during this period. How else can we help these creatives?
Streaming. Stream local music whenever you can. Put on that mix, watch last nights stream. Listen to local radio shows and podcasts while you work. Share things. Speak about local artists with your friends. Buy music on Bandcamp Fridays. Buy tickets to streams. Share things! In Whatsapps, on Insta, on Twitter, on Facebook. Share the post. It makes a FAR bigger impact than people think.
I think we’ve all realized the huge role events have in our society. What role does Roots and Fruits seek to provide? Has this evolved/changed with the ‘new normal’?
What actually lit the fire under me was Mzwandile (DJ Internationalpantsula) asking if I had access to CDJs for him to record a mix on. I reached out to Yash of Alldayselection who said we should just do a stream. This event really wouldn’t be happening without the two of them.
I think what we want is to provide a place for people to showcase during times where their usual methods of doing so are unavailable. To provide the infrastructure and platform in a time of such great uncertainty is the least we can do for people who constantly give of themselves for our entertainment.
Now more than ever its important to tell the specific stories of our people as opposed to before, when DJ’s were seen as part of the event as opposed to seeing events being centered around DJ’s.