The world’s second-largest Scotch whisky brand Ballantine’s and long-term partner Boiler Room have done it again. The two brands have just completed yet another successful True Music Studios series where music was used as a tool to highlight the diversity and inclusive culture that unites these two brands.
After a successful turn-up at the Playground in 2022, Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Studios took it one step further by making its township debut in the iconic township of Johannesburg, Soweto, a place that is popularly known for the bubbling sounds of amapiano.
This music-led experience highlights the best of South Africa’s influential sounds by having music maestro Njelic host and curate the line-up and activities that were presented to the globe on the Ballantine’s and Boiler Room platforms.
This massive showcase of the best of Mzansi’s sounds came to life for 4 days in Soweto at the popular Chaf Pozi which is home to the iconic Soweto Towers. The shisanyama spot was transformed into a mecca for inclusivity and a shared love for music and creatives.
The True Music Studios experience kicked off with a conversation around how this year’s host Njelic became the household name that he is known for and how his township influenced his pursuits in this fast spreading sounds of amapiano. Njelic was also joined by Kwaito legend ‘The Godfather’ M’du Masilela, the lead singer of Soweto global jazz sensation BCUC Nkosi Zuthulele, Lady Sakhe, and singer-songwriter Nobantu Vilakazi who all unpacked their music experiences through this session hosted by Mpumelelo Frypan Mfula.
The second event was curated by Njelic, who collaborated with Boiler Room and Ballantine’s by putting together a line-up of heavy hitters that keep the sounds and culture of amapiano ever circulating across social media and even more through their performances. This line-up had one half of Scorpion Kings, Kabza De Small, Mzansi’s acclaimed amapiano queen Kamo Mphela, amapiano producer and hookmaster Daliwonga, uMlando hitmaker TOSS, Mzansi’s top female dj’s Playgal and KMat, and ending off the epic broadcast party experience with the curator himself Njelic.
On Friday, Ballantine’s took the True Music Studios series to Zone 6 The Venue where Uncle Waffles, Kelvin Momo, Mawhoo, Mr JazziQ, Tango Supreme, Stakev, Leeart, Success SA, Shakes, and Les added to the massive celebration and endorsement of inclusivity and authenticity of True Music Studios.
The last day of the Ballantine’s x Boiler Room True Music Studios series was double-packed with a masterclass hosted by the critically acclaimed amapiano dancer and songstress Kamo Mphela who is well known for her moves on the dancefloor. She hosted a dynamic dance class where she gave a lesson on some of her favourite moves.
The day was topped off with an over-the-top glitzy experience with Le Grand Ball who brought together four Hauses from all parts of Jozi to showcase the best of the runway through multiple categories. The winning Hause, Hause of Pose was celebrated with more exciting performances by immaculate DJs.
To find out more about Ballantine’s True Music check out www.Ballantines.com/truemusic
@Ballantines @Ballantinessa #TrueMusic
Ballantine’s is the No.1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the No. 2 Scotch whisky in the world with the range selling over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 130 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for its outstanding quality, thanks to its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40-year-old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by master blender Sandy Hyslop, continuing the brand’s tradition of master blenders that dates back to 1827.
Ballantine’s was created as a Whisky for Everyone; “A Friend to All Humankind” and is passionate about bringing out the real you to create moments that matter. Our Stay True platform guides everything we do, from retaining the same style of Finest since its launch in 1910 to championing true music and supporting emerging talent. It’s an invitation for people to get to know themselves and have the confidence to stand by it and be true to themselves creating moments that matter.
“Stay true and excellence will always be by your side.” These are the immortal words of our founder, George Ballantine, that we still follow to this day.
Ballantine’s aims to shine a light on issues of diversity and inclusion in music, and to promote meaningful lasting change through its commitments across the following:
- Communities – We believe in the power of education and action to inspire positive change. That’s why we’re committed to ensuring that our programming at every event addresses at least one local DE&I issue by hosting educational events at every studio to upskill and inform the communities we show up in and using our experience, network, and resources to support initiatives that are focused on making music culture more inclusive.
- Artists – Our line ups will continue to represent the entire spectrum of genders, sexualities, cultural backgrounds that make up music culture – people worthy of celebration, participation, and representation. Every artist deserves fair pay for their hard work and talent, and all artists featured on True Music will be paid fairly, eliminating any pay disparities to promote equity in the music industry.
- Fans – Music should be accessible and inclusive for everyone, without any barriers or exclusions. That’s why all our events will continue to be free for all to attend or watch online, and we will work with experts to ensure that our events are inclusive and accessible for diverse needs.
About Boiler Room:
Boiler Room is an independent music platform and cultural curator, connecting club culture to the wider world, on-screen and IRL through parties, film and video.
Boiler Room started with a webcam taped to a wall, opening a keyhole into London’s underground. Since 2010, we’ve built a unique archive spanning over 8000 performances by more than 5000 artists across 200 cities, reaching more than 283+ million per month. Today, we remain true to that history. We support emerging artists. We tell stories from the fringes. We connect local dance floors to the wider world.