A defining aspect of the current Cape Town house scene are the grassroot labels, young outfits looking to make an impact on the scenes they inhabit so passionately. One of these is the Deep Society Music crew, a team looking to give a platform to quality music as well as uplift the communities they find themselves a part of. Clint October, Lance Kieswetter (Buzz), Brandon Cupido (T.I.B) and Brett Whyburd (Disco Daze) together form the group that is driving the brand through a growing catalog and various outreach developments.
The brand originally formed as a DJ collective several years ago, throwing events around the inner city. Of the original minds only Clint October remains, as various members (who still share good relationships to this day) moved on in their respective directions. Deep Society entered a brief hiatus for a few years, until Clint, Lance and Brandon met through events like We House Sundays and spaces like True Music. Realising their shared ambitions and drive, a plan was formed to redefine the collective as a label. Brett was shortly afterwards recognised by Clint as a valuable addition, as the team began to take formal shape through roles and responsibilities.
Brandon is the crew’s official A&R, a delegation he flourishes in through his various networks of creatives and a constant hunger to discover new talent. Brett plays the role of project manager, ensuring the nuts & bolts of the operation are tightly screwed on and that goals & targets are met. Artistic Director of the team is Lance, who takes a higher level view of the overall creative direction as well as working closely with Clint, whose solo focus is on the business side of running a label. Although there are specific roles all members share discussions around artists and releases, and all members are musicians, DJs and producers in their own capacities.
At 10 releases their catalog is short but respectable, and showing clear signs of growth and direction. Their sound lies firmly in the deeper shades of dance music but incorporates a wider range of moods and feels. EP’s like T.I.B’s Beast have a more aggressive, night-time dancefloor feel where examples like Chanwill Maconi’s Nothing Behind You EP feel more bright and cheerful. Tswex Malabola’s Machinery Design release is an example of the more emotive & deep side to the label, which contrasts nicely with the funkier undertones of Disco Daze’s Mul Zibanu. This variety is probably best explored on their DSM Season 1 Compilation, a handpicked selection of their best tracks since their inception.
While the creative side of the label is successfully growing towards distinguishing them from their contemporaries, where they do feel distinctly different already is in their approach towards upliftment. All 4 members are passionate about impacting their communities and are using music & the label as a vehicle to do so. As a qualified music therapist, Lance brings invaluable expertise in utilising music and the arts towards community upliftment. Together with Clint he is developing a set of education tools that will be aimed at providing technical, emotional and psychological support to young artists. The entire group also ensures this holistic mindset of positive contribution runs through all label operations, from hosting events in support of charities to coaching prospective signees towards success.
At this stage this feels like one of the brightest defining traits to Deep Society Music, a group with strong musical ambitions but the strength and desire of heart to do it in a specific way. A way that leaves the communities, artists and spaces they encounter better than they were before.