Now a household name, Yuvir Pillay, or better known as Sketchy Bongo, is our very own is a South African record producer from Durban. Sketchy had started producing music from the tender age of 13 and rolls out epic hip-hop, house and pop music. Forming an incredible group called Wolf Pack, this assemblage consists of talented producers, artists, graphic designers, rappers and kwaito artists. 16 singles, 1 killer album and the opening act for Justin Bieber later, Hello Cape Town grabs some breakfast with Sketchy for a quick catch up.
Who are you in 3 sentences?
I’m sketchy Bongo. I’m a music producer & DJ musician. I create art.
Where did the ski-mask come from?
It was a prop at a music video shoot I was at. I took a liking to it and decided to keep it as my trademark. When I started out at Sketchy Bongo, I didn’t like people knowing who I was, but after time passed, the recognition of the mask was mad! It was a simply performance mechanism. I’d jump on stage and people would go crazy.
And the name?
Sketchy Bongo was actually marketing tool. I was searching for names that weren’t taken while trying to put words together that were creative. Being an artist as well as making music, I wanted to mix the two. So, the musical aspect is ‘Bongo’ and visual art ‘Sketchy’ – it also went well with the ski-mask, it makes me looks ‘sketchy’ *chuckles*
Why unmask yourself? Why reveal Sketch Bongo?
The unmasking was the result of more and more people recognising my face as I am. In the beginning, I was religious about wearing the mask, but it became way too much effort to maintain. The main playground are night clubs, where the audience gets really amped and the heat that is created in there is insane. I’d perform, and as soon as I’m done I’d take it off because it is way too hot! Secondly, my album is called unmasked, so it fits the unveiling.
You are the opening act for Justin Bieber! Of course, we must ask, Are you a ‘Belieber’?
*laughs* I love Justin Bieber’s music and his new album ‘Purpose’ is really cool, but I wouldn’t call myself a ‘belieber’. You will see true Beliebers at the concert. They are the girls who will be fainting and crying as he steps out on stage. I’m not that that person.
How do you feel about being the opening act?
I’m really excited, it’s going to be a great opportunity. I’m going to be performing in front of 60 000 people in JHB, it’s going to be 65 or 70 000 in Cape Town. It’s the biggest crowed I’ve ever performed in front of! I’m mostly working with the Wolf Pack, Kyle Deutsh, Aewon Wolf, Shekhinah, etc. The whole concept just blows my mind!
What is the highlight of your career?
That’s difficult question. I think, something most memorable was getting my 1st song played on the radio – mind you that wasn’t very long ago. When I heard, I had an instant mix of shock and excitement, “So many people are listening to my music!” *chuckles* It makes you feel good.
Where do you get Inspiration for your songs?
It comes from everywhere. This hotel we are currently sitting in is inspiring, the people of the country is inspiring, music that came before me and current artists inspire me. My music is very diverse, and I make soulful music, music that is timeless. For example, ‘Back to The beach’, I’m pretty sure 20 years from now people will still be listing to it as one of the greats.
What are your future plans?
I’m touring all over SA and Africa. The people are awesome and so diverse. I will also be playing a few shows in Europe, NYC etc. By beside that, I’m working on new projects, finishing off Kyle’s & Shekhinah’s new album. Aewon Wolf & I have also started a new label call: ‘Wolf Pack X’ in which we are developing 2 epic new artists. My aim is to push the label and finish shooting my music videos my album. Unmasked is available for purchase in stores and online. I am also nominated for a couple SAMA awards which I am excited and grateful.
June 11, 2020
October 01, 2018
July 24, 2018