A boy band started by four men from the Cape Flats is making a name for itself in the music industry.
Jonathan January from Bridgetown, Yusuf Sydow from Hillview, Ganief Samuels from Steenberg and Shavaan Harker from Lavender Hill are the voices behind Static Space.
Jonathan grew up in Parkwood where his uncles formed a male voice choir which he joined at the age of 8. By 16, he was exploring rhythm and blues, hip hop and jazz, and he started a boy band, Infinity Explosives, while at Grassdale High School.
In 2010, he went to Europe and performed cabaret and Motown music for about eight years.
The band’s new single, Tonight, is number one on Heart FM’s top-10 on a Thursday and number four on the station’s top-40 on a Saturday.
“I never thought that the song would go that big. It was always a dream for the song to be big and now it came true,” says Jonathan.
Yusuf’s father was part of a Cape Malay choir, and in high school, Yusuf was part of the boy band, Boys Unlimited, for about three years. He took a break from music when he started working, but in 2013 he and Ganief started Static Space after they met up with Shavaan. Then Jonathan joined the group.
They have performed at the Community Chest Carnival, Worcester Casino and the Cape Town night markets; they opened a show for comedian Riaad Moosa; and they featured in the SABC drama series Melody and the Beter Assie Bure TV game show.
Yusuf says they wrote Tonight in 2016 and then forgot about it as there was a lot of other music they wanted to get out.
“Me and JJ went to Spain in 2020, and we decided to finish the song. We got hold of our producer and he worked on the beat of the song, and by the end of October 2020 we just had to get our photo shoots done and the album art and then we launched the song on 19 November 2020.”
Tonight, according to the band, is a mix of old and new school with a funky up-school tempo. It is about partying and having a nice time.
“We love what we do, it is our passion,” says Yusuf.
Jonathan says there’s a lot of local talent, but it needs support.
“That’s why we want our music to grow, to show people what we can do. People must realise that there is so much talent in the community just like the American artists they listen to.
“My message to others is to work hard if they want to achieve success. I didn’t get any handouts. If you want to go for something, go for it. Don’t let people discourage you.”
Yusuf says young people, instead of letting their circumstances define them, should use them to achieve their dreams.
“Work on your goals. Our youth gets indoctrinated so quickly. Don’t. There is another way out. Put your mind to it.”
Static Space plan to shoot a music video in May and release a new single soon.
The band is shooting for the new TV drama series, Die Hope, on SABC 2.
Static Space will be hosting a market on Saturday May 8 outside of Vangate Mall in Bosduif Road Road from 9am. CDs, boerewors rolls and a variety of items will be on sale. There will also be a photo opportunity with the group. For more information call Jonathan on 063 725 1719.