The second day also saw a number of inspiring speakers take to the stage. Perdeby was there to bring you all the highlights.

“It is a game to rule. It is a game to engage with the state.”

The day started off with an overview of art and politics as practice by international artist, writer and curator, Professor RaimiGbadamosi. “The role of games, politics and the state is of great interest to me,” Gbadamosi told the audience. He showed them a number of pieces he has worked on, all of which deal with the complexities surrounding ethnicity, race and culture. He is also interested in the power of language.

“Every brand has a soundtrack.”

Mike Joubert, the founder of BrandsRock, followed with a discussion on how we don’t consume advertising anymore, choosing instead to engage with what entertains and educates us. We respond to experiences which stimulate us, said Joubert. He maintains that we have a lot of creative talent in South Africa, but what we lack is leadership capital, people who are willing to organise conferences like Hello Ambassador.

“How much is your vision worth to you?”

The history and evolution of independent cinema was then explored by award-winning independent filmmaker Sibs Shongwe- La Mer. He also spoke about how and why he shot his film Death Of Tropics, which was written, directed, edited and scored without any money from the industry. “The joy of art, for me, is expression,” said Shongwe-La Mer. “It’s the desire, the excitement, the quest. It’s the commitment to do whatever it takes.”

“Be humble. Don’t be that guy.”

Founder of Griet and Capital Craft Johan Auriacombe gave the audience six useful tips that he has picked up throughout his career as an events coordinator. Be humble, he told the audience, and realise that there will always be someone bigger and better than you out there. Don’t try overtake them, rather learn from them. Don’t rely on favours and don’t think being an event organiser is easy. Lastly, save the money you make so that you can invest and take more risks and whenever you get angry with someone, just chill.

“I’m going to take you guys on a journey so prepare to be dazzled.”

Producer and musician Peach van Pletzen (of Bittereinder and Yesterday’s Pupil fame) took the audience through the process of making music, from conception to performance.

“Music is about expression and about making someone feel what you feel without saying anything to them,” he said.

Van Pletzen also spoke about the dubstep craze that has taken over recently. “When dubstep came, when that bass dropped, everyone lost their minds,” said Van Pletzen. “They felt a little bit guilty because deep down they know that it was shit.” Van Pletzen predicts that dubstep will soon become the new 80s cheese because it relies completely on technology. He says music will revert back to a simplicity that we saw in the 90s after the synthesiser overkill that characterised the previous decade.

Peach’s pearls of wisdom for aspiring producers:

  • Songs sometimes do write themselves and when they do, you should count yourself lucky.
  • There’s a time to stop producing and you should know when that is.
  • Always be ready for when of moment of inspiration or creative bliss hits you.
  • When you are in the studio, always write first. Then record, structure, edit and mix. It’s a much quicker process.
  • Backup your work. Always.
  • You don’t have to be anything other than yourself. There is something out there for everyone.
  • Work with fewer elements. Less is more.
  • Always keep your master fader on zero.
  • Don’t swamp yourself with too many plugins.

To celebrate the launch of Hello Ambassador, an afterparty was held on the sixteenth floor of Prince Church, a building opposite the State Theatre. The Faradays, Make-Overs, Bittereinder, Markus Wormstorm and Particle One jammed alongside the icy, howling wind, ensuring that the experience of partying with a 360 degree view of the city could be just what Pretoria needs.

Thank you, Hello Ambassador, and see you next year.


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