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Words by Mercia Tucker

One of the hallmarks of great artistry is the crafting of exceptional live performances that not only endear yourself to your audience but sets you apart from your contemporaries. It’s the trump card in the suit that is the development of their career, and one that elevates the ordinary fan’s appreciation of the artist.

This past Saturday, Budweiser launched BudX’s Kings of Music experience in SA. A movement underpinned by the support of young and upcoming talent, BudX curates collaborative experiences to bring together younger emerging acts with more established artists to grow the industry.

In their quest to support the South African creative culture, BudX’s flagship experience did not disappoint. Hosted at Shine Studios in Braamfontein, the area is a hub of creative innovation and the venue had breathtaking views of the Johannesburg city skyline. Held on Freedom Day, the significance of creative freedom was not lost upon us in an experience that celebrated all facets of it.

The first thing that struck you when entering the venue was the carefully curated, elaborate setup. The red-carpet entry was supplemented with a 360 degree cam photo booth, with clips sent to the guests to elevate their event experience. They were guided through the Bud bow-tie LED tunnel with a videographer capturing their entry and various photographers capturing the rest of the experience throughout the night.

The main stage had the backdrop of an impressive (both in size, and output) LED screen, and the intimate nature of the experience saw no barriers between the guests and the stage which allowed them to interact with the artists during their sets more freely.

Hosted by Smash Afrika, as soon as doors opened Lamiez Holworthy took to the decks. She was followed by Da Capo and the Goodluck Live band. Between sets, guests were entertained by the BudX Kings of Fashion. Three designers were selected to collaborate with BudX and design three bespoke items as part of the collaboration. In between sets, the designers dressed 8 of the dancers and they performed a choreographed routine as part of the showcase. On the night, Rich Factory, Otiz Seflo, and Ntando_XV showcased these bespoke items in a cube where guests were encouraged to interact with the pieces before a few lucky got the chance to win items in the line.

Black Coffee took to the stage as the headline act and gave us a set worthy of the title of King of Music. Flanked by a drummer and a keyboardist, the veteran DJ had the crowd in a tailspin by the end of set. The night ended off with Shimza and Distruction Boyz taking to the decks.

BudX will have a few collaborations coming up over the course of the next few months aimed at similar cultural exchanges, but with slightly varied interpretations. Showcasing SA talent isn’t the only function of these platforms, but empowering artists and creatives is at the heart of it.

Underpinned by visual and audio excellence, the Kings of Music experience was a moment in SA music that gave artists an opportunity to embody the brilliance that sets them apart from their peers. Stay tuned to The Plug for updates on more BudX experiences to come.

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