Boiler Room x Ballantine’s toasts to a decade of promoting local sounds and global growth

Ballantine's True Music celebrates 10 years of Boiler Room. Picture: Supplied

Ballantine's True Music celebrates 10 years of Boiler Room. Picture: Supplied

Published May 13, 2024


This month, Ballantine’s True Music celebrated the 10th anniversary of Boiler Room with a plethora of events tailored to uphold their mission to promote local sounds across the globe.

Throughout the years, Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music collaboration has been crucial to the globalisation of South African-born genres such as gqom, amapiano, and Bacardi.

Through its acclaimed broadcasts, the platform has showcased some of the best local musicians who have gone on to become well known and influential on global arenas.

Reflecting on the event, Thirashan Naidoo, Ballantine’s marketing manager at Pernod Ricard, said: “Our True Music event showcased the best of local talent and sounds, reaffirming our commitment to uplifting grass-root movements and amplifying them beyond just the music by putting a spotlight on the communities and environments they stem from.”

Naidoo further explained that the brands’ mission has always been to showcase, promote, celebrate, and bring wide-spanning communities together through music, culture, and entertainment.

“We inspire fans across the globe with credible experiences, defending people’s right to show up as themselves through our safe dance floor policy. Ballantine’s True Music is committed to representing, supporting, and promoting global inclusive music culture, celebrating local and diverse music communities and the people that make them thrive.”

Since its inception in 2014, the partnership has helped more than 800 artists in 30 countries, honouring over 70 local communities.

On Saturday, the Boiler Room celebrated its 10th anniversary at 1 Fox in Johannesburg. Performers on the bill included DBN Gogo, “Mnike” hitmaker Tyler ICU, and amapiano legends Scorpion Kings.

The build-up to the weekend’s major event was reminiscent of DJ Lag’s “Amanikiniki” from 2019, which sent party-goers into a trance and went on to become a globally popular viral hit.

Gqom also made a triumphant return to the stage this year, and the city tour was the first stop.

The Durban leg of the tour took place on April 27 with the purveyors of gqom, Durban’s Finest – DJ Tira and Sox.

Along with being the tour’s culture guides, the pioneering duo set the dance floor ablaze at Exit Shisanyama and Carwash alongside DJ Merlon.

It also headed to Pretoria for an amapiano and Bacardi immersion, with festivities starting at Braai Maestro in Pretoria West, where inventive duo Mellow & Sleazy and “Tiya Mfana” hitmaker DJ Tshegu churned out their Bacardi-tinged amapiano tunes.

Ballantine’s True Music took over Hawayu Lifestyle in Centurion, where Bacardi flag-bearer Enny Man da Guitar and Private School amapiano stalwart Kelvin Momo hit the decks.

From the early days of Boiler Room in 2014, artists such as house DJ Lamiez Holworthy made it a point to include some amapiano songs during her set, at a time when it was not fashionable in the mainstream.

This boots-on-the-ground grass-roots approach mirrors how the platform has also treated the pulsating sound of gqom.

The Star