Story by: Motsieng Mooketsi
Picture by: Corner Lounge
Jouberton: Ulungile Sishuba popularly known as Aca Soul is a house music Dj and Producer with a budding talent which began in his early childhood at his family’s zion church in Jouberton. He was only five years old then, and the youngest singing in the choir.
The Klerksdorp born Dj and producer’s musical talent transcended at an early age from Khayalethu singing at the school choir, and at Zimele Geqe his love for music production started gaining momentum, this saw him become a soloist at the school choir. His passion would be short-lived when he reached high school at Nkang Mahlale Secondary School, due to his inability to balance between singing in a choir and studying.
His reserved personality at school, could not match a creative, burning and passionate desire for music that came naturally, “As he recalls how he would make instruments out of banging desks”, and this captured the ears of his classmates, who would dance to the rythm of the sound that used to come from the desks.
After matriculating 2007, he enrolled at Rosebank College in Braamfontien, Johannesburg, to study Computer Programming with specialization in IT and Software Development in 2008.
Being in Johannesburg was an eye opener for him, and admits that he didn’t know that there were softwares that can make music and says he started using a mouse and a computer for the first time ever in his life that year at tertiary.
In the same year he met Langa “La Soula” Kula from the Eastern Cape, who introduced him to music production. “Cuber, Thand Draai, Nhlanhla Kudoskelm and Soul Candi lecturer Juvenile Deep, are some of the popular names in the house music scene of South Africa that he lived with whilst in Johannesburg “ Langa saw that he has an understanding of music and music theory, he was interested in working with him, and immediately they started working together.
Like many producers on the come up, Aca Soul started his music production with Fruityloops “FL” Studio and soon changed to a more advanced program, Reason Music Production out of curiosity because Soul Candi was using it for its productions and students. In 2009 he produced his first ever track titled “Amabongwe“. Interestingly “Amabongwe” is a “Xhosa Clan” from his mother’s side situated in the Eastern Cape, apparently they are the right handman of the chief at Henu, Queenstown.
Inspired by his ancestral heritage and cultural attachment, Aca Soul’s music has a fusion of cultural sounds, beats and rhythm he learned when he was still a young boy singing for a Zion Church Choir of his family.
Having made a name for himself, a second release followed in 2009 under a record company from Durban, KZN called “One big family records” titled “Day Breeze” which has a remix by the “Oe batla kae” hit maker “De Mogul SA” Aca Soul gushes as he remarks that “funny part is, I come a long way when it comes to this,…cause even the guys in the game now, i’ve worked with them, the likes of De Mogul and Zwitty the quiver“.
After gaining experience of how to produce and make a song, he had made a name for himself in the competitive house music industry of South Africa, and by 2013 Aca Soul was confident enough and this was proven by the establishment of his own stable called “Urunga Records“. Urunga is a “Tsonga” word which means to mend or to sew, “It can be understood better by other languages as Goroka in Setswana or Uku Thunga in Xhosa”
The visionary music producer who grew up in the streets of Jouberton clearly had a vision when he started “Urunga Records” he explains “La, eUrunga, we are soul menders,…we mend souls through music“. The reason Urunga was established is because he saw how the industry is monopolised, with certain recording lables that not giving everyone a chance to show their talents”.
Before that he submitted his music to different recording lables who rejected his music. “Which was a blessing in disguise, otherwise we wouldn’t be dancing to his afrocentric, spiritual and ancestral sounds which has been mended into timeless house music”. Astonishingly, Aca Soul makes his music in the living room of his home and there are no sound proves or any fancy equipments and this had me in awe considering the quality of his songs.
Most people don’t know that songs like “Jesus In Africa“, “Day Breeze“, “Fly away” and others were produced over five years ago. Jesus In Africa is a favourite amongst the Klerksdorp crowd, Aca Soul says that song is a favourite everywhere he goes people chant to the song because of it’s ancestral and zion feel.
International House Producer and Dj Black Coffee has played “Jesus In Africa” in his set at Ibiza, Spain last year. “Fly Away” is a follow-up of “Jesus In Africa” and was produced in 2013, The song serenaded our interview on the day, he featured “Landiwe Zulu” from KZN, who he met through “Sipho Ngobese” of “Afro Origins Records” with his partner “Mambo faceless“.
Perhaps working with poet, and social activist “Ntsiki Mazwai” is one of his biggest achievements and the highlight of his music career, for a song called “people” in 2016, “The song is about people who use people to get ahead in life“, strangely or rather luckily he sent “Ntsiki” a “DM” direct massage on twitter and introduced himself, and told her she wanted to work with her, when Ntsiki heard one of his productions, she was very keen on working with him. The song was produced at “Mambo Faceless Studios” at the time Ntsiki hadn’t done a house with any house producer besides with “Kentphonik” in 2006. The same year he released Jazz Age which has a sophiatown feel to it,…the song honours the legends of the South African Music.
Currently his working on his debut album which will be called Zion Chants, and also there is a debut International release on the pipeline with a New York based label in September, Katsaitis Music which is owned by the legendary Dj Christos has also offered him two tracks for a compilation of an album. The sky seems not to be a limit for Aca Soul, he just recently signed up with a German based label called “Electric Friends Records” owned by “Leon El Rey“, he is also signed to South African based label Sheer Music, not to mention he has a track that he shot a music video for in Pretoria titled “Abaphantsi“. He says its a very hot song and we should be on the lookout for it. Once his done with his debut album, it will be distributed by Dj Tokzen’s Tokzen Music Store.
Aca Soul says he has bigger plans to make music grow not only in Klerksdorp but the entire North West Province. He plays regularly at Corner Lounge a local pub in Jouberton, at times in Goodfellas Night Club.