The 999 Music Story
999 Music was founded in 1992 by the then revolutionary young artist, Arthur Mafokate. 999 Music is now an undisputed leader in the entertainment industry. For the past 24 years the organization has constantly evolved and grown as shown by its longevity and dominance in the media and entertainment industries. 999 Music has redefined music in South Africa and its neighboring states.
The label gave birth to Kwaito music a, then new genre of music that is still unique to South Africa. Kwaito has had significant influence on our music and culture since the early nineties. Kwaito led a post-Apartheid township subculture into the mainstream. In the backdrop of a transforming South Africa, Kwaito took shape in the township of Soweto, at the same time Nelson Mandela took office as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. The first Kwaito single to become a hit in South Africa was the song “Kaffir” by Arthur Mafokate, which illustrated the freedom of expression resulting from political liberation in South Africa. It has become a form of self-expression and a way of life—it is the way many South Africans dress, speak, and dance. It is a street style as lifestyle, where the music reflects life in the mainstream culture.
999 has given birth to many of SA’s top artists and worked with the greats. The artists discovered, managed, represented, consulted for, promoted, produced or collaborated with include; Mandoza, Kabelo, Trompies, Speedy, HHP, Aba Shante, Lira, Chomee, Queen, the late Brenda Fassie, Joe Nina, the late Lebo, Thembi of Boom Shaka, Jeff Maluleke, Chiskop and many more!
999 MUSIC currently has artists that cater to different music genres ranging from Jazz, Afro pop, Gospel, Urban pop, House and Kwaito. Most 999 artists have been nominated for and won various awards ranging from SAMA awards to Metro to Koras.
Most recently Arthur was honoured with a Lifetime achievement award at the Metro Awards 2016. His newest artist Cici was awarded with two Metro’s after only 6 months in the industry under 999 Music’s wings. She won best R&B and Best Styled. 999 Music itself won the best compilation album of 2015 for Summa Ya diSumma.
The 999 stable are heading for great things and have been given a breath of fresh life with the King of Kwaito at the head once again (after a short break). Artists like Cici, Chomee, Kelly Khumalo, DJAJ, Afrikan Roots, Ishmael, Teekay and a team of talented newcomers will keep producing amazing music for another 24 years or more!