Cuebur In The Hot Seat

Johannesburg resident & talented producer Cuebur was introduced to House music in 2006 since then he has carved out a nice career for him self w/ his soulful & afro productions being featured on respectable labels like Defected, ITH, Soul Heaven Records, Deepershades, Nulu, Ospina Digital, DNH (Nick Holders label), Soul Candi, Miso (Charles Webster’s label) and gained worldwide support from South Africa’s top DJs like Black Coffee, DJ Christos & DJ Zinhle.

With his latest album project ‘For Headz Only’ out on Soul Heaven Records – Cuebur sits down with us to chat about the album and more.

The Interview

1) Firstly, Cuebur thanks for taking the time out to chat with us. Tell us where you are and how you are feeling right now.

Hi guys. Wow, I just came back from Botswana, I had a really awesome time there and I’m at home currently, feeling really tired but hey, It’s the life I chose. The previous week I was in Europe and I hardly got any rest so all of that has just got my body drained. I’ll be fine.

2) So the topic for today is your new album project ‘For Headz Only’ on Soul Heaven Records – tell us in your words a little bit about how it came to be and what you were trying to convey to your listeners.

The title “For Headz Only” was the inspiration behind the album. The whole idea was to put together a project where I accommodate every listener of house music, whether you are into Deep, Soulful House, Afro House, Afro Tech or just a big supporter of the Cuebur sound. The album was designed For (House) Headz Only. The album was completed in 3 months.

3) Where does the ‘Cuebur’ artist name emanate from, what’s its meaning & why did you choose it?

It’s actually funny how I got the name. In 2005 back here in South Africa there used to be an event called “The Love Life Games”, held every year. That year I decided to enter but I wasn’t a physically active person, I was more into sports/games that did not require physical activity such as chess etc. Now on the day I signed my real name up for Poetry, I had on my orange T-shirt the name ‘CUBA’ written on it.
As though my name was at the very end of the Poetry list, I decided to go visit my relatives who lived 30 minutes away from the venue. After some time I realised that I had to go perform and when I got there it was too late then the guys were like, “Hey Mr CUBA, where have you been?” That name got stuck to me even after the whole event was done. They kept calling me “Mr CUBA” throughout the day even when we went home. I was known as Mr CUBA / DJ CUBA everywhere in my neighbourhood and this went on for the rest of the year. When I was booked for a gig the next year, the flyer had my name spelt wrong, from “CUBA” to “CUEBUR”. That spelling got stuck to me till this day.

4) You have some great artists featured on the ‘For Headz Only’ Album like Vikter Duplaix – how do these types of collaborations differ from producing solo work?

When I work on solo projects, I often like to listen to some of my old creations and think of ways to better them & in doing so I come up with a totally different tune.

When I collaborate with someone, I often get inspiration from the way they lace down their ideas on to mine. For example, my collaboration with Marissa Guzman, I had an instrumental ready and she came to pick it up. Days later we met and she gave me the vocal parts to work on. When I worked on them, I had to change the instrumental so that it accommodates her vocals more. That’s how “No Doubt” was created.

5) What trax have been really tearing it up in club-land as of late?

Quite a number of them actually:

Cuebur feat. Vikter Duplaix – I See You

Cuebur feat. Thandi Draai – Lost For Words

Cuebur feat. Charlene – Don’t Let Him Get Away

Cuebur feat. Poetic Luv Child – Zvinoita Chete

Cuebur feat. Marissa Guzman – No Doubt

UPZ feat. Stephanie Cooke – Happy Days (Cuebur Remix)

6) Share a few artists that have influenced your sound?

You can find bits of Atjazz, Charles Webster, Osunlade, Rocco, Manoo, The Layabouts, Boddhi Satva and Louie Vega in my productions.

7) What is the one machine, program, sound, drum machine, technique that characterizes your sound?

A lot of people can tell if a song was made by me and the main things they lookout for are my bass lines, melodies, strings and pads. The program that best describes my sound is Reason by Propellerheads and my mixing is done on Cubase from Steinberg.

8) Where does a music media store like Traxsource fit into your musical agenda?

Ever since I was introduced to the digital side of the game, Traxsource has always been my number one House Music Store! Whenever any DJ needs to update their music database, Traxsource is the first (if not the only) store they think of. I always log onto Traxsource for new releases, hot tunes and also keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of house music. With that said, Traxsource has the majority of listeners who are into the sound that I do and so far it has introduced me to the world!

9) What is the one piece of kit that you simply cannot do without?

My CUEPACK which comprises of samples from my vinyl collection, real recordings via my cell phone and most of the sounds I capture daily.

10) Tell your fans some interesting facts they may not know about you…

I was a rapper and beatboxer before I became a DJ / Producer, I’m into art especially design and I love video games, especially fighting games such as Tekken.

Cuebur’s Album ‘For Headz Only’ is out now on Traxsource.


Soul Heaven Records