South Africa has an abundance of talent and creative minds. Historically, it could be difficult to find a place for this talent to thrive without high expenses being involved.

Flame Studios is a non-profit entity which aims to bring talent and creatives forward and have their voices heard.

According to studio director Lance McCormack, the studio was born out of a vision to activate under-utilised spaces at Constitution Hill. “Flame Studios is a unique project not just locally, but in a global context,” he said. I spoke more with him to find out what the long term vision is for the studio:

Reshaping the musical landscape

The dream to build an accessible and sustainable platform for the next generation of storytellers – musicians, poets, or podcasters – is realised through the conceptualisation of Flame Studios. McCormack said,

“It’s also to document and archive our deeply troubled past and present, while setting a positive tone for the future.”

Hence the setup at Constitution Hill. Not only does it serve as a unique recording space, but it is the ideal place to remember our history and set that positive tone Flame Studios is trying to bring forward.

Thus far, Flame Studios was involved in the creation of ‘This Is Us’ – an initiative by Nando’s where they created and produced a music video celebrating the talent of their employees.

Beyond this, they have been working with South African music icon Vusi Mahlasela to record and produce his first studio album in over 12 years. They have also assisted in launching new albums by acts like Sho Madjozi, Emtee and Yanga Chief. They’ve also successfully recorded their first audiobook – opening several exciting doors in this sector. Importantly, the studio has produced voice archive and podcast work linked to the heritage and educational mandate of Constitution Hill.

Empowering local artists

Recently, as a means of empowering South African creatives, the studio has launched a monthly live performance platform in partnership with Striped Horse beer, called Beats For Tomorrow.

They are also planning to launch a series with Bandustry that will offer up and coming artists a ‘creators grant’ to rehearse and record at the studio. Working with the National School of the Arts and Wits University, the studio is also offering music development and mentorship programmes. Lastly, McCormack said, “We’re also working with Gallo Record Company as they unlock their phenomenal warehouse of historic South African music recordings.”

“I just feel immensely grateful and privileged to be involved in helping reshape the musical landscape and narrative of South Africa,” he said.

Flame Studios is still a fairly new project, and most of their communication is currently through word of mouth. However, they do have a website set to be live soon, which you can find here.

Contact Lance McCormack at az.oc.soidutsemalf@ecnal for more information.


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