Coined Durban Kwaito Music (DKM) hits such as Bum Bum and Wasting my Time fuses House beats with Kwaito lyrics. As a musician and professional in the industry, Zakes knew how to transfer into the role of a producer and manager to direct the careers of Andile Masuku and many others. By creating something that appeals to everyone and can be appreciated by music lovers, Zakes quickly became a household name in South Africa and the House music industry. Zakes graduated from UKZN after holding a diploma in Jazz and popular music, which he obtained at Natal Technicon, known as DUT today. Zakes created Mayonie Productions while finishing his last year at the Technicon in 2004. He knew from the beginning that he wanted to be more than a musician, which is why he established his own label.
"I didn't want to go to a record company with my demo tape and ask for them to sign me as their artist. It made sense for me to look for talent and then after signing the artist, I would go and negotiate for their deal - while at the same time I am actively involved in promoting my artist," says Zakes.
L’vovo mesmerised fans and went on to win a couple of Metro FM Music Awards, which brought other artists, like Beezory (Kwaito), Shon G (Hip Hop), SAMA Best Newcomer of the Year, Andile Mseleku, (Jazz), Dr Sndara (House), DJ Snazzy and Museeq IQ, to Mayonie Productions.
Collaborations with DJ Black Coffee delivered an album that stood out.
“We've been friends with Black Coffee for so many years and the success of our collaboration on JUJU; we felt it was time for us to work on an album together" said Zakes.
The album was the result of collaboration between Zakes’ Mayonie Productions and Black Coffee’s soulistic music.
Zakes released the video for his second single, Ghetto, in February 2014. The video depicts life in the township and the song has aired on local radio stations a lot since its release. The song features on his album titled The Fake Book & Real Book: My Music Bible.
Additionally, Zakes is the head of artists and repertoire at Sony Music Africa. The artists and industry professional says that musicians must realise that no one owes them anything and that they need to take responsibility for their career choices.
Excitingly, the artists and repertoire department sits at the core of any record company and serve to develop content and record for the record company.