Aptly renowned to his fans as “The Big O” Oscar Mdlongwa originally from Zimbabwe, is a producer, music industry entrepreneur, DJ, songwriter and artist is being recognised for his virtually unparalleled contribution to African and South African music scene since early 1990s.
Having established independent label’s such as Boom Shaka, which birthed the Kwaito revolution the label has been home to a who’s who of influential acts including Bongo Maffin, Mafikizolo, Trompies, Thebe, DJ Vetkuk, Spikiri, and Alaska.
And although the partners in the business have changed, Oskido has retained the faith, turning Kalawa Jazmee into a bonafide African music industry success story that shows no signs of slowing down nearly 20 years after it was formed.
Oskido follows in the footsteps of Africa’s most groundbreaking musicians including last year’s honoree, Nigeria’s Koko Master D’Banj; Somalian born K’Naan (2010); South African Brenda Fassie (2009) and Ghana’s George Lee (2008), to mention a few.
The leading musical talent started his career as a DJ – initially taking over when Club Razzmatazz’s DJ didn’t pitch and going on to become a formidable force on the decks, playing alongside a number of international heavyweights (among them Little Louie Vega, Frankie Knuckles, DJ Gregory and DJ Yellow) and blazing a trail for his crowd-pleasing yet innovative DJ sets.
Oskido paused this skill to launch a career as a radio DJ, hosting his own show on YFM before working on the station’s Rap Activity Jam with Rudeboy Paul and hosting the legendary Church Grooves – the latter accompanied by the massively successful ‘Oskido’s Church Grooves’ CDs.
His incredible DJing successes aside, Oskido’s biggest impact has been in helping usher in a sound of the newly democratic South Africa. The main vehicle for this has been Kalawa Jazmee Records which Oskido formed with Don Laka and Christos Katsaitis (the name is a fusion of the first syllables of their surnames; Oscar was using Warona at the time) in the 90s.
He formed a deadly combination with Bruce “Dope” Sebitlo in the duo Brothers Of Peace (BOP) and also credited for unearting the Tamara Day collaboration “That’ impahla”, “Zabalaza” and “Victory Song”.
Him and Bruce magically upped the antea having produced the remixis of legendary Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens’ “Melodi” into “Meropa”.
Recently, Oskido unleashed the beautiful DJ Zinhle and Black Motion – and also keeping his own career as a radio deejay on Metro FM and that of BOP moving ahead.
Oskido’s creative music hand has been witnessed over the two decades as well as part of the prolific Dangerous Combination Crew production; he has had a hand in many of South Africa’s biggest hits.
His works include having worked with many South African legends including Hugh Masekela, Jimmy Dludlu, and the late Moses Molelekwa.
Synonymous for his trademark afro, he has established the Oskido Legacy Programme!
From humble beginnings selling boerewors rolls outside Club Razzmatazz in Hillbrow to international stardom including several appearances at the famed Miami Winter Music Conference, Oskido does deserve a recognition whilst still alive!
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