Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

#MusicExchange: Bokani Dyer

The 2021 Jazz and Classical Encounters Festival Volume 3 at Spier Amphitheatre takes place on Saturday, 4 December 2021. The show will open with South African Music Awards (Sama) 2019 winner - pianist Bokani Dyer and his trio - who will present Neo Native album with Sphelelo Mazibuko on drums and Romy Brauteseth on bass.
I spoke to the master pianist last week:

BizcommunityThe new decade means:​​

Hopefully it means the end of Covid-19.

BizcommunityFame is about:​​​​

Lots of people knowing about you, I guess?

BizcommunityRetirement will happen when:​​

I can't say definitively. Not anytime soon!

BizcommunityI don't do:​​


BizcommunityWhat does music mean to you?​​

A lot of things. Different things at different times. It is a companion at times and also a means to express myself and also learn about myself.

BizcommunityMy music is about:​​

Everything. The life we live, our experiences, our solidarities, our
hopes and dreams.

BizcommunityI would love to co-write with:​​

Laura Mvula and Oumou Sangare.

BizcommunityWhere do you go for inspiration to create?​​

It is not specific. Sometimes inspiration comes at unlikely times. I
just feel the spark to create and then it happens.

BizcommunityWhat is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?​​

Connecting with people, whether it is fellow bandmates on stage or

BizcommunityThe song you must do in every show:​​

Mmm. I don’t have one that I feel I must do, but from streaming
insights, I have seen that a lot of people enjoy the song Fola from the Neo Native album.

BizcommunityAny funny moments on stage:​​

All the time! Sometimes when you go completely blank on songs you
know really well, best to find the funny side of these moments I

Also, sometimes audiences say some hilarious things.

BizcommunityMy heroes:​​

So many! For today, I will say Maya Angelou. So much powerful
insight and inspired thought.

BizcommunityMy style icon:​​

Still looking for one.

BizcommunityWhich living person do you admire most and why?​​

I admire a lot of people and their actions. It is difficult to single out one person and say they are the best or most admired. I admire my
mother for being highly principled and resolute in the things that
she believes in.

BizcommunityWhat is your most treasured possession?​​

My piano.

BizcommunityIt’s your round. What are you drinking?​​


BizcommunityDream gig to do:​​

I did one of my dream gigs two years ago at Ronnie Scott’s in
London - a place with so much history and so many greats who have
graced that stage.

BizcommunityWhat makes you stand out?​​

Everyone has a unique story to tell. I have my own and this makes me stand out.


Bo, Boks, Bokso, Bokanator, Bokolosh and lots more. I am blessed to have some very creative people around me!

BizcommunityIf you were not a musician, what would you do?​​​​

Probably something to do with psychology research.

BizcommunityWho would play you in a Hollywood blockbuster and why?​​

Haha, I don’t know. My favorite actor is Denzel Washington, so it
would be a trip to see him do it.

BizcommunityPick five words to describe yourself:​​

Optimistic, daring, self-critical, careful and caring.

BizcommunityFive favorite SA albums:​​

Genes & Spirits - Moses Molelekwa
Celebration - Bheki Mseleku
Born in a Taxi - Blk Sonshine
We used to dance - Andile Yenana
Live at the Market Theatre - Sibongile Khumalo

BizcommunityGreatest movie ever made:​​

So many, but a recent one is Parasite.

BizcommunityWhat books are you reading?​​​​

The New Apartheid by Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh.

BizcommunityWhat song changed your life?​​

Spanish Joint - D’Angelo.

BizcommunityWho do you love?​​

My wife, family and friends.

BizcommunityWhat is your favorite word?​​


BizcommunityFavorite fashion garment:​​

Probably my hats.

BizcommunityWhat do you complain about most often?​​

I don’t complain much. I would have to ask my wife about that.

BizcommunityWhat is your fear?​​


BizcommunityHappiness is:​​

A great feeling that I wish for everyone as much as possible.

BizcommunityOn stage, I tend to?​​

Lick my lips.

BizcommunityThe best life lesson you have been taught:​​

So many. A recent one is about not being too quick to assume
things. At times, I think people have the tendency to interpret things
hastily, only to find that their assumptions were incorrect.

BizcommunityDo you get worked up whilst watching a sports game on TV?​​

Sometimes while watching soccer I get passionate.

BizcommunityWhere would you like to be right now?​​

I am happy to be where I am.

BizcommunityDo you do charity work and if you do, what do you do?​​

Not really. I would like to change this. There are so many people who need help in this country.

BizcommunityWishes and dreams:​​

A more accepting country and world.

Social media links:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Let's do Biz