Gift “pH” Nkuna is a heavyweight Beat Maker, Music Producer, Sound Engineer, Recording Artist and Record Label Owner. He’s also worked with award winning recording artists from all over Africa like AKA, Thandiswa Mazwai, Burna Boy , Hip Hop Pantsula, Teargas, Reason, Ice Prince and many others.
He began pursuing his music career soon after matriculating in 2001. In 2007 he graduated as a Sound Engineer from the Academy of Sound Engineering at the SABC.
In 2008, he invested in building a professional recording studio and named it Raw X Studios. Within that period he worked with artists such as Zubz on his “Cochlea – One Last Letter” album in which he produced numerous for him. Soon thereafter, he was producing for the likes of MXO, Reason, Simphiwe Dana and many other unsigned artists. Later that year he released a free download album, titled, “The pH Project Vol.1”, which got critical acclaim with the underground Hip Hop fraternity.
In 2009 he was introduced to the famous hip hop group, Morafe, by Towdee Mac, who is 1/3 of the group. At that time they had just began working on Khuli Chanas’ solo debut album “The Motswakoriginator”. He began working with Khuli Chana towards completing the project and produced majority of the now classic Album. He also joined a Music Production team called , “Octave Couplet”, later that year which comprised of Don Juan, Ross The ProdSIR(RossJack), AB Crazy & Beijin. As a collective they produced songs for the likes of HHP, Zeus & Naeto C from Nigeria. As a result we won Best Producers at the 2009 Hype Magazine Awards.
In 2010, he was invited to Cape Town to the Red Bull Studios to be part of “The 24hour Project”. The concept was simple,:- to record, produce and print a full new album in 24hours, which they managed to do. In doing so they hold bragging rights as the 1st in Africa to achieve this. That same year, he left the “Octave Couple” to focus on his own production company, Raw X Productions. Soon thereafter, he engineered, recorded and assisted in producing AKA’s debut album “Alter Ego”, which went on to win multiple awards such as “best hip hop album” at the SAMA’s in 2011.
By 2011 he had established himself as a music producer and his company, Raw X Productions was growing as a business. He even worked on scoring popular TV shows such as “Forerver Young” on VUZUtv. The show happened to be the biggest earning show on that channel for that year.
In 2012 he began working on Khuli Chana’s album, “LOST IN TIME”, his 2nd offering. “Tswa Daar” featuring Notshi was the 1st single which he produced and it instantly became a national hit. The album has been nominated for various ” Channel O Awards, won “best collaboration” at the Metro FM Awards 2013 & was a 3 time winner at the SAMA’s in 2013. “Lost In Time” became the 1st Hip Hop album to ever win “Best Album” at the SAMA’s.
In 2013, he released his follow up album compilation “The pH Project Vol.2” in association with Hype Magazine, December issue. Amongst featuring some of SA’s best musicians, he officially introduced myself as a rapper/performing artist.
That same year, he decided to expand his production team by acquiring individuals with ability to play an instrument. He acquired the services of Ruby Stringz(Violinist), RayKola(Music producer, guitarist, writer & Composer), P Kuttah(DJ & beatmaker) & LunatikBeatz(Beatmaker). As a team they produced JR’s 2014 hit single “Bob Mabena” ft MalumeKoolKat & Spoek Mathambo.
In 2014 he began to work with KO (CashTime) on his critically acclaimed debut album “Skhanda Republic”. He worked on the album from inception to end, and witnessed how the HUGE HIT “caracara” took over SA. The multi award winning song was recorded and additional production by RawX Productions.
It was nominated for the following categories at the 2014 Channel awards, Most Gifted Male” , “Most Gifted Duo/Group or Featuring Artist” ,”Most Gifted Hip Hop “,”Most Gifted Southern Artist” and “ Most Gifted Video of the Year”.
The album has also recently been nominated for the following awards at the Metro Fm awards, “Best Male Album”,”Best Collaboration”,”Best Hit Single”,” Best Hip Hop Album”, “Best Video” and “Song of the Year”.
pH also produced majority of Hip Hop giant, Reason’s 2nd album “AudioHD” which was also released in 2014.
In 2014, he also singed two artist to RawX Productions, namely, Yanga & A-Reece. A-Reece released his debut EP “Brownies” under Raw X Productions. Meanwhile, Yanga featured on huge 2014 anthems like “Run Jozi” by AKA , “Sorry Makhe” by Dj Vigilante and “Kwa Mkhize”by Dj Dimplez. He has produced and mastered the remix for Yanga’s hit,” Awuthi Yam” ft AKA and KidX. The remix was so popular that more than 100 000.00 people downloaded the song in less than 12 hours, which is a huge achievement in South African Hip Hop world. It goes without saying that this was a very proud moment for pH and the RawX team.
He began working on his debut album and released his 1st single “3:06am(HIpHOP)” mid 2014. He shot a video for the single and it was chosen as one of the “Best Videos of 2014” on the renowned music channel, MTV Base. His debut album features the likes of AKA, DaLES, Maggz, MaE (Cashtime), Riky Rick, HHP, Thandiswa Mazwai, Reason, Mandoza and many more.
pH has also recently been chosen to be part of the Mtv Base hit show, “J&B Made for the Party”. It is clear that pH is raising the bar of Hip Hop in and around Africa. This is evident as major brands such as J&B, Monster Energy Drink ( where he holds the position as one of the brand ambassadors ), Mtv Base as well as formidable artists as mentioned above.
2015 saw pH release his debut album “From Giyani With Love” and also be chosen as a judge and music producer for the hit TV show “The Hustle” on vuzu, alongside AKA, Khuli Chana & Tumi of the volume.
His debut single taken from his album, “Wa Ntiva” featuring Thandiswa Mazwai, was a succesfull hit on most major radio station across the country.
The single managed to be on the top 20 for over two months on Metro FM. The album debuted on iTunes to be become no.1 Hip Hop album. The project features established and new artist across the board like AKA, Khuli Chana, HHP, Proverb, Moneoa, Mandoza, MaE, Yanga to mention a few.
In the same year pH engineered and recorded Kid X debut project “3 Quarter Pace” which was nominated fro the SAMA2016. He aslo produced the huge hit “Yipikayay” by Reason featuring AKA & Khuli Chana, the song was played by Sway on his popular morning radio show in the USA.
Since the introduction of pH as aperforming artist, he has perfomed in big events like Back To The City (2016), Maftown Heights (2015), Zone 6 along side international hip hop group Mobb Deep.
pH as received many nominations in the hip-hop music fraenity is SA, the has received the following awards:
HYPE Magazine – Producer of the Year 2011
SAMA – Album of the Year 2013 (Khuli Chana, Lost In Time)
SA Hip Hop Awards – Producer of the Year 2014
He is currently nominated for the Limpopo Film Arts Music and Entertainment (FAME) Awards 2016.
He is without doubt one of the very best in the game when it comes to production, sound engineering and now taking his placeon stage.
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