Broadcasting local sounds and ideas from around the world.

Moving music culture forward together

Ballantine’s Scotch whisky and long-term partner Boiler Room continue their pledge to create a safer and more inclusive music culture through their global event series, True Music Studios which will be returning to South Africa making its debut in the township Soweto, known as the birthplace of the popular rising genre, Amapiano.

Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Studios champions diversity and inclusivity in music through a series of events that bring together communities to showcase and celebrate local sounds, scenes and cultures. Following on from True Music Studios in Johannesburg last year which celebrated the sounds of Amapiano in collaboration with music pioneer, DJ and hitmaker, DBN Gogo; Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Studios is heading to the historic township of Soweto, home to both Amapiano and underground icon Njelic from the 15th-18th February. Soweto born and raised, and a legend of the South African house scene, Njelic continues to shape the Amapiano genre and will be the lead collaborator for the Soweto edition of True Music Studios.

Despite the most concentrated poverty in South Africa, Soweto has continued to fuel the country’s music scene and garnered fame around the world. The four-day True Music Studios event aims to recognise and celebrate the next wave of seminal talent rising out of the city who are following in the footsteps of these Sowetan legends.

True Music Studios will showcase a run of events focused on the local sounds and scenes including:

• ‘In Conversation With…’ 15th February – Hosted by Mpumelelo Frypan, two in-depth conversations will connect audiences with Soweto’s key players including collaborator Njelic, ‘The Godfather’ M’du Masilela, the lead singer of Soweto global jazz sensation BCUC Nkosi Zuthulele, DJ and music specialist DJ Buhle, as well as singer-songwriter Nobantu Vilakazi.

• ‘Party Broadcast’ 16th February – Curated by our collaborator Njelic, the party broadcast features live performances from the next generation of South African talent including Njelic himself, Kabza De Small, Kamo Mphela, Daliwonga, TOSS and Playgal.

• ‘Masterclass with Kamo Mphela’ 18th February – Dubbed the newly acclaimed ‘Queen of Amapiano’ and one of South Africa’s biggest stars, singer and dancer Kamo Mphela hosts a masterclass showcasing some of the most killer moves from her hometown.

• ‘Community event with Le Grand Ball’ 18th February – Le Grand Ball will bring together four Houses from Johannesburg to compete in a runway presentation; with the winning House receiving a R5000 cash prize to continue competing. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to organisations that promote the development of trans and gender diverse movements within South Africa.

Tom Elton, Head of Culture and Partnerships at Ballantine’s says, “Now nine years into our partnership with Boiler Room, we’re committed to continuing our journey through True Music Studios, a platform designed to move local music culture forward. Our motto ‘a friend to all humankind’ has been on the crest of every bottle for over 100 years; True Music’s home has, and always will be, the metaphorical dancefloor – and we’re striving to make sure that is a place where everyone feels part of the experience.”

Ballantine’s has been a long-time champion of underrepresented music communities, celebrating local talent through its True Music platform and partnership with Boiler Room. Over the past nine years, we have supported over 600 artists, across 70+ events, in 20+ countries.

Sign up for the latest information to stream each event and tickets for True Music Studios Soweto at

To find out more about Ballantine’s True Music check out @Ballantines


About Ballantine’s:

Ballantine’s is the No.1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the No. 2 Scotch whisky in the world with the range selling over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 130 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for its outstanding quality, thanks to its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40-year-old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by master blender Sandy Hyslop, continuing the brand’s tradition of master blenders that dates back to 1827.

Ballantine’s was created as a Whisky for Everyone; “A Friend to All Humankind” and is passionate about bringing out the real you to create moments that matter. Our Stay True platform guides everything we do, from retaining the same style of Finest since its launch in 1910 to championing true music and supporting emerging talent. It’s an invitation for people to get to know themselves and have the confidence to stand by it and be true to themselves creating moments that matter.

“Stay true and excellence will always be by your side.” These are the immortal words of our founder, George Ballantine, that we still follow to this day.

Ballantine’s aims to shine a light on issues of diversity and inclusion in music, and to promote meaningful lasting change through its commitments across the following:

a. Communities – We believe in the power of education and action to inspire positive change. That’s why we’re committed to ensuring that our programming at every event addresses at least one local DE&I issue by hosting educational events at every studio to upskill and inform the communities we show up in and using our experience, network, and resources to support initiatives that are focused on making music culture more inclusive.

b. Artists – Our line ups will continue to represent the entire spectrum of genders, sexualities, cultural backgrounds that make up music culture – people worthy of celebration, participation, and representation. Every artist deserves fair pay for their hard work and talent, and all artists featured on True Music will be paid fairly, eliminating any pay disparities to promote equity in the music industry.

c. Fans – Music should be accessible and inclusive for everyone, without any barriers or exclusions. That’s why all our events will continue to be free for all to attend or watch online, and we will work with experts to ensure that our events are inclusive and accessible for diverse needs.

About Boiler Room:

Boiler Room is an independent music platform and cultural curator, connecting club culture to the wider world, on-screen and IRL through parties, film and video.

Boiler Room started with a webcam taped to a wall, opening a keyhole into London’s underground. Since 2010, we’ve built a unique archive spanning over 8000 performances by more than 5000 artists across 200 cities, reaching more than 283+ million

per month. Today, we remain true to that history. We support emerging artists. We tell stories from the fringes. We connect local dance floors to the wider world.

Key Dates:

Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music Studios tour dates:

Soweto, South Africa 15th – 18th February 2023

Nairobi, Kenya 28th – 30th March 2023

Mumbai, India Dates TBA

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