The Kiffness
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The Kiffness

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | MAJOR

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2010
Duo Electronic Fusion




"The Kiffness Goes On A Soul Safari"

After playing both of the biggest SA festivals on the calendar this year, we took some time to speak to The Kiffness about his new album.

You started The Kiffness in 2013 and since then had numerous radio singles and even 3 SAMA nominations. What was your initial goal when you started The Kiffness in terms of music and for the band in general?

My goal was to play on big stages & become well known. Through achieving those goals I’ve become to realize that those goals serve no real purpose. The goal now is to share ideas that I believe are worth sharing – ideas that affect the world in a positive way.

In the words of Jim Carrey “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

You moved to Cape Town after studying at Rhodes. What made you decide to make the move and why did you decide on settling in Cape Town?

I had finished my degree in Philosophy & Music, and I was keen to develop my skills as a music producer. I literally googled “sound engineering school South Africa” and Cape Audio College popped up. It looked pretty cool, so I went there. I soon realized that something about Cape Town made me write kiff tunes, so I decided to stay here. I slept on friends couches for many months & paid my way by buying food & making kiff tunes in okes living rooms while doing crappy R200 gigs & making music for adverts.

Over the past few years you have collaborated with artists such as Tresor, Shortstraw, Moonchild, Mathew Gold and more. How do you choose who to collaborate with and is there something special you look for in a collaborator in terms of what it brings to The Kiffness?

Most of the colabs happen organically. Tresor was because of 5fm’s Mashlab. Mathew Gold found the backtrack for Where Are You Going on Juliet Harding’s flashdrive. Shortstraw happened because we did a show together & we were like “we should do a song together”.

Speaking of collaborations – your new album ‘Soul Safari’ features African collaborators to focus on issues in SA – how did you choose who to collaborate for with the new album and what do you think they brought to the music of the album?

I watched BCUC for the first time at Smoking Dragon last year. I was so blown away by their performance, not only because of their electric energy, but because of their outlook and message. They encapsulate the true spirit of uBuntu – the African philosophy of inclusion & togetherness (which I was fortunate enough to study at Rhodes), but only really begun to understand it again through working with these guys. I think when collaborations like this happen, it helps bring unity in these times where division is rife.

When writing and recording ‘Soul Safari’, did you do anything different for this album compared to your previous releases?

I think the main difference was that the message behind the album was more intentional – more in line with my social commentary. The music I’ve made in the past had no real direction – the focus was to get a song to sound nice. Now I’m less concerned about how a song sounds, but rather how it makes you feel.

What does the new album represent to you and for The Kiffness?

It’s an album of deep introspection. Realising that the answers to life’s questions are not out there, but within us. - SA Music Scene

"We love it! Is this SA’s gayest ever music video?"

Funky electronic act The Kiffness have released an amazing new video honouring SA’s LGBTI community and the victims of the Orlando massacre.

The Cape Town based duo’s dancefloor killer track You Say You Love Me features the vocal talents of American singer Tawanna Shaunte and is described as “a song about love, rejection and all the complexities that come with it”.

The video, however, does not feature Shaunte and instead highlights the fierce Manila Von Teez, one of Cape Town’s most celebrated drag artists, who puts on a foot-stopping performance that will have you shaking your booty.

The clip, dubbed “a poignant celebration of identity and sexuality,” begins with the words: “This video is dedicated to those who lost their lives in Orlando, Florida – 12 June 2016.”

The Kiffness’ David Scott told Mambaonline that the video has a particularly powerful resonance because it was coincidentally filmed on Loader Street in De Waterkant, Cape Town on the actual day of the mass shooting.

“When filming wrapped we received news that there had been a tragic shooting in an Orlando nightclub targeting the LGBT community – at the exact same time that we were filming the video,” he said.

“Having just returned from creating a video celebrating the LGBT community, the news hit close to home and we were devastated. We all agreed it would be remiss of us to not dedicate the video to those who had lost their lives in the shooting,” Scott explained.

He said that one of the reasons the band chose to use a drag performer was because of the opening words of the song: “You say you love me, but you don’t”.

“We wanted the star to be someone who might be able to resonate with those words. Many of my friends in the LGBT community have felt that, growing up, they’ve had to pretend to be someone that they’re not for fear of what society might think of them.

south_africa_gayest_music_video_the_manila“So we thought that having a drag queen as the star is immediately interesting from a visual point of view and would catalyse conversations around issues of identity and sexuality while bringing added meaning and value to the words of the song,” Scott said.

Von Teez was scouted by director Quinton Lavery, who went to the club Zero21 where she often performs, to look for stars for the video. After watching a few drag shows he recommended Von Teez for the production.

“I think she was without a doubt the right person for the video and she absolutely killed it,” Scott enthused.

Von Teez (created by Veon Wentzel) told Mambaonline that she thinks the video is amazing. “The fact that we, especially the broader drag community, are being sought after as mainstream performers is long overdue, and an honour,” she said.

“The art form is an amazing one and I really hope that the appearance on the music video will open doors for even more drag performers to be seen,” she added.

Von Teez said that the music video was filmed in one continuous shot. “We had to do the entire song from start to end as perfect as possible. We did about six practice runs and then recorded runs of the song roughly 10 times. Besides the tiring factor, the getting dressed all over and re-attaching my wig was in itself challenging. The team were amazing and this made things so much easier.”

Scott went on to say that he would like the video to start conversations around sexual identity, especially with people with conservative views. “I also want the video to empower and encourage members of the LGBT community to never be ashamed of who they are.”

Scott later sent us a deeply personal statement, which we have included below:

“I had a really tough time at junior school. I was once at a sleep over with a bunch of mates and we were all mucking about and long story short I touched a boy’s penis. The boy shouted to everyone ‘Hey guys, Dave touched my winky!’

“The next day the rumour quickly spread that I was gay and it wasn’t long before I became the laughing stock of the school. I knew that I wasn’t gay and that I was just being silly and curious, but going through junior school and parts of high school being called ‘gay’ or ‘faggot’ did a lot of damage to me.

Even as I write this I can feel the hurt that this caused rising up and creating a pain in my chest.

“Now even though this was painful to write, that part of my life has passed and I have made peace and forgiven those that teased me and brought me this pain. I am now married to the woman of my dreams and I couldn’t be happier. With this being said, I often think to myself – what if I was gay? What if I was bullied for being something that was the foundation of who I am? How much more hurt would that have caused?

“Although I’ll never be able to fully comprehend the pain that members of the LGBT community go through on a daily basis, I can relate to the pain on some level. I think that’s why I am so proud of the music video for our new song, because it sends a strong message that you should never be ashamed of who you are or what you have done.

“I have learned that being vulnerable takes a certain level of courage and it can be scary, but when you bring the things you keep secret out of the dark and into the light, the crippling fear that the secret once had over you is lost and is replaced with joy and peace.” - Mamba Online


The Kiffness is obviously no newcomer to the SA music scene. They are fast becoming one of South Africa’s favourite live electronic acts. From the beginning of 2013, founder and brainchild David Scott has had great success in the South African music industry, racking up a total of 3 SAMA nominations and 10 singles playlisted across national radio stations – all of which have reached top 10 status in the Top 40 charts.

From its relatively humble beginnings, Dave made his way from bedroom producer to building his own studio and becoming one of South Africa’s most reputable producers. He has collaborated with some of South Africa’s leading artists including Tresor, Shortstraw, Moonchild, Samuel Miller and Mathew Gold. With The Kiffness’ success on radio, the project has gained major momentum and the group has had the opportunity of playing headlining slots at some of South Africa’s most reputable festivals such as Rocking the Daisies, Splashy Fen and Park Acoustics to name a few. They’ve also played international shows in the Seychelles, Lesotho, Swaziland (Bushfire), Zimbabwe (Vic Falls Carnival) and Vietnam.

With that said, we had a chat with David Scott about The Kiffness, memes and Soul Safari.

Hi there. Thanks for your time to chat. How are you feeling about releasing your brand new album?

Pretty flippen’ kiff, thanks.

How has the reception been on Soul Safari?

Well, my mom said she liked the one song, so that’s a good start.

Always a good start… How important has social media been in getting the word out for The Kiffness and releasing your music?

Well the pre-order video that I did was pretty well received & then the album debuted at #2 on the iTunes chart, so I’m guessing it kinda helps.
You gotta post the memes to get the streams!

Haha. How did The Kiffness start? From a bedroom producer to being a celebrity in the same class as Danny K, that’s quite an achievement?

Thanks. Danny K even phoned the other day to tell me I’m more famous than Heinz Winckler now, so pretty stoked about that.
The first gig I ever played was the Plett Battle of the Bands. My brother entered us & we only had a week to get a show together. We figured out how to play my bedroom creations live, and we ended up winning.

Rad. When taking a break from creating memes and tweeting Helen Zille, what do you do in your spare time?

Sitting on my lazy ass watching Master of None & Stranger Things. Although I just finished watching Stranger Things & I only have one more episode of Master of None left. Don’t know what I’m going to do after that – maybe just sit and think of memes.

Haha. Well, you’re damn good at that. Soul Safari debuted on #2 on the iTunes Pop Album Charts on the release day. Were you surprised on the chart-topping release or did you kind of expect it?

Well after my dank pre-order video, I wasn’t that surprised. Plus, these kinds of things are bound to happen when you’re a Danny K verified A-list celebrity.
I’m just sad it didn’t top that flippen’ NOW compilation album which was sitting smugly at #1. That being said, I’m glad it beat Ed Sheeran’s pile of kak album, which got downgraded from #2 to #3. But at the end of the day, I don’t really care where my album is on the charts. I’d rather release something which I think is kiff that debuts at #23, than an album that I think is siff which debuts at #1.

How did it come together to get BCUC involved in “Rise Up” and how was the whole vibe in creating the video?

We ended up on the same line up as BCUC a few times & we got to know each other at the shows. I’m a massive fan of their live shows & they seemed to enjoy what we’re about, so we agreed that it would be kiff to work together. I was just messing around in studio one day & somehow came up with this crazy beat & straight away I could imagine BCUC doing their thing over it. I sent it to them and 2 days later they sent back a demo video & I was blown away. We got into a studio when I was up in JHB and the rest was history.

It was really cool to visit them in Soweto. There’s such a kiff chilled vibe there. Even though I felt a little out of my umlungu comfort zone, I felt welcomed.

Nice, man. What, in your opinion, is the biggest struggle in the South African music industry?

There’s a saying: “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, because no one’s hiring.”
But in all seriousness, I feel like I’ve had it pretty easy as a live electronic musician – mostly because I only have one other band mate to pay, and because there’s not a lot of other people doing what we’re doing.

I think it’s a big struggle for bands that have to split their bucks 4 or 5 ways. So yeah, I feel for bands who are super talented but the logistics make it hard.

Where to next for The Kiffness? More saying “kak” on live Afrikaans TV and creating viral videos?

Haha, yes! That and doing a crap load of shows so I can support my meme career.

Haha! Thanks. Be sure to check out Soul Safari right here and follow The Kiffness on Facebook. You won’t regret it. Belowe. - Why-Ed

"The Kiffness Release ‘You Say You Love Me’: A celebration of the Capetonian LGBT community."

The Kiffness’ new video for their single ‘You Say You Love Me’ is a fun, quirky celebration of the Capetonian LGBT community. Shot in the streets of the Waterkant area, which is celebrated for being part of Cape Town’s legendary Pink Strip, when shooting wrapped the cast and crew received word about the tragic nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. Fittingly, they decided that they would dedicate the video to the victims of the senseless attack.

The track features talented vocalist Tawanna Shaunte a US-based soul singer and the video features Manila von Teez, a sassy Cape Town-based drag queen, alongside her two backup dancers Maxine Wild & Jayde Kay Johnson, who delivers an overwhelmingly inspiring performance that perfectly suits the video’s opening message: Be Proud.

“The opening words of the song ‘You say you love me, but you don’t’ ring true for many people who feel they have to pretend to be someone else for fear of what society may think of them if they were to reveal their true selves,” explains Dave Scott from The Kiffness.

With this in mind, the video’s true message shines through as an empowering one and hammers the point home that you should never be ashamed or afraid to let your true self shine. Watch the video below. - Texx & the City

"Who is the local drag superstar in The Kiffness’ newest video?"

Cape Town – Local band The Kiffness has released a new video for their single: You Say You Love Me featuring Tawanna Shaunte.

The video features Cape Town drag performer Manila Von Teez.

The performer walks the streets taking off layers of clothing as she goes; culminating in her unveiling a very sexy leotard.

The track is a banger and the performance by Manila is epic and has been shared all over South Africa.

Who is Manila Von Teez?

The performer, who is also known as Veon Wentzel, has been a feature on Cape Town’s drag scene for many years.

The 24-year-old has performed at different clubs and was a contestant in The Gay Flag of South Africa competition in 2012. - Channel 24


Although he hasn’t dropped an album since ‘Kiff’ back in 2014, Dave Scott of The Kiffness has been subtly slaying the local pop space. Over the past few months, he has released the smash hit singles ‘Evergreen’ with Tresor, ‘You Say You Love Me’ with Tawanna Shaunte and ‘Love Go Cold’ with Josh Wanie and while Dave is not outing Sketchy Bongo for claiming music from sample packs as his own, taking on major brands on Twitter or being his mischievous self, he has been working on The Kiffness’ brand new album ‘Soul Safari’ – which releases everywhere today.

The 10-track album includes the three massive singles as well as new collaborations with BCUC, Gemma Griffiths and Moonchild Sanelly. Naturally, Dave has even thrown in a song about white privilege into the mix. “A lot has happened in South Africa over the last three years. I have made a deliberate effort to make songs addressing issues surrounding my own privilege as well as racial tensions in South Africa,” Dave explains. “I was also deliberate in collaborating with African artists, because while the system keeps dividing us, musicians from different walks can come together and show that something beautiful happens when we work together. I also got married last year and so the album explores the lessons and complexities of love and self-discovery.”

Staying true to The Kiffness’ legacy, the album has some banging electronic tracks and the response has been phenomenal so far. In fact, the album opened at number two on the South African iTunes Pop Chart this morning. The album is out now so stream or download the record off your favourite online platform right now. - El Broide


Still working on that hot first release.



The Kiffness are fast becoming one of South Africa’s favourite live electronic acts. Since the beginning of 2013 they’ve had great success on local radio stations with 6 songs already playlisted nationwide & all songs reaching top 10 status in the top 40 charts. Following the success on radio, their 3rd album KIFF (1st album through major label Sony) was nominated for 2 SAMAs (South African Music Awards) for "Best Pop Album" and "Best Producer" and debuted at #3 on the iTunes pop album charts. 

Dave Scott founded the project in early 2010 when he arrived in Cape Town to pursue a career in music. During his studies at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Dave played a handful of instruments in multiple bands whilst holding down DJ residencies at two of Grahamstown's most popular nightclubs. Upon arriving in Cape Town he was well seasoned in both the live & electronic music realms and ready to use his experience in both forms of music to form a live electronic project - The Kiffness.

From it’s relatively humble beginnings, Dave managed to make his way from bedroom producer to building his own professional studio & earning a reputation as one of South Africa's leading dance music producers. He has collaborated with some of South Africa’s favourite artists including Shortstraw, Samuel Miller & Mathew Gold. 

Following The Kiffness' success on radio the band has had the opportunity of playing headlining slots at some of South Africa's most reputable festivals such as OppiKoppi, Rocking the Daisies, Splashy Fen & Park Acoustics to name a few. whilst playing a handful of shows abroad. 

Saxophone & synth extraordinaire Clem Carr joined The Kiffness mid 2014. Before joining forces with Dave on stage, Clem had played a major role behind the scenes in co-writing two of The Kiffness’ most successful singles to date – ‘Where Are You Going?’ & ‘Find A Way’. 

The Kiffness' unique ability to effortlessly blend live instrumentation with electronic house beats brings electronic shows to a new level. From jamming out deep, hard hitting bass lines live on analogue synthesizers to playing soaring jazzy trumpet and saxophone melody lines, both Clem and Dave's instrumental talent is tangible. What's more is that they are great performers, so crowds can expect nothing short of a huge vibe.


- The Kiffness 2014 album 'KIFF' debuted at #3 on the iTunes pop album chart & #5 on the album chart.

- Included in the iTunes list "New Artists for 2014" to watch out for.

- The band has 6 singles that have been playlisted on national radio stations, all making top 10 status on the 5FM radio charts.

- "Where Are You Going?" was rated as one of the top 100 songs of 2013 in South Africa based on radio play and sales, and was included in the Now 65 compilation CD in 2013 & the 'Goldfish Organic House' compilation in 2014.

- 'Samuel Miller - Stepping Out (The Kiffness Remix)' and 'Find A Way ft. Shortstraw' were also included on the 'Goldfish Organic House' compilation.

Band Members