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Everybody Talks started out as a collaborative project, an open brief of sorts, which aimed to explore the state of flow one enters as a musician. The project took some unexpected turns with focus shifting to also include the artist’s insights about music institutions, various techniques, playing with feeling and ultimately journeying through the mental and physical states of drumming.


Johann De Klerk
Tshepang Ramoba

Tshepang Ramoba – the formidable and revered musician of BLK JKS acclaim, and more recently his solo project under his own name, is the cornerstone of this film. Despite the fame and success that comes with the territory, Tshepang holds onto what keeps him rooted as an artist and steers clear from any pretence – he clearly makes music because making music is true to his essence.

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As we all navigated our way through lock down and the pandemic, we had to figure out a solution for minimum contact whilst still being able to communicate the story in an honest way. With all our remote planning, and the new way of living and communicating as of lock down, we came up with the audio spectrum effect which was reminiscent of WhatsApp voice notes. We used this effect as a tool for Tshepang to navigate us through his thoughts about playing the drums.

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With the choices for camera language, recording the drums and the music, we pretty much had an open book to dive into whatever excited us. The theme that kept coming to us was us going back to our roots. Evidently harking back to the era of analogue sounds and recordings, vintage cameras and of course film. We recorded this piece where Tshepang ultimately reaches the state of flow and tracked an original score that plays off and interacts with his drumming takes in the studio.

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As we follow Tshepang through his playing, we intro two worlds – one world of him digging inside and telling us his story, and the other of him performing and picking up momentum, ultimately moving into the state of flow. The climax is reached when Tshepang is going all out, and resolves his story with a heartfelt sign off, before fading off into the darkness. The two worlds are visually separated by their Blue vs Red identities.

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Everybody Talks sheds some light and insight to what it takes and what it is to be a musician in South Africa – particularly to one’s approach and the craft of playing the drums. Making music and going to school is only one part of the recipe, and sometimes it’s not even needed to create something unique and spectacular. We hope that young musicians and creatives watching this understand the importance of never letting go of how they feel when approaching, making or learning a new craft.

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Drunmmer: Tshepang Ramoba
Director: Johann De Klerk
Producer: Pano Ladas
Steadicam: Nate Schoof
Focus Puller: Lwazi Manzi
2nd AC: Marcel Pretorius
Mix & Sound Design: Nel Tremble
Original Score: Pan Well
Animation: Tim JardimOnline
VFX: Sunday Studio
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