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Stellenbosch hip-hop band Dank Neighbourhood (DN) released their first single, titled “Tokyo Drift”, in September of last year. Two months later, the band’s producer and DJ, Thomas “Tee Sawce” Edwards (also known as “Sauce Side Up”) released his very first extended playlist (EP) titled Irene Park in December last year.

The four-track EP spans a total of 12 minutes and features songs titled “Juss Jazz (Intro)”, “What’s It All For, Baby?” (featuring Easy Tiger, another member of DN), “Peanut Butter Chocolate” and “Caramel Dreams”.

Edwards explained that the sounds of the EP were inspired by artists like King Krule, Homespace and Tom Misch. The EP was driven by Edwards’ desire for fearless artistic expression and to express his “funky” ideas. “At the end of the day I just want the music to be something people can put on and vibe out to by themselves or with their homies,” said Edwards, who completed a BEng Mechatronics degree at Stellenbosch Universi-
ty (SU) last year.

Edwards explained that he would not have been able to pursue his idea for a solo project without the support and encouragement he received from his Dank Neighbourhood bandmates. “Just having a group of friends who love hanging out and making music is really a blessing, and I don’t think I would’ve had the inspiration to pursue my own solo project without the inspiration from other members in DN pushing me to do it!” said Edwards.

Irene Park is but one of Edwards’ projects that has been driven by his love for music. After learning to play guitar at 10 years old, he then started producing “wonky beats” on his home computer at 13, and his immersion in the world of music ultimately began. “I’ve always kept music close and continued to change the music I made as the music I listened to changed [Music has] always been the number-one thing for me to do when I’m bored
or just wanna let off some steam,” said Edwards.

He has communicated how honoured he is to be “one of the mense in the neighbourhood”.

“[It] has just been an awesome journey for us all from the start to where we are now,” he said.

Whilst EPs are often understood to be precursors to albums, Edwards has decided to focus, in the meantime, on adjusting to his new life in Cape Town after graduating last year.

“I would also like to focus on making some new, and hopefully saucy, music this year. I want to spend some more time collaborating with friends on new projects.”

Irene Park is available on all streaming platforms, including Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music and YouTube.

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