Joburg-based Smanga Mdaka, better known to the internet as Player1505, has no godamn damn sense. What else would explain the stuff he puts up on social media every day?
You’ve probably seen, laughed at and shared some of his work: videos in which 50 Cent raps Professor’s Jezebel, The Weekend sings Sobulala uVan Damme and R.Kelly belts out Ska Bora Moreki.
These hilarious mash-up videos, which he refers to as #Player1505LipSyncs, feature visuals from American music videos ironically synced to famous South African songs and the results are pure internet gold. While these clips have been doing the rounds online since late 2017, they only gained momentum and popularity earlier this year resulting in hundreds of thousands of cumulative views and shares.
Mdaka, a 25-year-old video editor and music producer, started making the videos for the fun of it but now sees somewhat of a greater purpose for his work.
“I sometimes get DM’s from a lot of people on social media telling me how I make their day when they are feeling down or stressed, and that just feels good,” he says.
We got a chance to speak to Player1505 about the method behind the madness of his #Player1505LipSync video clips and how it all started.
First off, how on earth did you come up with these lip sync videos you’ve been putting out?
I started editing videos at a young age; I used to play around with popular music videos…I tried to sync a different song on a music video and, by some luck, it worked. From there I started practising until I became good at it.
You’ve been editing videos since you were young, is this something you studied further for or are you self-taught?
No, I studied Information Technology. Video editing is something that I completely taught myself from scratch.
When making the videos, do you first look at how well the words sync to the lip movements or do you try and find the humour in the mash-up first?
I try and find the humour first. I imagine how the video is gonna look and sound like before I even start doing it.
And how do you pick which video should go with which song?
[Laughs] I don’t pick which video should go with which song, I can make any video go with any song. That’s where the skills and creativity are mostly at because I can take any random video, even if its a video of a person talking, and sync it with any song [for example, the video I made of] Jacob Zuma rapping “Panda” by Desiigner in Parliament.
— HOF k1? (@HouseOnFire44) April 25, 2018
How long does it take you to put a lip sync video together?
[It usually] takes me about 1 to 3 hours to make them, depending on the video and the song.
Which of the lip sync videos is your personal favourite and why?
My personal favourite so far is Bruno Mars singing ‘Sondela’ by Ringo Madlingozi. Not only is the lip sync perfect [on the video] but the video itself has the same look and feel of the song, so they blend perfectly!
What’s the response been like since you started putting these videos out?
It’s been hella crazy, the love and support that I’m getting from everyone is big. Not only does it keep me going when I see all the comments and reactions from people but it also feels good to know that I’m putting a smile on people’s faces. As much as I’m doing it for entertainment, I’m also impacting people’s lives in the process.
Now you’re also a rapper, can you tell us more about your music, what inspires it and where people can get it?
Well, I’m more of a music producer when it comes to my musical side because that’s what I do most. I produce beats. [I also] write, record, mix and master songs. I’m working on a few songs right now, which I will release soon so be on the lookout for that.