Born in East London, South Africa on July 2, 1981 and raised in Buffalo Flats (Vergenoeg), Brynwell Marcus Kasper, stage name OB-1 is a veteran in the music industry and has been involved in music production for the last twelve years, having started around the same time he began studying for his diploma in graphic design at Buffalo City College in 2003. The following year saw the birth of home-grown music label Synapse Productions which he formed with childhood friends Clemont Bussack and Conrad Hendricks primarily to produce beats and record tracks as a hobby at the time. The company was officially registered in 2010 then re-registered in 2014 with his best friend, new business partner and co-owner Vaughn Dorry. After winning a bursary competition for design and multi-media with Student Life magazine and the Design School of Southern Africa (DSSA) in 2005, he moved to Johannesburg where he later worked for Swimming South Africa as a graphic/web designer and coordinator from April 2006 to October 2011, before relocating back to East London to pursue a career in music wholeheartedly and to grow the company into a full service record label.
During his time in Johannesburg he was fortunate enough to be entrusted to create as well as run a hip-hop subdivision at a traditional gospel record label on a part-time basis. This is where he met and worked with a number of recognised South African musicians, forging lasting relationships in the process. He also tried his hand in copywriting and project management, furthered his studies in design and marketing, and gained extensive knowledge of music and video production including sound engineering. In 2009, he established Synapse’s house music division MikasaSukasa with long-time friend and business partner, DJ/producer Marvin-Lee ‘MyteMarv’ Patience who was in turn appointed as CEO. Additionally, Brynwell alongside creator Vaughn Dorry produced and starred in an independent online reality show ‘Almal is B4K!’ released in October of 2011. Growing up and living in disadvantaged coloured communities his entire life, and knowing exactly what it is like having to work harder than usual to achieve your goals, he has been actively involved in youth and community development initiatives since 2006. Teaming up with Vaughn and Marvin once more together with a few other members including Synapse managers Lerito Roberts (Projects) and Kim Barendse (Marketing), he eventually started a foundation in 2014 called Phupha Khulu (Dream Big), a non-profit organisation that encourages the youth to dream big and whose mission is to assist passionate individuals in their dreams whether it is in music, entertainment, sports, academics or the arts. Furthermore, he is self-motivated, detail orientated and a perfectionist by nature which he attributes to his extreme OCD. He takes pride in his originality and enjoys experimenting which can be heard in his creations. “My musical influences cross cultural lines… it’s always been my dream to make music for the world, so I listen to all genres. My main objective is to crossover to other markets and to compete internationally, but only after thriving on a national level of course,” he says. He hopes that this coupled with his innate talent as a super-producer, arranger and business leader with an ear for recognizing talent and developing hits, along with his undying passion for music and the team’s combined efforts thus far will lead to Synapse securing an investment deal, finally enabling the label to effectively market its artists nationally.
These days Brynwell frequently travels between his hometown and Johannesburg in his quest to ensure Synapse Productions’ success, and putting East London on the South African entertainment map. It was at the end of June 2012, after being employed at a marketing company in East London for eight months when he decided to resign to completely focus on the brand and making music, having refined his production style or sound along the way. Over the years his talents have been sought by a number of recording artists including Adamus (MC Africa finalist), CloneProof, Rashaad ‘Foul-Play’ Monteiro, and Wade ‘Malik G’ Fisher (Hype #1 unsigned SA hip-hop artist) among others. Trying to close in on the competition, he composed, directed and even edited the label’s first independently produced official music videos, eight up to date. He went on to study the local entertainment industry in-depth then finalised the comprehensive research he started more than three years ago and developed a business model that could, in the long term, be completely sustainable by developing an exclusive record label. This was the renaissance of Synapse Productions.