Khuli Chana and Rob Forbes at the 5Live Sessions.Picture: Jono Ferreira

He has a new album out, a TV show and a documentary in the works, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show how “live” he can really be.

On May 26, Chana stopped by the Red Bull Studios for the 5Live sessions.

The hour-long set presents an opportunity for local artists to give a “live” performance broadcast on 5FM.

The SABC radio station has been trying to get Chana for years, as radio DJ Rob Forbes mentioned in his interview during the show.

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The reason for the long wait was because of Chana’s hectic schedule, but Forbes was ecstatic to finally get Chana into the Cape Town studio. It was worth the wait.

The local rapper knows how to give a great performance and went through some of the songs off his latest album, One Source. He also spat his dope verse from the eternal summer jam, Baddest by AKA.

After his performance, the rapper chatted to us during his photo shoot. On why he decided to do 5Live, the rapper said “I live for these sessions”, and that he was trying to “do more of these unplugged sessions for the fans”.

Chana seemed intent on offering up a raw performance to give fans a unique experience. Chana, however, isn’t only interested in conquering South Africa. He also spoke about how he wants to break through in the African market. Earlier this year, he attended the 2017 Grammy awards.

Chana said it was “amazing being there” and marvelled at the level of the production of the show. He then waxed lyrical about Beyoncé.

The rapper left the prestigious ceremony “very inspired”.

#GrammysAreAbsolut I am so inspired 🙏🏾

A post shared by Khuli Chana (@khulichana01) on


In March, Chana released his latest album, One Source. This time around, the rapper decided to collaborate with various artists. His favourite collaboration was with Ghanaian dance hall artist Stonebwoy. According to Chana, Stonebwoy is one of those artists who will “take his time to craft his music”, but the end product is definitely worth the wait.

Chana’s march towards the summit of his career was nearly derailed in 2013. In a well-publicised controversy, the rapper was shot by police in Pretoria after being mistaken for a criminal.

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Speaking of his life before the shooting, he says: “I was moving at a crazy pace, you know. It could say I was completely addicted to the hip hop life.” Looking back at everything, he feels that “sometimes life’s gift comes wrapped in sandpaper”.

Now he believes that maybe the incident was what he needed. “I started appreciating the small things, like spending time with family, and became more aware, where before is was all about Khuli Chana and everything else was secondary.”

Aside from eyeing up the competition on the continent, Chana is keeping a close eye on the emerging talent closer to home. He is currently a judge alongside rap heavyweights AKA and Tumi Molekane on the Vuzu Amp reality competition show, The Hustle.

He seems excited about the whole experience: “It’s been great and I think The Hustle is gonna grow and become better. It’s such a great platform and I appreciate it. I’m so grateful for being one of the guys who are their ‘birthing talent’.”

Chana is also working on a documentary with Red Bull Amaphiko titled the Rise of Us. The film will cast a spotlight on the world of social entrepreneurs and young hustlers.