At the video launch, I asked Maphorisa if he was particular about who would jump on to the song. “Not really,” he started. “I work with a lot of people and artists are always coming to the studio.”
Initially, Maphorisa produced the beat and then Major Lazer finessed it with their own production. “Those guys are really in a different world,” Maphorisa said. “I saw a big opportunity and couldn’t waste it.”
The first artist who laid a verse on Particula was Nasty C. Maphorisa recalls: “It was a dope collective job. I did the beat and Nasty C came over to the studio. I played it for him and he loved it so he did a verse.
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“Then Ice Prince came and did the hook. Patoranking came through and did the hook also. Then Diplo decided, ‘You know what? Let’s put Jidenna on it.’ So Jidenna came on board and it ended up dope. As you can hear, it’s a Major Lazer song and it’s infused with a Maphorisa sound.”
Nasty C relished the chance to have a go at this kind of sound. “It was my second time working on an Afrobeat beat,” Nasty C told me. “So obviously, I had to be more creative. I had to sing the whole way so I just went with the flow, winged it and had fun.”
With regard to shooting the video, which was directed by Adriaan Louw and styled by Bee Diamondhead, Nasty C took it all in his stride. He said: “I had on this custom-made outfit, so that was exciting. The whole theme was pretty dope. It’s not like the 70s were strange or nothing I’d seen before, because I’ve seen pictures of my dad in similar clothing.”
Suspending belief and becoming a character from a bygone era was not the most challenging aspect. “The most challenging thing was also the best thing: the outfit,” Nasty C laughed.
“It was the best thing because it was different, but it was also challenging because it was kinda stiff. I think they made it two days before so it was a little bit hard to move around in.”
If he were to orchestrate an all-female Particula remix, who would Nasty C recommend? “I’d get Yemi Alade - I’m such a fan,” he said. “Her and Tiwa (Savage). From South Africa, who do we have? Shekhinah? Definitely her. And I don’t know who the fourth would be. I wouldn’t recommend a rapper for this song. But if they were to sing then maybe Rouge.”
I’m sure this remix would be dope and it would be interesting to see the video too - just saying.