A few weeks ago, Tonight caught up with the animated rapper iFani and learnt that he was on an intriguing campaign. He was set on making history by becoming the first South African musician to reach gold status (20 000 copies sold) on the first day of release.
Running a vibrant campaign months ahead of his April 29 release, the rapper had fans pre-order the album and hit gold – 20 000 units of his second album, I Believes In Me, 2nd Quadrant, were shifted on the first day.
“I feel good. It is always great when you do something that you said you were going to do and people said it was impossible and you did it anyway. That’s where I am at right now,” he explained.
It was a close call. iFani had been promoting the album since January, but only managed to secure the numbers he was looking for on the actual release date.
“On the closing day (the day the album was released), I got the numbers that I was looking for. It was that close,” he said.
Now that he has pulled off what initially appeared to be a mission impossible, iFani is intent on making the most of his hard work and good fortune.
“There is a lot going on on Twitter as the people are reacting to this. I am always in meetings at radio stations and in publication interviews. There really isn’t enough time for me to assess how well the album has done, but it is great.
“You know, what’s cool is I am getting quotes from my songs. That’s when I know that people are really listening,” he said.
In a previous interview, iFani pointed out that he had lost the original music to this project and he contemplated quitting. Now that he has achieved what he set out to do, that memory is long gone.
“I work differently from most people and they don’t believe me, but honestly speaking, right after I decided that I wanted to go gold on the first day, I never looked back. The only thing that I have been working on is this album. I have been pulling long hours and going home late. I would leave the studio at 2am and I would return at 6am. I have been putting my mind on this thing so much that I didn’t have time to miss the music that was stolen,” he said .
We had to test the waters and find out if he was looking to up the stakes on the third album and perhaps aim for platinum. Naturally, he said it was a possibility.
“It’s do-able to have the third album sell platinum on its first day out. I am growing the the brand from now on. I am looking at going into the white and Indian markets. People didn’t believe that I would be able to get this right. About 95 percent of the people would not agree with me that it was possible. I could not get interviews in so many places because of that. Now it looks bad on them because, in hindsight, they know they were wrong,” the rapper said.
“What’s left now is to promote it. I want to shoot a few videos and make them as dope as I usually do. Then I want to push the tour for this project and more online presence. We campaigned online worldwide and people gave us good responses. I also want to push on radio, where there is the most politics, but that’s fine. I need to get on number one,” he added.
For iFani, achieving gold status is about belief: “The main thing for me is not the gold, Cassper (Nyovest) did that already, he can have it. I am not about saying I’m the biggest, but I aim to inspire. I am telling you that if you have a dream, live it. There are a lot of things that South Africans need to start believing in, and one of them is themselves,” he said.
• I Believes In Me, 2nd Quadrant is available at music stores.