Hello! How are you and what are you up to at the moment? I’m working on new music and working on expanding the whole team. I’m working on making everything run crazy. Basically, we’re training like athletes in the pre-season.
To fall right in, what does influence mean to you? I think right now it’s a catch phrase that is being used a lot and unfortunately a lot of the time it refers to young black Africans using their young black Africanness to sell somebody else’s product or aesthetic. What I want it to mean is that we sell our own lifestyle. I want to influence the other young people to think about "what it actually means to be a young African right now"? If as Africans, we were not interrupted by colonialism or apartheid what would we be right now? Yes, globalised, yes modern, but I think a little bit more of ourselves in our everyday life.
What I try and explore in my hair and in my looks is what young African looks like right now. That’s what we are trying to push.
If I can say: “Now we can wear Xibelani at a mainstream event” and other girls see that and say “that’s dope” - that’s influential.
You want your audience to walk away with a confidence in their own culture? I’m actually not about preservation of culture just for the sake of it. All those terms make me feel really bored because they keep us stuck in the old-fashioned sense of being African, which is why we only wear our traditional clothes on Heritage Day. I’m interested in seeing what culture looks like now; what it looks like practically, and what it looks like at the club! Re-imagine yourself.
Don’t just take what they say you look like as what you look like - really imagine yourself for yourself.
One of the highlights of 2017 was performing at Major League DJz’s Gardens Festival. Who among your fellow performers do you think has the biggest game right now?
In the entertainment sphere, there’s no question that Gemini Major is extremely influential. There are very few tracks - hits, you’ll hear that don’t have Gemini’s hand in them from Hip-Hop to Afro Beat to Reggae. Another one is DJ Maphorisa. Again, there are very few house tracks you’ll hear that don’t have his hand in them. So, when you talk about influencing the culture, any one of those two guys will have several tracks in the top 10.
You are such a vibrant artist and you’re brimming with confidence. Where does this come from? I realised at some point a couple of years ago there’s no point in being embarrassed. Everybody is just trying to do the best they can to survive. You just have to kind of go for it. I also wasn’t this confident in the beginning, but then you do it and then you realise there’s nothing standing in your way and what you are doing. I keep trying stuff. TV? Cool, I’m gonna try that, and it works.You try this, you try that; you rap on gqom, and that works. I think the only thing that prevented me from being a rapper is that I never tried to be a rapper before. Another thing that’s really important for young people, in general, is to realise that a lot of the time all it takes is skill, learning and studying. Whatever you want to do, learn from people. You don’t even have to go to school just try and study people.
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