We Are Millennial Culture

Kwesta on why South African rappers should embrace amapiano

South African hip-hop icon Kwesta and DJ and producer Kabza De Small are this week’s cover stars, and Kwesta joins Dadaboy Ehiz via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about their latest track, “Mrholo Wayizolo (feat. Masterpiece YVK & Papta Mancane).” 

He also discusses their new collaborative album, ‘Speak N Vrostaan,’ what he appreciates most about working with Kabza de Small, and why South African rappers should embrace amapiano.
Kwesta on working with Kabza De Small

One of the greatest things I’ve realised with Kabza is that it’s almost insulting to call him an amapiano producer. He’s like a producer all round, you know. He’s just a dope producer. Yes, he’s the king of amapiano, that’s his chosen route, but that man can make anything from anything and for anybody. His talents as a producer are not limited from that sense, which helped us with this thing because we didn’t want to copy-and-paste amapiano, we didn’t want to copy-and-paste kwaito, but we wanted to use the two elements together and find a hybrid and an in between that represents both sides really well, and speaks to the same people that these two genres spoke to, that we grew amongst, the people that we understand.

Kwesta on the energy of Speak N Vrostaan

It’s a very positive album. It’s for the underdog as that’s how I like to write from. I don’t like writing from a position of privilege or whatever, so that’s why I went and challenged myself, and we challenged ourselves to kind of go ‘let’s see what we can do here instead of doing what the norm is’.

The emerge is high level, it’s positivity. There are no dark stories about things that are a little negative and things like that, it’s really for you pressing play and feeling better than you did before you popped the CD or the streams. Before you even press on the tab of Kwesta & Kabza on Apple Music, you’re gonna feel better by the time the music is over. Your energy is going to be high, and you’re going to have a couple of percentages of less stress.

Kwesta on why SA rappers should embrace amapiano

It’s not a competition. Even from rappers, I’m not sure what it’s like in the rest of the countries but in South Africa they try to pin hip-hop and amapiano against each other, and for me that’s just crazy. They’re afraid of the new stuff and if you think about it, it’s almost working backwards because when those guys came in they also introduced a new sound and they wanted to be ungovernable, break the rules and take over.

Now that it’s someone else’s turn, people are almost shy to open the door. They go ‘ah no what’s this, I don’t understand it’, but unfortunately we don’t have to understand it – as long we listen to it and embrace it, it’s gonna go to the rest of the world and miss you if you’re trying to almost purposely be a hater.

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