Not only is he an incredible rapper, but local hip-hop star, Zakwe, is a fantastic storyteller as well. The star recently dropped his latest album ‘Cebisa’ which has received praise from fans around the country and this week, we sit down with the star as he opens up about his new body of work and so much more.
Congrats on your latest album ‘Cebisa’. How did you approach the creation of this record after the incredible success of your self-titled debut album?
Thank you so much! It basically it took me about two years to complete this album. The approach has always been ‘underground with a commercial appeal’. I had to find producers that could blend their new school sound with my old school raps. We recorded the album for four months in Mpumalanga. It was produced by myself and X Wise which was a huge risk since we are both new to the producing side, but the response has been amazing.
‘Sebentin’ was a massive hit. What was it like working with Cassper Nyovest and MusiholiQ on the track?
It was amazing! Unfortunately, both MusiholiQ and Capper recorded separately but the synergy was still pulpable. Technology worked wonders on this one and X Wise did an amazing job on the track. I still want us to do another joint where we’ll all be in one studio.
Why do you think so many people connected with the song?
The song has that trap feel which makes it appeal to new school cats and clubs. On the other hand, it is very aggressive – giving it that Kasi feel. The chorus rounds it off by being simple and very catchy. I think we covered so many angles on that song which is why radio and the masses love it.
You just dropped a music video for your new single ‘Daai Deng’. Tell us a bit about the video and the direction you took for it.
’Daai Deng’ was written by myself and Ma E; the meeting of Kwa Mashu and Soweto. The beat was produced by my in-house producer ‘Saspekt’ who is very kasi-orientated. The song says ‘take me to ekasi’ – and that’s exactly what we did with the music video. We shot the video in Kwa Mashu and Inanda all in one day and gave it a nice shisa nyama, car wash, mapantsula feel. I am grateful that it is doing very well on TV and YouTube.
The song is quickly picking up. What inspired the lyrical content for the track?
To be honest, Ma E followed Saspekt’s lead, I followed Ma E’s lead and the end product was beautiful. So basically, the content was inspired by the beat which subsequently gave birth to the song.
What do you hope to gain through the music that you release?
Through my music I want to heal broken hearts, inspire black people, cheer up sad souls and teach people about rap music. We come from far with the rap (rhythm and poetry) genre. I am very sensitive about it and not hip-hop as such. As much as I enjoy a party track or two, I like to remind myself and my fans what the genre is really about.
You’ve been doing many performances around the country over the past few weeks. What can fans expect from a live Zakwe show?
This year I have buffed up my performance. I used to perform with only my deejay but now, I’m on stage with my bass and lead guitarists. We tried it out in some shows during the festive season and there’s no looking back. Fans should expect nothing but fire at every show I campaign to gain even more fans. The energy is on another level!
Now that the album is out, what does the rest of 2019 hold for you?
More shows, more ‘Cebisa’ album launches and more music videos. Last year I released two music videos and the previous year only one but this year I aim to shoot five videos at minimum. I thank everyone who has bought the album and I promise to deliver more marketing wise.
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