The Kiffness’ David Scott continues to be at the top of his game. Not only has he released some incredible new music this year, but he’s also been responsible for some hilarious viral content on social media. This week, we get up close and personal with the star as he opens up about his stunts and his new material.
2019 was an exciting year for you so far. Firstly, tell us about the decision to release a cover of Rodriguez’ smash hit ‘Sugar Man’.
It all started at around Christmas two years ago. I felt inspired to write a beat and for some reason, I started humming ‘Sugarman’ to it and it seemed to fit pretty well. So, I found an acapella version of the song from YouTube and I put it into the song. I hit up my good friend Mathew Gold, who had been covering the song in his own shows for some time, and we recorded it in one take. When the song was done, I sent it to some labels but both labels turned it down. I was quite disheartened but I believed in the song so I took matters into my own hands, got the cover license and released it independently. The great thing about the song is that it did really well in South Africa back in the day, yet Rodriguez never made a cent from it. So now, when our cover plays on radio, the royalties will be going straight to him.
What was it like working with Mathew Gold on the song?
Mat and I have been working together for some time now, which helps with our chemistry in studio. We’re comfortable around each other and I believe that he brings the best out of my production and I bring the best out of his voice. Having shared the stage with him through the years is also helpful because we have a good idea of what’s going to work when we’re performing the song to a crowd and we try bring that same energy into studio.
You released the song independently. What are the pros and cons of releasing music without a label?
It’s been quite liberating being able to call my own shots. I have loved working with labels throughout the years but at times it can be quite disheartening when you believe something is going to work well and the label feels differently. I’d say the only disadvantage of being independent is that you don’t necessarily have the same connections to radio stations and DSPs as you would with a label, but I’ve enjoyed doing the ground work myself and I’m beginning to form good relationships with the right people.
You also headlines for your parody track ‘Mmusi Maimane’. Were you surprised to see how well the song was received?
When I started the song, the idea was to just to have a laugh and poke a bit of fun at the DA for trying to pander to the youth by referencing American youth culture in their campaign videos. The song and video accidentally turned out much kiffer than expected. It’s quite frustrating though because there was literally 0% put behind the idea, and there are some songs which I’ve put way more effort into haven’t done nearly as well. It’s a funny thing; it’s almost as if the less I try, the more people enjoy my work because that care-free energy comes across and people thrive off that kind of energy.
One of your most surprising released was a single titled ‘Nomi’ where you are donating all the proceeds from the song to your domestic worker who the song was named after. Tell us what sparked that idea.
I posted a video of Nomi jamming to my song on Twitter and Tumi Morake suggested that she stars in the music video for the song. Nomi had been saying that she wanted to go to Addo to see her mother, and she’d also been saying for some time that she wants to show me where she grew up, so I thought it would be a good idea to kill three birds with one stone.
Tell us a little bit more about your relationship with Nomi.
It’s an interesting relationship in that I feel like we’re quite close, yet in reality, I still employ her to do pretty humble work. But that aside, I feel like Nomi and I are kindred spirits. She has faced many struggles over the last few years, yet she chooses to stay positive throughout and that has inspired me in many ways. Even though we come from different worlds we have somehow managed to find common ground which has helped us form a relationship which has found much richer meaning beyond just employing her to sweep the floors.