Of all the singles on your second album, why did you decide to make a big deal of Endurance?
Endurance was like a personal project of mine – I felt it was time to reflect. When the album launched late last year, we realised Endurance was most people’s favourite track because they felt it spoke to and inspired them. So we decided it would be best to shoot a documentary to accompany it in the hope that it would create more noise and inspire more people. The reality is that people my age (how old is he?) are uninspired – the economy is not in their favour and jobs are scarce. They all have dreams, but don’t know where to begin realisng them.
The morale amongst the youth is not up where it should be. Doing the song was one thing, but adding the documentary was my way of getting other celebrities to share their stories of endurance. No one whom I consider a success has an easy story. Even the richest of the rich have had to struggle along the way, so I wanted people to stop believing that they are the only ones going through whatever it is that they’re experiencing. It feels good to put out a song that touches people’s souls as opposed to just constantly pushing sales. I’m pretty certain the song won’t make gold-status sales, but I’m happy that it’s bound to reach someone’s heart and get them to take the next step.
Endurance is quite a descriptive and emotional song. What was going on in your life when the song was penned?
Funnily, I was in a great place when I wrote that song; my career had finally taken off and I wanted to be grateful for all that I’d achieved. And there was no greater way of showing gratitude than reflecting on where I’d been. I wanted to tell the story of how my life hadn’t always been smooth sailing. On the day I wrote this song, I made an Instagram post of my car keys, thinking back to all the times when I used to walk from the taxi rank to Melville just to save money. This song was initially supposed to feature Khuli Chana but he, unfortunately, had been shot the day before. This was around the time that HHP had just come back from his Daraja Walk through Africa and he agreed to come to the party.
What would you like anyone who watches the Endurance music video and the doccie to take away from it?
I want them to walk away with the message of always enduring. We decided to keep things simple, with both the video and documentary, because we wanted the message to be the clearest thing that you heard, without too many artistic elements in the way.
And the documentary?
The idea behind the documentary was for people to watch it and revive themselves. We don’t put out enough inspirational messages as artists. It’s not supposed to be a documentary in the traditional sense. We wanted it to be brief so that people could watch it for a short time and emerge revived!
Where would you say local hip-hop is currently? Are you happy with the direction?
I never overthink the subject of local hip-hop and all the debates around it. It’s definitely grown from when we first started out; it’s starting to develop its own identity. South African rappers are starting to become confident in their own skin. There used to be a time when rapping was associated with insults and being labelled American, but now we’re established in our own right.
Skhanda rap is big at the moment, are you one to follow trends or are you happy with the style that has always defined you?
I’ve never been one to jump on trends but if a producer approached me with a Skhanda sound, I definitely wouldn’t turn it down. I’m a fan of owning one’s sound and not sounding like someone else. We can all be part of the same genre, but we shouldn’t all sound the same.