Kasi-rap sensation, Kena, is fast becoming a household name in the local music
industry. The 22-year-old recently stole the show at Dr Malinga’s show when he gave a sterling solo performance to curtain raise for the South African entertainer.
He also boasts of a number 1 track on the SBIS radio charts. Gcwala caught up with Kena and this is what he had to say;
Briefly explain how Kasi-rap is different from conventional rap.
I see Kasi Rap as a very unique kind of rap because it infuses both Kasi and street rap. I view it as a mixture of both old school kwaito and rap.
Last weekend you were the main opening act for Dr Malinga during his show, tell us about that experience and the reception?
Performing there was great. The crowd was amazing and responded well to my music. Dr Malinga’s own performance was quite a spectacle; he is a performer par excellence.
What has been the major highlight of your career in music thus far?
It has to be getting positive advice from a Kasi rap giant PRO (KID) the last time he was here. He told me the ins and outs of the whole music industry; things like what to do in order to make it big and to continue being me not anyone else. Funny thing is our conversation lasted for only 15 minutes but I learnt a lot. I actually felt like I was talking to Linda Mkhize (PRO’S real name) not PRO the artist. Also, working on Psycholution’s project, ‘Streets Better Rise’, and ‘Lost in Sound’ has to be one of my major highlights thus far.
Where do you draw your inspiration from as far as your music is concerned?
I draw a lot of inspiration from my personal life, life in general, the environment (ekasi and the streets), events and things happening around me.
What advice would you give to recording artists who only release radio promo singles without progressing to be performing artists?
I see it as useless to only dominate radio with your singles and not going out there to promote them in form of a performance. Performing is a form of marketing; not only of the music but also the brand as an artist. How is someone who doesn’t listen to radio going to know about you if you don’t go out there and present your craft? My advice is go out there, market your music and brand, build your fan base and expand it. I know getting shows is not easy but one has to hustle for them; it’s for your own benefit.
Your song ‘Dlala’ which features M-Forteen is currently topping radio charts. Briefly tell us about your experience with M-Forteen during recording time?
Working with M-Forteen has to go down as one of the best memories in my music career. It was amazing, I learnt a lot from him. He has worked with big guns in the music industry and has learnt a lot from them as well. This has worked as an advantage for me because he managed to pass all the experience he gained to me, which was an amazing thing since I’m also going to pass it on to those artists I am still to work with. And this will result in a growth in the local music industry.
What do you think are the challenges facing local music industry?
Lack of support from our nation. Only a few people in this country support local music. Ask yourself why artists in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa are successful in the industry. It’s because they get support from their own people. Also, there is a lot of sabotage and hatred among us artists, but I won’t dwell much on that for reasons best known to me, hahaha, but it is true; we look down on each other!
Is there any animosity (hatred) between Mbabane and ‘Brema’ katz, and if so, in your own opinion, what may be the cause for this?
I was expecting this question but the funny thing is I don’t have the answer for it, hahaha. True, there is some animosity between Brema and Mbabz katz. I don’t know why, but I think what contributed to this is that in the past the game was dominated by Mbabz katz, Brema katz were there but on the streets. We then decided to go out and reach out to the game and we dominated that’s when the whole thing began. Fact is that Brema katz now dominate the industry; we topping charts, getting major airplay, scoring big gigs and dominating the media at large. Thanks to those who paved the way for us. However, let me be quick to say we are one family, whether Brema or Mbabane, lets push the passion…hehehe.
Most Brema katz seemingly like crowning themselves ‘Brema kings’. Who is the Brema rap king(s)?
Brema what? Hahaha, King? yoh, I cant single out one because we all do rap but each one of us has got his/her style, we are all kings, let me just say that.
Who’s the best rapper in SD at the moment?
It’s Kena! Hahaha…hey, I’m my own number one fan, so I’d go with me, oh, not forgetting Ghetto Villah and MP.
Give us your favourite line from your favourite rapper (either local, SA or international)
‘Izinto zomhlaba/zibizincwaba/saba/they always trying to pull you down nje ngeskipa es’ve-zumkhaba’, a line extrac-ted from PRO’s song titled, ‘Ungaphel’umoya san’
How do fans and promoters hook up with you for bookings?
You can get my manager’s contacts on this site; http://www.facebook.com/officialkena
Teargas or Skwatta Camp?
AKA or Khuli Chana?
Qibho Intalektual, Diba Diba, Crax or MP?
Mozaik, SubJamz, Slim Q, DeeFlava, Golden Beatz, or MasterSeth?
DeeFlava, no doubt. Shout-outs to Slim Q as well.
Busta Rhymes, Krazie Bone or Twista?
Busta Rhymes babe…
Beyonce, Nicki or Rihanna?
Dungavee or Ill-Uminous?
Ill-Uminous; shine bright like a diamond, lol. I like Dunga as well.
Thank you for your time
It was my pleasure, uyaKENA mosi.