By: Anele Mdzikwa
You’ve probably heard the track and I hope you’ll agree with me that there’s something fresh and spunky about it. So in a bid to find the “secret ingredient”, we tracked down Blaklez himself to give us the lowdown on who he is, tell us more the track, and how he feels about the current state of Hip Hop in Mzansi.
Most of our Vuzu viewers met and followed you thru Dineo’s Diary, tell us more about who Blaklez is, what his music is about, and take us through your typical day.
Blaklez is a rap artist from Pretoria. I actually started taking music seriously around 2006, needless to say getting that break hasn’t been easy. Music isn’t the only thing I do, I’m a qualified journalist so yes, I’ve held jobs and still have a job, lol. It made sense to put my brains to use elsewhere while also searching for this BIG break in music. I know some people watched the reality show and thought I didn’t do much but it’s quite the opposite. The people around me know how hard I work.
Take us through the track ‘Hush” what’s it about, and what the concept of the vid is.
Hush was the first song I recorded this year. I actually wrote it in the hotel room at the SAMA’s. Hush is a statement to everyone that ever overlooked me. The message is very simple, “shut up and take notice”. I featured PdotO on the song. Sean Pages did an amazing job on production. The video wasn’t anything too hectic. I rounded up all my friends and we shot a fun video. It just needed to be symbolic of what’s to follow, lots of joy! Lord knows I’ve been through a lot of tough times.
The music, media and radio industry can be tough on new artists. How has it treated you so far?
The industry hasn’t been easy on me. What I’ve noticed about SA is that people respect social stature much more than they respect natural ability. This is sad, but nobody said this would be easy. I’m a very composed and driven individual. I’m a dreamer and an achiever so my success will not really depend on individuals in the industry. This is my destiny, the best everyone can do is accept it.
How would u define the current state of Hip Hop in Mzansi?
I’m not complaining about the state of Mzansi hip hop. It’s more possible to make money from it now than it was 5 years ago. I’d say the signs are good. As for the calibre of artists, we’ve got some really good ones and not so good ones but that’s irrelevant. The important thing is that South Africans have stopped viewing hip hop as the illegal immigrant, and have accepted it.
So many aspiring rappers these days have a very materialistic definition of success. What’s your definition of success?
Damn! Tell you what, ask me this question in January next year. I’ll be a much bigger artist then. I’ll be more qualified to speak on success.
What do you think the biggest difference is between artists trying to make it in the game 10 years ago and one trying to make it in the game today?
The industry is slightly bigger than it was 10 years ago so there’s a bit more room for new artists. New age artists are slightly better placed than the guys back then. Opportunities are definitely aplenty… There are independent labels popping up everywhere.
So when are u dropping your album?
My album titled Black Beast (grrrrrrrrrr, lol) will be out in October and it will be available countrywide. It will be released under Cap City Records, and distributed by EMI. I’m really excited about it and reckon it will make a big impact.
Any final words to the growing number of aspiring rappers in Mzansi that’ll be reading this interview?
Keep believing and don’t let anyone tell you can’t do it, unless you’re really terrible at it. If that’s the case, try something else. lol, no seriously though, reach for the stars and keep God close!