Young African Magazine
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Skwatta Kamp’s Slikour Interview


Interview – Slikour

(1) When you started the ventilation series so to speak you were really upset a lot about the way the industry was, and I remember you talking about “ventilation points” how has your view and mindset in terms of the industry changed then and now?



Being signed and appreciated by the industry as Skwatta Kamp made one comfortable to a certain extent and your motivation and inspiration is not independent anymore, when the industry turns their back and you not mentally ready there’s a lot of things you don’t understand that make you angry although in the back of your head before you were successful you always knew never be comfortable in the industry cause it’s a season game. You can have the hottest song but if you not the climate you won’t be hot its influenced by the print media, and the broadcasting media. I’ve grown to accept that and always look within for inspiration and motivation anything else that comes my way I accept with the gratitude.

(2) David Kau hosted ventilation one- I am not certain if its only because I don’t have the original but it seems there is no host this time round why the change?


David never hosted Ventilation Volume 1 he did a skit which became a trend which carried onto Flabba’s  Flabba vs Nkuli  album and Skwatta Kamp  Bak On Kampus album. I appreciate and acknowledge David conBtribution in the perception of Black Comedy and just like us in hip hop he was bold enough to make it have some economic sense.


(3) I know with ventilation 1 you said that the artists that you used were all in the same sort of mid set as you and were doing something for the game as a whole, this time round talk us through the selection?


This time around I chose on prominence development and the artist who released last year that I thought had great albums. Kwesta was a personal decision to introduce him to people his only 19 and I’ve taken him across the country his really proving to be a great potential and getting great feedback everywhere he deserves a platform like this and even greater thing like being his own star, with Blak Lez and Nveigh I was acknowledging the Pretoria hip hop movement which is really quite prominent.


(4) Musically also there is a hectic growth in this album its just that more musical and has great songs – when you put it together cause you a&r’d  it yourself what was the main vision and idea for it from a musical perspective?


I beleive I’ve got an ear for music and most of the music and songs I pitched to Skwatta Kamp which became a success like Eskhaleni, Landela, Building Castles, Clap Song etc were steps for growth to where this album is musically. I really wanted to keep it as musical as possible without losing its hip hop element. When  I do a solo album I feel I’m pouring my heart out and I always want the music to  alos reflect that. It’s a very intimate engadgement.

(5) Cant talk music and not mention producers did you go to specific producers and what did you want from them say from jon duan vs 37mph etc what were you looking at from them?


I never ask producers for certain beats I think the passiona of a producers comes out when they doing something for themselves so I always ask guys to give me the best of them, also because I don’t want to be boxed into one sound and some producers give you a new feel that can recreate you. The beat has to talk to me and my lyrics have to respond to it, it’s a creative conversation that one determines how constructive it is by the outcome of the song.


(6) Theres a track on the album “I’m Gone” where you talk a bit about –how do I say the people that have fallen or disappeared from your life along the way, eg My man etc- tell us how that track came about, the danger of a personal track like that and what you were aiming with that particular track?


Again the music allows me to pour my heart out and with this song I was just saying that you can’t be too perfect for anyone when the people you loved the most or give yourself the most don’t care about it. I feel life in many ways has taught me that and I used some of my real life situations to express that cause that’s the pain I understand and I don’t want to lie to the consumer about something I don’t know my album is 50 percent honesty, 40 percent aspiration and 10 percent opinion..


(7) Umsindo is an advert I once heard you say tell us more- especially cause its picked up so much?


Yeah we want to have a big party at the end of the year and the chorus from Umsindo is like the invite. I’m just creating a picture of the people that are at the party and why you need to be at the party on the song. We did when we released the Ventilation Mixtape Volume 1 in 2005 and Basline responded by saying it was the biggest and the most professional hip hop party so why not do it again.


(8) Unstoppable was the pre-sampler track, who has stood in your way the most or what has stood in your way the most when putting this album together cause it did take a while to actually get it done there were also major pauses?


Nah nobody stands on my way to do anything. It was just delayed cause I never want to release my album on the same year as Skwatta Kamp cause my energies will be conflicted hence 2007 was the year. The only thing that can stop me is my involuntary limited thinking either than that I’m exactly what the song says.


(9) Some interesting collaborations here – and like mentioned the music vibe is different- do you conceptualise before putting pen to paper and calling in a collaboration or producer or do you listen first and then be like okay heres the route I will go?

I really try think about whats always on the top of my head and try write songs about that, the music can also spark some ideas sometimes. I think I’m more a hip hop fan than an artist so when I call in colloborations its people that are think are really doing great things in the industry or generally. I don’t have a specific producer I call up cause I got piles of beats cds that get delivered at the office all I do is listen and choose.


(10) Which track was recorded first and which was recorded last and over what time period was this album done?


Dreamer was recorded first early 2006. The inspiration for this track was amazing cause I wrote in a garage coming from a party in Pretoria at 2 in the morning, I finally got home at 5am. I believe God wanted me to say the things I say on that song cause its such a reality we have. The last song I wrote was Uzowuzwa with Teargas.


(11) Without giving numbers how did ventilation one and what are you looking at getting from ventilation 2?


We never sold well on the last one cause we never took control of the selling of the product hence we 100 percent independent now. Our goal is to pass the 5000 mark with sales anything less is a failure and anything more is definitely a bonus.


(12) You take another shot at radio dj’s and how as artists you feel that you compete with them- talk us through this?


Its obviously not all djs but it sometimes feels as if some deejays aren’t content with just being deejays, they want to have their hands in everything , and if they don’t have their hands in your piece of the pie they tend to be negative on have you sense favouritism. This keeps the industry rotating around the same people cause the only successful people are those that can [ay bribes and abide to what the djs want, obviously this means less good music on radio.


(13) If you could have had any international act on the album who would it have been and what would the track have been called who would have produced it etc?


I’d like to get into it with Jigga and Kanye West on the boards for now or even 37mph.


(14) Going the independent route especially because you could have gotten a deal why that choice?


I just saw a lot of mistakes and learned with some decisions we took as a group and the first thing I wanted is to own my music and not be inhibited to make key decisions to grow the brand further than the music, cause Ventilation is not only about music it’s a whole lifestyle concept, so I sacrificed the perks of being signed for the vision I have for a small company that’s about to blow, which believe in, its what I’m living for.


(15) So would you break the album up in three segments- segment one the tracks for the heads? 

 Segement two the track for the mass audience that might not understand hip-hop? and segment three you give a title to what it would be…


Nah I make music to suite my personality and I’m all you’ve highlighted above and more and most importantly I do music for the open minded audience. So that’s what I would name segement 3.


(16) Performance wise what are you putting in with this project so it takes you to a whole other level?


I’ve got a plan I just don’t want to divulge it at the moment just be at the presents umsindo 2007


(17) Video’s will you be shooting any for this and in an sa market what importance do you feel videos are?


Yeah I will and I believe people get introduced to a lot through tv and videos casue there are only three free tv channels and they are so many radio stations. I think for a song videos work pending on how much tv plays the song.

(18) Any collaborations that never made it?


I was supposed to have Tuks doing the intro he came to collect the cd with beats but he had his own personal issues and he couldn’t make it, I invited Morafe and till this day don’t know why they never showed up after I dropped the beats. I also invited Amu, he was a bit caught up. 


(19) Whats bubbling at Ventilation productions and what can be expected?


Ventilation is a lifestyle agency and we’ve been approached by some companies to do work for them and cause we eventually want to align music and business cause being an artists or in music also allows your to research the market a lot of brands are targeting and eventually it makes sense to align yourself with a  young brand that caters and servers young people.


(20) Do you have faith in radio in sa at the moment for the art that you make?

Radio in general for South African music is not doing an outstanding job unless its some dj compilation. So I can’t even talk for the art I do, because I’m South African and I suffer by default.


(21) Before you go as an artist as a head in the game for like what almost 10 years and just as a person, lets call this settling the score, in a positive way what’s the biggest misconception about you?

That I don’t understand my market, or sold out or I don’t love hip hop more than the next  person that’s not where I am or thinking like I am. Its my love for the game that actually has me here it’s the game giving back to me and it will give me more cause I’m always giving myself to it.

Interview  property of Ventilation Entertainment

Read more about Ventilation


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