K.O tells us about his Skhanda movement, his MAMA nominaations and why sneakers are a big part of the hip hop movement.
Hip hop is on fire in South Africa, with you as one of the leaders of the game. Do you think it’s too early to refer to the rap industry as successful? What’s your take?
I think it’s absolutely phenomenal, seeing that we now have actual superstars who do hip hop in SA now. The pace is great as well, given the fact that hip hop is now the leading genre in the urban space; this is reflected in the record sales, shows and the huge interest from corporate brands.
You have been nominated at the MAMAs a few times before but haven’t managed to win. Do you think you’ll get an award this time?
This is obviously a larger platform because we are being pitted against other stars from the continent, and I believe my music made enough noise throughout Africa. Caracara topped various charts in East and West Africa, so I know the people are fully in tune with my movement. That being said, please vote for me in the Best Song and Best Hip Hop categories by visiting mama.tv.com. Let’s bring them home!
Those who don’t understand hip hop think it all sounds the same. Skhanda music has changed this notion. What are the ingredients in making your music unique?
I created that style/sound via the pantsula and kwaito influence and being simply proud of our culture as a nation. It’s important for us to have a distinct sound that separates us from other countries and I’m glad that consumers have embraced what we are doing.
Sneakers are a big part of the hip hop culture, are you a big sneaker head yourself, or does any foot gear work?
Fashion and image are a huge part of what we do in hip hop and I’m a huge sneaker addict myself. I am what they call a “performance athlete”, so I need to be in a hot and comfy pair of sneakers for me to deliver the goods when I’m in my element.
Should you win at the MAMAs 2015, what impact do you think this would have on your career going forward?
This will add more meat to my resume and it will obviously cement the fact that I am one of the most sort-after brands in Africa, thus allowing me to showcase my talent across the continent.
What’s next for K.O in 2015–2016?
I’ve mastered my stage presentation and my next step is to embark on showcasing my live act throughout the continent and overseas, hopefully in 2016 I will be releasing my second solo album as well.