Kwesta on why Spirit is an important part of his musical journey

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Kwesta Spirit music journey

Dubbed as possibly one of the greatest songs to come out of our generation, ‘Spirit’ by rapper Kwesta has reached audiences far and wide. He chats to us about what lead to the creation of the song and the impact it has made.

By Ayanda Sitole 

The song ‘Spirit’ stemmed from an identity crisis that I was facing. I wrote a song about embracing who you are and where you come from. A lot of people I have met are afraid to be themselves for fear of being judged. In the song I say “uzong’thola ekasi lami” which means “you will find me in my hood.” I wanted to say it’s okay to come from the township and be proud of where you come from and still come to the suburbs and live a good life, without forgetting your roots.

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I was in America when I ran into people who worked with Wale and were throwing around ideas about how we can work together. In that moment I thought they were just being friendly and didn’t really make much of it. After I left the country they started start doing research on me and my music and they liked what they found online. They told me they wanted to do a song so I sent them ‘Spirit’ and they loved it. I was invited back to America to work with Wale on the song.

I always try to make songs that will resonate with people for years to come. I hope that my two songs Spirit and Ngiyaz’fela ngawe in collaboration with Thabsie, will evoke the same emotions people feel today, when they here it 10 years from now.

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My favourite collaboration so far is with Thabsie because it happened organically, I bumped into her in studio and told her I was doing a song and asked if she’d like to join me on the chorus. That’s how Ngyaz’fela ngawe was made. I’m looking forward to doing more collaborations with her. I have a very simple creative process. All I need are my two favourite things- chicken and beer, I take those into the studio, stay in up to 48 hours when I’m working on a song and take a quick nap in between.

My fan base has grown beyond South Africa. I have a big following in Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia and Nigeria. I would like to spend more time in Nigeria because they show me mad love there.