Creatives Under Lockdown is a SABC News feature that focuses on issues affecting artists. This week Hip-Hop artist Tzafenda talks about his upcoming single.

Hip-Hop artist Tzafenda.

Musician Tzanfeda’s journey began at the age of 13 when he wrote his first Kwaito song. However, it was when he joined TUT FM as a presenter that he started taking music seriously. His taste also changed to Hip-Hop because of the show he hosted. “I was DJing for quite some time, doing the Hip-Hop show and something crossed my mind to say that I can actually do the rapping because I enjoyed and loved it. “ 

Born in Attridgeville and raised in Soshanguve, Tzafenda, whose real name is Thizwihangwi Nemanashe says his music aims to foster societal change. “The kind of music that I am doing is the music that is rhythm and poetry; it is the music and the message. I try to foster societal change or to make a difference and to raise awareness about certain things that are happening in our lives or society.”  

His new single titled ‘Its Alright’ is dedicated to, among others, his mother.  “It is a personal song, it is a tribute to my mom, my family and everyone else who can relate to the struggles of life with your family, just to appreciate them and to say, ‘you know what we have come through a long way, through all the hardships and the good times and we are still here,’.”

Tzafenda grew up listening to artists including, among others, Snoop and Tupac in the early to mid-90s. He says while the Hip-Hop landscape has grown commercially in South Africa, the quality of the message and the music has dropped.

“It has grown in terms of more people producing or getting involved in producing Hip-Hop music, more Hip-Hop artists and productions and different styles of Hip-Hop coming up but in terms of the quality of the music, in terms of what we call rhythm and poetry rap, the message has been lost quite a bit because it has been more of a turn-up industry.”

More and more artists are going independent, not signing with record labels. Tzafenda says the digital platforms that are now at artists’ disposal make it easier to distribute music.

“Going independent is that you own everything, that means the publishing, the marketing rights, the image rights, those are the pros of going independent. The cons would be that distribution of the music becomes a problem but this game of technology nowadays you can also do that via digital stores, so it has become easier for us independent artists to actually distribute.” 

Tzafenda will be promoting ‘Its Alright’ throughout spring. The song will officially be released on 31 July, however, it is already available on https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/tzafenda/its-alright-feat-mpho

Below is the interview with Tzafenda: 

Q: Who is your favourite artist? 

A: Zakwe, Stogie T, it is one of the two, and internationally my favourite artist would have to be J Cole and Nas. 

Q: What else do you do if you are not in the studio? 

A: If I am not working, I am reading a book or coaching football. I have a soccer team that I coach in Soshanguve. I have kids from the age of 6 up until the ages of 20. I have got five divisions, the football club’s name is Sporting Galaxy, so I am in between projects in the community. 

Q: What are your other talents? 

A: I can play football and I can actually act. I did a bit of acting back in the mid-2000s, on Generations and Isidingo. Those are my talents and also that I can write screenplays. 

Q: Are you and an introvert or an extrovert? 

A: I am a bit of both, I am a Libra, so there is always an issue of balance with Libra, you know, so I am a bit of both, it depends on what is happening. 

Q: If you were to be inaugurated as President, what would your first priority? 

A: Dealing with corruption 

You can follow Tzafenda on Facebook Page: Tzafenda, Twitter  @tafendacruz.

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