July 11, 2023

Sjava on The History of Mzansi Hip hop & What Destroys it | Experience with AKA on Sponono | Vura | Amapiano + More

• SA hip hop comes from very far you know, but I’ll say, where it started to be on the mainstream, where it was really in a good space to compete with all the genres that were there, I think where it went more venac, was around the times of Pro Kid, going to Cash Time… I’d say during those times that’s when we really picked up, remember the song “Caracara” by K.O was the first song to actually reach a million views, so it was something huge and we celebrated. So I think it was around that time, but there’s a lot of other people but the ones that are on my mind; I would definitely mention those… Supa Mega (AKA), Cassper Nyovest coming in with “Gusheshe” with OkMalumkoolcat, i think that was the era where Mzansi hip hop really got super commercial… yeah


What were the Good and Bad things about Mzansi Hip hop back in the days according to Your Experiences?

• I think the Good was obviously during the times where the was more features, we saw the remix of Amantombozane by Riky Rick, we saw guys coming together, Boyz N Bucks, there was just so many collabs.

The Bad that I think it destroyed a lot is when all the guys became successful, they started arguing and they all went to their own corners and it became the thing of competing and more of “I’m doing my own thing” you know, I think that’s what really was bad about the whole thing because it kinda took a knock to being honest when that happened, where everyone decided to pull their own directions, and beefs were now there where the guys had a fight and no longer getting along, I think that was the Bad, and was them coming together and giving us the good music that they gave.



One of the Greatest Hits “Vura” by the Late Dj Citi Lyts, How did the song came about and what did it mean to you guys that the song took the whole South Africa by a Storm?

• How “Vura” came about, it was Dj Citi Lyts’s concept where he felt like we needed to do a song that would be appreciated eKasi and again that talks about a car, remember we already had Caracara… that type of concept, then he came up with the concept and Lunatic was at the studio, remember; Lunatic is the one that did Caracara, so when he did Vura it was crazy because it was like “Haw Ndoda, wa phinda futhi”, you know, we even joked about it that VW must now give you a sponsor, but yeah, that’s how it came about and Saudi was in the cut, I freestyled my verse, so I remember we were still in Neerlandia in Midrand and Saudi opened the doors, he was like “Ey what is this? This sounds nice”. He listened and went out, when he came back, he also laced his verse, that song took not even more than 10 minutes to make and it stayed for a very long time because during those times when the things would keep us in a move so I think the label felt like if we take out something that’s hip hop it will clash with what I’m doing but we told them that no, actually there’s nothing wrong with that, let’s put Vura out so there were doubts and then finally they released Vura and it took SA by a Storm. This goes back to the issue of venac, I think that’s one of the things made it pop like that because everyone could understand what we are saying you know, so yeah it was a good feeling, I remember it was really something, so shout out to Saudi, shout out to Dj Citi Lyts… RIP

Would you Say Amapiano is slowly Silencing or Killing Mzansi Hip hop?

• Nah I wouldn’t say that, just like few days ago I was at Cottonfest, we saw hip hop shutting it down, the likes of Somnyama (Blxckie), Areece, Emtee, I also came through, did my thing, they came in… Kelvin, they did their thing, everyone did their thing, everyone is doing great but you must remember that you can’t really compare dance music with hip hop because it is known, shows like Tomorrowland whereby it is always packed, dance music will always lead because people love having fun, they love to groove you know. It’s different with hip hop, hip hop is more like listening than dancing, and all of that is really about relating to music, so most of the time there’s a lot of things that people don’t get to see them because they happen in private when you are listening to music, so I wouldn’t say amapiano is silencing hip hop because from those days from the likes of Dj Fresh, dance music has always been a leading genre in terms of commercial success, worldwide it’s like that, we see the likes of Pitbull, they put out songs and get to billion streams, and came to the likes of Drake to do the same, so I wouldn’t say it is silencing hip hop. People mistaken sometimes the attention when something new comes in, South Africans always have this thing of “Since this came in, it is getting so much attention and everything else is wack”, which is not a right mindset but I wouldn’t say amapiano silencing hip hop or it is showing it flames, amapiano is doing great, even worldwide they are doing great, mzansi hip hop is also doing great, so just because someone is doing great at that moment, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is bad, everyone is playing their part, but dance music will always be number one and South Africa is a country that loves to groove and dance, so I wouldn’t say it is killing hip hop, you understand, we see the likes of Sosh Plata… I thing another thing is that people don’t even go to the shows to get to see for themselves on what’s happening, and the new generation is open minded, they listen to everything, as long as it’s good music they’ll always give it a chance.
So my answer to that is No, everyone is playing their role and hip hop is doing great, amapiano is doing greater… so, yeah



How was the experience working with the Late AKA on Sponono?

• Working with the Supa Mega has always been amazing Because of his energy and he always knows what he wants, he’s not the person who struggles most of the time but when I was recording Sponono, he was not there, he called me up at the camp, I went to the camp, when I went to the camp, we didn’t record much, he was just playing me the music he already did, showing me the direction and showing how far he went, he played me Lemonade music video ft Nasty C, just putting it out as a single, so we didn’t record that day and when I came back the second time at the camp, he was not there, I was with Zedoc, that’s when I laced the verse for Sponono but on day he was not there. Working with him has always been amazing, I’ve had a couple of sessions with him, yeah he was amazing, his energy was really inspiring you know, so yeah man, shout out to the Supa Mega

What Makes a Good Musician in South Africa in Your Opinion?

• I think it’s Versatility you know, whereby even if you rap but you not really focusing only on it, there’s people that are great at that, that are successful at that but for me, when you use the word “Musicians”, because we are all musicians at the end of the day, but I think is versatility more than anything, I think that’s what makes a good musician because we’ve it with a lot of guys who are able to jump on amapiano, Somnyama is the best example when it comes to that, he can jump to on Amapiano, RnB, Hip hop and even the music when you listen to it, harmonies.. everything is always packed at all times, so I’d say what makes a good musician is versatility more than anything



What can Fans expect from Sjava in the Near Future?

• Expect Art from me, that’s what I do, I’m an artist, I’m not a “Watch the Space” kinda guy. All I can say is; Just expect more Art coming from my side… Yebo

What’s your favourite Food and Why?

• Chicken and Rice because it’s delicious lol…

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