His Twitter bio reads: “Psycho Lution is a young gifted wordsmith/lyricist from the Kingdom of Swaziland. He is a mere instrument playing his part in God’s heavenly orchestra.” After reading this interview you just might feel the same.
CHEKA Digital: Please introduce yourself. Who is Psycho Lution?
Psycho Lution: Psycho Lution is a young gifted wordsmith/lyricist with the objective of lifting the curtain that separates the general every day people from the truth within them. I’m a mere instrument playing my part in God’s heavenly orchestra.
You take your craft really seriously and to me it appears music is your 9 to 5. Is music lucrative to an extent that it’s what you live on?
Yes I do take my craft seriously and music is my 9-5 for now. Well in the Kingdom of Swaziland we don’t have a music industry as yet, I believe we are still in a process of establishing one, so for now its not as lucrative as it is supposed to; we’ll get there as a unit I believe, that’s if we all play our respective roles in building it as a solid functional structure. This includes artists, promoters, supporters, Arts and Culture office and media. We all have a mandate.
It’s been said you are a ProVerb impostor. It’s not really hard to tell why, from the March 4th concept, textbook diction etc. What’s your take on that?
I’ve heard that and I personally think that’s very silly. I’ve heard similar stuff being said about Qibho and Tumi, Crax and Prokid. Here’s my take though, I believe that as creative beings our inspiration is drawn through frequency of thought and mind state. Great minds think alike. I respect Proverb and his craft but I’m pretty positive without doubt that we might be on the same thought frequency but in terms of projection, sound and subject matter, we are in parallel lanes.
So who does Psycholution listen to?
I listen to a lot of all round music, my ear is not caged in a certain genre. I’m a fiend for good music. I listen to Swazi Music a lot, from Bholoja, Bakhe, Nomzamo, Nomalungelo, DibaDiba to Qibho Intalektal just to mention a few.
You’ve worked with a lot of big names in the SD music industry from the Siyinqaba duo, Mozaik as a producer, SubJamz etc. What other artists do you wish to work with?
I’m willing to work with anyone that I connect with in terms of inspiration. More than the household names, I’d like to work with original Swazi instrumentalists. There’s a player that I recently linked with, he plays an original Swazi instrument called ‘Luveve’. I would like to fuse that with band and see what would come out of that. It’s the instrumentalists that I have a great desire of working with.
You seem to have a very good relationship with the man above. Would you consider yourself a ‘Gospel/Christian rapper’?
I really like your question. Well I don’t consider myself as a Christian hip-hop artist but a hip-hop artist who was brought up as a Christian from birth. I’m a being that fully believes in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Reason why I say I’m not a Christian hip-hop artist is because that would mean I’m only limited to making music that touches the hearts of church people, yet I strongly believe that God is using me to reach out to the church and beyond the church. I don’t really like to box myself into a certain tag because that would limit my creative/artistic capabilities. God is bigger than the Church I believe. I’d say I’m a conscious musician who is God-driven.
You’re not part of Claiming Ground anymore, which is pretty much the label that established you. Please tell us why you left.
Claiming Ground Records didn’t establish me, it played a vital significant role in helping to push the Psycho Lution brand. Yes I’m no longer under the label and I wouldn’t call it parting ways, ’cause we still work, instead it’s mere growth as a person, brand and businessman on my side. I so much value the qualities and artistry I have attained while I was under Claiming Ground Records and I’ll never seize to thank God for aligning me with such a phenomenal label run by good people. I got mad respect for them. I figured time had come for me to grow from being just an artist to being an entrepreneur in the music business, hence Psycho Lution Music was formed.
And now you are independent. What are the merits and demerits of being independent especially after being signed all this time?
If I were to start counting the pros of being an independent entity, I wouldn’t finish, trust me. But the point is I’m really happy and have no regrets whatsoever in this independent route that I’ve taken. The pros definitely surpass the cons.
So are you going to be signing artists under Psycholution Music?
No I won’t be signing artists because Psycho Lution Music is not a record label but a team I’ve assembled which mainly handles the business aspect of my music. That includes bookings, management, branding, publishing and events.
A mixtape is there to promote an album or just to promote an artist in general. Why the move to sell yours? Why not call it an album then?
You are right, a mixtape is there to promote an album of which that was the purpose of my mixtape. It serves as a prelude to my upcoming album called Dis-script-tion hence the mixtape is titled LookOut4Dis-script-tion, it also promotes my website.
How is it (your mixtape) doing in terms of sales?
To those who were following the build up of the tape from day 1 will recall that I had vowed that I’ll never disclose record sales because I’m against the system of measuring the quality of the CD material through record sales as opposed to sound and content. I choose to let the music speak.
Could you describe the music on the mixtape. How is it different or similar to The Psycho-tik Revolution?
Psycho Lution as a creative is a being that is in the process of growth/evolution. I believe I’ve grown from being just a rapper to an artist, then to musician. The Psycho-tik Revolution E.P. was a project that was backpacker-concentrated which mainly depicted the Rapper angle of my character as a writer. From then on, I’m growing to an artist with a more musical and conceptual angle. The mixtape basically bridges the rapper and artist aspects to give a feel of the characters, lyricism, sound and subject matter to expect on the Dis-script-tion. It’s a continuation. If you notice the tracklist numbering on the mixtape starts from track 21 which shows that the two projects are different but connected.
Why has it taken this long to drop the album?
It’s taken long because we are still in the making of disc 2 of the album as it shall be a double disc album. Disc 2 will be strictly live (unplugged). On the underhand PsychoLutionMusic is in the process of getting a distribution and marketing deal with a major.
You’ve been doing some work in Jo’burg, especially in the last 2 years. What has that yielded?
Through God willing, while I’ve been making moves in Jozi I’ve also been networking and establishing working relationships beyond music with certain entities. I’ve also made it in the Yfm Full Clip Mixtape Volume 3 and Volume 5. I plan to make more moves in SA and the world at large.
Could you describe the type of hip-hop you do.
Now that I play with a live instrument band, I wouldn’t say it’s hip-hop. I believe I make conscious music not defined by genres.
You have a band now. That’s a major move indeed. Tell us what inspired that move.
I believe its growth and a blessing more than anything. Growth in the sense that as the mere mortal being that I am, I mature as years pass by – I guess it was a matter of time for it to manifest through my music. Blessing in the sense that I was positioned equipped to join forces with the extremely gifted gentlemen I play with. It’s more than my words can express. I value it.
Where do you think Swazi hip-hop is right now?
I feel like, it is exactly where it is supposed to be in terms of growth, though I’m kind of afraid of it not reaching its fullest potential because of its people not realising how much of good quality it actually is until its too late for us to do anything about it.
There’s a major absence of cyphers and open mics and just hip-hop shows in general in Swaziland and kids just record songs and put them on radio and expect to just blow up. As an emcee who took that traditional route to becoming an emcee, what do you think of the quality of emcees in Swaziland?
I think the absence of platforms like cyphers, battles and rap sessions is affecting the game in a major way because its platforms like those that serve as lyrical exercise which is vital for an emcee on a street level, before stepping in the booth. Not having those platforms results in upcoming rappers lacking the basic fundamentals of being an emcee. And those platforms usually play a huge role when it comes to surface new names with unheard of skill. I myself am a product of cyphers and battles. We need to have more of those as the the hip-hop movement.
And out of the upcoming cats, who do you see as a proper emcee?
From the upcoming rappers I have mad respect for Ill-uminous, Bromin, Kena and Silent Bullet. Those are the emcees that move me in a major way even while they are still on the “come up” level.
Did the L.I.T project achieve its goals?
Yes, definitely. What people failed to understand was the fact that L.I.T. wasn’t a rap group but an assembly of independent solo artists pushing as a unit under a specific project. That project ran for 5 months before we wrapped it up with the final show. When L.I.T. comes back it shall have an album to offer. Look out for that.
Tell us about your relationship with Qibho Intalektual. And really, don’t you two feel like you owe us a collaborative album?
My relationship with Intalektual is very solid from a colleague, friend to a brotherly level. We’ve always been close and we are each other’s inspiration in the sense that even before either one of us made a name, we had always recited new rhymes for each other and we still do to this day. Qibho might kill me for letting the rabbit out of the bag but we are actually working on an album together. We are called ‘Thoughts Iller-str8-head’ and the name of the album will be called Great Minds Think Alike.
You are really comfortable with rapping in English. In a highly culture-conscious country like Swaziland, do you feel there is a need to spit in vernac as you do attempt sometimes?
I rap in vernac whenever I feel like but I personally prefer rapping in English because I have the desire and dream to touch the world with my music; since English is a universal language that what I utilise to fulfil that desire of mine and achieve my dream.
Wrapping up, what should we expect from you this year?
I got one sentence, “Look Out For Dis-script-tion”.
In your opinion, who’s the most slept on rapper in SD?
Definitely Mozaik. He gets props and respect for his production but I feel like the masses are really sleeping on the brother’s writing and rapping ability.
And the most overrated?
Yhooooo! I can’t be negatively name dropping here. Lol
Check out his latest single “Why I Do This” here.
Compiled and Written By: Sabelo Mkhabela (@SabzaPassword)