Melissa Mpofu, Showbiz Editor
Multi-award-winning rapper, Cassper Nyovest has commended Bulawayo rapper Cal Vin whom he collaborated with three years ago saying he was one artiste from Zimbabwe who had earned a collaboration with him.
Speaking during a Press conference in Harare this past weekend, Cassper who performed at the well organised RSVP Concert at Glamis Stadium said collaborations should happen naturally unless if one pays for it.
Local up-and-coming rappers who had attended the conference in their numbers had suggested that Cassper, who runs the successful Family Tree record label in South Africa, signs up artistes like Takura of the Mai Mwana fame.
“Cassper, you’ve been here (Zimbabwe) for quite a while. Are you going to get to a stage where you’ll work with a local artiste who’ll have performed well at the concert?” quizzed one rapper.
Cassper simply responded: “Those things happen authentically. It’s never ‘I’m going to Zimbabwe to look for talent’. It’s always something that catches you and happens authentically.
“For example, I had a collaboration with Cal Vin — I was just on radio (ZiFM Stereo) and I heard the song (Z’khupan’). I liked it and did a remix and he ended up winning awards for that song.”
He said when he collaborated with Cal Vin, he did not have intentions of signing him up and recording his works at his studios.
“It wasn’t me trying to put him on, but I genuinely had an interest in the song.”
However, Cassper who has a Zimbabwean — Nadia Nakai under his label and a band mainly comprised of Zimbabweans, said this did not mean that he did not have intentions to work with local artistes.
“I’m always up to it, always looking. I don’t think it works when we make it a talent search — it just has to happen authentically . . . unless you’ve got money.”
On the responsibility that comes with being a public figure that most youngsters look up to, Cassper said: “The responsibility is heavy and I’m aware of it. I make conscious decisions to lead and influence in a positive manner, but I also forgive myself when I say or do the wrong thing. I’ve got a temper and sometimes I lose it on camera and say the wrong thing. I look back and I’ll be embarrassed but it’s something I learn from.
“The key is to keep a balance on the personal — who you’re and the brand — what you present. I don’t think people like a perfect human being because that thing doesn’t exist.”
The Tito Mboweni hit-maker explained his behaviour on social media where he often brags about his riches saying he was deliberately doing this to inspire others, especially those from where he comes from.
“I post a lot about how I live — the luxury, cars, house and watches. Some people might look at that as flashy, but I do that to inspire people from the same place as I.
“If I hadn’t seen that from someone else, I wouldn’t have thought that it was possible.”
Reflecting on his relationship with SA hip hop star HHP who suffered from depression and allegedly committed suicide, Cassper said he had also gone through depression.
“I’m actually one of the people who went through depression. I deal with anxiety from time to time and it’s something I’m trying to find a way to address.”
Cassper who is working flat out on his #FillUpMosesMabhida concert taking place on December 1 in Durban said his new look — bald head and long beard does not translate to a new sound. He said the new album was however meant for the South African audience as it will have a kwaito feel.
“I’m releasing an album on the 1st of December and it’s a fully kwaito inspired album. I’ve gone back to my basics — my foundation of why I love music on this album.
“It’s not a new sound, but it’s the first time I’m going fully kwaito, fully South African,” he said.
He said his most recent tracks like K’sazobalit were mostly inspired by American Trap music, something he deviated from on the new album.
To up-and-coming rap artistes, Cassper said they need to focus on producing music that resonates with people from where they come.
“They need to start at home, research and connect with their people. You’ve got a whole country full of people and I think the biggest mistake we make as musicians is trying to appeal to everyone outside of where you live. My dream was to make it in America and when I started travelling there, I realised there was millions of rappers trying to make it there.
“I noticed that I can’t leave my country to try and make it in America, especially with something that started there — hip hop. That’s why I’m going back to my culture.”