He started with rap-battles, but now he has experienced an explosive ride to the top of South African hip-hop charts. Not only does he have the utmost understanding and grasp of the South African hip-hop world, but his personal songs render true potential for longevity in the hip-hop arena.
Reason, real name Sizwe Moeketsi, has been on a seven-year long musical journey which has earned him a lot of praises.
His first album, The Reasoning released in 2010, is a classic and one of South Africa’s best rated album in the last couple years, according to a number of media reports.
And now, Reason will be in Malawi next month for the Lake of Stars Festival which he described as a platform for him to activate himself across Africa.
“I want to experience music for I am on this journey to know more about the continent. I want to feel Malawi as a country. As such, I have a lot of expectations for myself and not for Malawi in particular, I learnt a long time ago that do not expect much from people for instance, a large crowd when it comes to us artists. It is people that expect a lot from you to give them a good time,” he said during an interview in Johannesburg, South Africa.
His tracks are highly creative, always hot and his lyrics really depict vividly what he is experiencing.
His first release January Free Style was not only filled with rhymes, but strong lyrical content.
“I have such a long history of hip-hop, I have done all sorts of hip-hop and I actually got to a point that I actually wanted to stop doing just ordinary hip-hop and start making music. Because I rap, so I like to call what I do as rap and not just hip-hop but it’s music that I can present to all age ranges, young and the very old.
“I really want to have the same effect on people like Hugh Masekela and Mafikizolo do for example. Even though it is rap music, but there is still a way that I can actually communicate with all people. My mission is to make hip-hop music that is universal,” said the rapper.
Before coming to Malawi, Reason will be on a Europe tour with fellow rapper Jack Parow.
“We will take advantage of that to kind of shape a show for Malawi. So expect a show of raps and rhymes, the most and highest, and if I don’t meet that, it is fine, I will come back next year,” he said amid chuckles.
Reason says he had heard a lot about LoS from friends and that he has an idea of what the festival is all about.
“I have heard a lot about the festival so far as you remember Tumi was in Malawi last year for the City of Stars. What I have heard about the audience in Malawi is that they are very familiar with our music. Again, there is a guy from Malawi I am working with on something. We spoke about doing something when he heard I am going to Malawi and he also gave me a hint of what to do during the show,” he explained.
Talking about collaborations, Reason says he would love to work with local artists.
“I would really love to do some collaborations and that is why I like to get into a country a few days earlier. It gives me ample time to meet different artists for example and who knows what might cook up out of such meetings,” he said.
But does the rapper believe that hip-hop has anything to offer in terms of tourism for any country?
Said Reason: “We may not be aware of it as hip-hop artists, but this genre of music has a role in promoting tourism. If you look at songs by different artists it gives a perspective of the country that musician is coming from. Though we might not be aware of, every time we sing we are actually projecting our environment, we say so much about whatever is going on in our places.”
While many Malawian artists especially doing urban music are struggling to break the jinx and penetrate the international market or music channels like MTV base, Reason believes that issue all goes down top activation.
“For a breakthrough, Malawians need to activate themselves with other countries. For South Africa as an example, some artists had to go to Nigeria where they activated themselves and now are established. I feel I need to break into those spaces as well and that is why I am going to Malawi so that I can have a group of people who at the end of the day, know me. It’s all about being noticed in terms of what you do,” he said.