An article by Viwe Martins
The City of Cape Town has always been known for its creativity of architecture, exotic food and more especially the fashion – hence it is the fashion capital of South Africa. One of the most amazing aspects of fashion being mostly discussed and currently trending is street-wear. Street-wear has always been around but only really made its mark on the fashion scene just a few years ago. Many musicians have managed to incorporate street-wear into their craft which helped increase its influence around the globe. Unam Ntsababa and I decided to interview upcoming Cape Town based musicians to discuss their views on street-wear style as well as their blossoming music careers and music as a whole.
We started off with Guillotine Squad, a group of musicians who reside in one of the Southern Suburbs of the city, Kenilworth. We spoke to two of the core members of the group, Ts’epo Adoro and Aztec Cocoa where we kindly interrupted them at their studio session at the Cape Audio College in Observatory.
Q: As up and coming hip hop artists, what are your views on fashion, specifically street-wear style?
A: It is everything, to be honest. Hip hop has a lot to do with image because fans relate to other aspects of an artist apart from the music. Street-wear incorporates both music and style. Even in life, you mostly relate to a person by how they look as well as personality.
Q: What is Guillotine?
A: Guillotine Squad is a group of friends who relate to each other as family and is brought together by music and basically art as a whole as there are members within the group that sketch and write while the others make music so we can safely say that we are a family of creatives.
Q: Many individuals, some creatives, some not, claim that there aren’t much media platforms in the Cape for them to showcase their talent and that Johannesburg is where it is “happening”. What is your take on that?
A: Aztec: I honestly think that is just incompetence. I mean, if we as young artists never make it here, its never going to happen. In Johannesburg, those people that have that mindset are there right now, scouting for gigs. It is just going to be clustered and not everyone will get an opportunity to blossom so let’s make it here!!
Q: What do you think of artists that come from the Cape and are doing it big in Joburg?
A: Ts’epo: They’re not doing anything for Cape Town, that’s my opinion. They go there saying that they are doing it for our city but they fail to represent. Basically they use us as a front.
Q: As upcoming artists in the Cape, are you content with your level of success that you have you reached thus far?
A: Aztec: Not really because for myself, I always want more. It is not that I am greedy, it is just that I know my worth.
Q: How would you advise other artists that want to start making music in Cape Town?
A: Ts’epo: Just be yourself because authenticity is key. Find what moves you as an artist and believe in yourself. Also, know your target market and study it thoroughly.
Q: When you’re starting out, should you get paid for performances?
A: Aztec: Event organizers should really start considering what artists sacrifice to make a song or come to the gig. They are constantly on about exposure but quite frankly, fuck exposure because it most definitely won’t pay your bills nor put food on the table.
Q: How have you managed to juggle both music and school?
A: Ts’epo: That was actually difficult because we had to prioritize very wisely. We also did not have a choice because we did not want to disappoint our families.
Q: Who have been your favorite musicians that are doing it big on the fashion scene?
A: Aztec: Lil’ Uzi Vert is doing it big, Frank Ocean and Kanye West as well. Riky Rick is doing it big on the local fashion scene as well.
Q: Where do you see yourself, or rather your career in the next five years time?
A: Ts’epo: Very soon actually, most probably sometime next year we are planning on moving to Belgium because that is our dream as Guillotine.
Q: Is it not double standards though considering what you said about moving to somewhere else instead of trying to make it big in your own city?
A: Aztec: We are not leaving Cape Town because it not “happening”. We are going because that has always been our goal for as long as I can remember. In Cape Town there is a place outside of it and so forth. Everything just falls into spectrum. We are basically trying to kill the cliché of that in order to be fully recognized as an artist, you have to move to Johannesburg. Also, if everything goes well, by December we are planning to reach artists like AKA, Riky Rick and Cassper Nyovest.
Sometime this week we met up with Ace of The Amazing World Of Broke Boy$ at the most popular spot for creatives, The Honeybadger on 91 Loop Street, Cape Town. The Amazing World Of Broke Boy$ have emerged this year as young creatives who share the sentiment of being financially bankrupt with fellow creatives who are still trying to make their dreams come true. Ace, one of the members of the crew had very interesting answers to the questions that we had asked him.
The Amazing World Of Broke Boy$
Q: Do you feel that street-wear style is worthy enough to be considered as actual fashion?
A: I honestly wouldn’t call it fashion as such but a lifestyle. It is not fashion but expression.
Q: What is The Amazing World Of Broke Boy$ all about?
A: It is about embracing being broke yet powerful, you know? It mostly is a movement – a group of young and talented young people inspiring other talented souls that it is okay to be broke.
Q: How did you come up with this movement?
A: One jolly night at Bob’s Bar on Long, myself and the other guys were there for their R1 tequila shots due to being extremely broke yet we wanted to have a good time regardless. That is where the idea came about.
Q: Are you guys aware that you are the youngest entrepreneurs making waves in the city currently?
A: Not really because I don’t think we have reached our full potential as yet.
Q: Do you make music as well or just clothes and accessories?
A: We are a group of creatives so many of us specialize in different things. We have people making music, photographers, designers and so forth.
Q: Are you really broke or is The Amazing World Of Broke Boy$ just a catchphrase?
A: We are low key broke. Well since we still live under our parents’ roofs but I feel that once we start earning big bucks, we’ll be able to provide for ourselves.
Last but not least, we speak to Anele Qatshana, “A-God” about his exciting music career as a solo artist at only the age of 16. He started out performing live sets and recording actual music around last year with the help of artists who have been around for a while yet he seems to slightly have overtook them.
Q: Have you always been a solo artist?
A: Not really because I feel that I cannot do some things because I am alone.
Q: What are your views on street-wear style?
A: In terms of street-wear style, is originality, authenticity and I really like that a lot.
Q: Apparently you’re the only young rapper in Cape Town that pays a lot for their craft, is true?
A: If by paying you mean paying for beats, studio time and art work then that’s true.
Q: Don’t you feel that your stage name is blasphemy to some degree seeing that it is “A God”?
A: Not really because I don’t feel that I am offending the Christian religion. Also, I haven’t received any complaints in regards to that.
Q: How long have you been writing for?
A: I have been writing since the age of 14. I was inspired by my cousin who resides in Durban who’s a rapper as well. Spending time with him has had a major influence on my career.
Q: Where do you see your career in the next five years?
A: I’m planning to leave Cape Town by the age of 19. So hopefully by the next five years I will be close to the mainstream media.
Street-wear style has been called freedom of expression, originality and personality. Fashion gurus like Trevor Stuurman, Lulama Wolf and so forth, have made it seem easy and effortless to rock it and devouring it. Stay true to yourself, style and more especially your craft.