Last week Saturday a fully packed El Paradiso, Ezulwini was treated to the best talent in Southern Africa. Hipnotik music festival in its 3rd year running with its best innings in the history of the festival. Organisers promised an “out of this world experience”, and trust they delivered. The production, from sound to lights were on a world class level. With a slight glitch in the system, with the generator momentarily going off twice, it was an improvement from last year’s showing. With a mouth watering lineup that catered to every music lover’s taste bud in attendance, performers included Swaziland’s finest in 80 Script, Kid Nice/Mnadi and Adrienne Foo who did a solid job. But the South African contingent, which included heavyweights in Cassper Nyovest, AKA, DA L.E.S, Kwesta and Reason stole the show.
Siya Shezi got next. Kasi rap has a new hero in the form of the Soweto native. His performance consisted of his two hits “Tshwala” and “Welele”, which had me dancing so hard I ended up reaching for my non-existing weave. Crowd favorite Kwesta came back for his second Hipnotik showing after dazzling last year. Despite his set getting hampered by a glitch with the generator, the tempo of his set never dropped once. Reason was a bit disappointing. He had his great moments but somehow I think the generator going off during his performance put him off. Okmalumkoolkat struggled with his set. Problem mainly being he performed a lot of his solo material which the crowd weren’t too familiar with. He ended up losing the crowd who only came alive when he performed verses from tracks he featured in, including “Amatombazane Remix”. AKA and DA L.E.S delivered a solid set. AKA knows how to work a crowd, with his Hipnotik performance he proved once and for all why he’s regarded as one of the best live performers out there. Cassper Nyovest stole the show without breaking a sweat. It was as though he channeled all his energy to that performance. The motswakolista displayed utter showmanship with the crowd captivated from the first track. Mind you he doesn’t have a heavy album catalog, but homie has strong weaponry in the form of hit singles. Word for word, the fans recited Cassper’s lyrics including the new single off Tsholofelo “Phuma’kim”. Word to Brian Soko who supplied pure crack with that beat.
Shoutout to the folk of Swazi Jive for a dope event and to the beautiful crowd of Swaziland for producing an electric atmosphere. AND – God bless the gorgeous women *coughs, call me*. Till next year, Hipnotik 2014 was a movie!
Written by: Ndimakazi ‘Phoenix’ Mabala
Images by: Desiree Moila