In the June/July issue of HYPE that’s currently in stores, we interviewed respected indie crew Revivolution. Here’s what you didn’t get to see in the magazine…
First off, why the name Revivolution and what are you hoping to achieve in the industry?
Fusion: I was a combo of militant and purist coming up so reviving old school hip hop while revolutionizing it was on my mind.
Ves: We trying to bring fun lifestyle raps for people from all walks of life; old or young black white orange.
As a collective of creative minds, what is the creative process like when making music together?
King Konga: We draw inspiration from our surroundings and the lifestyle we live. We are all from diferent backgrounds but have been inspired by the lifestyle of the inner city and its people; The city and country we live in; Conversations we have and our interactions with other people fuels the basis of our content. We just flip it and tell it in a way that is pleasing to the ear and visuals that impress the eyes.
Looking at other crew like Boyz n Bucks, how important is it to have a solid team of individual creatives with different talents?
Inferno: Having a strong team of professionals behind the product is really important because these days it’s not only about the music, you kinda need a package behind it all so we’re lucky that we have a whole team behind us who are invested in our vision. Our visual team is called GrimeTown. GrimeTown handles our photos, videos and visual branding.
Ves: We get to have more control over our work , almost everything is in-house like also homies are able to advise one another ’cause of the different perspectives we might have. We learn from each other.
Impropoe: Shout Out to Boyz n Bucks!
Speaking of branding, how important is it in today’s world?
Inferno: Branding is important for any product. Rap music is no different. The product has to be appealing in every way.
Fusion: It sets you up as something that intends to stay around and grow. It also builds a bond with your audience.
Ves: It’s important to realise that if you are a musician you are a brand. Branding and lifestyle go hand in hand and at the end of the day you are tryna sell your music and lifestyle. It’s maths… most times you need to package/brand what you selling .There are so many hip hop artists out there make your product stand out .
As rappers who took part in Scrambles4Money, how important is the battling circuit to the SA hip hop scene?
Inferno: The battle scene is important because it’s an accessible platform where MCs can get local and international exposure just by being dope. Apart from increasing our following, we’ve been able to interact with MCs and leagues from other countries through battle rap.
You’ve performed at Back to the City this year. What has this festival done for hip hop in Africa in your opinion?
Tommy Ills: I mean personally when it started I was still in high school and I was blown away. So seeing it grow through the years I feel in synch with the event. From seeing it from an impressionable perspective to performing on that stage I finally understand the bigger picture. Honestly I’ll be giving it a few more years and it could be an internationally recognised event. I would like to see more sponsors get involved from all over Africa to create an event on the scale of the Jazz Fest and it’s very possible. I see Pro Era on the same stage as Reason and Burnaboy on the same stage as Pac Div or Ill Skillz. Africa has the potential to do that and events like BTTC are the starting points to getting there.
Describe your sound.
King Konga: Lifestyle music. Lots of material comes from us observing our surroundings and environment as well as situations we’ve been in that people will relate to. We are independent so we experiment with our music . We live to experiment with all forms of beats. But if you want to box our sound, you will bump the tracks at the club ’cause of the vibe and the feeling you get from the songs, but when you’re stuck in traffic or working late at night, the lyrics stimulate your mind as well. Winning all over.
Do you consider yourselves underground?
Inferno: I think our sound can excel in any market. We are 7 different rappers some slotting into very different sub-genres. I’d like to be considered internetstream, but we have to take that over first.
Fudge: I really wish our music does away with those titles. We really don’t mind being called whatever but I think we transcend those two categories (commercial and underground) with what we bring to the plate.
Impropoe: I think we can make it in a commercial market because we’re diverse, these days its not all black and white, people’s tastes vary and I think there is space for everything to flourish because the market is large. But at the end of the day its about putting in the work and exploiting all opportunities so hopefully our work will be able to answer that question.
How do you utilize social media?
King Konga: That’s where you find content on the clique. We live in times where the first thing people do when they wake up is check their inboxes and notifications. So it’s where we hustle. We interact with people who relate to us and love our work. Social media helps with communication and ones product is able to reach people on the other end of the world. It is very cost efficient so independent acts like Revivo can market their work for free.
Illy: We use social media to push our work ’cause it’s the most immediate way to get product to the people, I think we just gotta work on our presence a little harder and understand that social networks aren’t the be all and end all of marketing, you really gotta put yourself out there on all platforms.
Plans for the rest of 2014?
Illy: Just keep grinding so we can get on that HYPE cover [laughs]. We just wanna grow our movement to a point where our influence is undeniable and the only way to do that is putting in work.
Thoughts on the industry?
Impropoe: I think a lot has changed since the days of Simunye Grooves. There’s been a lot of growth but at the same time Hip hop isn’t where we all want it to be. Having said that though I think the culture is at the most vibrant and diverse as it could be, when you see Cash Time Fam at a Scrambles4Money event then you know there’s something being done right. We just wanna be a part of it and be as big as we can be because right now it’s more possible then it ever was, it’s just about being smart about what you do.
For more on Revivo be sure to get your hands on a copy of the June/July issue of HYPE – in stores TODAY!