Kabelo Moremi (aka Lil Frat) has been operating within the entertainment industry for some time and has the knowledge to prove. Viewed as a content specialist, podcaster (The Sobering) and prominent voice within our street/youth culture, Kabelo’s creative journey brags a long list of accomplishments and inspiration that continues to resonate with the past and future. In other words, put some respect on Lil Frat and take a moment to hear out what he has to about the Youth, Collaboration and his list of Young Africans killing it within their fields of work & passion.
You’ve been working and building up yourself within the entertainment industry for a solid minute now and having seen how the entertainment culture has progressed over the years, how you describe your growth especially when you consider the experiences that you’ve had?
I would say my growth is fuelled by a mixture of passion, love and ambition. I love creators and creating and I am passionate about the space I’m in so I would love to see it grow. I have learned that in order grow in the space you need to understand the present and what’s relevant but you must also forecast, in the same breath you have to know your history. This makes adapting easier. So how I would describe my growth is adapting and forecasting. This has been made possible by me creating, learning, collaborating and being consistent.
The amount of talent and just pure creativity amongst young African individuals in South Africa is crazy and I’m interested in knowing what your thoughts are on how the Youth in our country is progressing especially during one of the most challenging times.
I’m inspired by the new breed of creators in our country. As you stated we are in challenging times but the kids aren’t shaken; they have taken all this in their stride and found new ways to create and express themselves. They are solution-driven and have created spaces for themselves. I think they should be encouraged and equipped to do more.
It’s no secret that The Sobering Podcast is one of the most relevant and engaging platforms that continuously shines a light on our local street & hip-hop culture. How has the platform grown over the time passed and what’s the future looking like for it?
The Sobering story is one that’s very dear to me. We have been podcasting for close to 6 years now and like Jay-Z said “the most genius thing we did is not give up”. The Sobering is what it is because of consistency and self-belief. We went years with no funding or brand collaborations and now we work with various brands and we are still growing the platform. What’s next for us is an expansion and more extensions of the brand. We continue to fly the SA street culture flag high as we collaborate with those that are just as passionate about the culture as we are.
Do you think SA has enough platforms such as The Sobering Podcast? If so, what are your thoughts on the development of that ecosystem? If not, what do you recognise as the obstacles holding back that potential flow?
I think the podcast ecosystem is growing however we can do better. We need more awareness and consistency in the space. This is also not on brands but on creators ourselves. We need to get our marketing game up and our structure game up as well. We need to find creative ways to make noise about podcasting, this is part of our growth plan as well as the Sobering. We need to create a self-sufficient community, this is not an overnight task it’s going to take some time which is why consistency is so important. We need to make people aware, we need to be official in our dealings so pods are not seen as a fly-by-night trend or hobby and lastly we need to be consistent. Shout out to all the brands and people shining a light on the podcast industry.
My aspirations never really change. It’s always to learn more, explore more and create more.
Part of this year’s Air Max Day celebration is all about acknowledging other individuals that are doing some good work shaping and adding to popular culture. You’ve listed the likes of Klaas Masilo, Sihle On, Sibangani Ncube, Jade Kelly and Lwazi as people that you acknowledge. Can you briefly expand on why?
These are people I admire. People that are selfless and contribute to the betterment of people and industries. Klaashas netball teams and has teams from disadvantaged backgrounds and he helps them into leagues of a sport that their passionate about and helps them through school by means available to him.
Sihle On is the streets A&R (that’s what I call him) he puts on for new artists and connects them to various plugs even without their knowledge, so he is not chasing any clout. Sibais a shoe angel, he created one of the best sneaker cleaning services and he also spreads positive vibes by donating kicks to the less fortunate under the name “Kicks For Change” so if you have kicks to donate holla at Siba.
Jade is such an important voice in our culture, in a time where there is a lack of publications documenting the come up of future juggernauts she has given “BREAKROOM AFRICA“ a publication and movement that puts us on to the next crop of artists and creatives. Lwaziis a special kid, with so much knowledge & talent and he also sheds light on the streetwear scene plus he is a super talented visual artist too, he is going to do a lot of great things. These people are beyond special
What are your thoughts on collaboration in SA. Are young people doing enough of it?
There definitely is collaboration in SA. The question is whether there enough fair collaboration… I think we need to have a discussion on how young kids are exploited for their skills and knowledge. That needs to end. We see a lot of established figures take advantage of the kids not giving them their just due. We need better forms of collaborations; ones that won’t leave the youth scarred. The kids must also know that it’s okay to collaborate horizontally, collaborate with their mates and not be mesmerised by the thoughtful working with “established” figures. There is a lot of power in collaboration. We should not abuse it if we feel we have the upper hand.
What are your aspirations at the moment and where or who are your current influences?
My aspirations never really change. It’s always to learn more, explore more and create more. My inspiration has always been my family. They exemplify love, sacrifice, knowledge, ambition and creativity. Shout out to my siblings and parents.
Finally, could you share some words of inspiration for those kids that are trying to thrive using their creativity but face the harsh realities of always having to deal with the struggles of unemployment, non-support, or systems that work against them
Firstly I would like to tell them that your mind is your greatest asset. Take care of it and it will take care of you. Secondly, start with what you have, don’t wait for better resources, they will find you on the way. Thirdly work horizontally, tap into the skills of your peers and build with them; you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve. Lastly, follow through with what you start, consistency will always yield results. I know all this may sound easier said than done but trust me once you start fuelling your ideas and remain consistent you will thank yourself.