Do you know what the scariest thing about Moz Kidd is? The fact that after a week of being in the bottom five of the given Freshman candidates, he managed to score the most votes at the end with almost 16k votes. If that certification and trust from the people doesn’t convince you of how bright the future for the kid is, then you a straight-up hater. Having featured in our Come-up Corner segment before, Moz Kidd is really proving that he isn’t playing around and the people know that too. So let’s dive into the young rapper’s story and get motivated. Trust.
Before we talk about your journey so far, let’s dissect the beginning of it all. How did Moz Kidd really get into this hip hop culture?
From a very early age (four or five), I would always copy everything I saw my brother do, which is normal for a younger brother, right? But I guess the not-so-normal part is that because of him I ended up watching more music channels instead of cartoons like most children did. This in turn moulded me into who I am today, as I would imitate the way they dressed, spoke and acted. My brother used to rap as well and he never shut me out, so we formed like a rap duo and would perform for family and close friends. In primary school I used to steal his rhymes and rap it for the homies at school, which made me look very cool. All these events and more have come together to make me a loyal member of the hip hop culture.
When did that ‘I really want to do this music thing seriously’ moment hit you? Because people tend to do hip hop for the thrill of it, but for the selected few it becomes something bigger.
When I was 16 I decided to shoot my first music video. At first, the video was actually just for my own amusement and to show my friends. But then I decided, “Let me just send it to the different TV music channels,” and to my surprise one of them accepted the video and on one random day I caught it playing on TV. I immediately sent a BBM broadcast telling everyone to tune in to the channel while it was playing, and the next day I was a superstar at school [laughs]. That incident motivated me to get in the studio more often, and I slowly started realising that this is what makes me happy, and what would be better than living off my passion? It was like a sign from the universe, what some would call beginner’s luck.
You’ve come a long way with the music, from starting out with ‘Famous’ to that What Were You Doing At 19? project. Considering everything that has happened in your journey so far, the good, bad and ugly, what kind of artist would you say you’re finally emerging into?
I have definitely grown as an artist and I am still growing. I think most importantly, I am emerging into the artist I’ve always wanted to be. An artist with no limits to what he can do musically. If you listen to my mixtape, What Were You Doing At 19?, you can hear the confidence and the no fear in trying out different melodies and different ways of vocal delivery (such as singing) without compromising the bars and lyrics. When you listen to my previous work, such as ‘Ladies Is Pimps Too’, ‘U Know’ and ‘Famous’, you would think it’s a whole different person, so the experiences in the journey have definitely improved my artistry.
Anybody can start something, but it’s keeping up the momentum that truly makes one stand out. Where does Moz Kidd find his constant flow of musical inspiration?
Having the stamina to finish something I’ve started has always been a part of my character, therefore the moment I decided and felt that this music thing is it for me, I knew I was going to take it ‘there’. I’m inspired by life in general, and communicating my life experiences through art really makes me feel alive. Another influence I have on my music is that I am very big on travelling, so my parents would make sure that I would travel to a different country every year, so those experiences really made me ‘push the pen’. The whole travelling thing had to stop for now though, because I need the cash for studio time, sound engineers and to shoot videos, so right now it’s just life and the fear of being average that keeps me constantly sharpening and shaping the Moz Kidd brand in music.
We assume that you must’ve imagined SA hip hop would’ve given you the spotlight you deserve by now. I mean looking at your effort to impact the game and the massive support you’ve received from Mozambique, are there certain frustrations that you’ve experienced with regard to the culture’s reception of your artistry? If so, how have you managed to overlook them?
I sort of hold myself accountable for not having the spotlight right now and for the industry’s mild reception of Moz Kidd. I say this because when I was releasing singles three or four years ago, I would always want to make songs that I think the people want to hear, it was never about me. For example, I would listen to what song is currently popping in the scene and I would try to make something similar. Whereas in 2016, I decided to let me be myself and do the music I really want to do (and know how to do well), and man, I’ve never received as much recognition as I did in 2016, so it just shows that being yourself counts the most. I have been on so many ‘artists to look out for in 2017’ lists and I went from HYPE‘s ‘Come-Up Corner’ to the Freshman list, which is amazing. Also, where I’m from [Nelspruit, Mpumalanga], people hardly support their own, so that frustrated me a lot, but the move to Johannesburg has definitely helped me to overlook that situation. Oh and I have a connection in Mozambique who plugs in my work, so that definitely paid off, as I notice a lot of support from that side.
When we dropped the Freshman link, the people really voted for you and kept you part of the circle. How did the support make you feel and what do you honestly think of the selected? Real talk.
I was so shocked when I saw my name on the list. What happened was I saw an artist on my Twitter timeline tweet ‘Vote for me for the HYPE Freshman 2017’, so I clicked on the link and I was scrolling down to cast my vote for that person and I suddenly saw my name. I’m very thankful for the support the people showed me, especially because I had the most votes and I did not really campaign. I personally think HYPE did a great job with the selected 28 candidates. I am aware of most of them on the list, so that shows that SA hip hop is in a healthy state. Although I think in the same way HYPE did their research in picking the 28, I felt like they should have picked the final seven (even if I wasn’t in).
Word. Now to conclude, what overall impact does Moz Kidd want to have in SA hip hop as a whole?
I would love to contribute to the growth of SA hip hop and African hip hop to be more specific. I want to have a cultural impact on the whole of Africa, as I believe music and culture flow together. So many youngins in Africa want to embrace the culture of hip hop, but because their elders have different views on it, they settle for something else. So if I can put my fingerprints on the African hip hop game and have youngins say “but Mom, look, Moz Kidd did it” then I can die in peace. But look I’ll be honest, I just want to f*ck the game up!