Big time: Local hip-hop group land spot on MTV Base Africa

2013-04-13 00:00

THIS month will see the international debut of Pietermaritzburg hip-hop trio, Badmood.

The group’s locally produced music video has landed a spot on MTV Base Africa in April. With a viewership of 48,5 million across 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, MTV Base Africa airtime grants unprecedented exposure to the fledgling rappers.

Nangipha “Fzilla” Mnandi (21), Senzo “Matic” Makhaye (22) and Sbongiseni “Blayzito” Ndlela (22) met in high school in Pietermaritzburg. United by their love of hip-hop, they formed a “clique” under the name Badmood in 2009.

“Blayzito came up with the name Badmood. I wasn’t sure, but at the time he was adamant,” said Mnandi.

“In high school when you do music you feel like a misfit, a moody teenager. We kept the name and now it’s evolved into something more meaningful. Everybody has a past, and music takes that past — that frustration — and puts creative energy into it to make something positive.”

The video, for their single Kasisho (which means “definitely”) was filmed by Priceless Media with Imbali-based videographer “Slowman”.

But production was not their biggest challenge. “To get the video aired — that’s hustling. You have to just try to connect with people. So we pitched up in Randburg at the MTV Base offices and waited around to show them the video,” said Mnandi.

The three made the trip on their savings and MTV Base management liked their work.

“They said ‘this is tight’, and we got a spot this month!” said Ndlela.

“Now it’s a waiting game, man,” said Mnandi.

“But if we make it, we’ll put little PMB on the map! Representing for the people out here,” he added, whistling through his teeth.

Studying at UKZN by day and performing sets around the city and Imbali by night, the trio are impatient to make hip-hop their day job.

Said Mnandi, a final-year philosophy student: “It’s hard to be the new act. We are playing the single game — dropping one song and seeing if it takes. Producing costs money so we need to know that people want [our] music so it can pay for itself.”

They hope the video of Kashiso, a “clubby” track with hybrid Zulu-English lyrics, will build demand and deliver.

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