EXCLUSIVE: We chat to US rapper Mac Miller at Superbalist is Rocking the Daisies

Mac Miller. (Photo: Wayne Reiche/Red Bull)
Mac Miller. (Photo: Wayne Reiche/Red Bull)

Cape Town – After quite a rough start to the first day at Superbalist is Rocking the Daisies, we got a very happy ending as we sat down with US rapper Mac Miller.

Mac Miller, aka 24-year-old Malcolm James McCormick, played his very first gig on SA soil on the Main Stage at Superbalist is Rocking the Daisies on Friday at 23:20, and as we braved the cold, this is what we chatted about:

Mac will also be headlining at Superbalist in the City at Emmarentia Dam on Sunday.

How was your first gig in SA?

Amazing! You know what’s so amazing is that the feeling of performing Dang! here was so crazy, because like it’s new and it travelled over here. I love the fact that they know the new stuff.

Did you expect the response that you got just now?

No, not at all. I was smiling the whole time while performing Dang!, because it was like them singing the words to that song was just… like I’m in this transitioning phase doing more music like that and hearing them receive it so well is amazing.

And when did you arrive in SA, what has the experience been like so far?

We’ve done all the tourist stuff I think, as much tourist stuff as possible. We got in yesterday (Thursday), yesterday was like a relaxing hotel day, and then we drove around and went up to, uhm, Signal Hill.

I'm really out here man. Music really brought me all the way to South Africa. Wow. This is beautiful.

A photo posted by Mac Miller (@larryfisherman) on

Awesome, it’s beautiful up there…

Yeah, it was amazing. And then we went to Camp, what is it?

Camps Bay.

Yes, then we went to Camps Bay.

It’s a very good spot, everyone always goes there, it’s a very good tourist spot.

Yeah, I wanted to hit all the touristy spots. Cape Town is beautiful. You know I wanted to spend more time here, like our original plan was to get here three days early, but I had to go do press.

Will you be staying on a bit longer, or are you heading back to the US straight after your shows?

Yeah, I have to leave right after, which sucks. It really sucks, but I wanna come back.

Will you be coming back?

For sure! 100%. It’s awesome here. It’s such a great vibe. Just very beautiful all round. We definitely ate at a very touristy spot too, what was this place called where we ate? Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay. There’s levels you know, you come you do the touristy shit first, and then I need like someone to like take me to the local spots.

Your new album, The Divine Feminine, dropped last month, and there’s quite a few collaborations on there, is there an artist that was your favourite to collaborate with on the album?

Uhm…probably, let me think… Probably the CeeLo collaboration was my favourite experience, just because I’ve always wanted to work with him forever. It was amazing to see him, like see his process, the process of someone of I’ve been a fan of for so long; someone who does like rapping and singing.

What was it like working with him?

I mean, a lot of conversation, which means a lot to me when you’re working with someone just to like hang out for like a couple of hours first before you even make music. You know, it makes the song better, because you guys know where your common interests are or whatever.

Do you have a favourite song on the album, or maybe a favourite to perform live?

Dang! is my favourite to perform live, just because that song is part of the reason that the record even got made. Like I was working on love songs, and I made that, and I was like, that’s something!

Where did the name for your album come from, what inspired it?

It’s just like looking for a divine, religious experience in love, you know. So it’s that comfort and that peace of mind, it’s that journey trying to find that peace of mind. Just like you would with some type of religion, but finding that in love.

Do you have any pre-rituals before going on stage, is there anything you always do?

I pray. Say a prayer before. I like take a second and calm down for a second and quiet my mind, but definitely pray.

You’ve worked with a lot of people, but is there anyone else you would still like to work with?

Erykah Badu and D’Angelo.

What inspires your writing and what inspired the new album?

Uhm, it’s a mix of like personal experience and then like fantasy, like when you draw from your life a lot sometimes, a lot of times I take from emotion, right, say something happened to me and this is the emotion it made me feel, I’ll take that emotion and then use it to write something that’s fantasy, you know what I mean? Like I’m not always sticking to exact things in my life that happened, rather like portraying the emotion that I’m feeling in some way, you know. And with this album it’s like a mix of like life experiences as well as desire.

And how do you go about writing, the lyrics first or the melody?

It depends, most times the music first, just mostly because it always guides what I say. I put together the music first because that usually sets the tone. Sometimes I’ll think of like a song idea beforehand, but most of times it’s music first.

What’s your favourite thing about performing at a festival like Superbalist is Rocking the Daisies?

Yeah, I love festivals like this. People just gather for music, you know. Some people are there to see me, and to see like other people, and it’s connecting everyone. And people are just here all day, you know they’re here for an experience. To be part of an experience, to be part of like festivals you remember forever, and just to be like part of that for someone is awesome.

What’s next for you, are you going back to the US?

Yeah, when I go back I start my US tour, which I’m really excited about, and then hopefully I’ll come back here.

*Channel24 is a proud media partner of Superbalist is Rocking the Daisies 2016.

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