Stiff Pap is a South African electronic music duo making a name for themselves locally. They have opened for international artists such as Slowthai and Vince Staples; they also headlined Boiler Room Johannesburg in 2019. Leading the way in an alternative music scene, they have managed to stay independent whilst staying true to their message of uncompromising self-expression.
The duo is made up of singer-songwriter Ayema Problem and multidisciplinary artist Jakinda. They recently released a new single titled Ngomso featuring Thunda Thighs star Moonchild Sanelly. We recently had a chat with them about the new song, their musical journey and their plans for the future.
For someone who doesn't know Stiff Pap, how would you describe your music and your sound?
It's a mixture of local and international sounds. We just mix our influences together to create something that's authentically South African.
How did you come up with thename 'Stiff Pap' and what does it mean to you guys?
We wanted to have a name every South African can relate to. Everyone knows what Stiff Pap is and that’s a manifestation of how big we will be one day. It also has a bit of our personality in it. To a lot of people it’s a weird name for a band and we’re pretty strange (sometimes).
How would you describe your musical journey so far?
It's been a rocky road, a lot of ups and downs but we're still moving. We’ve grown a lot and have achieved a lot of our dreams already. We’re just getting started though.
Can you tell us a bit about your new single Ngomso featuring Moonchild Sanelly?
It’s a groovy track dedicated to all the Groovists across the world. We wanted to have our own version of a summer song, something with our touch. Moonchild is a master of making great dance songs.
What inspired the song - and why are you only releasing it 3 years after making it?
What inspired the song was those occasions; going out with your friends and having to tell your parents you'll come back the next morning. We waited for 3 years so we could have all our ducks in a row. We knew we had a really special song and we wanted to make sure we released it the right way. Fortunately our music is timeless so it doesn’t matter when we release it.
What's the mood of the song - how do you want the listener to feel when listening to it?
It's a dance song, so whether you’re having drinks with friends or by yourself and you feel like grooving, put Ngomso on.
Would you say your sound has evolved from when you started out to now?
Definitely. We know who we are and we know who/what we represent. We’re always evolving as people so our sound has to evolve too.
As an independent musical duo - what are the top three tips you would offer to an independent artist trying to get heard?
Be consistent, work smart and exploit your resources.
What can we expect from Stiff Pap in the near future?
We’re currently working on a project called Tuff Times, it'll be out early next year.