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FINDING REASON

Posted by radio On December - 19 - 2012

Picture taken from chekadigital.co.za

[By Chloe Smith]

 REASON is a relatively new name in the South African Hip Hop scene. His debut album, Audio 3D, was released in June this year to an enthusiastic local fan-base. The first single, Do It Like I Can, quickly became popular and saw a decent amount of air-time all over the country. Radiobiz caught up with REASON as the debut screening of the video for A LOT ON MY MIND, his latest single.

 So how did you get into the music industry?

Proverb got me in. I played him my music, asked him what he thought of it, he gave me a review and introduced me to a couple of his music-industry friends. And the rest is history.

 Your single “Do It Like I Can” won an award at the South African Hip Hop Awards. How did that feel?

That was quite cool. That was a real honour, truly because I’ve seen the song grow from where it was this time last year. More so because it was recorded three times! The song has grown and come alive and I’ve seen it performed. People look at me funny when I’m performing it with people jumping and screaming. So I’m really excited about that.

 Was not being able to collect your first award as a musician difficult for you?

I think it was a nice story. I kind of felt that it was cool to have somebody go up on stage and say that Reason couldn’t come and accept his award because he’s shooting a video.

 His decision to host the screening of his latest video, A Lot On My Mind, in Newtown was a bold move. Most artists opt for the glamorous, high-end venues, especially when they’re new to the scene and want to make a name for themselves quickly. REASON is just as ambitious as the rest of them but I think that he understands his scene and the people that make up the Hip Hop scene better.

 What was the background behind “A Lot On My Mind”?

There was a lot on my mind at that time in my life. I was broke, my girlfriend wasn’t working, my grandmother was sick so I was going out to drink to forget about it. I was just in that weird space. I also had an album coming out so it was quite an awkward time. So that’s what the song was about – that period in life. But I think for the most part, we put it out as second single because we realised how much people could relate to the song. Everybody’s got a lot on their minds. So that’s why we put it out as the second single. Apart from the fact that it’s a banging song.

 One could say that choosing Kitcheners as the venue communicated an older, more seasoned glamour and style and that by choosing to screen the video there, REASON was linking the underground side of Hip Hop to his single. A bold and clever move – unlike glamorous screenings, no one had any qualms about raising their glasses in the air and grooving the minute A Lot On My Mind came on.

 What was the filming process like for the “A Lot On My Mind” music video?

That was really cool. We were working with Justin from Gorilla Films. He knew what he wanted to shoot; pretty much had all the pictures in his mind. It was a night shoot over two nights and then we banged it out. I didn’t even receive my award because we were shooting.

 Sponsored by Millers, the screening was a definite success, with the crowd jammed into the small space in front of the screens. A sense of camaraderie seemed to fill the comfortable space, as if everyone there knew that you were a lover of Hip Hop, which made you a friend. The beer was cold, the music was loud and the vibe was pumping. Camera flashes illuminated the faces and the old-fashioned wallpaper, chandeliers glinted in the ceilings and somehow everyone seemed to be living only in that moment, as if reality was more real then and the only time was the present. REASON himself milled with the crowd, greeting people and holding conversations in a very relaxed manner. His down-to-earth approach to the night ensured that everyone somehow felt personally connected to him through the event.

 Do you feel that the South African Hip Hop industry is becoming too Americanised?

I think it’s not necessarily Americanised – I think it’s popularised. People are getting to understand the relevance of making music that is actually popular to people. But I think for the most part, it’s really impressive that everybody has their own integrity and they push their own agendas and they push their own perceptions, as opposed to those of the Americans. But trends are trends. There will always be baggy jeans, there will always be American accents and there will always be grills and stuff like that. I think for the most part, when it comes down to the music, as popularised as it may sound, it really is authentic, it really is South African.

Plans for the future?

Music, music, more music. Tours, videos, collaborations, more music, tours, videos, collaborations – just bigger and bigger.

 If you could tour any country in the world, which country would you visit?

I always used to want to go to Jamaica but it seems like everybody is going to Jamaica now. So for now, I’ll say Nigeria.

Why Nigeria?

Because of the stories that I hear, I want to see if it really is that terrible…. but also to get an understanding of their industry. As a musician, we all know that they have one of the strongest and most independent industries in the African continent and it influences us as much as it influences overseas. I think it would be, on a music level, to study how they get to that level where these guys are finding America and they’re opening up Def Jams in Africa. Just to understand how to make things go that big.

 Despite a few technical glitches, the crowd walked away satisfied. REASON even announced that he would play the video twice, because he felt like it and nobody complained. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of REASON, more of his music and definitely more of his videos.

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