Now many of you may not know of Möki Sage, but he’s a rising star in the South African music industry and you might want to learn the name. This singer, rapper and beat-boxer is the lead vocalist of the dynamic band KoldproduK (pronounced Cold Product). Their first music video “Hush” was dubbed ‘the best out of Africa for 2007’ by MTV Base, and since then they’ve collaborated with Zubz on “Full Moon Shining”, and the band Straatligkinders in the wildly popular song “Desvalido”. Recently they released “Round & Round We Go” with French artiste Greg Basso. Möki’s a one man army that works with a small but powerful team and as you might expect, the lyrics to his raps are not nearly as every-day as one might think… Oh no, Koldproduk is going to take the world by storm soon, but before he’s scheduled for take-off, let’s get into the mind of this talented performer…
Monique: Welcome to Killer Aphrodite and thank you very much for stopping by. As a musician I’m sure you don’t have a lot of time on your hands for just anything… How do you juggle everything?
Koldproduk: I’m an architect and an accredited Green Star Professional, so to make my schedule work I have to sacrifice some social time and accommodate my music career and everything else that I make an effort to pursue. You can’t only go to the gym for 7 hours on Sunday; instead squeeze in an hour every day.
Monique: I’ve listened to some of your music, my favourite is “Full Moon Shining”, which is clearly a song aimed at the government. Do you feel that music will help getting governments to listen to the people?
Koldproduk: I certainly hope so. The message on that song is delivered on behalf of the people, but it’s up to them as well to make sure that it ultimately reaches the government too, and the words get turned into actions.
Monique: I’ll be honest, I’ve only ever heard “Desvalido” until this weekend, but then I started to get curious about who you are. After some extensive Youtube searches I found some other songs you did and I was impressed to say the least. Do you feel that rap is a booming genre in South Africa, considering that Kwaito had always been the predominant genre in black communities?
Koldproduk: There is growing space for Hip hop, and many artistes deliver their raps in vernacular languages to an audience that has become accustomed to consuming other genres of music in their mother tongues, like kwaito. So over time, I’m sure we can expect more cross-over flavours of music that address those same listeners. Music has to evolve with what appeals to the market.
Monique: Who influenced your music the most?
Koldproduk: Having an open mind to many different ideas, sounds, and having a variety of talents in the sphere of music have all played a big role in my music. Exposure to mainstream music from all over the world helped form a holistic appreciation for different genres and artistes as well. As a child, I played drums for my older brother’s bedroom recordings, and ultimately I began to make my own, developing my musical skills long before I finally got the opportunity to share it through our independent label Uproot Records.
Monique: More often than not we are presented with a front in the music industry. Obviously there are more starving artists than not, but how do you feel about the current condition of music sales in South Africa and even the world?
Koldproduk: For longer than the past decade, the music industry has been trying to keep up and ascertain exactly how the present-day consumer of music actually consumes music. People hardly buy music the way they used to, and ever-changing technologies have made the accessibility of music easier and easier. It even influences the way in which artistes and record labels release it, because instead of recording whole albums, a single for the media in today’s market is sufficient. In order for artistes and professionals to be successful in this lucrative but unpredictable industry, we have to adapt quickly, and seek opportunities where there were non before.
Monique: Would you say illegal downloads is the biggest problem? If so, what would you do to regulate it?
Koldproduk: Technology is here to help us. Ten years ago, illegal downloads may have been a big problem for this industry. And even though piracy is still a problem now, in an age where artistes post up their own work for the public to download, there are other factors that negatively affect sales of music.
Monique: Music is an international language. In the end it doesn’t matter what language you sing in, if it’s catchy, you will sell… A good example of this is Rammstein. So, what inspired you to collaborate with Afrikaans bands?
Koldproduk: We were inspired to collaborate with all the artistes and producers that we’ve worked with mainly because of one thing: the fact that they were really cool individuals who also happened to make good music. Our work with Straatligkinders happened because we were friends on myspace.com/koldprodukproject In the end, our cross-over, high-energy war anthem “Desvalidos” was the first ever collaboration between SA Hip hop and Afrikaans rock, and it helped open us up into each others’ markets and worlds in a big way. And our recent love-hate break-up jingle with our friends Greg Basso and Greg Parys in France has been released in Canada, further stretching Koldproduk’s reach to new frontiers overseas. Music continues to prove its limitless power to us.
Monique: What type of music do you enjoy the most?
Koldproduk: Any music that has soul and makes you feel something deep down, or moves you to dance. I have a sensitive spot for Hispanic music, Hip hop, dance hall, funk and hypnotic, enchanting melodies and rhythms.
Monique: What can we expect from you in the future?
Koldproduk: Only more hot stuff, baby. “Prepare To Rise” is our latest album, with a bonus dvd of music videos and extra sht, and that’s available on www.itunes.com We’re also using www.koldproduk.com to sell our trademark Koldproduk hoodies as well as more new merchandise. Partnering with different brands makes some of these ambitions possible, and our latest deal will see the release of our forthcoming video “Set The Place On Fire” with Travelite. But our live show is our main outlet for music, and each performance is an opportunity for my band and I to showcase exactly what it is that moves us. Our next extravaganza’s at the world’s 3rd biggest festival this August: Oppikoppi. Expect a banging mix of pop-rock-electro-Hip hop flavours like only Koldproduk does!
Monique: Lastly, what tips can you give to aspiring young musicians?
Koldproduk: “We’ve got nasty new surprises on our roller-coaster ride; And we’re not gonna make it easy, so get back up on your grind!”