This week ZAlebs kicks off with a wonderful Q & A with one of South Africa's favorite rappers, Pro. Formerly known as Pro-Kid, the hip-hop star tells us of the inspiration behind his sound as well as his secret to success.
Good Morning Pro and welcome to ZAlebs. You’ve done a lot in your career so far, please describe your journey to becoming a Pro (Excuse the pun!) in hip-hop?
Wow! Well I wouldn’t say I’m a pro yet! My success? It’s done to a combination of basic principle, being passionate, having commitment, being consistent, work hard and grabbing all the opportunities I can get!
While growing up, were you always a fan of hip-hop?
Yes, I grew up being a radio and television fan. I used to collect tapes and listen to a variety of artists. Hip-hop really caught my eye though and I loved that it was different; it wasn’t just music it was a medium of art that allowed you to express yourself in more than one way.
When you look at local hip-hop, do you think that there is still passion or do you think it’s only about fame for most artists?
Well I believe it’s all about hard work because some people are introduced to the game and don’t make it. They are focusing more on a lot of negative aspects. I won’t say they don’t have passion, but sometimes they don’t have the maturity that you need to make it in the game. There will obviously be mistakes made that you learn and recover from, it really depends on the individuals to determine what they want, and to do everything to get it.
Your style of hip hop has been very well received and won you a lot of fans. It feels like a blend between hip-hop and kwaito. Is this what sets you apart from other rappers?
I’d say I love music as a whole, I don’t believe that I’m molded in one structure. I was in a situation where I was just trying to increase the number of hip-hop followers I had, because at the time it wasn’t so big in the townships. So I used my passion for music as a whole and turned it into an exciting the sound you hear today.
Red Button is another rapper who is managing to infuse his Kasi Lingo into his music. Are there any other up and coming artists that we could look out for?
There are quite a lot, hey! A lot of artists are developing so it would take the whole day for me to name them all.
There have been rumors that you might be working with the likes of Bow Wow? Can you please confirm that?
No it won’t be happening, I’m happy being eKasi for now.
We’ve seen that you were named the new ambassador of Fish Eagle. How did the opportunity come about and how did it feel when you were named the ambassador?
It was actually quite tough! It’s tougher than people think to endorse an alcoholic beverage, but at the same time I saw it as a fantastic opportunity. It really showed that brands are interested in investing in rap artists.
Which of your albums has been your favorite?
It would probably have to be my first album
And right now, what are you working on?
I’m currently working on Red Buttons’ album, but we’re almost done with that. It’s going to be something to look forward to!
How long does it take you to write a song?
I actually can’t say! It can take a week, it can take a day, sometimes I’m just jotting down ideas. It really varies!
Zalebs would like to thank Pro for taking the time to chat with us; we wish him all the best in the production of Red Buttons’ album!