After he smashed us at FIFA, ZAlebs sat down to chat to one of SA's biggest rappers; Reason. Let's see what he had to say about Axecess Jozi, Stripped Down and quality control.
We’re on the ZAlebs couch with Reason. Welcome and how are you doing today?
I’m great, I can’t complain- And i’m the FIFA King now!
There was a lot of talk towards the end of last month about Stripped Down on Channel O.Were you surprised with the great reception it got?
I don’t know about ‘surprised’ because I try not to predict my rises or falls or anything like that. I guess I hoped- I was hoping it would do well. I watched the episode and said “I hope it looks as good as it did when we were recording. I hope people like it” and they did, which I’m grateful for because a lot can go wrong with something like that. It went quite well.
At a time when your music is doing so well and you’re making big strides in your musical career, does it fill you up with confidence that you can be so adventurous in television but still see a positive response coming back?
I think I am. A lot of times people think you have to go through a certain kind of pressure, you have to get some sort of approval. On my side my ventures have built up my confidence. I come from an era where the way I approach my music might not be accepted immediately but the success of my braveness is what keeps me confident, so what stops me from taking it to TV?
How much influence did you have in the actual set up of the stage that we saw while watching on TV.
Other than moving the props slightly to the props, I didn’t have much to do with the set!Callback Dreams were actually the guys behind the designing of the set and I have to say that they did a good job. A lot of people will just perform in a typical studio type setting, I liked that it was actually a set. I want that car that we used for the set though!
Bonus: Check out the ZAlebs Xbox Challenge with Reason below:
I liked the set, what I liked most though is that it fits in with the general quality of your visual productions. You always quality music videos; is that deliberate?
Quality control is a big thing for me and my team. Just this morning we’ve been going back and forth on the phone discussing the master of a freestyle. I mean, this is something that we’re giving out for free! There’s a serious level of quality control that I really dig, because that then turns into the quality that people feel they need to give you when you’re working with them.
There’s a lot of international artists who have come to South Africa in the last month. A notable one was Big Sean; you played at Axecess Jozi. How exciting are these events?
Big Sean was closing for us! They’re exciting though, Axecess was exciting because it became more than about just Big Sean, it became a festival, it became a musical experience. Yes, there’s an international artist coming through, but everyone there is on an international level anyways. Look at the likes of Teargas, the likes of Khuli Chana; we have our own international-caliber artists. These kinds of nights were very rare; now we’ve had two in a month.
I remember reading on Twitter that you have a live band when you perform. How does that go down?
I have … four types of shows.
1. When you play something like, I don’t know, a high school. It’s just the backing track and the mic, and then we’re done.
2. Sometimes I’ll play with a DJ.
3. There’s a set with me, a DJ and an MPC
4. and then there’s me with a live band, and that’s the one that we are taking to the Cape Town Jazz Festival.
It’s a great experience regardless of the type of set and I’m always determined to put on as good a show as possible!
ZAlebs appreciated the opportunity to chat to one of SA’s biggest rappers. At the time of recording we were able to get an exclusive listen to Reason’s January freestyle which you can listen to below.