Cape Town-based rapper Kita Keetz has been making moves this year. The hardworking Rude World Records signee dropped a slew of killer singles and videos, collaborated far and wide and also resurrected his rap crew, Part Phunk, with long-time friend and collaborator Tahir Khan. Together they are set to drop their debut album in early 2015. We catch up with Keetz to get the lowdown on the project and find out about his takeover plans for next year.
Q: You seemingly came out of nowhere and then dropped a bunch of dope singles and videos already signed to Rude World Records. Could you tell us a bit about your background in the rap game and your original crew, Part Phunk?
A: Well, originally we ( Part Phunk) were a drum n bass/dubstep DJ duo. At some point in 2010, I think, we ended up trying to spit bars for shits and giggles, and realized that we got more fulfillment from rapping than behind the decks. I then pretty much spent the better part of the next two years developing the skills and trying to make sure that I can make music that I can be proud of. I spent a lot of time just going to events and observing. Hip Hop was the first genre of music I ever really listened to so I guess it was only right that I would end up going full circle and ending up back in it.
Q: Part Phunk is back together and there is an album on the way. Could you tell us more about it?
A: Firstly, Part Phunk never separated. We have been silently putting the pieces together behind the scenes. The dynamic of being all grown up and having to manage real life meant that we had to work on music less regularly but more intensely. The album is still in infant stages and we don’t want to rush anything. I don’t think at this point in the SA hip hop industry any rapper, or rap crew, can afford to put out a sub-par body of work. We are working on another Part Phunk project that will drop probably early 2015, most probably an EP of about 8-10 songs of which “Faded” featuring Ameen Harron will most likely be one. The response to “Faded” so far has been awesome. Not a single bad review so far, so that’s always a blessing.
Hopefully once the video is released its impact will exponentially increase and give us a chance to get our music to the masses of people who have never heard of us before.
Q: Do you find you have a different approach when working in a crew as opposed to your solo work?
A: I think when we work as a crew things tend to be a little more planned out, as opposed to when I work alone it’s usually a spur of the moment, run to studio and lay this shit down quick type of thing. Generally I think my sound is pretty similar to our crew sound with the exception that when we rap as a crew I think there is a vibe that is hard to replicate when you are in studio alone.
Q: Your debut on Rude World, the ‘Call Me Keetz EP’ was released for free download. How do you manage to put out free music while making a living off rap?
A: Performances, odds jobs, smart saving and I’ve also been a qualified photographer for a couple years now, so I do that too. It’s always good to have a plan B and C. Cohabitation also helps.
The EP has a dope list of features. It can’t hurt having some of the best up-and-comers in various genres as label mates. Collabs are always an amazing thing. Sometimes just being in studio with a whole bunch of artists reminds you why you love what you do. It also gives you a chance to sit back and learn from your peers. I think the session that we recorded “Next On” was like the most fun I’ve had making music in a long time. The cats on the come-up in CPT are also bringing top quality constantly and I think it wont be long before the mainstream starts to realize the work these guys put in. Shout out to Youngsta, E-Jay, Tahir Khan, Ben Caesar, Copa, Jerain, Ruby, Black Vulcanite, Ill Skillz, Camo, Boolz and every other come-up kid in CPT. Its just a matter of time.
Q: Other than rapping do you have any other musical talents we should know of?
A: Yeah, I actually started producing just over a year ago and I’m finally getting to a point where about 60 percent of my music I make completely myself. I also used to sing and play keys, but I wouldn’t say I’m a singer or a pianist. They serve as helpful skills when it comes to song creation though.
Q: How would you describe your sound ultimately?
A: I would probably describe it as mildly alternative hip hop. At times there are noticeable influences from the EDM genre and at other times it loosely resembles “JazzHop”. Yes, I just made up a genre there. Also, I think my music is an ever evolving thing and to try and put it all under a single title would be foolish and naïve.
Q: You’ve gained a large fan base in Cape Town where you’re based. Has your music made traction in other parts of the country as well?
A: Well, I lived up in Gauteng for a large chunk of my life so I think a lot of those connections I made back in the day are mainly where my music is circulating from outside of CPT. But I definitely have a countrywide takeover plan in the works so you are welcome to ask me this question again a year from now.
Q: If not rapping for a living, what else would you be doing?
A: I would probably a product tester for Southern Comfort. That would be dope as hell. Or a Ferrari test driver. That’s a pretty sweet gig. Couldn’t do them both, though. Pity.
Published on Axecess here.