The South African music scene is a competitive space and only those who have the unique blend of talent, vision and a never say die attitude make the cut. We caught up with Raheem Kemet, the mastermind behind the tracks The Fire, Never Late and September to find out what it takes to step into the Mzansi music big leagues.
1. Raheem, thanks for being our iKasi Original this month! Can you tell our Champion readers a bit about yourself?
Born Abdul Raheem Abdul-Rasheed, artistically known as Raheem Kemet. I am a son to my mother and a father to my son, husband to my wife, a voice to my community and an artist at heart. I am a person who finds solace in creation and expression, amidst this unpredictable world we live in.
2. We know that you’re a musician. We know that you’re dropped some seriously dope tracks in the last couple of years, but we’re sure there’s much more to it. In your words, what do you do?
I am a wordsmith who rests on the ethos that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. An emcee/vocalist trying to make sense of it all.
3. The music scene is SO competitive. It’s not an easy road. Why did you choose to pursue music?
For one, to me; music is a sense of therapy and on the other hand, words spoken into existence live. I want to add to the creative pot, paying homage to the artists who have come before and in turn create pieces which will inspire those who have yet to come. I do this because I am a stern believer in using our gifts to better our livelihood and if I didn’t use my gift I wouldn’t be true to myself in silence.
4. Preach, brother! It sounds like you have an deep intrinsic desire to create. Tell us, what motivates you? What keeps you going?
My aim is to excel at what I’m best at in order for me to be in a position where I am capable to give the best to my family. What motivates me the most is attaining a sustainable future for my legacies. Everyone deserves a good start.
The continuous transformation of hip-hop motivates me to create music that captures my true identity and depicts a timeless story which solidifies the footprint of my Makua/Zulu people.
5. It can’t have been easy getting to where you are today. What challenges have you faced along the way?
The breakthrough of an artist in to the mainstream is a very challenging feat, although the obstacles which arise are not tackled alone. With the help of my A&R team at Sony Music Africa and my management, All Art Africa, the obstacles eventually become stepping stones to greater things.
Ideally I would like to tour the world, representing Mzansi and sharing the culture of my people. Awards, accolades and international recognition in the form of collaborative works with the greats would certainly fill me with a sense of achievement, but developing my community and investing in young talents that show promise would be the highest form of gratitude for my gift.
I want to be the Banksy of hip-hop. My goal is to be a virtuoso in my realm of creativity, to a point where I’m celebrated by other virtuosos within their mediums creation. But for now, my immediate goal is completing the remaining records for my EP.
Get a sneak peek to what’s coming next for Raheem Kemet here:https://bitlylink.com/gG5w8
- Stay in your lane.
- Be confident in who you are. Your story is unique.
- Never get comfortable.
- Embrace the obstacles as they develop character.
- Follow your gut and own your decisions whether right or wrong, because there is no such thing as failure.
8. Raheem, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thanks for sharing your story with us. We just have one more question: What is an iKasi Original to you?
A person who does not forget where they come from; the defiant ones. One who maintains the same tenacity & character whether they’re in a boardroom with the executives or with olova ekasi. One who organically leaves a piece of themselves everywhere they go.
If you’re feeling the Raheem Kemet vibe, link up with him on social media.
You can also watch more videos at Raheem’s YouTube channel: https://bitlylink.com/3tO6O