The music scene in South Africa is something that’s been dominated by a traditional landscape for the longest time, but the movement known as the “new wave” has brought about musicians who, for years, have been spending time in their bedrooms producing music and creating their own sounds, filling the gaps for what they would like to hear from a sonic point of view. They’re not only evolving existing genres, but creating entirely new ones. You won’t necessarily hear these artists on the radio, but pretty soon, the shift from traditional media to digital media is going to change how we consume music for all time, and also define and challenge the types of sounds we look for in an artist. By then, the foundation would have been built by well known musicians who have built their career using the internet (think Zoocci Coke Dope, Dee Koala and globally, even Justin Bieber who broke out on YouTube), but also up-and-coming rappers such as our Weekend Turn Up feature Planet Fwesh. When talking to Planet Fwesh, a rapper from Pretoria, we wanted to understand the challenges independent and relatively unknown musicians face in South Africa.

When it comes to what influences his sound, Planet Fwesh reminds us that he has a privileged childhood, but what inspires his sound is his family, friends and losses: growing up, he’s lost a lot of close family members and friends and since, this has been the driving force behind his lyrics. He also looks to musicians for inspiration, Internationally, he is inspired by artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper and locally, he praises artist Zoocci Coke Dope as one of his biggest sources of inspiration, as well as artists PatricKxxLee, Shane Eagle, Nasty C and of course himself. 

His biggest challenge in the industry? Rejection. Even though this has been something he’s had to face, he encourages up-and-coming musicians to keep going – eventually, they will hear the word yes. Before we end off this feature – we’d like to remind ya’ll that his name is pronounced “Planet Fwesh” and not “Fresh” – as the rapper emphasizes in his interview. 

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