Skrypt shares his story

A Word Smith in a league of his own

05 April 2019 | Art and Entertainment

In a music economy that is saturated with songs that glorify the party lifestyle and material things, Skrypt has decided to follow another path, that of positively enlightening people through music.

Narrating his upbringing to tjil, Skrypt said he grew up in three different countries; Namibia, South Africa and Austria. He mentioned Big Ben, King Tee Dee and Gazza as some of the musicians who influenced his musical ear growing up. “In South Africa I was a big Zola 7 fan, as well as Flabba. I'd listen to a lot of Proverb and Mandoza. When I got to Europe, J. Cole had dropped his first project and I listened to him and T.I. a whole lot. So Skrypt is the artist created when you merge everybody into one,” he said.

Despite being a rapper, Skrypt maintains that he does not believe in being confined to one specific sound. For him, it is more the content and the way it's delivered that stands out. “But for the sake of the question, I'd describe my sound as soulful.”

One of the outstanding elements about him as a musician is his impressive style of writing and overall wordplay, something that he thinks is innate. He shared that he has always had an inclination towards literature. “Throughout school it would be the subject I excelled at,” said Skrypt, adding that the older he grew the more he studied the art of rap and the better he became.

However he noted that ultimately it's down to his 10 000 hours. “More like 500 000 for me. Ask KP Illest and Lioness, I write a lot,” he said. He revealed that he has not gone a day without writing in years. “I make sure I work on my craft. I'm currently sitting on 671 verses – which will go into the archives,” he added.

He released a project in 2013 called Daydream. It was his first six songs he recorded and put out. He said he was signed to a Spain-based label (22 Entertainment) while he was working on Daydream. “We dissolved my contract and I came back to Namibia to release it.” He mentioned that he was disappointed with the lack of attention it got and decided to remove it off of the internet. “But the fans that have it are my real fans. I don't even have a copy of it myself. Find a die-hard Skrypt fan if you want to listen to it,” he said.

His second body of work was released in May last year in a form of an EP and he called it for For the Wait. He shared that he had written and recorded about 20 songs which he decided to delete. “Most of them were pure gems, but I wanted to start fresh. Most people listen to For the Wait and assume there was a great big plan in how the songs were recorded but it was all random, to be honest,” he shared.

“From November 2017 I had worked on individual songs and once I had the first three I decided to make a project out of it. No direction, just putting thoughts down. I woke up, set a date and recorded six of the remaining songs a month before the project was released.” He stated that he does feel that the EP will age like wine, there's a lot that flew over the public's heads, but he believes they will come around. “I edited the cover art the night before its release because I wasn't happy with what I had. That summed up the tape,” said Skypt about For the Wait.

Recently the rapper has been teasing working on an EP on his social media platforms. He told tjil that making such statements on public platforms is what pushes him to start working on an actual project. “It's in the universe, I can't take it back. So yes, I'm officially working on an EP,” he confirmed. Musically, Skrypt said he wants to stretch his versatility. “I've given you bars and flow and now it's time for the full package. This one will be much more melodic,” he promised.

Making another announcement, the rapper said he was sceptical about releasing videos for the EP because it's almost been a year, but he'll bring us visuals from it. “There's one special visual that's coming on 25 May – the one-year anniversary of For the Wait. Ndjiraera, I Got It and Clinical Bars will also be out before May, hopefully,” he said.

Summing up our conversation, the rapper gave his view on the current state of Namibian hip-hop and said: “It is alive again yet dying at the same time. The bar is high, it's up to hip-hop artists to reach for it or fall back. There is no more mediocrity.”

MICHAEL KAYUNDE