They say the truth will set you free. In this case the truth for Fonzo is that he should speak his truth more often because when he does you will start to understand a few things. The first thing I learned is that Fonzo understands how hard it is to make it as a Cape Town Emcee but he is not letting that pull him down. Secondly, Lord knows where Fonzo would be right now if him and AKA were cool. Yeah that's one of the truths that Fonzo chops up in this Online QNA.
Sit back and enjoy this QNA I had with Fonzo. Hopefully this truth will set him free.
Peep the Online QNA after the jump
Hi FonZo. How was your day?
Greetings Skinny, all is well. Sincerely hope the same for you good folk?
Who is FonZo, to those who don't know you?
Simply put, FonZo is a 22 year old Hip-Hop musician from Port Elizabeth, South Africa and now living in Cape Town. Any other information whether it be personal facts or even how much sugar I like in my tea can be found in the music.
So let's get into this rap thing for a minute. What's the one thing that makes FonZo different from so many other rappers out there?
Consistency and versatility. I feel I’ve been more consistent than most of my peers since my first release and also versatile.
Would you agree in terms of skill you right up there, as in the most slept on?
I agree wholeheartedly. Regarding being slept on I guess time gon’ tell...
Do you think being a rapper from Cape Town is harder? I want to understand if where you come from matters?
Skinny, I feel in terms of getting your product to the broader South African market, it is considerably harder in the Cape. I love it here but the infrastructure available to artists to broadcast and touch the whole country with our material, is more inferior when compared to the entertainment hub that is Gauteng. This is evident in the number of artists who love it here too, but are left with no choice but to leave the Cape in pursuit of better coverage with their work, which some have found in the most obvious location - up North. I for one hope this trend changes and that we’re able to come together as a country displaying the various talents from each corner of the land and compete globally rather than competing to get into Gauteng. All in due time though.
What's the state of Cape Town Hip-Hop at the moment? Where do you find yourself?
In my eyes Cape Town Hip-Hop is a growing movement to put it best. We have many talented dudes out here doing their thing, but in the same breath I feel I’m not exposed as much as most of the talent within my own city which is worrying. I learn about a new dope musician every other week who’s been at it for a while which shocks me because if I barely know about them, how can the country know? So I feel support should definitely be upped but it’s on us (the artists) to put out work worthy of the support. Last thing I’d ask for is unwarranted support. The people know though. In terms of where I find myself within the movement I feel I’m definitely somewhere near the forefront strictly off the strength of the consistent output of material. That’s obviously a relative statement but hey this is my interview and that’s my take on it.
People don't know that you doing music full time now? Can you tell us what made you do this?
Time. Time made me do it. I would never knock anyone on their academic grind but when you find a love for something, I personally feel you should use the little time you have on this planet to pursue that. That might sound cliché, but I firmly stand behind it. For some that love means grinding for years and getting rewarded with a Doctorate. For others, it’s a completely different thing. For me it’s music - and being able to make music every day of my life has been very rewarding indeed. Within the AKMG crew I’ve been learning so many new things about the whole production process and I’ve been pushing myself creatively which I feel will be very evident in the new material. All love to the squad.
What did your parents say?
They said some things that I wouldn’t dare share in this out of respect to them not fear of what folk would think reading it - but all in all, they’re pretty happy to see me doing what I genuinely love doing.
So it's rap ‘til the wheels off right now?
Nah not at all. That was "2012 - 2015 FonZo". I feel I’ve proven to most of the folk who have taken the time to listen to my material that I can definitely rap. Right now it’s about making records and songs. Whether they be hit records or timeless records that is the focus: quality music.
Another thing that I know about and you going to probably hate me for asking this but you had an AKA co-sign long ago. Can you explain what happened between you x AKA
Keeping it as brief as I can, I won a mentorship with AKA in 2012, in an inter-varsity competition founded by Student Village and Blackberry - he personally chose me as the winner, out of 20 or so acts, and I ended up being UWC’s representative in the competition. It was a year-long mentorship. During the course of this mentorship, AKA dropped a song called “Jealousy”. After recognising the Martin Solveig sample, I created my own remix in about 3 hours and dropped that in the same week that he released it. The way my 18 year-old self saw it was that it was benefitting the SA Hip-Hop movement as a whole, and a chess move for myself to get my name out there. Obviously I thought it was a good look because instead of remixing an international song I chose a local one. He didn’t see it that way and wasn’t too happy about the remix citing that I was taking away from his product. I felt different voiced my thoughts about it and needless to say the rest of the mentorship wasn’t all dandelions and daffodils. All in all it was an ‘agree to disagree’ thing nothing too major. Well to me at least. I didn’t end up winning but in the same breath I feel the winner didn’t even really benefit from it at all anyway so it’s cool. I did however treasure the gems learnt from his then manager Tibz, through a few group discussions throughout the program.
If he reached out would you make music together?
For sure my disagreement was never that he’s product was sub-par or whack or anything like that. We just shared a different view on a particular matter as many humans do. So yeah, I would.
Let's talk music. Can you explain what FonZo’s ‘Truth’ is all about? What truth are you trying to voice out?
I’m voicing out that we are working harder and smarter than ever before. I’m voicing out that I’m well aware that there are many folk out here making music too but whether their product will be appreciated and played years from now - only time gon’ tell.
How does AKMG feature in your plans for the future?
AKMG is my plan for the future.
Do you feel owning something that's yours is important as a rapper, like AKMG?
Nah. I own my word and my balls in this life and I’ma die with them both - that’s it. AKMG is a collective of like-minded folk, who believe that: "Art is life, and that Knowledge is power. We know that money is for now and that glory is forever" - thats a direct quote from founding member KG, who started the movement alongside the brainchild Ayanda Mgoduka. If you haven’t figured it out from the above-mentioned quote, AKMG stands for: Art, Knowledge, Money and Glory. Artistically we consist of 3 acts: FonZo, and Katt Daddy who is a fellow rapper - a pretty damn dope one, might I add, as well as an R&B/Space Funk artist: Babyface Johnson, who you’ll learn about soon. The production/writing/verse-dropping/dope-hook making mastermind is KG, Ayanda takes care of management which includes any and everything AKMG related, our UK connect Fred Clifton handles the mixing process of all our material, and lastly Eldon Quirk gives it that last bit of spark as our mastering engineer. While not an official member as yet, I still work very closely with my life-long right hand musical man, Euden “Eudy” Oliphant. In closing this off, I have to say - I wouldn’t want to be making music any other way.
Can we expect an album anytime soon?
You can expect Volume II of my AKMG EP series soon. The album a little later on. If you haven’t go listen to Volume I here: www.soundcloud.com/akmglife
Lastly is there an exclusive you want to share with Onlifers?
Yes, every member of the AKMG team will be working on projects this year. I can confirm that I will be dropping. Another exclusive is that AKMG is the truth. A lot of folk might read this and not understand the details of what I mean by that right now but as I said time gon’ tell us the truth.
Thank You for doing this interview Fomzo. We appreciate it
*No doubt Skinny. Keep pushing this culture bro and appreciate the work SlikourOnlife is doing for SA Hip Hop *