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#SOLQnA: @SeanPages Talks Loss, Bond With Family, Producing vs Rapping And More

Lets start with the artwork, legendary train in the background why was it important to have an image of who I assume is your mother and yourself as a baby? What does it symbolise cause you a pretty private person and maybe thats the most we'll get from your personal life?

The album is on a sentiment tone and seemed quite fitting to have my number one fan on the cover of my first album. This the person who always prayed that things go well for me, this the person that motivated to keep on going when things went Grimm, this the person that would recite my hooks on a daily, this the person that told me one day I'm gonna give a gift to the world, a gift from a boy who grew up in Alex, and it's a gift that'll come from the heart. To the world, from Alex, with love.

Opening track is Feels Like Forever why has it taken so long to release a full project?

This was a good 3yr journey for me, due to unforeseen circumstances I had to record the album 3 times, in 2013, just when I was done with the recording n mixing of the album and just had to take it in for mastering, my home got broken into and a lot of things including my pc and studio equipment were stolen.
I got back on my feet and rebuilt the studio and started recording again, but while I was half way with the project my computer got struck by lightning and was fried so I lost all my work again. I fell into a minute state of depression and took a months gap from music, but soon as I recorded "blind" with Towdeemac my passion was ignited again and started working on the album again.
So the first track "feels like forever" featuring Thiwe was just fitting coz it literally feels like I been at it forever.

When I got to the second joint Mzala I asked myself whether you cleared all the samples on the album and how long did that take?

That's another thing that caused the delay, I had a total of 26 tracks recorded for the album and the tracks that did not make it are the ones whose sample clearance requests got denied, this includes a song titled "if you were here" which I recorded with Blaklez. My publishing admin worked overtime to get those cleared, and some have a big piece of the pie taken in terms of rights which is understandable.

I'm a G is definately Gangsta but how important is it to reflect the reality of the hood you come from and at the same time balance your aspirations or ambitions regardless of where you from.

You can't say you're from this and that type of place by mouth but never saying anything about it on wax. The environment you came from is what built the type of character that is you and made you a 1 of 1, embrace that. That's the G way.

On Rocking With The Best you have Youngsta,One Way and Gingerbread with the many people you've produced for how easy it is to call up features and how do you choose who you work with cause with a studio you could choose anyone?

It's not easy as it sounds: some songs had a 3-4 month delay all because the artists I wanted to have on the song had a tight schedule.
And maintaining relationships is as important as building them. It's important relationships are handled with fragility because these are other brands that you're working with.
When making the album id listen to the song that require feature and imagine all kinds of voices on it and choose one that's sounds most fitting for the song and call up the artist and see if he/she is keen or not.

As a rapper what moves Sean Pages and as a producer what makes Sean say I'd like to work with that artist?

It's definitely life's experiences that move me and how I want to relate to the listener influences the craft. Same with being a producer, exposure plays a big part: it's hard to work with anyone when you have no idea of their sense of artistry or craft.
To me it's more about the artistry than the hype: I have a couple of upcoming talents on my album like One Way and Angie Santana: stumbled across her work on Instagram via a couple of insta vids she posted of herself singing cover songs and I fell in love with her voice and reached out to her to make the song "good thing"

Blind is one of the early singles and we hadnt heard much from Towdee Mac until then. What made you consider him when his been so out of the radar?

I've always wanted to work with Towdee, been a fan of him since the Morafe days and I for one personally feel that he is hella slept on and after hearing him on the khuli Chana "hape le hape" I knew I had to have him on one of my joints and started hunting for him, the rest is history. And at the end of the day, whether an artist is in or out the radar, great talent is great talent.

The song We Just Different shows your sensitive side and you also featured Denise Zimba. Is there a girl for the song or an imaginary girl?

It shows more of a firm than sensitive side, a side that assertive and stubborn regardless of any ridicule that'll get thrown at me coz it's a side that knows that "we're just different" and that is ok. We all don't have to follow the same path, template or manner. Even the song itself is hella different from what you usually hear.

Angry at God talks about how your father passed away while you were young. The female voiceover you have is really creative cause it leads the story of your verses regarding your father and grandmother's passing. So let me ask the question when are you getting grandkids?

Lol not anytime soon afraid. I'm married to Hiphop and her reproductive organ is built different.
This song has been resonating with a lot of people who've heard it, might be my story but a lot of people have gone through a similar instance and they just relate, sadly it does re open a few wounds but it assures them that they're not alone.

Angry At God is mad creative and emotional I mean how did you find the lady that narrates the song and how did her story resonate to you?

That lady is actually my sister Pearl Magubane. I remember calling her and telling her about the concept and right there I asked her to explain to me how she felt about those two incidents (losing our father and losing our grandmother) and I recorded the conversation.

Mistakes that will make you lose your dream is the theme of the track Slow Down. How many stories do you have of kids that made mistakes that could of made them lose their dreams. No need to mention them but how many?

Ey man, a lot..... The song is about a youngen who aspires to be a rapper, finally gets in the game and loses it all due to substance and alcohol abuse.

I felt that it's important to tell such a story coz I've seen way too many talented artists (some of them my friends) lose it all due to drug addiction. And the proximity of making irreversible mistakes magnifies. Some are even in jail because of that, some have died, some have killed by mistake etc
So slow is dedicated to those and I also made it in hopes to create awareness amongst my peers and upcoming artists.

Show Me A Smile is with TeePee what happened to your collaborative album. Did that ever happen?

I got the master disc waiting on me.
Me and teepee had to put the train on ice due to not meeting mutual ground with his team and label. So in the meantime we decided to work on our projects and come back to it when discussions allow us to.

Good Thing samples the the Mary J Blige chorus and keys you also have Kanje which I think is a Boom Shaka sample. Your production is inspired by 90's music what are your thoughts on the new turn up sound?

My album a good blend of hip-hop sub-genres. From the boom bap sound on "mr producer" to a housish/kwaito groove on mzala n blind to the epic African sound on "we just different" And the trap sound on "I'm a G"
Hiphop has and will always evolve and its your choice to either resist, chase or balance your adaption to the ongoing evolution.
I always welcome new sounds as a producer cause learning helps with my artistic growth.

You have a strong bond with the Cap City cats they on a couple of the tracks how did that Alex and Pretoria relationship build.

A lot of my friendship are built on brotherhood and it's weird how some friendships happen: one minute you like homeys rapping style, next minute y'all on a track together, next y'all chilling, next y'all telling each other's problems, next you know, y'all have been in each other's lives for years.

The Mr Producer joint made me wonder does Sean think his a better rapper or producer?

I'm a dope rapper producer. One simply can't exist without the other. You don't hear John Lennon saying he's a better guitarist or singer, those comparing seize to exist when you start seeing when your main concern is about having a beautiful song as an end result.

Do you think the production was really your gateway in the game?

One could say that, we were on a standstill with our music coz we couldn't get any beats and that changed soon as I decided to get into beats and people started hearing about us and request for beats started coming in. So yeah production was definitely my gateway into game and it's the best decision I ever made.