Where there is water there is opportunity; for growth, for health, for inspiration, and perhaps that is why Kandy Koated Music has evolved into the musical entity they are today. In 2011, Cye, DJ Kaymo, Espiquet, Hopemasta, and Zizithebig came together as friends and lovers of entertainment to form KKM. Musical inclination is the name of the game, considering how all of them share their own very particular relationship to music and the business thereof.
For those living outside of The Vaal, Kandy Koated Music has been quietly moving and shaking the entertainment industry of the region. They have been hosting events such as Kandy Koated Sunday and Welcome To The Traphouse, two hip-hop oriented events in the area. Outside of putting an entertainment space together, every member's skill compliments the next.
Asking an artist to be totally knowledgeable and have the capacity to manage their own careers can be unreasonable. For this reason, having someone around who can focus on the business of music is valuable, particularly because this is often the part that gets many artists into hot water. When asked how their respective callings to music came about, Zizithebig offered an alternative response by saying that working in the music industry is more of a challenge than a calling where artist management and events coordination are concerned. "I've always been the type of person to have the initiative to manage a certain situation in the best kind of way...Kandy Koated Music was more of a challenge that I took upon myself," he explains. With a self-satisfied tone, he pleasantly shared that their work has been prosperous to date.
From a musical perspective, Kaymo, Hopemasta, Cye and Espiquet all have different reasons for pursuing careers in music. For Hopemasta, music is in production, first and foremost. Kaymo understood Hopemasta's talents as a producer and introduced him to Espiquet. It was after this that Hopemasta officially joined KKM. In fact, you may recognize him and Espiquet's credits on "The Come Up," Kaymo's latest single; a testament to their spirit of collaboration. 'Musical' and 'media active' are the words Hopemasta uses to describe his family. Listening to his brother's recording sessions is what brought him closer to hip-hop and thankfully in the end, closer to KKM. In his time as a music maker, he's amassed accolades and industry respect, particularly for his work on Reason's "No Sleep."
Espiquet, on the other hand, is more comfortable on the mic than behind it. His deep and big voice demands attention, on top of the fact that the man can push his pen. Music playing in the home is what he attributes to his tendency towards creating music. When asked, he kept his response simple, "I just knew." While it seems short and clipped, this is the kind of self-assured confidence that listeners can hear in his music; like on "Kapeesh," for instance.
It was through Espiquet's collaboration with Cye where another KKM connection was made. Back when Lil' Wayne and Drake were some of the hottest acts out, Cye took his cues around writing and production from these two greats. After moving to different locations around SA, Cye eventually settled in The Vaal. The production bug caught him in 2015, however. While he had some comfort with instruments like the piano, it was in 2015 when he sought to find different avenues of production. "This thing is actually bigger than me," Cye says about how people engage with his music. It's for this reason that being a musician was the only thing that made sense to do with his life.
"Music is like an escape for me," DJ Kaymo follows up. From the first laptop he ever had, he's never considered a different line of work. The guys all shared a chuckle when they tried to think back to a time when Kaymo wasn't at a gig, only to find that he has been booked and busy for years. "We now make the music that we wanna make. We make music for ourselves. I never thought we'd be able to make music and perform it to people," Kaymo goes on.
The spirit of Kandy Koated Music is in their collaboration and sense of brotherhood, the desire to entertain and make people happy. While all of them have different personal milestones, Cye added that Espiquet's Sway Cypher moment was a win for all them in a way. If you were to imagine Kandy Koated as a family, you'd believe that one member's success is everyone's success too. It is for this reason that Cye's emphasizing Espiquet's moment to shine only further put the ideology of Kandy Koated Music into perspective.
A group of brothers. Bound by music and not by blood. With a dream and the drive. To change, to impact others...That's Kandy Koated Music. That's a name to remember.