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Exclusive Interview With Selwyn


14 December 2004 No Comment

Selwyn dropped his album “Formula” on Gallo Records this year. In this interview he talks about how the deal came about and his current relationship with them…

What’s up how you doing these days?

I’m doin’!  You know a lot has happened since the album dropped…

Your new album “Formula” is out on Gallo Records. Can you tell us how you signed to Gallo and what are the details of this agreement?

Well they had their ears on the ground for some time now. they knew about me and the buzz I had created on radio. I happened to bump into Bennedict an A&R from Gallo who just thought I am too nice.. The rest is history…

How has your stay at Gallo been so far?

They believe in me, they listen to my ideas and they respect the fact that I add value to promotional strategies and marketing. Me and my team (rEVOLT ENTERTAINMENT) always come up with means and tactics to enhance the album’s marketing plan .. Gallo is a bit slow..meaning you have to push harder than just expect them to do work .. But it is all good… It is only a month and a half since the album dropped and the video is out as well so all is good ..

What are some of the benefits when signed to a major?

The basic idea is to get to a broader market and to anchor your presence in this industry.. They got the money and the history to boost your musical career. But do not just sit there and expect everything to be done for you. You must add to what they can do for you.

And the disadvantages? Any frustrations?

So far I have not had massive promotions as they promised. It is not clear what the major delay is, but maybe we (rEVOLT) need to create a serious data base with agents outside to come and promote out of Jozi ourselves. As is… I feel I have missed on the December bus… but planning to come to Cape Town…Really want to come to Cape Town..

I must admit that we’ve seen very little promotion on it. Do you feel that Gallo is fully behind you on this?

They are. I mean they offered to do a video before selling a certain number of units. Basically we come with ideas and they have to endorse them. Especially when it makes business sense. We do complain now and again but our approach is professional.

By when do you expect to break the 25 000 mark?

When I feel I have done enough promos and you guys keep on pumping my stuff and I am all over TV and I perform with big names people will notice ..

It’s only recently that Majors have actually taken an interest in hip hop from South Africa. How does that feel being part of that transition and in your opinion do you think the interest is genuine or do you believe it has a lot to do with the fact that hip hop is trendy right now?

Trust me hip hop is setting trends. The same trends we had fantasized about years ago ..Hip hop is a marketing tool, a trend, a spear to attack and revolutionalize the music industry any thing that is a revolution will not go out fashion just like that.

Can you give us in detail the story behind this protest that everybody is talking about.

See we are setting trends… Fight for what is yours .. they wanted to post pone the release of my album. They failed.. But me and Gallo are Family.

Do you often get confused between another South African singer also called “Selwyn” who is making waves in Australia mate?

No, they don’t know him from where I’m from. Besides I am Mr Selwyn..

Now that you are signed to Gallo is it safe to say that you get more ass?

Yep! I love women.. they now love me .. but I got my eyes and brains on sharp!  Be careful boys and girls, fame can lead to dangerous situations.

What’s happening in the land of woman? Do you have any favourable prospects on the horizon?  Are you sampling the variety of different meat grades out there?

I have my favourite steak .. She supports me fully .. she is adjustable .. sometimes well done, rare or medium…MY meat bra !! now fukk off!

[everybody laughs]

The album is 18 tracks, almost all of them being produced by Amu with Omen and the Beatmaker contributing on a smaller scale. Were there any other producers that you would have liked on this album or was a particular reason why you only chose those those 3? Were you looking for consistency at the end of the day?

Me and Amu are like Family friends now. So our relationship in studio is more enhanced because we do what we love and we have a certain understanding of our styles. My voice and my flow on his beats are magnetic. He influenced the album more than other producers did .. but i got mad respect Omen look out for this dude. he is causing damage right now .. and Beatmaker is King when it comes to Club joints..

What is Amu’s set up like? What equipment/software does he use?

I don’t know…. I only know Cubase!  [Selwyn laughs]  He got a lot of programs on his P.C and Amu is a Computer Nerd, junkie, fanatic…etc….

Do you make beats?

Nah! I do more than that I think a lot about what to say on interviews ..haha!

You mentioned in a press release that, “It also has a cross over appeal between young and old”. Does this mean using more traditional sounds and have you dabbled in using maskandi as a back drop to your rhymes?

I will experiment with more ethnic sounds in future and more of that classical Isaac Hayes meets Ladysmith Black Mambazo sound.

Are you not working at MTN anymore?


Have you heard Nyambz beats yet?


Which artists in SA would you like to collaborate with?

Wikid and Amu I have to mention those two.

How would you rate this new album?

Mature future sounds of kasi-rap!  10/10

How long did it take you to record it?

Almost a year .. we had to set the mood right!  This album has elements of what happens in life that will have people talking/debating.

When you were putting your album together did you have to run it by the Gallo folks first? Or did you just say, “this is how it’s going to be done”?

I signed the contract after they heard the album .. we worked on the album ourselves instead of the other way around!

Do you think that Leon Schuster was a dope rhymer in that Boetabessie/Stop, Stop ek is a speed kop, briekdance, briekdance etc” track? Do we have any idea who that traffic cop was who was doing the windmill on the highway?

That was tight .. imagine battling a dude who will say shit like that after you bombarded him with ill lyricism. You will the laughing stock of the day!

[Everybody laughs for a good 2 minutes]

What would you have done if they told you that you must wear tight leather pants, pink shirt and hang around with Danny K and do cover versions of that Taps album?

I’ll do it … I’ll do it … Danny k got models sucking his d… instead of some Celly-cel looking hoodrat!… I’ll do it .. dude I got an O’ jays .. Curtis Mayfield interlude for shows .. something that no one expects from me .. I don’t limit my art and thinking to music!   I get crazy bozz!

What is a typical day like for you?

Hunger!   I am always hungry for chicken licken hot wings .. need I say more!

Hip Hop has all of these trends/styles. E.g. we experienced the diggedy daggedy (Das Efx), ultra fast (Fu-schnikens), rapping with pegs on our noses (Cypress Hill) etc etc etc. Do you think there will be a time in the future where “whispering rappers” will be the next big thing? What do you think will be the next big thing in terms of styles?

Sign language and Shakespeare tights..!

[Milk almost chokes on his polony chip roll at the thought of sign languages battles]

What tracks from the album are your personal favourite and why?

All of them!  All of them!  Cos I felt every word I wrote and the beats sets the mood all the time.. I Looooooooooooveee it!

Which song on the album has the illest beat?

Track 15… Hijack!  That beat is ill it is hypnotic… ruff and rugged… it gets to you especially if you are in that hype mood .. it will attack you … fucck all the beats are tight!

Which is the best track to perform live?

Dude!  Come on man … there’s a song I am prepared to strip butt naked when I perform.. imagine what I’ll do when I perform Hijack or Stering!

What’s the dumbest thing the media has ever asked you?

If Mandoza really clapped me.. fuck that!

Which shops can I find your cd in?

Reliable music, CD warehouse,  Look and Listen and other music outlets..

Is Gallo gonna press up vinyl?


Our friends in Kakamas want to know if the album is gonna be released on cassette?

It is on CD and Caaaaaaaaaaarrrsette!

What was the best thing about recording this album?

Stomach cramps and high voltage energy.. Me and my crew “Township Frequency” that is Amu, Wikid and Selwyn.. Always laughing and laughing .. I will not record for another two years .. shwooooo!!!

Will you be touring the country?

Right now I am looking for a sponsor to take me on a serious tour .. hip hop needs it’s own tour .. where I will be the main act but with other acts on board.. how’s that?

You got to give the platform when on tour to other cats to do they thing you know .. don’t be selfish!

We hope that you sell lots of units, you deserve it, especially since you been in this game for such a long time, do you have any last words or shout outs?

Shout out to all AG users; thank you all for showing me love .. buy the album it will not be a waste of money… check it in stores own it!

Questions from AG users:

[Milk reads from the laptop]

Why are you so hung up on the whole “underground vs commercial” thing?

I am not….They are! I am both!

What is the difference between an “emcee” and “m-repa”?

I don’t know if there is ..An mcee raps .. right?

What is your favourite sexual position?

Doggy style djeaaaaaaaaa.. Do you understand me!  That is everybody’s include me in the mix ..what!

Which SA celeb would you like to bone?

Sonia Mbele, Claire Mawisa, that spoilt brat from Generations (She acts a spoilt brattish part), Zoey, Letang, all the girls from the new pop stars! Heehee!

What is the common theme you have running through your rhymes?

I hate American accents, love South Africa, have fun, fucck kwaito. Be true ..like me!

Is Hip Hop going to outsell Kwaito?

Watch and see!

When are you coming to Port Elizabeth?

Invite me please!

What would be the best SA Hip Hop posse track – who would be on there?

A praise song for South Africa to the rest of the world featuring all prominent hip-hop artists … Tumi from Tumi and the Volume, Proverb, Prokid, HHP, Skwatta, Cashless, Zubz, Amu, Wikid, Hidden Force, Brasse Vannie Kaap, Fifth Floor.

Selwyn’s album is in stores now.  Support local!  Buy a copy now!

Press Release for the album can be found here.
The first interview we did with him can be found here.

You can go to http://www.gallo.co.za/ to find out more.

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