Home » Interviews

Interview with Siya the 13th Disciple


29 December 2010 2 Comments

This week AfricasGateway speaks to 13th Disciple from Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  13th Disciple has been a prominent figure in carving out the sound of the city of Port Elizabeth. Having worked with the city’s most renowned artists like Hishaam and Mr. Witherspun (The Art) on tracks such as ‘Inches Away’ which featured on the Iquanda mixtape and featured Mexican and South African artists. In this interview we get to know the 13th Disciple in more detail and we also throw in 2 FREE mp3’s for you to download.

If you had to describe 13th Disciple in a paragraph or two what would you say?

13th disciple is a Christian and a Christian MC. Christian because I have been born again by God and has put faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I am a Christian MC because I am part of the hip hop people group but I am more interested in the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ than hip hop itself, and that is evident in my rhymes or music.

How old are you?

I was born in 1986, October on the 25th. Meaning I am 24 years.

Can you describe your entry in the music scene and what specifically prompted you to get involved with hip hop?

My music career started at the tender age of 13, doing hip hop shows with the African hip hop movement back in 1999. Musically I am inspired by jazz, blues and reggae, musical genres my father played me. I would not say I chose hip hop but hip hop chose me, because there is no specific time I could say I decided to be a hip hopper, it just happened because it was not far away from the music I grew up listening to. In my early stages of being a head hip hop music was content based, I was impressed with artists that had a lot to say especially “conscious emcees”. They encouraged me because I also had something lengthy to say and that is the reason I am a hip hopper till today.

What subject matter do you deal with / write about?

I spread Christ-centeredness through the means of hip hop music.

I understand you also produce music, when did that all start and who influenced that?

I started producing in 2004. Before then emcees used mainstream instrumentals by mainstream artist’ singles like Outcast, Biggie and 2pac. During my first year at tertiary in 2004 I asked my mother to buy me a computer and I told her I’d use it for school work. That was just an excuse because I wanted to make beats for me and my crew “Loxion Native”. This was due to the fact that when you rhyme on BIG’s beat maybe, people would compare you to him, and have his rhymes at the back of their minds, and this troubled me, and I thought then if we came with our own original beats people would not be distracted by that.

What software / equipment do you prefer using to make your compositions?

I use Fruity Loops and back up FL with other VSTs

Which artists have you performed with and what releases have you done and/or been involved with up until now?

I’ve shared the stage with the giants like JBUX, Hishaam and Abantu. I’ve released 2 projects thus far, the first one was with my partner Vocal Tactic, we called our duo Written Names, the name of the project was Raise the Banner, and my recent project is Xhospel Hip Hop mix tape.

How did you get involved with True Sight Music?

I met JBUX and Rushay during the times of the African Hip Hop movement. Their dedication and involvement in the hip hop culture in PE really inspired me. I followed them till by the grace of God we became close friends. They realised my skill and talent and asked me to join them.

Describe your lyrical style and flow and what artists influenced you?

I approach each beat differently since my music is content based and that is a big challenge for me to play with words and really make it interesting as I would want to. It’s still a learning curve, a growing process. I have been listening to hip hop for more than 10 years now. I am not only an artist but I am a fan. I personally don’t think I sound like any artist but I’ve been amazed and enjoyed music by Wordsworth, and since I’m doing Christian hip hop my ears are glued to Timothy Brindle, Phanatik, Evangel, Shai Linne, Stephen the Levite, and Arkdavis.

What is your view on the music scene in South Africa?

It’s sad we are more becoming like the USA. It’s like we are one of their States. This is obvious when you watch TV and when you listen to radio. It would be better if 80% of music being played on radio and TV would be South African music.

Who in South Africa would you like to work with?

Outside of hip hop my dream is to work with the Lady Smith Black Mambazo, those folks are dope. And within hip hop I would like to work with Da’T.R.U.T.H a guy from Philadelphia signed to Cross Movement Records, I like his sincerity in his music I feel its really coming from the heart.

Which producers/artists are you working with?

In my new mix tape I’ve worked with producers such as Pro-Christ, Wesley Keet, and other emcees such as Bonified of the Last days Fam, Schaik from Truesight Music and Illathan from Umtata. Vocalist wise I’ve worked with B.A.N.T.U.

What material are you working on now?

I am currently working on my full length album titled Discipleship; it will deal with the basic foundations of the Christian faith and a little bit of apologetics.

Where can people find your music?

One can contact me on Facebook or check out our website in regards to that (www.truesightmusic.com) info@truesightmusic.com

Have you performed elsewhere in the country?

Yes, I’ve performed in East London and Durban. I am still planning to go to Cape Town and Johannesburg.

As an artist what is the biggest challenge facing you?

To get my music distributed in the whole of South Africa. The second challenge that I face as an artist is get my music known out there, by means of being played on national radio stations. There are local radio stations pushing my music e.g. Nkqubela FM and Link FM is East London.

Tell us something nobody knows about you?

I am shy.

What are your favourite hip hop albums of all time?

Mirror Music by WordsWorth

Things Fall Apart by The Roots

The great awakening by Timothy Brindle

Christology in Lame Man’s Terms by Ambassador

The Faith by Da’T.R.U.T.H

What albums are you listening to right now?

Bigger Picture by Da’ T.R.U.T.H

The Great Awakening by Timothy Brindle

How I Got Over by The Roots

Storiez by shai linne

Favourite songs of the moment?

Alone by The Roots

Faulty Doctrine by Timothy Brindle

If people want to get in touch with you how do they do that?

On Facebook I am (Siyabulela Thirteen Disciple Zalabe)

Thank you for taking the time to talk to AG, any last words?

Soli Deo Gloria


Submitted by: