Musician struggles with roots in foreign land
Making a name for himself in hip-hop and other genres in far-off Poland
IF PAWET Mpho Chomontowski were based in South Africa, he would fit right in with the “cool kid”' crew.
His new-age hippie look and statement clothing would make you believe he can be found among the colourful characters of Braamfontein or Arts on Main.
But the upcoming musician is making his mark in Warsaw, Poland, a place he has called home since he was 7.
The 25-year-old was born in Seshego, Limpopo, and was adopted by a Polish family while they were working in South Africa.
Chomontowski does not know much about his family here, something he has found difficult to live with over the years.
The only thing he still has that links him to his roots is his name, Mpho.
His birth father was rumoured to be a priest in the Zion Christian Church, but not much else is known.
“I have always been fascinated by music,” he writes on his website.
In 2006, he recorded his first song, and hasn’t looked back since. Going by the name H35 he has worked with Polish producers Chris Carson, NWS and Johnny Beats.
The vocalist, rapper and MC independently released his first album with the help of friends.
The hip-hop scene in Warsaw has its own subcultures, and the genre has grown over the years.
The Wall Warsaw Hip-Hop Festival brings thousands of hip-hop fans together every year.
The artist hopes one day to move into other genres like electronic, indie and rock.
He has used his music to talk about the challenges he faces being an immigrant in a foreign land, and how he tackles them.
Growing up in a place that was 99 percent white, Chomontowski has struggled with his identity.
All his life he has had a hard time connecting to the Polish, but at the same time he has also had difficulty connecting with his own people.
This resulted in him bunking school, selling drugs and ending up in jail for a year.
His music speaks about all his stories and just how far he has come.
His album launch was well received in June.
The album is titled Szczerze w?tpi? which means “I sincerely doubt”. His first official video, Prologue, is available online for download.
For more information on this young artist, visit his website http://h35.bugs3.com/
BORN IN SA: Seshego-born and Polandbased hip-hop artist Pawet Mpho Chomontowski has released his first album.