Chana goes live on radio as a bonanza for his fans
Rapper is working on local talent and has branched out into the continent
A S ONE of South Africa’s biggest hip hop stars, there’s hardly a dull moment in the life of Khuli Chana.
He has a new album out, a TV show, and a documentary in the works, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show how “live” he can really be.
A few days ago, Chana stopped by the Red Bull Studios for the 5Live sessions. The hour-long set presents an opportunity for local artists to give a “live” performance that is broadcast on 5FM.
The SABC radio station has been trying to get Chana for years, as radio DJ Rob Forbes mentioned in his interview during the show.
The reason for the long wait was because of Chana’s hectic schedule, but Forbes was ecstatic to finally get him into the Cape Town-based studio. It was worth the wait.
The local rapper knows how to give a great performance and went through some of the songs off his latest album One Source. He also spat his dope verse from the eternal summer jam, Baddest by AKA. After his performance, the rapper put his best pose forward and chatted to us during his photo shoot.
Speaking on why he decided to do 5Live, the rapper said: “I live for these sessions,” also stating that he’s “trying to do more of these unplugged sessions for the fans”.
Chana clearly loves what he does and seemed intent on offering up a raw performance to give his fans a unique experience.
Chana, however, isn’t only interested in conquering South Africa. He also spoke about how there is a lot of talent on the continent and how he wants to break through in the African market.
Earlier this year, he attended the 2017 Grammy Awards. Commenting on the trip, Chana mentioned that it was “amazing being there” and marvelled at the level of the production of the show.
He then waxed lyrical about Beyoncé and you could see on his face that the blessing of a live Beyoncé performance had been showered upon him.
Even though the Queen B keeps leaving Africa off her tour dates, watching Chana’s expression as he spoke about Beyoncé shows how exciting it was for him to see her live.
As a South African star, the rapper was also relieved to just “be a real fan again” and left the prestigious ceremony very inspired.
In March, Chana released his album One Source. This time around, the rapper decided to collaborate with various artists.
His favourite collaboration was with Ghanaian dancehall artist Stonebwoy.
According to Chana, Stonebwoy is one of those artists who will take his time to craft his music, but the end product is definitely worth the wait.
Chana’s march towards the summit of his career was nearly derailed in 2013.
In a well-publicised controversy, the rapper was shot by police in Pretoria after being mistaken for a criminal.
Speaking of his life before the shooting, he said: “I was moving at a crazy pace, you know. You could say I was completely addicted to the (hip hop) life.”
Looking back at everything, he feels that sometimes life’s gifts come wrapped in sandpaper. Now he believes that maybe the break was what he needed.
“I started appreciating the small things, like spending time with family, whereas before is was all about Khuli Chana and everything else was secondary.”
Aside from sizing up the competition on the continent, Chana is keeping a close eye on the emerging talent closer to home.
He is currently a judge alongside rap heavyweights AKA and Tumi Molekane on the Vuzu Amp reality competition show The Hustle.
He seems excited about the whole experience. “It has been great and I think The Hustle is gonna grow and become better. It’s such a great platform. I’m so grateful for being one of the guys that are there unearthing talent.”
He is also working on a documentary with Red Bull Amaphiko titled the Rise of Us. The film will cast a spotlight on the world of social entrepreneurs and young hustlers.
The local rapper knows how to give a great performance
COLLABORATION: Khuli Chana and Rob Forbes at the 5Live Sessions.