Chana goes live on ra­dio as a bo­nanza for his fans

Rap­per is work­ing on lo­cal tal­ent and has branched out into the con­ti­nent

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - JA­MAL GROOT­BOOM

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

PIC­TURE: JONO FER­REIRA

COL­LAB­O­RA­TION: Khuli Chana and Rob Forbes at the 5Live Ses­sions.

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