Kwesta’s Rap Lyf
It took Senzo Mfundo Vilakazi, aka Kwesta, nine years reach the musical success he always dreamed of. He shares his journey with EOA.
Kwesta’s second album, Dakar II, features smash-hit singles such as “nomayini”, “Day One”, “Mayibabo” and “Ngudi’”, featuring fellow rapper Cassper Nyovest. Kwesta explains that people can connect to his album connectable because most of the songs were not planned, but are real life stories of his life.
“Ngudu’ is a song I woke up to when my producer played around with the beats and I mumbled words, which I eventually worked out into the song it is,” he explains nonchalantly. “I was working on a song with Cassper when he heard it. He loved it immediately and I told him to drop a verse.”
The rapper’s love for music began in Katlehong on the East Rand, where he grew up. He says, “I loved languages at high school and while most students were scared to present prepared and unprepared speeches in class, it was what I enjoyed about going to school.” Kwesta was then introduced to rap and decided to make his own music, which he took seriously when people affirmed that he was good.
He eventually dropped out of school to pursue music, which frustrated his mother, who was a teacher. He made a demo and took it to Slikour and Shugasmakx, who were in the rap group, Skwatta Kamp. Even though they didn’t want to work with new artists at the time, they called him three days after he left his demo with them. And this is how the rapper became part of Buttabing Entertainment. “It took my mom three years to accept that I wasn’t going back to school to make a career out of music.”
Kwesta left the label in 2012 to form RapLyf Records, where he released his single “Boom Shaka Laka”. “I spent the money I made at Buttabing on a music video for the single. Luckily enough, the song got some waves and my album DaKAR was released in 2013.” He went on to win a Metro FM award for the same album.
The year 2016 was the biggest year for the 29-year-old rapper as he released his latest album, DaKAR II, which earned him four nominations at the Metro FM Music awards. He was booked for more shows and his singles were given more radio airplay.
Kwesta’s flourishing career in the music industry has meant sacrificing a lot of social and family time and he says that can be overwhelming for those close to him, especially his fiancé and four-year-old daughter. This inspired his new popular single, “Ngiyaz’fela Ngawe”, featuring Thabsie.
“I didn’t intend for the song to be a hit because it is an expression of the challenges I face in trying to balance my hectic life in the entertainment and time with my family,” he adds.
This year marks Kwesta’s 10-year anniversary in the music industry. He plans to continue connecting with people through music and fulfill his promise to Slikour to help other talented musicians such as TLT and Makwa6eats achieve their dreams.