Homegrown artist starts hip hop career

TAMLYNNE THOMPSON

With South African media platforms promoting local music across the board, up-and-coming artists are enthusiastic about making a breakthrough in their careers.

One of those artists is Mitchell’s Plain’s own Barry Abrahams, better known as Beeza, an aspiring homegrown rapper who is striving to put Cape Town on the map.

Beeza performed his hit single, Hallo, at the Francofesty International Music and Arts Festival at the Westridge civic centre on Friday July 8 and at the Cape Town City Hall on Saturday July 9.

“I enjoyed performing in my hometown, I always do. It was good for people to see the talent coming from the area.”

Later this year, Beeza, along with his manager and high school friend, Brandon King, will also be releasing a music video for Hallo, which recently became their most downloaded song on social media.

Hallo made its radio debut on Bush Radio last year and has featured on DJReady D’s show on Good Hope FM.

Beeza also performed this track at the Mitchell’s Plain Festival last year, and at venues around Cape Town, such as Gemini Lounge and Fever in Landsdowne, Bazinga Bar in Cape Town and Club Unik in Claremont.

Beeza, 27, who has been rapping since he was 20 years old, recently started taking his career as a rapper seriously. But, as a teenager, he was more into rock music than hip hop, he said.

“My brothers listened to hip hop. They were into freestyle, and I thought it was quite easy to make words rhyme. I used to rhyme in my head. And when I started listening to other up-and-coming artists from the Cape Flats and South Africa, I thought I stood a chance to make it big.”

Beeza described his style of rap as “alternative”. “It’s different because it’s rock mixed with hip hop.”

He mixes and experiments with beats at his home studio in Rocklands, where he taught himself to use the equipment from online tutorials.

“I try to be different. Not the cliché. I mix my love of rock into my beat. I stick with some of what is and what isn’t and I bring my own vibe.”

Beeza said the cliché right now of Cape Flats rap is Afrikaans mixed with some English lyrics, throwing in the occasional Cape Town slang, such as “aweh” and salute”, for example.

“But I don’t think that represents our people and culture. That is just one aspects of who we are.”

Beeza also has a song called Mitchell’s Plain, which tells the story of where he is from.

He said he sometimes raps about circumstances and issues people face in his community.

He said one of the things that pains him in his community is the ignorance of some people.

“It’s like the youth choose to make the wrong choices. It’s not necessary to become a product of your circumstances.”

Asked about promoting South African media, Beeza said: “I think it’s great and also about time. We need to build our own music culture, and I feel that in order to do this, we have to have the structure that supports and promotes local music.”

For coming events, performances, features and downloads, you can visit http://www.beezacpt.co.za