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Priddy Ugly Chops It About Being Indie, Radio Airplay & Cracking Global

Never one to shy away from keeping things as authentic as possible, it was a pleasure taking a moment to catch up with Priddy Ugly. The young rapper took time out of his busy schedule to chop it up with us about the ups & downs of being an indie artist. Cava.

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Ricardo Moloi, better known to his fans as Priddy Ugly is no stranger to the hip hop music industry despite being part of the New Kid On the Block set just last year. Going against the grain with regards to the sound of his music has meant that the artist with Angolan heritage has had to find alternative methods of pushing his music, which hasn’t come easy. Couple that with being an independent artist, one is able to discern how talented Priddy Ugly is to manage to remain relevant till now. We had a chat with  the triple threat entertainer about his music, relationship and his overall motivation.


QuenchSA: What inspired your stage name Priddy Ugly?


Priddy Ugly: Growing up in the East Rand we used to refer to things that were dope as Ugly. I felt like I was beyond that, an extension of Ugly. So based on my word play based raps, I played on the oxymoron of ‘Priddy Ugly’. This describes my rap style and flow, which is very unorthodox and eccentric. I also wanted to chose a name that would get people talking, encourage and spark conversation. I wanted a name that people would love and hate, and love to hate. It’s very important for people to not feel indifferent about you. They need to feel some type of way about you, good or bad, but if they have feelings towards you, you stay top of mind and you’re not easy to forget.

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QuenchSA: At what point did you realize that music is what you wanted to do for a living?


Priddy Ugly: In 2006, is when I really fell in love with music and the idea of being a musician, but it was only in 2013 when I decided that I wanted to do it for a living. Music and hip hop became part of my existence. There was a always a song that spoke to how I felt in that given moment, there was always a song that changed a bad mood to a good one. When I realized through the people who’s lives I touched through my music that my music had an impact on their lives, that’s when I was certain that I wanted to do this for a living.


QuenchSA: You have also dabbled into acting, what comes more naturally, singing, dancing or acting?


Priddy Ugly: I’ve dabbled in acting, but never by my own doing. People always suggest that I should act and try it out, so I’ve tried it here and there. Acting doesn’t come as something very natural to me, though I can do it, I just don’t think I’m particularly great at it. I’m really great at playing myself and transitioning into different personalities within myself, and those are the characters that one gets to see in my visuals. I enjoy dancing and performing, that’s natural to me. I have a dance background, so I do a lot of that in my live sets. Singing is something I only recently tried out, you can hear me sing a note or two on my ‘You Don’t Know Me Yet’ LP. I was being very experimental on that project.


QuenchSA: Having maintained relevance for years within the culture, what is the secret to your longevity within the game?


Priddy Ugly: I’ve been in the game for a while. People say you can’t be the new kid on the block twice, but I give props to myself for being that guy all these years without losing interest or influence. I haven’t reached the pinnacle of commercial success, but being the guy whose maintained his presence in the conversation in the midst of the metamorphosis of the industry and all its trends and new emerging artists is something I can only attest to my self belief and the consistent rate in my growth and evolution. I’m driven by progress, the urge to elevate standards and the search for innovation. The people who believe in me keep me going, they fuel my drive and passion.


READ: A-REECE Rates His Top 5 Local Hip Hop Emcees In Exclusive Interview 


QuenchSA: Your mixtape was well received, is an album in the works?


Priddy Ugly: The term mixtape is a loose term. A mixtape, I believe is a compilation of music on unoriginal beats, with minimal sound engineering and little to no marketing budget, and as a result it’s given away for free. Based on that I wouldn’t call my project a mixtape. Every song is original and meticulous to detail. The project already has 3 very high quality music videos. The sound and quality in production is unmatched. The project is available on all online stores, Spotify, GooglePlay, Itunes, Deezer etc. There are physical copies available by order as well, so technically this quantifies and qualifies it as an album. Right now my focus is on ‘You Don’t Know Me Yet‘ and extending its reach on all platforms and mediums. I will however be releasing more singles.


QuenchSA: Your music has been well received beyond the borders of South Africa. Is that a premeditated strategy when making a record?


Priddy Ugly: Yes, I see myself as a global artist that has the potential to extend my reach far beyond South African and even African boarders. When working on the project I wanted to make a Grammy nomination worthy project. I feel like I achieved this.


QuenchSA: Having been signed by a record label before, how difficult is it to manoeuvre around the industry as an indie artist?


Priddy Ugly: It’s difficult. Getting your songs played and playlisted on radio and TV platforms is a mission, especially when you’re not particularly friends or acquainted with the influential personalities on these platforms. There’s a lot of back and forths. You fund everything yourself and the weight of your whole brand is on you and the team you may or may not have. With very limited resources you need to keep up with, and even surpass the standards that your contenders with bigger budgets and label backings have and there’s always financial implications involved where that’s concerned. You need to be well equipped with the skill of being able to stretch a budget and perform miracles with the minimal tools that you have. However, as an indie you’re free to move how you wish, drop the type of songs you want to drop when you want to drop them. You have full creative control of your work and when money finally comes your way, there’s no middle man taking a big chunk of your pie.


QuenchSA: Have you directly or indirectly noticed a difference since the South African Broadcasting Commission announced the 90% local music policy?


Priddy Ugly: I’ve noticed that we are hearing 30-40% more of the same artists. They are playing a lot more of the older local music. It’s a step in the right direction, but there are still systems and walls that we have to overcome and breakdown. Most of the radio compilers are older guys from an older generations, and they still have old school ways of doing things. We need fresher minds, or at the least more open minded people in those positions for artists like myself to benefit from this new policy.
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QuenchSA: You voiced concern about radio stations not including your music in their playlist. Any reason why this is the case?


Priddy Ugly: I mentioned some of the reasons in the previous questions. My music is eclectic and very unconventional. It doesn’t follow the typical standard or spectrum of what commercially viable music is in this country. I do however believe that anything can be commercial with the right backing and numbers behind it. So far, I’ve  had a career purely based on the Internet. I am yet to be embraced by most of the media platforms and major broadcasters. I guess that when you’re pursuing something new and different you will always face skepticism and adversity because it isn’t the norm or what people are used to, yet. It’s up to me to keep pushing until my sound and style is all-encompassing.


READ: Nadia Talks About How The Link With Family Tree Came About


QuenchSA: You are involved with a public figure. How do you manage to keep a low profile despite both your positions in the entertainment industry?


Priddy Ugly: We don’t try to keep a low profile at all, we are just not the type of people who feel like we need to share everything that happens especially in our relationship on a public platform. You dont let strangers just come into your home and walk in and out of every room as they wish, so keep your relationship that way too, secured and private. Our relationship is sacred and between myself and my partner. We support each other, we understand each other and we are genuinely each other’s biggest fans. It also helps that we are in the same industry even though it’s in different fields, this allows us to always be in the same space and surroundings

 

Interviews

Khaya Dladla Gets On The Hunt For His Biggest Fan!

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Khaya Dladla

The debut season of Tropika Smoooth Fan is here and this week, Khaya Dladla is the first celebrity to put his biggest fans to the test as they compete to prove they are the star’s smooothest fan.

Khaya has gained a massive following over the years thanks to his performance on the popular SABC 1 drama Uzalo.

His love for entertainment started when he was a child and developed after his parents sent him to drama classes from the age of 15.

RELATED: BONANG, SOMIZI, BABES WODUMO TO BE PART TO APPEAR ON SMOOOTH FAN 

The star enjoyed all facets of performance and later became a backing vocalist for musicians such as Hugh Masikela and Thandiswa Mazwai. Today, he stars as G.C.

Khaya Dladla
This week, four die-hard celebrity fans will compete in various interactive games in the hopes of being crowned Khaya’s smooothest fan. The winner will make it to the semi-finals where they will compete against the smooothest fans of the other celebrity contestants where, after another round of games, the two top contestants will go head to head in the final to win R250 000 cash and a Honda Amaze!

KHAYA DLADLA 

What attracted you to a show like Tropika Smoooth Fan?

Firstly, it was the opportunity to interact with my fans. I hardly get that because of the schedules we have on ‘Uzalo’. More than that, it was growth. I wanted people to get to know me instead of my character. And, the fact that its a Tropika game show makes me so happy because the brand feels like an old friend to me.

Why do you think it is important to recognize the fanbase who has been by your side throughout your career?

It’s simple – we are because they are. The more likes we get on social media, the more followers we get on social media and the impact we have makes us feel like we make a difference. It puts a ‘label’ to who we are and the relevance. I feel like it’s very important to recognize our fanbase because they are like our ‘hype people’. Our fans help build our brands through the love they send. As an entertainer, you have an audience listening so it’s important to give them recognition as well.

Why do you think so many people around the country identify with you and your work?

Firstly, authenticity is important. I try to be as real as possible. Even on ‘Uzalo’ I try to resemble a character that someone has met before because we want to tell real stories. The little mannerisms and the characterisations of what I do is relatable and, as performers, that’s our ultimate goal. I am also super critical of my own work and I think my fans see that I put my heart and soul into every performance.

What do you hope your fans get out of watching you on this week’s episode of Tropika Smoooth Fan?

I hope my fans get to know the real me. There is more to me than G.C. and, at some point, the G.C. brand overpowered my name. I had to go back to the drawing board and remind people who Khaya Dladla really is and Tropika Smoooth Fan will certainly help me do that. Apart from that, I am looking forward to having fun with my fans. I mean, that’s what the show is about – a fun, interactive show where I get to interact with my biggest fans.

What was the biggest lesson your fans taught you about your career?

My fans have taught me many important lessons over my career. They taught me humility and to always be as real as possible. I think that is something that has helped so many people relate to both my and my character on ‘Uzalo’.

Tell us something your fans might not know about you?

I run a lot of CSI projects and I do a lot of charity work. It’s something I keep to myself because I don’t want people to think I am doing it for media attention. I feed an old age home and also do my best to support a group of orphans who are close to my heart. Also, I have been learning how to DJ and I am working on a different concept on how to launch myself as that.

Can you share an instance where a fan has changed your life in some way?

I have had both positive and negative interactions with fans which has changed my life in some way Once, a fan hugged me, spun me around and stuck his tongue in my mouth. That was the first time I cried from a fan interaction. It really shook me. Then, on a positive note, I had an interaction with a fan who got so excited to see me that she had an asthma attack. I stayed by her and waited for the ambulance to arrive and afterwards, I asked to have a chat with her. I realised how easily people look to celebrities for motivation and I knew that I wanted to use my fame to inspire people.

What’s can fans expect from you in the coming months?

A lot! I have been working on my music for over a year now. I come from musical theatre so I am excited to show the country that side of me. I have also joined Gagasi FM as a presenter which I am really excited about. Apart from that, fans can expect more music, more gigs and more exciting collaborations.

Want to be a contestant on the show? Simply buy a Smoooth Fan-branded Tropika at your nearest store, find your unique code and follow the on-pack USSD instructions for your chance to prove you’re the smooothest fan on live television.

Fans also stand to win amazing prizes by snapping a selfie of themselves with a Smoooth Fan branded Tropika, and Whatsapping the image to 071 605 1503 live during the show between 18:00 and 18:30 every Friday.

Catch Tropika Smoooth Fan every Friday at 18:00 on SABC 1.

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Interviews

Sir LSG: Perfection Matters – Not So Much The Accolades – Interview

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Select Sessions Sir LSG

The way Sir LSG approaches music is microscopic. He takes all these elements – tiny sounds that don’t typically register to an ear that isn’t technically sharpened to detect and achieve sonic balance – very seriously. He’s also a perfectionist, which meant finishing his much-celebrated album, Moving Circles, was no easy feat.

We had the privilege of hearing from the man ahead of his set at Play Sessions in Braamfontein this Thursday, September 6th.

You started out studying electrical engineer before a passion for records and music took over. Tell us about your record collection?

I started collecting records right at the beginning of my first year at WITS, and in hindsight, engineering was never really going to work well for me. My record collection is quite small, because in 2006 when I started playing, CDs were becoming popular in the clubs. My friends and I would share records when we had a gig, to assist with the limited range.

Your mentor was/is DJ Christos, “The Godfather of House” and one of South Africa’s most respected house producers. Tell us how his work inspires you?

I met DJ Christos back in 2008 at an SAMC conference, when I had just won the DJ competition for the conference, and Chris took me under his wing. For a few months I would travel with him to his gigs and he would give me his last 15 – 20 minutes of his sets. It meant a lot to be able to travel with one of our country’s house music icons – I can never be grateful enough for those moments.

Your “Sax In The City” soulful house mix reached the second spot on Traxsource’s top singles chart in 2011, and in 2014 they voted you at Number 20 on the Top 100 Afro House Producers of the year. Tell us how these accolades helped define your career?

It’s always nice to see my releases reach charts on Traxsource because globally they are the leading House Music store. But those accolades don’t really mean much, I’m only happy and grateful that there are people out there who enjoy the music I make.

You’ve worked alongside global and local acts, such as Ralf GUM and R&B singer/songwriter Brian Temba. Who has been your favourite collaboration to date and why?

The most important thing for me when working with other artists is to really have a “vibe”. As soon as musicians “vibe” you’ll hear it in their music. I always enjoy working with Ralf Gum and Thandi Ntuli because they are the two people I spend a lot of studio time with.

What can people expect from your Select Sessions gig on 6th September at PUMA?

Expect nothing but solid soulful house music. See you on the dance floor.

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Deep House Ace Kat La Kat Is Not Chasing The Wave – Interview

Kat La Kat takes us through his approach to House music as he preps a set at the looming PUMA Select Sessions

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Kat La Kat

If you’ve had the privilege of enjoying Kat La Kat’s abstract and organic sets, you would appreciate his technical showmanship and the clear fact that he loves music. The house music DJ prefers diving into his enriched pool of vast house offerings than merely amplifying popular sounds.  We got him to delve a bit deeper into his creative processes in this Q and A.

You’re known for your Deep Vibes mix series, which has a cult following. How did this first come about?

I felt the need to put out tracks that wouldn’t generally be heard in clubs in my area at the time, a sound that was a bit more dark and less catchy. Stuff people would say is too calm, too deep, too underground to play in front of a crowd, so I decided to create a mix series that one can indulge in their own space, with no pressure to make people dance.

You’ve played in nightclubs in and around Pretoria and Johannesburg for more than a decade now. Any advice for aspiring DJs and producers?

Trust your taste! A lot tend to follow what works for other artists and they struggle with consistency because it was never really their taste. Do you and do you good …the rest will fall in place

You’re experimental, use mixing techniques and like to take people on a journey with your deep house sets. What’s a sound you’re loving right now?

I dig deep tech house and quite a few local producers are putting out some awesome sounds.

You’ve been producing your own music since 2006. How has the local house music scene developed since then and where do you think it’s going?

I think it has developed in a very good way, we’ve always had the groove but we lacked sonic quality and little technical stuff that goes into a production. Guys are making the effort to have their tunes professionally mixed and mastered and that’s a step in the right direction.

What can people expect from your Select Sessions gig on 6th September at PUMA?

A Kat La Kat experience, you need to hear it to know what I’m talking about! You can expect the unexpected.

Select Sessions 6 Sept Artwork

 

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