Fresh from inking the deal with Durban-based recording label Mabala Noise, he jetted off to shoot his music video with Tyga in the United States. Born and raised in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, rapper and producer Sandile Nhlakanipho Kubheka also referred to as DuBoiz is unfazed by the prospect of being in the same record label as the award winning artists and industry veterans that make up the roster for Mabala Noise. Fast forward 12 months later since his first song on radio, he is nominated in the Metro FM Music Awards in the Best Video category for his jam Dope Dream. We spoke to the rapper about his aspirations and the timeline to the drop of his full body of work.
QuenchSA: What Inspired the stage name DuBoiz?
DuBoiz: I was named after a civil rights legend William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. My father was one of the people that fought for the liberation of the country back in the day. He used to make me to watch your Malcolm X, would tell me all about civil rights legends, your Oliver Tambos. Its not on my ID document but its a name I liked and they used to call me all the time.
QuenchSA: At what point did you realize that music is what you wanted to do for a living?
DuBoiz: For a living I think it was back in 2011 but I had been recording ever since 2008. My big brother then Thabo Mlangeni is the one who told me to record my first song. I used to do it for fun until it got to a point where I thought I can’t do anything else. That’s when I started hustling to try and get into the industry.
QuenchSA: You’ve been very vocal about your upbringing. Do you feel it has prepared you for life in the public eye?
DuBoiz: Most definitely! I come from a place where my grandmother used to say a person is a person because of other people. Everyone needs help. I remember there were times where we didn’t have food to eat so all of that taught me to be humble and to appreciate all my blessings.
QuenchSA: For your third single and video you already had an international approach. Why was that important?
DuBoiz: I think everyone in the industry especially in Africa pray and wish that one day they can compete with the superstars we see on TV all the time. By superstars I mean American musicians. For me to work with someone from that side and to have a director from that side in Hollywood shooting the video meant a lot. People don’t know that he chose the song, we sent some songs that side and he chose it because he liked it and I respect him for that.
QuenchSA: Your second single in as many months features multi-award winning artist AKA. There’s a certain go big or go home approach about you?
DuBoiz: You gotta risk it to get the biscuit!
QuenchSA: Can we expect a full body of work this year?
DuBoiz: Everyone has been asking about that, I think I have three singles already. I’m still building a fan base, last year this time I didn’t have a song on radio, this year this time I’m nominated for the Metro FM M for Best Video. Because we’ve done so much in terms of being here for quite some time, its been only eleven month since I’ve had a song on radio. I’m in no rush. When I feel like it’s my time then I’ll drop the album.
QuenchSA: Mabala Noise. How did that come about?
DuBoiz: I was just recording and wanted to do it independently and own everything. I approached my father for funds to shoot a video. He sent the music to Babu Reggy Nkabinde who is the boss right now just to ask for advice to invest money into my music. He listened to the music and sent me to Dj Bongz in Durban so that I could chill with him and come up with something dope. After a week or two I came back and made them listen to the music. That’s when he (Reggy) decided that you can’t do this independently, you have something, so I’m going to sign you. That’s when I got the deal in 2016.
QuenchSA: For your first two singles you didn’t feature any of your label-mates. Is that going to be the same for the album?
DuBoiz: No! Its just the singles that I released now that I don’t have my stable mates. But we are family and we talk all the time. I want to feature every artist from the label even the house deejays. When the time is right its going to happen.
QuenchSA: You’ve been nominated for the upcoming MMA16 in the Best Video category. You feel like its the first of many?
DuBoiz: Definitely! Obviously there’s the likes of Kwesta , AKA, your Nasty Cs…these are people I was to listen to on radio back in 2015. To be a nominee means a lot, to be nominated against your Mafikizolo, Khuli Chanas, Anatii, I can tell that people love what I do and this is only the beginning.
QuenchSA: Your first few months in the industry were something off a story book. What does 2017 have in store for you?
DuBoiz: Well, right now we pushing for the votes, and we going to try and push for the music video for Halleluja, we haven’t shot it yet, still working on it. After we going to drop more singles just to build the fan base. Hopefully I’ll get to work with a lot of people in South Africa, I also have dreams and would like to work with my role models. For now just trying to build everyday.