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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH MOKI SAGE!!!



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A while back I caught up with Koldproduk’s Moki Sage just to get to know the guy who inspires so many people when he sets the stage alive with his band. A mixture of genres is what brings out the sound that Koldproduk holds close to heart. Not only is he a looker (ladies…I got you) but he also has the personality to back it up.

FaraiToday: I believe Simbarashe Garikai Bako is your real name…What does it mean?

Moki Sage: “Simba” means power, “ra” of, and “Ishe” is God.

“Garikai” is an instruction to live together in harmony.  And “Bako” is the cave in which my ancestor took refuge from some drama back in the day.

FaraiToday: Why “Moki Sage”, where does this name come from?

MS: “Moki” means trouble-maker, and it’s derived from Loki, the Norse Night god of mischief. “Sage” means wise man.  Together, these two describe my true personality.  I came up with the alter-ego following frustration with the existing social and government systems and traditions that name us, register and number us when we are born.  Fortunately, Moki is exempt from this, so he’s free to commit his evil deeds with impunity!

FaraiToday: I believe you moved from Zimbabwe to SA…what inspired the move?

MS: I moved to SA to study for my Bachelor’s degree at The School of Architecture at the University of Natal in Durban and I’ve been practicing as an architect in Joburg ever since I graduated.  This is a good base from which to launch my operations.

FaraiToday: Koldproduk has been together for about 5 years now…how has the journey been so far as a group?

MS: It’s been everything from exhilarating, exciting, and inspirational to disappointingly bleak, unfulfilling and disastrous, as many emerging groups experience. Our team is fortified and wiser now, and with the imminent release or our second album “Prepare To Rise”, we’re even more excited about the coming experiences.

FaraiToday: Your album “All under heaven” took a lot of people by surprise…it had a different sound to what we were exposed to at the time of its release. How would you define your sound?

MS: Koldproduk’s music sounds like the clink of the weights when the Incredible Hulk is on steroids, gyming in an underground battle club after a nuclear holocaust.

Our experimentation with various genres beyond just Hip hop, like rock, dance and Drum and Bass infused, with underlying messages here and there have resulted in broad appeal and a wide market reach.

FaraiToday: Why the name Koldproduk?

MS: “Koldproduk” means Underdog, and from our entry in the music industry as architects, an investment banker, and a feature film director we wanted to remind ourselves how much the odds were stacked against us. We wanted something to measure our future successes against.

FaraiToday: What are some of the best memories and successes that Koldproduk looks back on with pride?

MS: The public have taken to our music with varying effects, but when we performed for 25 000 people in Nelspruit, and opened the show for 50 Cent and G-Unit in 2008 we really felt the impact of the audiences first hand, and also saw potential of what we can achieve with our work.

FaraiToday: Why become musicians if you are already qualified architects?

MS: Don’t define yourself by the limits that others impose on themselves.  I began drawing when I was about 3 years old, and started playing drums at 9, then at 11 I wrote my first rap.

I have watched both of these creative streams develop into a Master degree in architecture and a legitimate mainstream career in the musical industry via Koldproduk.  You should see my collection of over 100 sports shoe designs that I began when I was 16, plus the comic book characters and story lines that I’ve developed for the graphic novel I’m brainstorming.

Take steps towards the things you love and the things you love will take steps towards you.

FaraiToday: How do you balance your occupations (architect & artist)?

MS: They say you can’t go the gym for 7 hours on Sunday, but that you should do an hour each day.  So I feed both my passions almost daily each week, but this is why my schedule is so busy. So between 8am and 5pm I’m in the office and in the evenings till about 9pm and on Saturdays I’m busy with the music.

FaraiToday: Getting back to the entertainment side, what do you think of the current state of hip-hop and rap music in SA?

MS: SA’s becoming an increasingly good base for artistes to establish their international careers.  There are more bands and crews affiliated with Hip hop now, but the audience has to remain willing to pay the money necessary to drive our industry to catch up to the likes of the local Rock scene, which is a live performance genre that has been doing well for so long.  Then maybe one day soon SA Hip hop will achieve the household appeal that house music has.

FaraiToday: Where would you categorize Koldproduk’s music?

MS: A lot of our fans tell us, “I don’t usually like Hip hop, but I like the music that you guys are making.”

The truth is many genres appeal to us, so in turn we blend a variety of urban musical styles together with Hip hop and give our music a unique pop edge.  We switch our style up on a lot of our songs too, and with each variation we capture the attention of new, open-minded listeners.

FaraiToday: A lot of musicians today especially rappers all rap about bling, money and girls. How do you sustain your lyrical content to suit your style?

MS: There’s a lot of dimension in my music.  By having a unique rap style, I’m able to capture most people’s attention with interesting rhyme patterns as well as witty lyrics.  And I filter simple melodies and catchy hooks and choruses into my structure to keep it dynamic.

Plus, the trouble-maker within me likes to stir up naughty intrigue, so the subject matter of my material ‘crosses the line’ sometimes.

FaraiToday: How important do you think lyrics are in music, seeing that we have House music which rarely includes a string of lyrics?

MS: As long as they are relevant then they can stay.  And the definition of “relevant” can vary from funny, to irritatingly catchy, depending on whatever their intended use is.  Just don’t take them too seriously: after all they’re just words.

FaraiToday: A lot of artists always say that it’s enough to be nominated…do you accept just the nomination or do you want the award as well?

MS: I want it all: the resoundingly successful international career plus the awards, the red carpets, the paparazzi, my own dressing room with my name on the door, the all-expenses-paid excursions, the money and opportunities it brings as well as the female attention too, including the world famousness and the clout that it all comes with.

Oh yeah, and I’ll equally accept the nominations as well.  What else are you offering?

FaraiToday: Your video for “Hush” was very polished and something new from what we were currently viewing. What inspired the concept?

MS: That was Mic Mann’s direction and creative genius in interpreting our first single, where we introduced ourselves and our independent record label into mainstream culture.

On its own the record was strong, but the pictures take the impact of Hush to the next level.

FaraiToday: Would you say image matters more especially when it comes to selling the product?

MS: To a certain extent, it does.  People size you up according to the way you look and present yourself, and your actions ultimately define you with a more lasting impact.

So it’s important to remember that people ARE watching.

FaraiToday: Who/what inspires Koldproduk

MS: Very strong strains of high-grade weed, man… 😉

Puff… Puff… Pass out…

FaraiToday: Would you consider going solo?

MS: Very often when we perform Dj Soosh is on the turntables but I’m the only one on the microphone, so in a way I feel like I already am a solo artiste.  But working with a strong team is much more progressive than trying to be a one-man-show.

Together we’ve developed our basic performance and with his experience and fancy gadgets like that Serato mixer we’ve improved so much, and are gearing up for a more visually interactive element to our stage show.

FaraiToday: After a successful collaboration with rock-emo-punk band, Straatligkinders, the group went further to feature French singer Greg Basso in “Round and Round”. What inspired that move?

MS: Our campaign for establishing ourselves internationally keeps us taking advantage of these opportunities, and working with inspired guys rubs off and the energy multiplies.  Now we’re in dialogue with Greg’s production team so expect to hear more electro music.

FaraiToday: Do you think collaborations are as important as artists claim, or are they just another way of feeding of each other?

MS: Definitely! When we consider our partnerships with DC Shoes and Levi’s eyewear we realize how much more we can freely express our dynamic versatility just by having access to more resources.

Based on this experience alone we have seen the power of working with others, and the more organized they are, the more there is to benefit each other.

Now Koldproduk has some new friends in the Afrikaans market and from our experiences at our performances with Straatlig, those folks love to party!  Collaboration like this is historical because of its cultural blend, and Desvalido is so hard and energetic that it’s hard for anyone to ignore.

FaraiToday: How well is “Prepare to Rise” doing in stores after its release in April?

MS: The album hasn’t been released yet, but already we’re generating quite a bit of interest in the industry just based on the music that has gone out so far, like our song for the World Cup, “African Spirit”.

We’ve invested a lot in this project and have great expectations for its success.

FaraiToday: Interesting choice of collaborations including HC and Zubz. Can you elaborate on the choice of artists or did they just happen to be around at the right time?

MS: In order to expand our networks we feel it’s necessary to continuously put ourselves out there, and we team up with up-coming as well as established artistes if they meet our grade and if we have access to them.

Above all, apart from being talented they have all turned out to be very cool people, which make progress easy because we’re all pursuing common interests.

FaraiToday: In one interview you explained that you wrote the song “Round and Round” while you were going through a break-up. Question is… are you single at the moment?

MS: No, I’m double now.  I’m enjoying a very interesting relationship with an incredible woman

FaraiToday: Speaking of relationships…what kind of girl does Moki Sage look for?

MS: Real cute by the face and chunky by the waistline 😉

And her mind has to be equally interesting, because if we can’t get through an intelligent conversation then there’s nothing worth pursuing there.

FaraiToday: Are you intimidated by girls who have their own or do you pride yourself with such a girl by your arm?

MS: Even though I’m traditional in some of my values around relationships, I definitely pride myself with having such a woman.  She’s a force!  Such a lady tends to keep a man motivated to achieve even more.

FaraiToday: Okay back to the professional side…You write a lot of the group’s lyrics, what’s your source of inspiration lyrically?

MS: You have to remember that I’m a fan of music and entertainment to begin with, so I’m constantly being impressed by, or am criticizing what’s released in the media.  Part of my response to this when I’m making my own music is to match the work that hits me or supersede it.

But very often the creative process is very random, and inspiration comes at me in a million different ways, and I jot down or record every inspired moment, lyric or melody, then develop it later.   You’ve heard the expression 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, right?

FaraiToday: Who would you most like to work with in the entertainment industry and why?

MS: I’d like to work with Timberland, Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas, plus Stargate the production team.  I admire their evolution in the music industry plus their longevity and creativity.

Koldproduk could certainly use those qualities because we plan on making music for a long time to come.

FaraiToday: What do you do for fun?

MS: As often as I can I’ll watch the movies or series that I have bootleg copies of on my hard-drive.  It’s a dirty game, I know.

Otherwise it’s a book here, a comic there.  Plus apart from writing music, for the past year and a half I’ve been putting together ideas for my own graphic novel so I’m constantly working on something creative in my free time.

FaraiToday: Indoors or outdoors? / Introvert or extrovert?

MS: Indoors anyday.  For 40 hours in a week I’m behind a desk in an office, so for the remainder of my week I like to stay stimulated with my music and my private life.  Because when I step on stage and I’m out performing, that’s really a public thing.

But if you’re talking about the wilderness outdoors, then that’s right where my spirit is at home, and I have fond memories from my childhood about the wild.

FaraiToday: Favourite colour?

MS: Blue

FaraiToday: 50 cent, Lil’Wayne or Jay-Z?

MS: 50, for his hustle prowess. And then J for his longevity.

FaraiToday: Beyonce, Rihanna or Keri Hilson?

MS: Keri Hilson and her perrty, perrty self.  But cute Rihanna and her forehead, I mean 5head, has some x-factor that always makes me look twice.

FaraiToday: Skwatta Kamp or Teargas?

MS: Skwatta for opening to doors to some rowdy rowdy type of Hip hop.

I’ve got respect for Easy from Teargas.

FaraiToday: Comedy, action or romance?

MS: Comedy, baby. I love a good laugh.  Then a thriller.

FaraiToday: Twitter, Facebook or MySpace?

MS: MySpace, because it keeps a log of all your hits and plays, etc.  But the SA market has taken to bookFace much more, so to interact with our friends and fans we have to roll with that.

FaraiToday: Tea or coffee?

MS: Tea with white milk, no sugar, please.

FaraiToday: Summer, winter, spring or autumn?

MS: Summer all year round, please!

FaraiToday: Favourite sport?

MS: Rugby!!!!

FaraiToday: Speaking of sports, who will you be routing for in the 2010 Fifa world cup?

MS: Apart from being partial to SA, I’ve got a special place in my heart for all the African countries.

FaraiToday: TV or radio?

MS: Radio.  TV will suck the life out of you.

FaraiToday: Any last words of motivation to your friends, followers and haters (lol)…

MS: Request Koldproduk on your radio and at the record store, and share the music with your friends.

Then hit us up on www.myspace.com/koldprodukproject so we know how you feel about our music.

From your girl Allegro Dinkwanyane-“I’m just saying”, so have your say…

What do you think of Koldproduk’s leading man?

I’m a passionate writer, who enjoys writing and informing people as well as learning new things. I love sports, the arts and music. I am a sports presenter of UJfm 95.4 as well as other things. Simply put, I am a dynamic young lady who wants to bring about chnage and have an impact in both the media industry and in people’s lives.

Allegro – who has written posts on Farai Today.


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  • Gina

    this guy is a legend and soo cute!

  • Gina

    this guy is a legend and soo cute!

  • Gina

    this guy is a legend and soo cute!