Mapara a ko Pitori: Skeem Sa 2015 authentically captures Pretoria culture, from the language to the lifestyle, with their music
Pretoria based artist, Skeem Sa 2015, is an eclectic, cultured and progressive group from South Africa’s capital city – Pretoria. Founded in 2015 by a group of close friends, the group has emerged as one of the most original music groups to come of Pretoria. They emerge, fearless in their progression, as a group insistent on showcasing the beauty of Pretoria’s black culture, highlighting how important the city is to the South African entertainment and creative industries, and providing a fresh new energy to the South African music industry.
Sonically, their approach can easily be regarded as a fusion of Kwaito and Hip Hop and that allows them to have more creative freedom to truly express themselves the way they see fit. Being an independent act also affords them the luxury of creating what they want to create, which is important because the vibe and the experience they create is their unique selling point. Unmatched in their authentic representation of Pretoria culture, they also give the listener a glimpse of the life and times of young, black and male South Africans living in Pretoria.
The members, Badulah Joh, Exkho Alvarez, Sterring and Zete, are all skilled in their own right. One of the most interesting things about them is how they push the idea of ‘mapara’, a slang word more popularly used in Pretoria to describe a cool gent armed with swagger, style and intellect. You hear it in the music, the swagger, character and attitude. They live their raps and equipped with only their words and fire beats, they are able to paint a picture of how they see the world. Listening to their music is an experience, you are thrust into their world and are forced to listen. Their music carries a bounce that will force you to move. As much as language is one of the key attractions of their music, many people would not understand the slang used, but they compensate for that by creating catchy, innovative flows packed with rhythm that can hook any listener that has an ear for good, home-grown South African music.
In March, they released KOPO, a twelve track project which serves as an extension to their introduction which began in 2015 with the release of their first official single titled Skeem Sa 2015. With KOPO, the group beautifully unpacks Pretoria’s culture and lifestyle, and they unapologetically and fearlessly shine a light on their collective identity. Listening to the project, you get a sense of hometown pride and uninhibited celebration. If you ever wanted to know how Pretoria feels, sounds and get a sense of what the people in capital city are like, KOPO is a perfect project to give you an inside scoop.
Stream KOPO on Apple Music.
Stream KOPO on Spotify.