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Featured Interviews Music

Introducing Oxygen: eSwatini’s Latest Hip Hop Sensation

Born Madoda Nsibandze, Oxygen is eSwatini’s latest hip hop sensation who has taken the industry by storm. Nationally known as “The Sensational Oxygen”, the rising star has won over the hearts of many with his charismatic, abstract and show-stopping performances. With the moniker adopted from his high school days, Oxygen aims at giving life through his music and art.

“My music is inspired by the emotional side of daily life on an abstract basis” he explains the inspiration behind the music. “To think and feel outside of the box but still be able to relate to what some may feel about a situation and all its factors” he elaborates. Oxygen’s music is timeless in its lyricism and musicality. With a mixed balance of calming progressions,  soothing harmonies yet energetic articulation, Oxygen gives listeners across all age groups something to jam to with the ability to modernize an old school sound. Proving his diversity with every record he releases; the world class performer fits perfectly into any genre or sound he tackles yet still maintaining his authenticity.

oxygen
Image credit: Instagram

Briefly tell us who is Oxygen?
Oxygen is a hip-hop performing artist who believes in and promotes positive living through his music. He considers the stage his home and transforms when he jumps on it, thus the title “The Sensational”.

What or who made you fall in love with music?
Oxygen was born into a musical family where his father and mother were choir conductors in the award-winning Melodious Voices Chorale, which has now been dissolved. Music has always been a part of Oxygen that one may say he is music.

Take us through your song making/writing process?
Oxygen’s song writing process starts with coming up with a melody according to the feeling within him that he is trying to instil in the listener. Meditating on it, he then blends vocals according to the story or concept of the song then the lyrics flow. Magical experience.

In 2019 you were involved in the first MTN Spotlight competition, take us through that journey ?
The journey through the MTN Spotlight competition was an emotional one but very educational. Emotional because you just never knew what was going to happen or who was going to get voted out after giving each round your best efforts. Very educational because it taught ‘The Sensational’ not to crack under the pressures of the competition, especially because he had to write memorise and perform his original songs each week. All round amazing experience.

What effect did the competition have on your career?
The competition definitely jumpstarted Oxygen’s career because of the quality of the stage performances. Many people followed the competition because they would support their favourite competitors and stumbled upon ‘The Sensational’ and many other amazing talents. The MTN Spotlight competition made the top 3 finalists shine on the night of the finale and that set us all on the way to becoming who we needed to be.

You most recent release is a song entitled “Phree” featuring Zoe Genesis, briefly tell us about that song?
The single ‘Phree’, made with The African Rockstar Zoë Genesis, is an amazing jam to be featured on because of who Oxygen is featured with. The working environment was great with energies in synchrony from the beginning

How did this collaboration come about?
She approached Oxygen with a concept of a love inspired song for summer and he immediately loved the potential of it. It was also a way of showing what else Oxygen had in store other than just rapping. Beautiful experience.

2019 was an amazing year for you, what was your highlight?
2019 was a Sensational year for Oxygen and the highlight for him came courtesy of the 2019 MTN SWAMA Awards ceremony. Oxygen was set to perform and when he entered the stage, he got a standing ovation without having said anything. This indeed was the best moment for ‘The Sensational’ in 2019.

Can we expect a full body of work from you this year?
Most definitely. Oxygen has a new single out titled ‘Come Closer’ which dropped on the 2nd of February 2019 and is available on all major online music stores such as iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal and more.

Locally and internationally what is your dream collabo?
Locally, Oxygen’s dream collaboration is with Nomalungelo Dladla. She is a beautiful singer and performer. However, KrTc of Hip Hop is not far down the list. Internationally, Drake would best suit the sound and style of Oxygen for a feature.

What are some of the difficulties that you have faced as an artist and how have you overcome them?
One difficulty was having to quickly learn how to deal with the pressure of the expectations of Oxygen. Another was proving to family why music was the correct decision for Oxygen. However, dealing with the pressure contributed to the quality of the music and the fire behind each performance.

What is some of the best advice you have received from anyone in the music scene or beyond?
The best advice came in the form of a statement by KrTc of Hip Hop saying “Nothing changes if nothing changes”. To better the situation you are in, you must change either your approach or what do entirely for what you want to change to start changing. Best advice ever.

Where can potential ‘fans-to-be’ get access to your music?
Anyone and everyone can access my music on all online music stores.

Stream the ‘I Am Here’ EP.

Stream ‘Come Closer’ below.

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Featured Music Reviews

2017 MTN SWAMA Awards DJ Of The Year, DJ Master P releases debut album – Dreams

Born Phinda Dlamini, DJ Master P – Phenomenal DJ prides himself in his craft and representing his country the best way he can as he travels spreading his love for hip hop. Hard work, resilience and consistency is a clear definition of Master P, and this is evident through his career and his debut album entitled Dreams. “I have always had this dream of releasing an album that will motivate people, change their lives for the better, motivate them to follow their dreams, and do everything possible to make sure their dreams become a reality because nothing is impossible man”, he explains about his debut album. Dreams is 13 track album featuring some of the finest upcoming and well established artists from the kingdom, these include Mozaik the Producer, Tiyas King, King Terry, MP, Psycholution, Zoe Genesis, Ciyah, Jurie, Favour, Crax, 80 Script, ZaiMarn, Anakhonzam, Krtc, Mzwaa, Young Grixxly Nomalungelo, Kena, and Diba Diba.

Indeed, Master P is a phenomenal DJ, he knows how to tear the dance floor up delicately delivering a selection of the finest and latest club hip hop hit with a dash of classics. A solid and impressive body of work, Dreams is that type of album that will easily make it to your playlist. Available on all major online stores with hard copies available at Sdeez eSwatini (Manzini and Mbabane) and Paradise bookshop in Matsapha next to Galitos.

DJ Master P - Dreams
Stream Dreams by DJ Master P below.

Follow DJ Master P on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Featured image photography credit: Kusekaya

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Culture Events Featured Music

In Pictures: Our favourite moments from eSwatini’s biggest Hip Hop event – Hipnotik Festival

eSwatini’s biggest hip hop festival took place on the 6th of July, attracting a number of people from the kingdom and its neighbouring countries. This year’s edition was the 7th edition and the organisers moved the event to the original venue. This year’s theme was Hip Hop Heaven and it was indeed, with a world class stage and lighting plus the amazing performances from the different artists. The 7th edition saw the return of AKA to the Hipnotik stage after a fallout with the event’s organisers in 2016, performing songs of his latest gold selling album Touch My Blood, with Nasty C also debuting his Strings & Blings album.

Here are our favourite moments from the Hipnotik Festival.

image of ko performing at the hipnotik festival
Photography credit: Swazi Jive. KO rocking the crowd.

 

image of sjava performing at the hipnotik festival
Photography credit: Swazi Jive. BET Award winner, Sjava, entertains the crowd.

 

image of nadia nakai performing at the hipnotik festival
Photography credit: Swazi Jive. Family Tree artist, Nadia Nakai, raps for the Hipnotik crowd.

 

image of aka performing at the hipnotik festival
Phortography credit: Swazi Jive. AKA performing some cuts from his gold-selling album, Touch My Blood.

 

image of rap group performing at the hipnotik festival
Photography credit: Swazi Jive

 

Photos courtesy of Swazi Jive (shots by Ngezi, Mbulelo Photography, Shaun De Sousa Photography).