The Wire caught up with Kwesta on the set of his latest #LIVEWITHHEART endeavor, where he revealed all on spontaneously dropping Spirit, the deal with his US collaborations and plans for the near future

Words: Nadine Oosthuizen


How has working on the 2.0 version of the #LIVEWITHHEART been treating you?
Loving the edgyness! I’m enjoying the real interaction with people who lives with heart it’s not just me. It’s real! The whole concept has always been something I agree with and the way I do things. Follow the heart and the inner voice rather than the trends and society. It feels like it was made for me!



Is there any connection between dropping this collabo with Wale and #livingwithheart?
Absolutely, without a doubt! It represents exactly the same things. It’s the fearlessness of whatever society dictates. When I feel the spirit I think about bravery, boldness of going after what you want.


So tell us everything, why drop Spirit today?
Well I decided to drop it the song today, following yesterday’s radio release. People are loving it on social media, they’ve already started a hashtag!! [#Freespirit] Got to give the people what they want.


What is the inspiration behind Spirit, which also a US collaboration with Wale?
The song is just “really being what you are all about. It’s about not giving up, having the spirit to continue no matter what. Also the reason I’ve decided to collaborate with Wale is that we’re trying to sell this indigenous sound of Africa and South Africa to the world, which has all these kwaito influences, and afropop influences. I couldn’t think of anyone better to use that Wale, originally from Nigeria, and who has already made impact across the world.


“I felt that together we could be the voice that would be loud enough for the rest of the world to catch on and not just grab it and run away”


Not your only international collaboration, work with US rapper Rick Ross is also coming out later this year, what is your aim with the new album?
I want the world to know that I’m not just collaborating with American artists, and making an album that erases the boarders, there definitely would be songs with local artists from South Africa and others African countries as well.


“I’m really just trying to make a world album instead of solely focussing on South Africa album”


What does an artist need to have for you to say, ‘man I have to work with this person’?
I genuinely have to be a fan of the artists. There’s no way I’m just going to collaborate because your name is big, if I don’t really like what you do, I don’t think we’ll work together. Something in your music has to convince and inspire me to want to work with you. When we sat down with the team, I had to come up with the people I wanted to work with, its not like we worked with people that I had in my phonebook.


Everyone must be asking to work with you, how has life changed after making history with 6 SAMA wins this year?
I’d like to think I’m still the same person, however now I’m exposed to more than before as there are more eyes on “Kwesta”. My person and outlook on life is still the same. Normally people in the music industry do so much and so well that they forget to go into the studio and keep doing what they’ve been doing because they’re trapped in success. I’ve always just kept going to the studio.


“Winning was definitely a milestone in my career, but it was only made possible because of the music, you got to respect it. This is what I do, I’m a musician, I’m not an acceptor of speeches, I am a musician”


Besides your new album, what else can we expect, where do you see yourself in the coming months?
I definitely see myself more outside of South Africa, where I can spread SA sounds in the rest of the world. I want to perform and showcase my sound in other African countries as well as internationally. So that’s what can be expected in the next couple of weeks and months. There are also other great artists I’ve had the privilege of sharing a platform with.

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