By CityLife Arts Writer
In this fast-paced digital age where trends come and go at a mile a minute, it’s hard for a fresh and authentic musical voice to cut through all the online noise and be heard.
The inaugural Rap A Verse with Kwesta set out to change that, with Jameson Irish Whiskey allowing rappers the opportunity to stand out from the musical crowd by making an impression upon, and eventually recording a track with SAMA-winning and record-setting rapper, Kwesta.
Forming part of Jameson Connects: The Stay Inn, a playbook of live virtual events brought to you by Jameson, Rap A Verse with Kwesta attracted 1 420 competition entries over a 5 week period, with Kwesta enduring the unenviable task of combing through each and every one to select a winner.
It was ultimately Katlehong-based rapper, K1 Jaxe, who was crowned Rap A Verse’s first king, receiving a trip for two to the Jameson Distillery in Ireland, but also the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record a track with SA rap icon, Kwesta.
K1 Jaxe’s dream has now, quite literally, manifested itself into reality with the release of Dreams alongside Kwesta.
“Being in the studio with one of my idols is a day I’ll never forget and I’m so happy that it happened through the Jameson Connects platform. Even thinking about it now still gives me goosebumps!” K1 Jaxe enthuses when asked about the first time he met SAMA-winning rapper Kwesta.
“After sanitising my hands, I had my back to the entrance and I remember him walking in. You think you’re ready to hear Kwesta’s voice but you’re really not. He embraced me like we’ve known each other for like 10 years or more. While I was recording my verse, I could see Kwesta and he was reciting the lyrics with me word-for-word. There was a camera crew there that day and I hope none of them caught me there, crying a bit. But that was an amazing moment and I’m so grateful to Jameson that we were able to capture that on video, because it will always be captured in my mind’s eye,” K1 Jaxe says.
“The recording of the track was very special and the atmosphere was great,” Kwesta explains when questioned about the recording process of their collaboration. “K1 Jaxe was in the moment and he didn’t let it get too big for him, he also didn’t allow himself to act bigger than the moment. He was there and he was present – and he was pretty smooth.”
The song itself is melodically rich and textured, and lyrically rooted in aspirational pursuits, driven by two rappers who are the embodiment of what it means to chase your dreams.
“The lyrics are specific to mine and K1 Jaxe’s dreams and what it took to get them, or what it’s taking right now to get to them, so it encapsulates all the things we spoke about before we made the song. So it came out just the way it should have,” Kwesta declares proudly.
“Jameson is a brand that makes together better, we provide a platform where talent can connect, collaborate and create,” explains Beatrice Marfleet, Marketing Manager of Jameson and Irish Whiskey at Pernod Ricard SA. “We were honoured to partner with Kwesta on this search for emerging talent and look forward to seeing how K1 Jaxe’s career develops and where ‘Dreams’ take him.”
.K1 Jaxe and Kwesta’s striking single ‘Dreams’ is available to download exclusively on the Jameson Irish Whiskey website, for free from 14 – 21 August.