The government knows him as Ndlelenhle Nyuswa. However, in the streets, he is better known as Loki.
About a year ago, Loki was pushing his rap hustle in the streets of Durban. While he didn’t know it, K.O was in his Randall Abrahams bag analyzing and critiquing the music of upcoming urban poets in Southy. Most were panned, some were meh, but a few passed his requirements. One of those who passed the test was Loki’s Snooze 2 to which K.O said that he was “impressed by his confidence and style”.
So where was Loki during all of this?
I was at work, actually. I was adulting. A young homie of mine (@UncleJames__) who believed in me and is very adept to social media was the one who posted the link. The morning after, my phone starts going off. My Twitter and WhatsApp were going ham, people sending me screenshots saying “K.O just tweeted about you”. I didn’t actually know about it because I’m not on social media like that.
Now that he caught some attention from a high profile artist like K.O, it appeared that the work that he put in the Necta Music collective had paid its dividends. He also gives a young breakdown on how Necta Music moulded Loki into the rapper he is today:
Necta Music was me trying to put together a collective of people in the different fields of the industry that I felt that we could grow off of the interactions we made together.
It was me pushing myself relentlessly with a CEO type mentality. It was basically me hustling, trying to get things together and working it like I would work in any other company.
I had a good friend of mine, IQS Mel, doing visual content for me. Njabulo Khazi took the snaps and Percy Matthews produces and DJ’s for me. This taught me how to grow up, handle business and how to put out content of a high caliber.
Coz that is something I always tried to strive for, even before the Skhanda deal.
Life in the Time of Skhanda World
About 3 weeks after K.O’s tweet, the people at Skhanda World hit him up to confirm that they fux with his vision and wanted to build with him. Discussions were then held to understand what the duties & responsibilities would be for Loki and Skhanda World. Soon after those discussions, Loki went on to record verses for the Skhanda World posse cut “Killa Combo”, as well as “Better Choices” off of K.O’s 3rd album “PTY UnLTD”.
So what was the creative process that went into him locking in his verses? Were there any instructions given to him by Skhanda World or was he given full creative control?
I think it was a bit of both. With “Killa Combo”, all K.O said was I must do something catchy; easy for the ladies to sign along to. That was the only information I was given. I went home that Friday and recorded it and sent it back.
With “Better Choices”, it was kinda the same thing, but I was asked to rewrite a few things. They let me do my thing and then come back with suggestions and if I agree with them or not. It’s a family type of thing, siyabonisana nje (we understand each other). It’s a dope thing, I like it personally.
After getting a young buzz and catching people’s attention on some “who is this guy?”, it was time to let the young man have his shine. The result of that is “Section”, an upbeat, bouncy number made for the clubs and the radio which features his label boss, K.O. Interestingly enough, “Section” shares a few elements with K.O’s “Supa Dupa”. Make no mistake though, Loki is not a copy and paste of Mr Swagger of the Season.
So what is the concept of “Section” exactly?
It’s about repping your section; where you’re from, how y’all do it where you’re from and holding on to your beliefs. I’m from Durban so we have certain ways of living and beliefs. It also refers to the section where you’re at when you’re in the club. Where I’m at, it’s where it’s popping. Come through, I have everything that you need here.
Now that the spotlight is on him, it would be fair to assume that Loki would feel a bit of pressure. It’s one thing to record a verse for other artist’s songs, but it’s another thing to conceptualize your own song. Loki even put it out us that he had to do multiple takes to hit the high notes in his rap singing verse that reflects his Durban lingo and flavour.
So how did Loki view the difference between recording his own joints versus Skhanda World’s joints?
I’m recording on a different kind of plateau, something I’ve never been in before. That’s what stood out. The pressure in the room as I was the new guy. But I think I rocked out; I calmed my nerves very quickly and I handled.
Usually, I would write and record at home, or record in studio later. Now I’m writing and recording everything in the studio. Recording with the Skhanda guys is more technical as I would record line by line, vowel by vowel; whereas I would just record all the way through.
With everything being said, it looks like Loki’s label is willing to provide the necessary resources to ensure that Loki gets to “dominate in every city”. Time will tell if Loki will be able to find his section in the SA rap game. We at Thinksllow will definitely be keeping tabs.
Be on the lookout for Loki’s debut single featuring K.O called Section on 20 March 2020, available in all good streaming platforms.