Interview With Liquideep!!
After a month of trying to get a chance to interview popular group, Liquideep, I dropped everything I was doing when I finally got a call from them inviting me to Cresta Mall for an interview. When I got to our meeting spot, I was welcomed by teams of media people queuing patiently with their video cameras waiting for their turn to interview Liquideep. I too joined the queue, too easy a task for someone who plays LOTTO like I do. So when my turn came, the guys that were to do their interview after mine started flashing their business cards telling me they were from BBC what what, asking if they could do their interview first as they were in a hurry. To which I refused for the simple reason that the paper they were flashing didn’t have any of the Big 5 animals on it, mxim cheap skates.
This was to be one of my first group interviews and I didn’t really know how to conduct it, you know, who to talk to and stuff like that. Luckily, Zyon the vocalist of the songs is also a voice in their interviews, he jumped to almost every question I asked, making my life a lot easier.
Zyon (left) and Ryzor (right)
Also, the interview is a bit long… please don’t get tired of reading, just be glad its not Skwatta Kamp. Here we go:
Cedrick: Liquideep, who are you guys?
Zyon: Liquideep is Zyon and Razor two guys who met in 2006, started the group Liquideep in 2007.
Cedrick: Are you guy’s friends or just business partners? Tell us about your partnership.
Ryzor: Yes we are friends; we’ve been friends since 2006, before Liquideep was started. We first became friends before business partners.
Cedrick: How did you get into music?
Zyon: I’ve always been into music for as long as I can remember, but I started professionally when I was 19. It was then that I realized that it was always something I wanted to do and I was already in those circles so I just took it seriously and went ahead and did it. In the country I started producing for people in 2001, I produced for a lady called Swazi Dhlamini, did one track with Gloria Bosman, worked with Loyiso Bala and a couple of other artists. As Liquideep we are involved in TV work as well but more in the background.
Cedrick: Zyon where did you get that foreign accent?
Zyon: I’m originally from the states, I came to South Africa for the first time in 1997, and I have been coming here every year since then until I officially moved here in 2004.
Cedrick: And you Ryzor?
Ryzor: I was born in Alex, but grew up in Limpopo then moved back to Alex when I was older.
Cedrick: What are some of the things you had to compromise to get in the industry?
Zyon: That’s a very good question; I don’t think we’ve ever had that question before. We really didn’t have to compromise. Luckily we stayed true to what we loved to do, like, everything just fell into place. Even some of the disappointments that we saw at the time when we look back, they were actually things that were protecting us. I can look back and say I don’t think we compromised ourselves. We’ve made mistakes but I don’t think we compromised.
Cedrick: Nice. Who are some of the people that helped you get into music?
Ryzor: I was working closely with Thulani (The warrior), he’s the guy that I still look up to as a DJ. This is the guy that approached me when they started a recording label BBB Music requesting for a track for an album they were working on.
Cedrick: How did you guys manage to make sure that you were bringing a new sound?
Zyon: We didn’t think about it, what we did what we love, that’s all we. When we first started we had a specific direction and I think musical taste in regard to what we thought Liquideep would put out. After we started seeing some bit of success we started realizing that music is bigger than the genre, even our taste is bigger than the genre, it shouldn’t be boxed in. Music is about the people, not about us. I heard from a friend of mine that he had a friend of his that passed away and at his funeral they played Fairytale because it was his favorite song before he died.
(Ryzor chirps in )
Ryzor: Like today, we heard a story from one lady who spoke about one of the songs on our current album; apparently this song motivated someone out of a stage where he was to give up on life. When you hear stories like that, you realize that it’s not always about you.
Cedrick: That’s powerful. Who would you guys like to work with in the future?
Zyon: I like Bucie, I love her voice. I LOVE HER VOICE. Please get that right.
Ryzor: I like Zonke, Blackcoffee and Kelly Khumalo, she has a beautiful voice.
Cedrick: And a beautiful body too.
Zyon: Not even hot but, she’s hot but like, she’s got a brilliant voice like I’ve heard her sing accapela before and she has a powerful voice.
Cedrick: Hahaha, I’ll get that right too.
You guys have a new album out now, with two hit songs flooding the radio, Alone and BBM, can you please explain to us the motivation behind the BBM song.
Zyon: BBM, I wrote it maybe 3 to four months after I bought my BlackBerry and you know with BB it shows on BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) which song the person you are chatting to is playing. So it just came basically from that. I’d be chatting to uhhm lol, certain people and I noticed that they were playing some of our tracks, most of the time Fairytale. And that used to tickle me, I’d be like wow I’m chatting to them and they’re listening to our track, so yeah, that’s where the track came from
Cedrick: Fairytale sold very well on the digital market, did you guys get into the industry with plans to focus more also on digital sales as opposed to just CD copies?
Zyon: We are only learning now how powerful the digital world is.
Ryzor: Most of the songs that I play as a DJ; I buy them on the net. And that’s what most DJ’s out there do. We didn’t suss out that the public is actually that much into digital downloads.
Cedrick: You won two Metro FM awards, one of them is for the most digital download, two talented guys, two awards, two albums, less than two years. What does this mean for Liquideep?
Zyon: We just put out our second album; it went gold in October, won 3 awards already, two Metros and one Channel O award. We are going to the MAMAs next month. Next year, we want to get more into production for other people. We have kind of started doing that, we have made a song for Theo Kgosinkwe, and a lady called Jae, we did five tracks on her new released album. Maybe also identifying talent and grooming young talent.
Cedrick: Who inspires you?
Zyon: My father inspires me a lot, well my step father. He inspires me because he’s been in the industry himself for over 22 years and he’s done nothing but music full time. When you have someone like that close to you, it inspires you to do the same thing. If I didn’t see how he lived his life, I don’t think I’d be here now.
Ryzor: I get inspiration from people like Black Coffee for a whole lot of reasons, from the way he conducts himself, the music he does, the charity initiatives that he gets himself involved in, to name just a few. And when you meet him as well you just get that thing that makes you feel special. I mean I finally met him this year and before meeting him I was jumping around telling Zion how happy I was.
Cedrick: Whoa, are you talking about that groupie excitement?
Ryzor: Yeah that, like I just met L’vovo now and I failed to hold back the excitement. We are people too man, we also have people that we look up to.
Cedrick: Wow, I feel less embarrassed about my groupie tendencies.
Zyon: If somebody inspires you, its infectious, you are just drawn to them, no matter who you are if you are a person you get affected by that.
Cedrick: Very true. Who do you think is your competition?
Zyon: I think we are all each other’s competition. But we don’t look at it that way, what I love about the industry now is everybody has their own style and voice. And when we meet with other guys, all we talk about is plans of working together, exchanging music etc, so there’s no competition.
Cedrick: In terms of music direction, what’s the difference between the first and second album?
Zyon: The first album will always be special to me just because it was the first one, and there are a lot of good songs on that album. But with Fabric of the Heart (second album) our sound became more matured and we explored sound and writing a bit more, I think this album is a bit better rounded as well.
Cedrick: Being new in the industry, how are guys planning to not be in the tabloids for the wrong reasons?
Ryzor: Maybe you should advice us on what we should do to stay out of the tabloids as someone who is in the media.
Cedrick: I can’t do that; they would disown me if I did.
Zyon: You know in the beginning we got bitten by the fame bug and all we wanted was to have parties and have fun. I have my time but right now, I’m into performing, doing my job and leaving. I think that’s the best way to keep business and personal space as much separate as possible.
Ryzor: I’m still the same person I was before the fame, and if what I was doing before the fame would put me in the papers then I don’t know.
Cedrick: Talking about things that you have done before the fame, I think the best thing to do is to bring them in the open before the tabloids start digging, and you use interviews like this for that purpose. Free the skeletons in the closet already.
(This questions evokes a mini toyi toyi)
Zyon: OH NO NO NO. We don’t do that because I know y’all just need to sell, you’re not really trying to help us.
Cedrick: That is not entirely true.
Zyon: More so than anything. Like I said, I keep my business and personal life separate. And if there are people who know my past, that’s who I talk to about it. I’m not going to talk to somebody I just met, who has a certain impression or a certain opinion about me.
Cedrick: And that person is me?
Cedrick: Tjo, I’m liking you guys a lot less than I did before I met you, I still love your music though.
Zyon: Then our purpose is being done very well if you still love our music.
Cedrick: Double CAPITAL letter TJO!!!
Zyon: No but seriously you got to be careful, if we were to exchange roles, there are probably some things that you did that you wouldn’t want me to know.
Cedrick: Of course there is, let’s not even go there. How has fame changed your life?
Zyon: Our friends and families are proud of us; there are things I bought because of music. On the flipside we can’t really go out in public spaces like we used to. Being famous you become, almost like public property, everybody just feels like they are entitled to your time. You have to make sure that we are more accommodating, you know when somebody wants your time, and they want it now.
Cedrick: Oh I see. How do you handle criticism?
Ryzor: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and my philosophy is that, if I see that a person is perhaps advising us on trying to change something, I take it as such but if otherwise, I just let them be. Why waste energy on things that you can’t control.
Cedrick: Mhhh ok. Have you guys made enemies yet?
Zyon: Well maybe, you know with this industry, you can never really know because unlike with hip hop we don’t go around say yoh I have beef with that one there. So we could, I’m sure not everybody out there is not friends with me, but we are not in the industry to make friends. We are here to make music and change people’s lives. But if we make friends along the way, it’s cool.
Cedrick: Anything that was ever said about you guys that hurt you because it wasn’t true?
Ryzor: There are things that I heard that are not correct, but yah.
Cedrick: Keep talking.
Ryzor: Why should I waste time telling you cos they’re not correct?
Cedrick: Well maybe just to clarify just so people know the truth.
Ryzor: Nah you go dig yourself, I’m not going to tell you.
Cedrick: Tjo ok then. How old are you guys?
Zyon: I’m 30.
Ryzor: I’m 31.
Cedrick: Wow, y’all are still young. Any pair of Jezabels out there?
Zyon: Hahahaha no, we don’t run our lives like that. I have my time; there are much more important things than what comes with the industry. Like now I’m more interested into building a good family, and I don’t have that right now, what I have is my mother, my father and sister. No Jezabels.
Cedrick: So I can tell the ladies you are available?
Zyon: No that’s not what I said; all I said was there are no Jezabels. I’d never even want to be close to one.
Cedrick: Let me rephrase then, are you guys dating?
Ryzor: Music can at times be viewed as a fairytale, like a wishy thing, so sometimes it’s better not to tell people the truth cos they end up thinking this thing is not available, in which case they lose interest especially the ladies. So rather let them think what they want.
Cedrick: Wow, Tuks Senganga gave the same answer; did you guys go to the same school of music or what lol. Please tell me about your partnership with Love Life.
Zyon: It started with a song we did back in the days called Live Your Life, we approached them and asked to work with them. And as you may have seen earlier, we just performed here at Cresta Mall for free.
Cedrick: You guys approached Love Life, impressive stuff. Are you guys working on any other charity projects?
Ryzor: Yes we are, too many to mention.
Cedrick: Thank you a lot for your time. Keep doing the great work out there.
Interview by Cedrick Mashamaite ©