By Jeoffrey Mukubi
DYNAMIC rap duo Paradox will soon drop their latest offering, a mixtape titled The Known Unknown Two, while they are also elevating their hip-hop sound, by using live musicians during recent performances.
Cassidy Karon and Olavi ‘Toufi’ Ekanjo make up the rap duo, which has so far released two mixtapes and two albums, while winning five Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs), during their 10 years in the local music industry.
They said that the public should expect fireworks from their latest offering, which is expected to drop sometime this month or early next month.
“Doing art, in general, is not easy. We are trying to be unique with this mixtape and our launch will totally be different from your conventional music show,” Toufi told Confidente.
Their recent performances have included a live band being incorporated into their sets, which is rare for hip-hop artists in Namibia.
When asked why they decided to perform with live musicians, Toufi said, “Using live instruments makes us look more professional and mature, because we may not be live music artists, but we are definitely live music performers.”
“It’s also about creative freedom, because most hip-hop artists in Namibia lack stage presence, and we are trying to elevate the idea of hip-hop artists performing with live instruments,” added Cassidy.
Paradox is determined to break the norm of being just ordinary rappers, and want to lay down a new benchmark in the industry with The Known Unknown Two.
They perfrom what is referred to in the industry as neo soul, with hip-hop beats, while rapping about everyday issues that influence the youth, such as the abuse of social media and unhealthy lifestyles.
“The music is really just our take on everyday issues, and besides that, we are just trying to be a voice for the voiceless,” says Toufi. “As much as we are trying to educate people with The Known Unknown Two, the music is still very entertaining,” says Cassidy, before adding that the project aims to challenge others to strive for more creativity, and do better in their respective art forms. The project started in the middle of last year. Growing up as neighbours, the two rappers became best friends, and have known each other for over 15 years. Before releasing their debut hit single Shake That Thang, featuring Djay, they often performed together at smaller shows, when they were still students at Windhoek High School. In 2009, they were nominated for Best Hip-Hop Song at the then Sanlam Music Awards, for their track, Swagg On. They were both 16 years old at the time, making them the youngest male artists ever to be nominated. In 2012, they won the NAMA for Best Group/Duo, before going on to win three awards at the 2015 edition of the gala event. They also won Best Collaboration for Mr Well Done at the 2016 NAMAs, on which they featured South African rapper Riky Rick. Confidente had the opportunity to listen exclusively to some of the songs on The Known Unknown Two, which Paradox says gave them the opportunity to express themselves freely, while also showcasing their creativity. Although they collaborate with Willi-G Mr Producer, they produce and record most of their music in their home studio, which was installed at a cost of about N$38 000. They spent a total of N$20 000 on producing their album Catch 22 in 2015. The Known Unknown was produced at a cost of N$15 000.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015