Zakly is a proudly South African rap artist and producer based in the East Rand. Zakly spent the majority of his career in the “Underground” Rap and battle rap scene and is a huge fan of the culture in general. Zakly is not focused on commercial pop hip hop music but rather the intense story-telling and very lyrical old school styles of hip hop.
Out of all genres, why did you choose Hip hop?
It may sound cliche but I never chose hip hop but rather hip hop chose me. At a very young age a homie of mine played me some Wu Tang Clan on an old school cassette player and I immediately fell in love with hip hop and was fascinated by the ability to put words together, make them rhyme and tell a story. I do like other genres of music but the technicality of making words rhyme and different types of rhyming structures are very fascinating and I find pleasure in creating complex wordplay.
You dropped a hit “Expensive” featuring Da L.E.S, What is the motive behind the track and how has the experience been working with Da L.E.S?
My DJ at the time was a fan of Da L.E.S and DJ Darkness, he wanted to put a track together and have his two favorite artists on it. He produced a beat, I wrote the hook and first verse, then he approached Da L.E.S to feature on it and boom the vocals and instrumental separates were sent to a sound engineer called Pricha and the hit was produced by DJ Darkness. I then pushed the track and posted up all the artwork and ran social media ads and hustled. My idea was for fans to be able to download it free so you can get it for free download via Slikouronlife via – http://bit.ly/2Bfo74k … I personally don’t really dig working with established or comfortable artists cause I end up hustling my ass off and they chill cause it’s just another song but to me as a unsigned artist every track is super important and I prefer working solo as my style has its own unique sound but I did the trap track to have some fun and show my versatility as a lyricist.
Who are the other guys that you have worked with on the music industry?
Over the years I’ve worked with so many artists and had dope and wack experiences. Many SA artists that are already established have crazy egos and are lazy, so rather than give you a list, let me give some advice for up-coming rap artists and producers, forget wanting to work with stars but rather focus on being a star and doing your own thing, never sell out and just be true to yourself.
How is the response from family and friends towards your music journey?
I had my first track play on 5fm at like 18 years old so my friends and family have known for years that my whole life is music, everyone is super supportive and because I’ve been in rap for so long it’s literally just become the norm to family and friends, Zakly is a rap artist and that’s him. I must say that friends and especially females have come and gone, when I’m down they bounce and when I’m doing good they suddenly return or new ones appear so I tend to keep my circle very very small.
Your stage name Zakly, how did you come up with it?
My real name is Zak, I was in a battle rap in JHB CBD and while smoking a blunt a homie of mine called me Zakly, I figured it sounded dope and it stuck, if I could change my stage name now I would just loose the “ly” and use my birth name but Zakly sounds dope doesn’t it? Hahahaha.
One word to describe Zakly?
A cool white Boy, one word “ACWB”, pronounce it however you want. Hahaha.
Catch Zakly on;
Instagram – @zaklysa
Surely there’s someone out there who wishes to be like Zakly, how can you motivate them?
I have never paid a radio station to play my jams, slikour among others admitted in interviews that they paid to have music aired and money bought a lot of rapper success, I have never kissed ass or paid anyone, I even swore and fought with music compilers at major stations, so here’s the motivation – I’m the real deal, I’m a rap artist with integrity and my hustle got me working with the biggest names in music and my New EP tells my life story, I’m not tryna be like anyone and I can sleep at night with pride, forget the fame and forget the bullshit, be yourself and don’t be a sellout, the pride will be motivation enough.
Shout out to everyone that follows me on Instagram and every one that downloads my music, supports me and Shout out to Rap Type Magazine for the interview.