Lockdown in South Africa has bred numerous innovations, but none have been as effective in providing up-and-coming artists a platform to be discovered than Rap A Verse with Kwesta, a collaboration between SAMA-winning and record-setting rapper, Kwesta and Jameson, the best-selling Irish Whiskey in the world.
Born under Jameson Connects: The Stay Inn, a playbook of live virtual events brought to you by Jameson, Rap A Verse with Kwesta gave aspiring rappers the dream opportunity to potentially collaborate with Kwesta on a single and receive a trip for two to the Jameson Distillery in Ireland.
After 1 420 competition entries were received over a 5 week period, Kwesta had the hard task of going through every single entry before narrowing down his choices. While Kwesta admits there were some chancers, the majority of the entries were of a high calibre which only made his job more difficult.
“I was looking for someone who wants to make music, who lives for this thing, who has a dream of making music,” Kwesta expresses. “Beyond that, I didn’t just want one good verse, I wanted to see something in the person with that little verse. I wanted to feel that there was something more behind this verse and the artist. I wanted to feel the continuation of a career.”
In the end there could only be one, and after announcing K1 Jaxe (real name Ayanda Mokgopa) and DSB (real name Dorin Shane Braun) as the two finalists, Katlehong resident, K1 Jaxe has now been crowned as the winner of Rap A Verse.
Catching Kwesta’s eye and ear as an artist who is so much more than just one hot verse, K1 Jaxe will now have the guidance of Kwesta at his disposal as his career takes shape.
“Apart from the fact that he’s an amazing rapper, I spoke to him a couple of times while we were choosing the finalists and I felt his personality and I saw his desire. He has a desire to be in this game, he has a desire to rap and start a career in music,” Kwesta explains when questioned what the X factor was that he saw in K1 Jaxe.
“Bringing people together through culture is across everything we do at Jameson,” says Beatrice Marfleet, Marketing Manager of Jameson and Irish Whiskeys at Pernod Ricard SA. “We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from both consumers and artists on this campaign and we look forward to seeing the result of this collaboration, to bring our consumers platforms and campaigns that entertain and drive connections in new and innovative ways.
Lockdown rules pending, K1 Jaxe will now step into the studio with Kwesta and producer Edward “Gobi Beast” Gobizembe (DaKar II) to start work on a single which is set to yield sweet sounds.
WATCH: Video of K1 Jaxe announced as the winner.