ByLwansta Recounts a Robbery in New Single 'The Bike Song' from Upcoming EP SPIJØNGET (Chapter Two)

Listen to ByLwansta's new single 'The Bike Song.'

It's officially SPIJØNGET season. South African rapper ByLwansta's series of EPs is about to get a second iteration of its slates three. In "The Bike Song," ByLwansta recounts the tale of getting mugged in Joburg, which the rapper went through three weeks before the creation of the song in Berlin in August 2019 while he was on a residency program hosted by the Pop-Kultur Festival. The song was produced by German electronic music producer Robert Koch.


ByLwansta is known for using his music as therapy—most of what he's going through is documented in his rich catalog of projects. In "The Bike Song," he deliberately (or not) creates a juxtaposition between the liberating feeling that comes with cycling (presumably in Berlin) and, well, getting mugged on your way to take a bus in Joburg. His opening lines are polarizing:

"I just rode a bike, I just rode a bike/ I was like, feeling really good, I was feeling nice/ Saw my life flash before my eyes just the other night/ I was fuckin' terrified, man I'd almost swear that I died"

His delivery is sharp as ever, with his message being nested in complicated rhyme schemes and delivered with emotion and personality.

"The Bike Song" is the first song from SPIJØNGET (Chapter Two), which is a follow-up to SPIJØNGET (Chapter One) which was released March last year.

Stream "The Bike Song" below:


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Can you tell us more about your background and when you first started painting?

I am a self taught artist. I started drawing from when I was really young. I mostly used graphite pencils and paper. But about six years ago, I think it was 2014, I wanted to start getting into color. I was a university student at the time and I lived in a hostel with three other people, so I couldn't go traditional so [instead], I started making paintings digitally, first on my iPad and then on my laptop with a Wacom. I have been painting ever since.

What would you say are the central themes in your work?

I personally think my work celebrates beauty (African beauty to be precise) and occasionally absurd things. I really just want to make paintings that are beautiful.

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I do not have an exact process. I do use a lot of references though. Sometimes, I had an idea of how exactly the painting would look, others I just make it up as i go along.

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I am not sure–I did not actively pursue art in a sense. I was just doing it because it was fun and I wanted to. Then people all of a sudden wanted to put me on projects and offer to pay for my hobby. I have thankfully been able to make art and also work in a separate field—which I also enjoy–by day.

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