A portrait of Speeka wearing a gray T-shirt and black bucket hat.

With 'I Know What You Did Last Lockdown' beat-tape, Speeka encourages artists to keep creating "if not for your own sanity, then for the rest of the world."

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Speeka Encourages Artists to Keep Creating With ‘I Know What You Did Last Lockdown’ Beat-Tape

South African producers team up for 'I Know What You Did Last Lockdown' beat-tape compiled by Speeka.

South African hip-hop producer Speeka invited fellow producers to submit beats they have created during the ongoing national lockdown enforced by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The end product is a recently released beat-tape featuring contributions from the likes of NapTune, TeezyOnTheBeat, DJ Pringle and others.

"The idea for the beat-tape came about literally a day or two before the lockdown began," says Speeka in an email to OkayAfrica. "I figured most beatmakers/producers like myself would be indoors making beats, so I might as well challenge everyone to keep creating and submit the beats they've done and turn it into a project."

Read: Meet Speeka, the Soweto-Based Producer Keeping Kasi Rap Alive

The sound on the 23-track I Know What You Did Last Lockdown varies from boom bap to trap, amapiano and other production styles.

South Africa has a long lineage of talented producers who have shaped the country's hip-hop sound. The lockdown has proven the perfect time for fans to appreciate artists they would normally overlook. The lockdown has given most people time to pay more attention to artists' contributions to music. For instance, the number of Instagram live battles have reminded fans of how far back some artists and producers' contributions go.

But the lockdown has been a challenging time for artists, just as it has for most working professionals. "The lockdown has been quite an experience," says Speeka. "Some days I get amped up and work for hours (on music and other stuff like script writing and video editing, etc). Other days I get all emo and uninspired and just get to thinking, 'damn, the world is really about to end?' An emotional roller coaster, basically."

Speeka encourages artists to just keep creating "if not for your own sanity, then for the rest of the world," adding, "It's clear that our work as artists in general plays a major role in the entire world being able to cope with what's been going down, so let's just keep at it."

Stream I Know What You Did Last Lockdown on SoundCloud.