Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Prince Kaybee Breaks Down 'The 4th Republic'

We talk to the South African DJ and producer about his fourth studio album, addressing social issues through music and more.

It feels like a lifetime ago when Prince Kaybee came onto the South African scene in 2015 winning the music reality show, 1's and 2's. Since then he has become one of South Africa's favourite artists.

Moreso in 2020, Prince Kaybee made Barack Obama's favourite songs of the year playlist with his single "Uwrongo"featuring Shimza, Black Motion and Ami Faku, a song about reconciliation which has gone platinum. He also recently received platinum plaques for singles "Fetch Your Life," "Club Controlla," "Banomoya," and "Gugulethu" from his third album Re Mmino.

When asked about it he mentions not wanting to celebrate history and focuse on the present. However, with the announcement of "Fetch Your Life" being featured on the official Coming 2 America-inspired soundtrack, Rhythms of Zamunda, and an NPR Tiny Desk performance (one of his biggest dreams) just a few days before the release of his fourth studio album, The 4th Republic, the man still has a lot to celebrate presently.

Made up of 24 songs, The 4th Republic features collaborations with King Monada, Lady Zamar, Black Motion and Chymamusique to name a few.We're on a Zoom call for the interview on a Friday afternoon. South Africa is currently experiencing load shedding (a rolling blackout), fortunately our interview is scheduled between the power outages. Prince Kaybee is hopeful and wants to spark change. Speaking to him you understand songs like "Ayabulela," which speak loudly against gender-based violence, one of South Africa's biggest issues.

He is unafraid to use music as an instrument for change and awareness but still makes music we can dance to. He is the people's DJ, a Robin Hood of sorts. Listening to "Sofaslahlane" I am taken back to his breakout hit "Wajelwa," which reminds me of nightlife before the pandemic. Nostalgia is arts best friend and something we might have to hold onto for a while as the DJ/producer is set on The 4th Republic being his second to last album.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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