When you think of Kanibal, what comes to mind…a cannibal, who eats the flesh of other human beings?
Well, that is exactly who Shilongo Ashipala is musically, his rap career was sparked by the growth of local Hip Hop in 2009, but as a producer, he is everything in one package any upcoming rapper could ask for.
Fresh: Tell us a bit about your background
Kanibal: I’m a musician first before anything. I’m originally from Oshakati.
Fresh: Tell us about your new album, Focus….
Kanibal: I usually write very intense personal music. “Focus” is an easier listen. A happier, simpler, more fun album then my previous. It makes ME happy to listen to as well. Not much dark material.
Fresh: Whose opinion and guidance did you value during the making of this album?
Kanibal: I listen to EVERY SINGLE human being who is kind enough to offer me caring advice. In the music realm, I listen to Peter Karon, Danny (Ultimate Rhythm entertainment), my lady, and my peers.
Fresh: Do you think your confidence is growing with age?
Kanibal: No. I don’t think I shall EVER REALLY be confident. It’s just not who I am.
Fresh: You’ve been in the “industry” for years now. What does it mean to be an artist in 2015?
Kanibal: I’ve never been in any “Industry”. I don’t care for it, that stuff means NOTHING to me. I create art for the sake of art, and I encourage other artists to think the same way.
Fresh: Has your definition of success changed over the years?
Kanibal: I never had a real definition of success all along, but now I do. My personal unwavering definition of success is PROPERTY! Being able to provide a home for my family. It’s the only thing. Before I own one I have NOTHING, and after I acquire one I shall need NOTHING more. Every thing else is extra.
Fresh: Your fans love that you’re so outspoken. Have you ever gotten into trouble by saying the wrong thing?
Kanibal: I cannot count the amount of times. I’m learning, as I grow, that some things don’t NEED to be verbalised, and my opinion is NOT the most important thing in the world.
Fresh: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Kanibal: Gwen Lister, Lazarus Jacobs, Ricardo Manneti.
Fresh: If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Kanibal: I would talk to a 16 year old version of me, and impart on him all the knowledge I have acquired, so he can avoid the mistakes I’ve made, and make better informed decisions.
Fresh: Talk to us about your latest project, what, in particular do you want listeners to take into themselves from hearing them if they did not pick up on them and what inspired them?
Kanibal: You have to buy the CD, and listen to the track 15.
Fresh: What current living artist would you like to work with if given the chance?
Kanibal: Frank Ocean, Boyz 2 Men, Nas, and many others.
Fresh: What albums did you grow up listening to?
Kanibal: Nas – Stillmatic, Lauryin Hill – Miseducation, Sisqo – Return of the Dragon, Immortal Technique – Revolutionary 2, another endless list.
Fresh: For this album, what did you feel certain about?
Kanibal: That it was different.
Fresh: What would be success for you on this project?
Fresh: What are your favourite guilty pleasures?
Kanibal: Kapana. All day, every meal, for the rest of my life.
Fresh: For those that haven’t already listened to your latest project, what can they expect to hear?
Fresh: Did you always know you wanted to do music? Or was there like a defining moment when you realised it’s what you wanted to do?
Kanibal: I always knew I wanted to do ART. Music was just the one I excelled at first, but I draw, I paint, I write, and I’m learning film.
Fresh: Did you have a vision when you set about making the album, or was it more about allowing your sound to develop naturally?
Kanibal: I had a basic Idea. The version of focus that is not the original. I first recorded 11 songs in 2014, and deleted them all, but for “Kasi 2 Vip”. I was not happy, so I restarted the project from scratch.
Fresh: What’s your favourite track?
Kanibal: “Double life”
Fresh: There are several guest spots on the album…do you have a favourite?
Kanibal: Treza on “Kasi 2 Vip”.
Fresh: Finally, can you sum up what hip hop means to you in 3 or 4 words?
Kanibal: Culture expressed through art.
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