K.O reveals how his elder brother inspired him to be a Musician
Entrepreneur and musician Ntokozo Mdluli also known as K.O recently sat down with podcast host MacG for a conversation about his music career and entrepreneurship journey.
MacG : I’m chilling with Mr CashTime, K.O, Supa Dupa is in the building.
K.O : Thank you sir.
MacG : I’m trying to figure out between you and Slikour because you are both OGs, who is the original skook skrill because you both have an accent? I do not know where you learnt it from?
K.O : Actually to give you my real story, I actually finished my high school in the hood back in the day. All my brothers went to white schools and all that but with me how I picked up what I currently have, it was literally through hip hop. I was probably more invested in the school of hip hop than I was in the actual school, I mean I even graduated from university but it was not really the main thing for me, I did that by default because I could only come to Johannesburg to pursue music only if I’m here studying, but everything that I have, my knowledge and my addiction in grammar I owe it to hip hop.
MacG : And what kind of kid where you in high school because you look like an introvert brother?
K.O : Yes I’m very introverted, I think what I’m going through now in the industry if I can say, is that the stuff that I have been exposed to in the game and how my personality comes across, it has always been the same like when I was a kid. Just last week I was thinking, I think I was a depressed kid.
MacG : You are sure about that?
K.O : Yes
MacG : No ways
K.O : I think I was a depressed kid but not in a bad way, just depressed on a level where I always wanted more, and unfortunately because of our family background and where my parents were demographically, but I’m grateful that they were able to afford us pretty much the best they could get for us. I did not go to a hood high school because my parents could not put me through a proper school, it was just one of those thing that just happened, well that was just my personal situation but my brothers went to proper schools. We had clothes on our backs although they were not designer brands like now. There’s a song on my album called Shimi, so if you listen to that song it basically just gives you a background of the type of kid that I was, I was always ambitious, I always wanted more, I always asked my parents questions like, the house next to ours is a double storied one, why don’t we also have a double stories house? The father in the next house drives a Mercedes Benz, how come we have an Isuzu? So it’s all those questions that I had in my mind as a kid. So generally I would say I was just loosely depressed based on circumstance and my desire for more which is literally the first thing I did when I got into the hip hop game, when I was able to accumulate a little bit of income through the music, I wanted to make up for all those things that I never had. Like I had to go and buy all pairs of Jordan sneakers and all the designer brands that I always wanted as a kid.
MacG : If it was not for your older brother, do you think you would have fallen in love with hip hop?
K.O : Maybe not, because I admired him so much.
MacG : He is like your role model?
K.O : Yes he is my role model but I think I always somehow had a bond for music and for talent. Crazy enough, the person that actually made me want to do this was not even a hip hop artist. I remember watching a video of a young Tevin Campbell, it was from his blockbuster album and I think it was a Quincy Jones record that he was featured on. I remember seeing this kid when he dropped that debut and the little girls of my age at the time were just going crazy over this guy, and I was looking at him and I was like wow, so this dude is handsome, he has got the talent and he is everything a girl envisions, I want to be like him. So when I picked up that passion and also seeing some early stuff that Micheal Jackson did as a kid in the Jackson Five, it just ignited the fire in me as kid and I always wanted to get into the game but unfortunately I ended up only making it in my twenties even when I wanted to be a child star like them dudes.
MacG : What raps were you writing when you were still in high school? Do you still remember your first raps?
K.O : Hell no, I just remember like ‘Hello what’, that’s all I know. In fact I had just got back from a trip in Europe, I went to Amsterdam where I met this white dude that was at my high school for a year as an exchange student from Amsterdam. In high school he gave me a lot of crazy tapes of stuff that I had never heard in my life, I was like I’m in love with hip hop but I do not know how and where this guy gets this cool stuff from, but obviously hip hop was a lot bigger overseas. This dude actually did not know that giving me those tapes with all those free styles back in the day, with stuff that I was listening to for the first time just gave me the courage of saying, alright this is something that you can really pursue. This guy actually left the country a year later and since then, I had never seen or even spoken to him until two weeks ago when I got to Holland for my European tour.
MacG : You are kidding bro.
K.O : Yes that is the truth and I wanted to tell him that, you do not know what you did for me.
MacG : And he still remembered you?
K.O : Dude I was surprised because back then the internet was not really big, but this guy actually has been following me and what I have been doing all this time. He was telling me and I was like how do you know all this stuff brother? I’m coming up to you and I’m thinking like I’m going to surprise you and tell you about the great things that you did and where I am now, and the personality that I am back home, he was like dude I know all that stuff, then he started talking about CashTime Life and I was really surprised. So all those things just shaped me into the person that I am today.
MacG : So now that you were rapping, writing raps, when you go to your parents and you tell them that this is what I want to pursue, what did they say?
K.O : They were not against it, I mean back home I come from Piet Retief, a very small town in Mpumulanga and back then, me being there and just saying that I want to be this personality, and back in the day there were some big musicians like Mandoza, Zola and TKZee, who were making headlines all the time, me saying that I want to be an artist and I want to be on television just like them, it sounded like wishful thinking but my parents never killed my dream at that level.
MacG : But very futuristic of them?
K.O : Yes but they just said alright, cool we see that but go to school, graduate and just in case.
MacG : What did you do at university?
K.O : Public Relations Management at Vaal University of Technology, a three year diploma.
MacG : So that is when you came to Johannesburg?
K.O : Yes, so by me going to Vaal University of Technology, it made me feel like I was in Johannesburg literally because it was just like one taxi for me to come to the hottest clubs, like if I wanted to go and see a Busta Rhymes concert.