A force to be reckoned with on the local hip-hop scene, Lee STK continues to make amazing moves and push women in the industry forward. At 29 years old, the muso is no longer trying to make a name for herself on the hip-hop scene as she has proven that she’s here to stay and give us the hard-hitting melodies we need for the party season.
We caught up with the rapper to chat about her music, the local hip-hop scene and what she’s been up to since she last touched base with City Buzz earlier this year.
What have you been up to since the last time you touched base with City Buzz?
After the exposure I got from you guys at City Buzz, I realized I need to work even harder than before so I started writing and got into studio and I got a chance to work with amazing producers, so I ended up dropping three singles – Go Monate featuring Nelz, Zwakala and Stand Out which I worked on with both MR Luu and Msk. All those singles were debuted on radio both commercial and national and they’re doing very well.
What was the inspiration behind the video/song #GoMonate with Nelz?
The inspiration behind Go Monate was very simple as Nelz and I are from different areas but we are in the same industry so when we got together we wanted to incorporate the style from Durban and my style as I’m from Mafikeng. So, the song is all about having a great time with friends and we wanted the video to have the same vibe, colourful and a great vibe, it’s a track for everyone who loves to have to fun.
How would you describe the sound #GoMonate brings out?
In my own opinion, I don’t know about Nelz, the sound brought a lot of positive energy that’s why eventually we opted for a fun summer song which will bring friends together, especially since spring is on the way, that was our aim.
What was the creative process like?
The first time I met with Nelz I felt a vibe about her that I never felt with anyone in the industry thus far and right there and then we exchanged details got in touch and decided to drop a collabo together. As soon as we got into the studio it was very organic, the atmosphere was very refreshing, we were feeding off each other’s energies. It was just amazing to be working with someone like her and the song says it all about our creative juices and as for the video go check it out for yourself and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
All the time but I try not to show it so I always say a prayer before going on stage. I think it helps me in a way because then I become really careful and make sure I give people what they want. I guess it comes with respecting your craft and the supporters as well.
What are your favourite venues to perform at?
I believe as an artist you should be comfortable with performing anywhere, so no need to set limits about where you should showcase your craft but, yet again, you can’t go wrong with intimate spaces as they bring you closer to your fans.
Who else would you like to collaborate with (SA and international)?
Well, I have two in SA – it has to be Sjava because he’s so talented beyond words and also Thandiswa Mazwai, talking about her is breathtaking. Both of them are very authentic and internationally I have no desire to work with anyone yet as I want to keep it local.
The hip-hop industry is brutal and very male-dominated with lots of competition, how do you remain sane?
Everyone I’ve found in the SA hip-hop industry earned their stripes and I have to say I’m very proud of the females as they’re doing a good job but at this point, I’m more focused on my race more than anything else, it’s only a matter of time before I blow up.
What do you think is still missing in SA hip-hop?
Originality, we have so many talented artists but they are afraid to be true to their craft so authenticity is lacking in most of the artists. As I mentioned before, Sjava is very authentic and at this point, he’s on a level of his own.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I just want to take this opportunity and thank you for believing in me and for always having my back even though I’m flawed. Don’t be a duplicate, be a proud original.