#FDBQ EXCLUSIVE: In Conversation With Sam Turpin

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We introduced you to one of our favourite new Hip Hop artists, Sam Turpin, a while back and shared his music with you. We met up with this new talent in Rosebank and interviewed him on his favourite artists, his sound, what influences it, and the effect his race has on his perceived credibility in the Hip Hop world.

Find out his answers to that and more below:

Where are you from?
I’m from Johanesburg and I’ve always lived here but I’m English and my dad is from the UK. People always ask me about my accent but I was born and raised in Jo’burg. I spent a month in France in December though because I have a lot of family there. I discovered a lot of artists there who have influenced my sound.

When did you start getting into music?
I’ve always loved music. I remember the first album I ever bought was an Outkast album and I would listen to it and repeat the rhymes. I started making music when I was 13 years old. I’d make beats on my laptop at home but I didn’t get serious about my music ’til last year.

What influences your sound?
It’s usually emotional experiences in my life that influence me. If I’m feeling something I’ll write it down or put it into a beat.

When I listened to “Jo’burg City”, I noticed the intro had an old school sound to it. Was that a sample or was it original?
It was a sample from a film called Jim Comes to Jo’burg that was on the festival circuit a while ago. I think it’s better to sample from films because not a lot of artists do that. I want to differentiate myself from what’s out right now.

What kinds of artists do you listen to locally and internationally?
I didn’t really listen to a lot of local hip hop ’til recently. I thought it all had too much of a similar ‘party’ sound, but now there’s a whole new underground Hip Hop scene that’s emerging. People like Dirty Paraffin and OKMaloomKoolKat – those are the artists I’m listening to.

Internationally, I still listen more to underground rappers than the mainstream scene. I’m into Schoolboy Q and Joey Badass – people that are around my age. It helps to see what they’re doing with their music.

Who are you favourite artists?
Locally, my favourite artist of all time has to be Miriam Makeba. I love that old school sound from the 60s. Internationally, it will always be Outkast. I have every group and solo record they’ve ever put out.

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How does living in Jo’burg influence you as an artist?
I’m lucky that was born at the time I was born. There are no limitations. You can be whoever you want and do whatever you want with no judgement so I think that influences me as an artist.

What’s your dream collaboration?
That’s a tough one but I think Core Wreckah – a rapper from Lesotho – is one person that I would love to work with. He blends a lot of genres into his music and that’s what I do as well. If I could get him I’d be really happy.

Do you think your race plays any part in how people perceive your credibility as a rapper?
If people judge me before they hear what I can do then they’ll change their minds after they hear me. I don’t think it should play a role at all though. I’m a producer and a rapper and in the US and UK market there are a lot more white producers than rappers. I’ve never had my race hold me back before and I hope it never does.

Are you signed to a label?
No, I’m not. Right now I’m independent and I’m doing everything by myself.

Is it harder trying to create a movement when you’re an independent artist?
Actually, I think it’s easier because there’s no pressure from anyone. I can do whatever I want – no one can really tell me what to do. There are no time restrictions either. I can wake up at 3 in the morning and make a beat and own it. There’s a lot of freedom that comes with being independent.

What are your plans for the future?
I can’t really reveal anything right now but I do have some big things in the pipeline in terms of collaborations so everyone just has to stay posted. I’m planning on releasing a 5/6 song EP so you can look forward to that. I don’t want to release too much music at one time though and at the same time I don’t not want to release anything at all and not capitalise on the buzz that’s happening. Especially in a time where the music consumer has a shorter attention span.

With artists like Sam Turpin emerging in the local Hip Hop scene, we can see that the future of South African Hip Hop is in capable hands.

Stay with Feedback Musiq to hear more from Sam Turpin in the future.

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