KP Illest sets the bar high

By Rosalia David

IF ever there was any doubt that KP Illest didn’t have the chops to thrive in Namibian Hip Hop, his current album, titled ‘Faith and Favour’, proves otherwise. The 13-track album fully demonstrates the rapper’s range, creativity and love for music.

Though the visuals for the single, ‘Papa G, a track he released before officially dropping his album, it’s evidently not hyperbolic to claim that this release sets the rapper apart as one of 2019’s most essential artists.

Speaking to Confidente about his album, he said the offering has been well received and sales are moving just fine. The album – released on 22 November – features a number of sterling artists, such as Monique English, Cybar, Skrypt, Blakjaxx and Ice Prince. Faith and Favour was produced by as Sam E Lee Jones, Saakbeats in Durban, Bexxa Carter, Nick Monroe and Blakjax in London.

“This music thing has been in my family for years, all my family members are musical people and they all sing and play instruments. So, it was kind of like I had no choice, but ever since I started in 2008 I loved it but I never thought it would be a career,” he explained.

As to what inspired the title of the album, he said it was brought on by his wish to be the father of twins.

“The name came at a time when I wanted to have twins and I was really confident that I would have them. So, I went on Twitter to ask people for possible names and one girl said Faith and Favour. As I continued making music, it just started tying more in with the name and I [messaged] her to ask if I could use the name and she said by all means. In many ways she owns part of the album,” he said.

He added that the offering has been well received by his fans, who are ordering copies left, right and centre. The ‘Okay, Okay’ hit maker went on to say that, he now has plans to release more music videos to boost the album.

“Now that the album is out, I’m looking at dropping more visuals and aggressively pushing the Hip-Hop genre,” he said. Asked about his perspective on the current status of the Hip Hop industry in Namibia, KP Illest said the genre is slowly growing but can only make a mark if many artists take it to higher levels.

‘I think it’s growing, but at the same time I still feel like it’s not enough because the industry will only be where it needs to be when there are many artists carrying the flag of Hip-Hop. Once we generate a culture for it, then we will be where we need it to be.”

He says his personal favourite on the new album is a track called ‘Inspiration’, that speaks about struggles he went through and sacrifices he made for his art and what it represents. The album took him two years to complete.

“The biggest challenge by far is the fact that my asthma was at its worst so many times. I was in hospital and unable to do what I want to do, so my morale was so low most of the time. A big thanks to my best friend Maria Nepembe for always trying to boost my morale.”