Five @ Five: with ASAP Shembe.

Photography credits: Chris Nkabayezwe

Let’s hypothetically say A$AP mob and Sjava had a love child? What would his name be? Well I think it would be this week’s guest name, ASAP Shembe, but the twist is that the “ASAP” in ASAP Shembe is not linked to A$AP Mob at all. The “ASAP” in ASAP Shembe stands for something more intriguing which you’ll find out about when you continue reading the article. There’s a piece I wrote for culture club about a year ago that isn’t published yet, titled “Inkomo Zami Zedlozi” it’s about a Zulu boy that lives his life by blending two cultures, the Zulu and street culture to navigate through life and I think that’s the best way to describe ASAP Shembe.

ASAP Shembe is a musical rap artist that raps in his vernacular language, Isizulu and English. He fuses Trap, Rap, Gqom & elements of Maskandi to his sounds. He has a total of four body’s of work and a handful of singles. He also has two EP’s “Butter 2” released in 2019 & “Insila” released this year, plus two albums “Inkinga” released in 2017 and his latest album released in April this year titled “Amarekere.” Featured on uSanele’s “Mvelase noShembe” the third song from “uMvelase” album we got to hear how hard ASAP Shembe can flow lyrically when he’s on a song with another artist, cause he ATE his verse.

Photography credits: Chris Nkabayezwe

1. Where does the name “ASAP Shembe” come from?

ASAP Shembe is an abbreviation for “Aba Sindiswe Aba Pheli” Shembe when translate to English it means “Those who have been saved shall never perish.”

2. How would you best describe your sound?

The sound that I make I personally call “Nguni Energy” a new approach to making music, a melting pot for all of life’s experiences good or bad.

3. Tell us about “Amarekere” what inspired the name and how was the process of making the entire album?

Amarekere” means Elastics. The body is an exploration in tension, the tension required to balance of two opposing forces, bouncing between cowardice and courageousness, shifting blame and taking control, externalising constraints and seeing them internally.  It’s an exploration into how that tension stretches you as an individual, which in turn brings about growth and sheds truth.

Photography credits: Chris Nkabayezwe

4. Who are some of your biggest inspirations, both locally and internationally?

I’m inspired by my peers people who are currently changing the artist narrative & what it means to be a South African artist in the global scale of things, artist like Thomas Hazey, Muzi, Robbin Thirdfloor, Gyre, KeaB, Rhea Blek, Daev Martian, Namakau Star, & Buli to name a few

5. What’s the best word that sums up your music career ?


That sums up this week’s article, but you can Stream and downloadAmarekere” on all music digital streaming apps.

One Reply to “Five @ Five: with ASAP Shembe.”

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