24 Feb, 2016

NORMVL Decoded: AXE sit down with Lwansta

We caught up with the homie Lwansta recently and we talked Music, Love, and family amongst other things. Although we didn't have a sit down, we still got insight on the young man and his aspirations for the future. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll have a close-up with the man, until then here's what we got from the interview...

AXE: Wassup Home fry. Please re-introduce yourself to the people.

Lwansta: Lol, every time an interviewer asks me to do so, I always break out into a rap, but I'm typing this reply so… Hi, my name is Lwansta, and I hate everything/ I woke up in the morning hungry AF but I ate everything, my fridge is empty/ at least it's clean though/ it's that time of the month, where two minute noodles are like a meal bro.

'Igama lam ngu Lwansta from a small town called Kokstad on the border of KZN and Eastern Cape.

AXE: Congratulations on the NORMVL tape. Great work! Care to tell us about thought process behind the tape?

Lwansta: Thank you my G, NORMVL's my baby, seeing her go through high school and getting her degree, I'm a proud dad right now.

NORMVL was a very different project in comparison to the projects I'd released in my younger years. 90% of my writing process found me waking up in the morning, suddenly, a line will hit me like "Hey dad, I just thought that I'd let you know.." and I'd just repeat that line all morning while I dressed, packed my stuff and walked to campus. On my way back from campus, I've added at least 4 or 5 more bars to it.

NORMVL was more a platform for me to vent and externalize all my grievances, it was an avenue for my stresses to find a home, and to stay there for good.

Having left for Durban last year, and living away from home, I learned a lot about myself, with only Lwansta to confide in, so I was introduced, or rather, re-introduced to feelings I've internalized throughout my life, and they all just ended up on a mixtape called NORMVL.

I wanted to give people my heart inside of a CD sleeve. I'm satisfied, the next is going to be EXTRA special though.

AXE: NORMVL, is a lament by a young South African struggling to find his feet in this game we call life. It speaks to the ills we go through in life such as heartbreak and self doubt but in a uniquely Born Free way. You opted to speak at a personal level; using your story, was this intentional or did it just naturally occur as you were working on the project?

Lwansta: NORMVL was a concept I came up with, where the dictionary definition of normal being a standard set by society was scrapped, and one that encouraged self-acceptance and individualism. That's why I was so comfortable talking about what I did on NORMVL, because it was NORMVL to me.

I didn't really have the listener in mind when I began writing, that's why the project came out so "raw", for lack of a better word. I was just externalizing pain, the best way I know how. I used to do that when I took art in high school, but I rap too, so that was another avenue.

Everything actually fell into place. I wrote a lot of my stuff before I even got beats, in the way I explained earlier, or I wrote over somebody else's' beat out of desperation.

AXE: Do you regard NORMVL as a way of life for you now so much so, you don't speak it but live it?

Lwansta: It's more a perspective than a way of life, because in order to live a certain way, you need to think and feel a certain way. NORMVL helped me love myself more, to love Lwandile for everything he is because he's him. NORMVL, I hope, opened that perspective up to people who enjoyed the project, I call them the NORMVL Nation now.

I'm giving them a name so they feel more part of my come up and everything I stand for before the main stream catches on. I don't want people to be fans of Lwansta, there's nothing special about me, I'm just a man, it's the music, they must love the music, the way they love Doritos more than they do whoever made them.

AXE: You released a short film; Lindiwe. What was the thought process behind the feature and are you planning on screening it at any film festivals?

Lwansta: Basically, because Lindiwe was a song I wrote based off the impact and experiences I had with certain females, who are or aren't part of my life right now, it was very easy to translate that visually, because I knew exactly what I wanted, and depicted exactly that.

Depending on its success following its online release, I'm going to try to get it on several platforms.

AXE: What does the future hold for Lwansta?

Lwansta: There's SO much I want to do in the future. I have NORMVL Media Co-op that I've established under which I offer graphic design and multimedia services, so I want to grow it, and it will grow at the same exact pace as Lwansta, because what's nice about being a rapper and designer, I ALWAYS have a client, Lwansta, a lot of my commissioned work is based off work I've done for Lwansta. NORMVL Media Co-op's going to be a creative firm that I work under, I'm going to do videos, lyric videos, everything, EVERYTHING I CAN DO!

It might even end up a label, andaz, sobona.

AXE: Last Words?...

Lwansta: I really like Easter eggs.

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