Biggy talks about hit song ‘Dames’

Biggy’s song ‘Dames’ is a hit across the country. Biggy’s unique take on Afrikaans rap has made him many fans. The JOOX team caught up with him to get to know more about him and his music.


Your single ‘Dames’ is an internet sensation. Describe the feeling.

“It’s crazy. It’s crazy to see how people vibe with the song, as it as an unplanned song. The first million…no, the first one hundred thousand views, were crazy. We didn’t expect it all, my producer and I. We put it out by luck and when they phoned me to sign me – that was like the dream from day one. So it’s really crazy. That’s the only way I can describe it.”


Jou enkelsnit ‘Dames’ is ‘n internet sensasie. Beskryf die gevoel.

“Dis mal. Dis mal om te sien hoe mense vibe met die song, want dit was ‘n unplanned song. Die eerste miljoen…nee, die eerste honderd duisend views was crazy. Ons het dit glad nie verwag nie, ek en my producer. Ons het dit by luck uitgesit en toe hulle my bel om my te sign was dit soos ‘n droom van dag een. Ja, so dis rêrig mal. Dis al hoe ek dit kan beskryf.”


What was the inspiration behind ‘Dames’?

“When I finished matric we went to party in J-Bay. After we went to party one night, my friend and I walked home and there was a group of girls walking. My friend asked me what he can say to them, as he likes pick-up lines and I often think of phrases. He asked me what to say, and I said ‘Dames, se my wat jou naam is’. When he used it the girls fobbed him off so badly – it was so funny! This happened in about 2014/2015 and I never thought of making it a song.

“Then sometime last year my producer posted a competition on Facebook where you to send a 30-second voice note that he would remix on a beat. I submitted ‘Dames, se my wat jou naam is’ as a joke, because the idea was that people had to vote for whose mix sounded the best. A lot of people submitted material, but people just started voting for ‘Dames’ and I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to make this song.’

“We eventually recorded the song and it was so funny because my producer had to hit pause the whole time because he first wanted to finish laughing. When the song was finished, we posted it on SoundCloud, and it independently got over a hundred thousand views. That’s when we kinda knew that this song was going to be big.” 


Wat was die inspirasie agter ‘Dames’?

“Toe ek klaar gemaak het met matriek toe het ons gaan party in J-Bay. En toe het ons die aand geparty en toe ek en my vriend huis toe stap, toe loop daar ‘n groep meisies verby. My vriend vra toe wat kan hy sê, want hy like pick-up lines en ek dink aan baie goed. Hy vra my toe wat hy kan sê en ek sê ‘Dames, se my wat jou naam is’. En toe hy dit op hulle gebruik het hulle hom so hard gebat – ‘Ag kyk nou hierdie ou seuntjie’ – dit was so snaaks. Dit was in 2014/2015 en ek het nooit daaraan gedink om dit ‘n song te maak nie.

“Toe êrens in laas jaar sit my producer ‘n kompetisie op Facebook uit waar jy ‘n 30 second voicenote moet stuur en dan remix hy dit op ‘n beat. Ek het toe ‘Dames, sê my wat jou naam is’ uitgesit as ‘n joke. Want die idee was dat mense moes vote vir wie s’n klink die beste. Toe het klomp mense ingeskryf, maar mense het net begin vote vir ‘Dames’ en ek was soos, nee, ek wil nie hierdie song maak nie! 

“Ons het toe die song ge-record in die studio en dit was so snaaks, want my producer moes heeltyd pause, want hy wou eers klaar lag voor hy aangaan met die recording. Toe ons die song klaar het, toe release ons dit op soundcloud en toe gaan dit net mal. Dit het independently oor ‘n honderd duisend plays gekry en dis toe ons kinda geweet het hierdie gaan groot gaan.”


Listen to ‘Dames’ on the JOOX music player

Listen to Biggy’s ‘Dames’ songs on the JOOX music player now. 

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Biggy makes a hand gesture before he talks about Dames.

You write in Afrikaans and English. Are you an Afrikaans rapper, English rapper, or just a rapper?

“I am an Afrikaans rapper. I won’t fully rap in English. It is more where the slang and the rhyming words where the English comes in, but it is not full-on English. I like my language, so we’ll stick with it.”


Jy skryf in Afrikaans en Engels. Is jy ‘n Afrikaanse rapper, Engelse rapper, of net ‘n rapper?

“Ek is ‘n Afrikaanse rapper. Ek sal nie voltyds Engels rap nie. Dis waar die slang inkom, ook met die rhyming words, dis waar die Engels inkom, maar dis nie full-on Engels nie. Ja, ek like my taal, so ons stick met dit.”


You’ve been in the industry for a while. What lessons have you learned along the way so far?

“The main thing is to remain humble. Keep your feet on the ground. All the support that you get – appreciate it. Everyone that shows love, the people that share your stuff online. And get tunnel vision. There will be people that get the wrong idea about you. ‘Cause my journey was like that. My first video was hectic, as it didn’t do well. Back then, the dream was already full on – I wanted to live the dream now. And it doesn’t work like that. You must hustle, you must be able to go in many different directions.

“Now that I have been signed I have learned many things. You’re in a spot. You must remain focused. You mustn’t lose focus because of the things that are happening. Cause that’s crazy. I wasn’t used to being treated like a ‘celeb’. So the main thing is to remain humble. Work hard. Sacrifice the hours, because if you have the opportunity, then you have to grab it with both hands.”


Jy is al ‘n rukkie in die industrie. Wat se lesse het jy langs die pad geleer sovêr.

“Die main ding is om humble te bly, om nederig te bly. Voete op die aarde. Al die support wat jy kry – waardeer dit. Almal wat liefde wys; die mense wat jou goeters share online. En kry tunnel-vision. Daar gaan mense wees wat die verkeerde idee van jou kry. Want my journey was so. My eerste music video was hectic, want dit het nie goed gedoen nie. Daai tyd was die droom al full-on – ek wil nou die droom lééf. En dit werk nie so nie. Jy moet hustle. Jy moet alle rigtings kan gaan.

“Nou dat ek ge-sign is het ek baie dinge geleer. Jy’s in a spot. Jy moet focussed bly. Jy moet nie focus verloor op die dinge wat nou gebeur nie. Want dis crazy. Ek was nie gewoond daaraan om soos ‘n “celeb” te behandel te word nie. So die main ding vir my is om humble te bly. Werk hard. Offer die ure op, want as jy die opportunity het dan moet jy dit met altwee hande gryp.” 


When did you know you wanted to make music for a living?

“I was on a farm a lot when I was growing up. So I basically wanted to become a farmer. But when I moved back to live with my parents – as I lived with my grandparent for a while – and I moved back to the city, I was exposed to street culture. I met new friends, people who were already in the culture, who knew music. In PE, in the area where we lived music was a big thing. I was exposed to 50 Cent and Eminem and Biggy Smalls and all those guys. Then I was like: ‘Yo, this is what I want to do!’

“At that stage, there was nothing like this in Afrikaans yet. But when Parow and the main guys came out, when I heard Earl, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I want to create my own vibe and tell my story.”


Wanneer het jy geweet jy wil musiek maak vir ‘n lewe?

“Toe ek groot geraak het was ek baie op ‘n plaas. So ek wou basically ‘n boer geword het. Maar toe ek terugtrek na my ouers toe – want ek het by my ouma-hulle gebly – en ek terugtrek na die stad was ek exposed aan street culture. Toe het ek nuwe vriende ontmoet, mense wat alreeds in die culture was; wat musiek geken het. In PE in die area waar ons gebly het was musiek ‘n groot ding. So toe was ek exposed tot 50 Cent en Eminem, en Biggy Smalls en al daai mense. Toe was ek ‘Joe, dis wat ek wil doen!’ 

“Toe was daar nog nie so iets in Afrikaans nie. Maar toe Parow en die main guys uitgekom toe, toe ek Earl gehoor het, toe weet ek dit is wat ek wil doen. Ek wil my eie vibe create en my storie vertel.” 


Would you like to work with an artist outside Afrikaans?

“Definitely. I want to break that barrier where if you are an Afrikaans rapper that you work with Afrikaans artists. Rappers can work together, especially with what I do. ‘Dames’ already has a dancey vibe, and if you mix it with kwaito – it can only be a jol!”


Wil jy met kunstenaars buiten Afrikaanse-musiek werk?

“Ja ,nee definitief. Ek wil daai barrier breek van hy’s ‘n Afrikaanse rapper so hy werk met Afrikaanse mense. Rappers veral, die ouens kan saamwerk. Veral met wat ek doen, soos ‘Dames’ is al klaar ‘n dancey vibe en as jy dit mix met kwaito – dit kan net ‘n jol wees!”


What do you think Die Antwoord?

“I am mad about Die Antwoord. I love them as they are very big with what they do. The international level that they’ve reached I thought was crazy. When I was in Grade 7, I bought their CD. My mom gave me that freedom to listen to whatever I wanted. I bought Jack’s CD, Die Antwoord’s CD – and these artists inspired me. Die Antwoord showed me that the levels that you can reach are endless.”


Wat dink jy van ‘n groep soos Die Antwoord?

“Ek is mal oor Die Antwoord. Ek love hulle want hulle is baie groot met wat hulle doen. Daai international level wat hulle gereach het, daai was vir my crazy. Toe ek in Graad 7 was toe koop ek hulle CD. My ma het vir my daai freedom gegee om te luister na wat ek wil. Ek het Jack se CD gekoop, Die Antwoord se CD gekoop – daai groepe het my geïnspireer. Die Antwoord het my gewys dat die levels wat jy kan reach is endless.”


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

“I want to take each project or album to the next level. Five years from now I will still be here, I am going to push. I want to do this for the rest of my life. Right now, I am still learning. This is only the beginning. I am just taking things day by day.”


Waar sien jy jouself in 5 jaar?

“Ek wil elke projek of elke album net verder vat. Maar vyf jaar van nou gaan ek nog steeds hier wees, ek gaan push. Ek wil hierdie vir die res van my lewe doen. Ja, ek leer nog nou. Dis nog net die begin. Elke ding vat ek maar dag by dag.”


Hoe dink jy inspireer jou musiek se oorpronklike stories jou gehoor?

“Ek het ‘n diep kant en ek het ‘n snaakse kant. Wanneer ek ‘n storie vertel is dit basically al wat met my gebeur het. As dit nou ‘n love song is dan dink ek altyd hoe ek die storie kan vertel sodat almal kan relate aan dit. 

“Met ‘Dames’ vind mense dit snaaks, plus hulle kan dans en dit enjoy en hulle lag vir dit. Maar ‘Deurmaak’ en ‘Voel vir jou’ hit mense met feels. Veral by die shows, as dit kom by die dieper songs. 

“Toe ek begin perform het was ek baie bang om my ander musiek te perform, want dit kry nie so baie aandag soos ‘Dames’ nie. Maar toe ek sien by die shows dat mense vibe met dit en hulle ken die woorde – dit was mal, want ek daai songs geskryf toe ek emotionally swaar gekry het en dit kom uit ‘n diep kant. So as mense kan relate aan dit is ek dankbaar.”


 The JOOX team are excited to see what Biggy does next, and we want to hear all about it.


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