12 March 2019
SOUTH Africa based rapper, King 98 – real name Ngoni Dondo – has taken Zim Hip Hop and trap music by storm.
The 20-year-old announced his arrival last year at the Change A Life Concert which was headlined by South Africa pint-sized rapper Nasty Cat Wingate Gold Club.
On May 1, he returns to the same venue to launch his debut album – Francesca – alongside Nigerian superstar Davido, Nasty C and a contingent of local comprising ExQ, Nadia Nakai, Tammy Moyo, Shashl, Union and DJ Dosh.
H-Metro Assistant News Editor (Entertainment) TRUST KHOSA had a question and answer session with King 98 who has decided on launch his music career alongside some of the contingent’s music stalwarts of her generation. Read on…
Q: Give us your brief profile?
A: I was born in Marondera and I have twin sister called Ruva. We grew up in a wonderful family which worked very hard and they taught us to be responsible and follow our dreams. I was a soccer fanatic growing up.
Q: What’s your vision as an artiste?
A: My vision is to be one of the biggest artistes in Africa and support local talent that needs to be nurtured and well groomed.
Q: When did you fall in love with rap music?
A: I started making music when one of my friends named Tinashe saw me rapping Wiz Khalifa’s song “Black N Yellow”.
He was impressed by the way I delivered the flow and lyrics he urged me to start recording.
Q: Who are your role models and source of inspiration?
A: My role models are Asap Rocky, Drake, Davido and Casper Nyovest.
A: I got the inspiration from my parents; they give me the confidence to chase my dreams because as a child, I saw them working very hard so that my future would be bright hence they inspire me.
Q: How many singles or albums do you have at the moment?
A: I have 15 singles I’ve recorded from 2011 to 2018. By the way, I am studying Music at the University of Pretoria.
My debut album (to be launched on May 1 at Wingate) is tilted Francesca and that’s my mother’s name.
I named it after her because she is very supportive about my music.
Some of the on the album include Cake, Born to win, Wacko and Baller. The producers I have worked with are Ali keys and Gt Beats.
Q: How did you link up with Davido and what are young learning from him?
A: I met up with Davido when he was by Meikles Hotel. He had come to perform at the My Lilly Concert.
I bumped into his personal assistant Aloma and I told him that I have a song that Davido might like.
So Aloma gave Davido the song and he instantly liked it.
The things I’ve learnt from Davido are that you should always be humble no matter how big you are and also you need to create space and give opportunities to people.
Q: What have you also learnt from Nasty C as well and how did you get to link up with him?
A: From working with Nasty C, he has taught me how to properly deliver my raps and the way I should present myself as an artist.
I met Nasty C last year at the Change A Life Concert.
Q: Which local rappers inspire you?
A: Am inspired by Kap City (Kapital K) and Tehn Diamond.
Q: What are your expectations at the album launch on May 1?
A: I am expecting a full house and I urge the youth to come out in their numbers so we can make this event memorable.
Q: What progress have you made (musically) in South Africa?
A: I have made a few club appearances and radio runs and no bad vibes has been played on a lot of stations all over South Africa.
Q: Tell us about your professional relationship with Cassper Nyovest and are there any plans for a collabo?
A: .Cassper is the one who convinced my parents to support my dream and give me a chance. He is a very composed and caring person and definitely we will get in studio and work.
Q: What’s your perception on Zim Hip Hop’s future?
A: The future of Zim Hip Hop is very bright because the youth have now stepped in and the love and support we give each other is putting the genre to new heights and with the internet on our side we can easily push our music and give it to the people.
Q: What can you say about the reception you received at the Change a Life gig in Zimbabwe when you first made your public appearance?
A: The reception I got was absolutely fantastic; it was a dream come true the crowd was very welcoming and they enjoyed my performance.
Q: How do you handle fame?
A: With handling fame I always humble myself and keep everyone that has been part of journey very close because with associating myself with them the thought of being famous completely rushes away from my mind
Q: What are some of the challenges you face?
A: The challenges I face are that am still attending school and also balancing my music
Q: Tell us your happiest moment?
A: When Davido came to record No Bad Vibes. The love and support he had for me was overwhelming he is a very generous.
Q: Tell us your embarrassing moment, (albeit on a lighter note)?
A: When I attended a show back in 2017 and I wanted to preform and the turn out of the show was so bad but they still gave me a chance to preform but as soon as I got to the stage and got the mic, I completely forgot my lyrics.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years to come?
A: I see myself travelling all over Africa and the world and preforming on big stages. I see myself attending the B.E.T Awards and other big award ceremonies.
Q: What can you say about the support you get form your uncle Mr Thomson Dondo of Impala Car Rental?
A: Mr Dondo is a hero and an incredible human being. The level of hard work and determination he puts into my music is great.
He believes in me and that is something I will cherish forever. An opportunity like this doesn’t come to everyone.
He’s a living legend a role model and a friend. I love him so much.
Q: Thanks for your time
A: You are welcome.