Gugulethu native, Timo Abdul Pahad is an MC, DJ and hip hop activist. I was first introduced to him through the Sunday session, Open Mic with Timo which I was a regular of. I still have great memories of the session which played a great role in introducing me to the Cape Town hip hop scene especially the kasi side of it. In April of 2012, he released his debut album, Smokers Section Vol. 1 which I still have a copy of. The album which included his video single, “My Album is Halaal” – a comical joint making a lot of references to Muslim stereotypes was launched at the Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town. It also, among others, boasted a special appearance from Brook-lon’s Whosane.
Marking his return since the release of Smokers Section Vol. 1, he’s releasing a single and has been running a Facebook and Twitter promotion campaign. I kicked it with him and asked him a few questions about the past, present and the future.
LIVE: Please briefly introduce yourself to those who have no idea who Timo is.
Timo: It’s your homie, Timo Abdul Aziz Pahad aka #Best|Rapper|DJ• aka #vocalCHORDmachine representing the Republic Of South Africa.
LIVE: You’ve been in the game for a minute. Where would you say you are between up-and-coming and have-made-it?
Timo: I’m in none of the above. Up-and-coming and have-made-it are concepts based on someone else’s idea on how to measure one’s success. I would say I’m a highly accomplished artist.
LIVE: How did The Smokers Section Vol. 1 do?
Timo: The Smokers Section Vol.1 is still doing well as we speak. [It] debuted in 2012 and it’s still in demand. My followers received it very well. We hoping to push it to an extent that it reaches a state where it would be classified as a project of high commercial value.
LIVE: What did releasing an album do for you as an artist?
Timo: Releasing an album taught me a lot about the music industry, especially the administrative sides of it. I threw myself in the deep end and came back a more knowledgeable artist. Releasing an album also kinda establishes you as one of the professionals in the industry.
LIVE: Looking at how singles seem to be replacing albums in today’s industry, are you planning on working on a follow-up or are you going to join the bandwagon and drop singles?
Timo: The music is like a roller coaster ride -full of surprises. One moment it’s cool to release albums, the next it’s cool to release mixtapes and now it’s cool to release singles. One can never really say that they have a set plan on what their plans are for the future. The common denominator here is, we as artists and industry professionals always seek for the most convenient and most efficient way to communicate our music to the listeners. So singles at the moment are a great way for me to communicate my music to my followers. Regarding a follow-up, yes there will be a follow-up to the Smokers Section Vol.1. We’re planning to release a trilogy of the Smokers Sections. So there are two more Smokers Sections editions still in the pipeline, however, that’s for the further future.
Timo: I believe there is a place for platforms like the ones you have mentioned. Cape Town hip hop came from an era where it was very hard to make your music available all the time to the masses. Everybody struggled to get underground material. Now with distribution sites such as iTunes, Amazon etc., people know where to get your music should they be keen on buying any of your singles/albums/mixtapes.
LIVE: Please give an insight into your relationship with Mtezman.
Timo: Mtezman is my big brother from another mother. We not only business associates but we also very much good friends. He is the producer behind the majority of my entire catalog. He is my crew/stable-mate, fellow musician… the list is endless because we have so much in common.
LIVE: Please tell us about Alicelibo Music.
Timo: Alicelibo Music is a music powerhouse that brought you the likes of the late Taycee Da MicZilla (RIP), Timo Abdul Aziz Pahad, Mtezman the Gux King Producer and Bangsta.
LIVE: You are also a DJ. Please tell us about that side of you.
Timo: I’m am professional hip hop DJ. It all started when me and Songezo Mayekiso (a friend of mine), who now happens to be my business associate, decided to start an events company called GentlemenZ Inc. The whole aim of this company was to do events in a very proper, sophisticated and professional way however very much economical, and with innovative event concepts also providing this as a service to other organisations or individuals who wish to use experts when it comes to planning and executing successful events.
GentlemenZ Inc became the company behind the most prestigious hip hop events in the City of Cape Town for example: Open Mic with Timo (KwaMlamli, Gugulethu) and Black Saturday Editions. We had no DJ when we started. Every Sunday and at home I started sharpening my skills on the decks ‘till I became one of Cape Town’s best hip hop DJs if not one of SA’s best hip hop DJs. Look out for me #Best|Rapper|DJ•
LIVE: Why was Open Mic With Timo and the Black Saturday series discontinued? And is there a chance of them coming back?
Timo: Open Mic with Timo and Black Saturdays are not discontinued. My team and I are in talks of bringing these above concepts back. At the moment we are restructuring, also approaching enterprises for financial backing so we can even make the Black Saturday and Open Mic with Timo bigger and better and also let it be something where all artists can benefit from.
LIVE: What are your thoughts on the Cape Town hip hop scene.
Timo: The Cape Town hip hop scene has a lot of potential. Most of my favourite hip hop artists come from the Cape Town hip hop scene. I’ve helped most artists start a career in the Cape Town hip hop scene. I broke bread with the pioneers of the Cape Town scene. I have contributed immensely to the Cape Town hip hop scene. I know the Cape Town hip hop scene enough to tell you that the Cape Town hip hop scene can make you one of the best MCs/rappers in the world in terms of your skills, however, you won’t make it in the Cape Town hip hop scene. In a nutshell spread your wings and just fly.
LIVE: So what is next for Timo?
Timo: Invading the world by any means necessary. The mandate on the table right now is #vocalCHORDmachine which is a beast of a single that will be marking my return to the music industry after my debut album titled the Smokers Section Vol. 1. I have one of the most talented producers in Cape Town on the Instrumental – a veteran who most Cape Town Industry Giants know as PaperWork. On the 4th of April 2014 (04.04.14) 22h00 C.A.T, we will be releasing this monster of a single on Cape Town’s best shows, the Headwarmaz Hip Hop Show on Bush Radio 89.5 FM so I urge everyone to tune in that evening and show support, because this song is dedicated to every hip hop head in the whole world. If you are outside of Cape Town, don’t worry, you can stream Bush Radio on your cellphone or PC. I also urge that everyone inform everybody that Timo Abdul Aziz Pahad is back as the #vocalCHORDmachine.
LIVE: Could you add anything I didn’t touch on but you feel like sharing?
To connect with the #vocalCHORDmachine,
Facebook: Timo Abdul Aziz Pahad
For artist or DJ/ Sound system bookings:
Cell: 071 391 1594 (whatsapp)
Free music below :
Dazz Flexxx & Timo Abdul – Extreme LEVEL (Prod. PaperWork)
Taycee – 21 Gun Salute ft 21 EMCEE’s (Prod. Mtezman)
Timo Abdul – Winners Ft Vegita, Bangsta & Mtezman (Prod. Mtezman)
Sharks – Awuzundenza nix ft Mtezman, Bangsta & Timo (DRIEMANSKAP DISS TRACK)
Timo Abdul – HIP HOP ft Bangsta & Mtezman (prod. Mtezman)
Timo Abdul – Vendetta (prod. Mtezman)
Timo Abdul. – iStory sika Bra T (prod. Mtezman)
Timo Abdul – My album is halaal (official Music Video)