Xtatic is most definitely one of the best rappers in Kenya whether you’re talking about the fellas or the chics. She’s been fairly quiet lately and I pointed that out in last week’s post with some questions I needed answers for. Well I decided to hit her up so we could talk about it cuz I figured the only way to get my questions answered is by talking to her.
We ended up talking about more than just her next project and where she “disappears” to after serving us some heat. The conversation also touched on Sony and her issues with the label, feeling like an upcoming artist, the challenges of working alone and what she did to establish herself in an industry that’s male dominated.
I’d heard that she wasn’t with Sony anymore but she clarified that she still is, was signed in 2012 and has a five year contract with them.
Her issues with Sony:
X has had a couple issues with the label. It hasn’t been all rosy for her. She feels that being signed as an upcoming artist means the label calls all the shots and work with the artist on their terms. Sony came in after her third single and her journey with the label started off very well.
In 2012 she released two huge tracks WILD! and Hit Em Up (featuring AKA & Priddy Ugly) and was hoping to drop more music in 2013 so that her hype doesn’t die down but from Sony’s side there were “too many excuses” concerning the budget, timing etc.
In 2013/2014 the label didn’t do anything for her despite her having tracks that were already recorded. There was little communication about the future and Sony wasn’t as involved in her projects so she had push them alone. Things got so bad she had to get lawyers involved in a bid to make something work for her.
That same year (2013) she got rid of the management Sony had given her, Rockstar4000, because it wasn’t working for her and they just weren’t doing their job. After that, it became so much harder to work with Sony.
On being an “upcoming artist”:
Believe it or not Xtatic actually feels like an upcoming artist especially because of the slow recognition. She says that the label does add to her feeling like she’s still on the come up because they started working with her early on in her career when she released her third track and very first video but have been slow ever since. She was signed after her record caused quite a stir on social media and Questlove who was a member of The Roots had tweeted the song. The fact that the label has been slow makes it look like X is coming up. The process is “dragging on” and she feels that she hasn’t had her big break just yet.
On working alone:
Working alone is hard cuz she can’t sell individual projects (I think because of her contract with Sony?)
She has to put her own effort on projects cuz according to her, it’s like they would rather work with somebody who is “well known”.
She’s determined to make it work though, says that she’ll make music regardless, whether they (Sony) wanna get on board or not.
On her “disappearing acts”
I have major issues with her “disappearing acts”. Xtatic drops a dope project then after doing media tours and being all over she just goes into hiding. Where does she go?
X says this is not something she does a lot with projects although she admits that she does with singles.
During her time “away” she takes time to just learn the market while making sure “my product is out there”. It’s a step by step process, she says, because she does music for the passion adding that she wouldn’t drop anything unless a label is involved.
Her last mixtape, Let Me Xplain, was individual. Broadview Corporation which is a management company was involved as she had a one year contract with them. The only reason she released it was because fans had complained she hadn’t been in the scene for a while.
Let Me Xplain got really good reception. Saying that recording and putting out a mixtape was a “new experience” for her and she didn’t expect much recognition for it but it did pretty good. It was well received in SA, some songs off it were on charts in Ghana and parts of the US showed her love as well.
She wanted to put out more videos but limited funds (remember she was working solo) didn’t allow her to do more than promote the mixtape.
“It’s not a disappearing act as much as it takes time to be recognized as a female and as a rap/Hip Hop artist,” she concludes.
On her upcoming project, Social Xperiment:
On her website, X had said that she’d be releasing audios and some videos every Thursday to build up to the official release of Social Xperiment but so far she hasn’t released anything.
Reason is she’s pushed the release date as she’s got a “bigger plan” and she decided not to do any “random” releases. She also says that Social Xperiment will be more than just a mixtape; it will be thee mixtape. If not, she’ll make it an album “whether Sony likes it or not”.
What do we expect from it? Different music that’s “not Xtatic”, describing it as a “180 move”. Look out for the official release date on her social media pages.
Her pointers to aspiring female rappers (tricks she used/uses):
✔Research and study the market.
✔Do up to 10-100 times better than male counterparts. People don’t pay attention to an “average” female as compared to a guy who’s just as average or good.
✔Image, content and flow have to be on point. Keep learning, keep improving. Keep putting stuff out. If you’re not quoted as a (female) artist you won’t matter after sometime.
Rap songs also don’t have much longevity as compared to other genres. People get bored fast so you have to keep feeding your fans. She admits that she hasn’t been doing this but she’s gonna work on that.
✔Be versatile. Don’t center yourself in rap music only. Try different styles. Switch your game up and take it ten levels higher.
There you have it. Hope all your questions about Xtatic have been answered and you now understand what’s happening behind the scenes 🙂