Student Hip-Hop group The Looneys


KwaZulu-Natal is arguably the biggest household name in South African Hip-Hop, boasting the likes of Nasty C, Riky Rick and Okmalumkoolkat. Perdeby managed to catch up with one of Ladysmith’s rising Hip-Hop groups, The Looneys. The group has four members: OBZ, Bzurk, Skitos and SaNa MLK. Perdeby chatted with two of the group’s members to find out more about this Hip-Hop collective, which has been making music for seven years.


How long have you known each other?
Bzurk: Round about 2005, I was in Grade 3 when we met.


Who would you describe as your biggest musical influence?
Bzurk: Kanye West, yeah...Kanye West. Taking a lot of songs as well from different sub-genres of Hip-Hop. It’s not just only one type of Hip-Hop. If you listen to a lot of our songs, sometimes we incorporate Trap... It’s like a new sound, sort of like that’s coming out here in South Africa. Like Tribal Hip-Hop.


What’s the story behind your stage name, The Looneys?
OBZ: It was round about 2011 [when] we started making music as a collective. At first we thought this is some crazy stuff, lunatic type of stuff. It started off as Lunatics and we switched it into something that’s not as hardcore.
Bzurk: It also goes back to the way we started as individuals as well. It was around the whole idea of crazy reactions we’d get from battle raps. People would go crazy. That’s why [even] my name is Bzurk, for example.


Your hometown, Ladysmith, is very small. From your perspective, do you see a lot of music talent coming from there to the big cities?
OBZ: Yeah, in terms of Hip-Hop there are some really cool artists from back home. A lot of talent in that town, very small town, but the talent there is like crazy.
Bzurk: And the thing that we’re trying to do is instil that sort of belief into people that are from Ladysmith [that] stuff can actually go beyond...I think that there’s so many talented people in Ladysmith, but they see it as a phase in high school.


With the whole team being students, how do you juggle between music and academics?
OBZ: We started in high school, so when we come here it’s more self-discipline. It’s a hustle when it clashes, but when it’s time for school, it’s time for school.
Bzurk: It doesn’t feel like work when we’re doing the music. It’s not really difficult, it’s not that hard anymore. You can’t force it, in a way.


What are you guys currently working on as individuals and as a collective?
Bzurk: I feel like it’s a lot better to introduce us as a collective. We are dropping a sort of introductory sort of project. Like this is Bzurk of The Looneys, this is OBZ of The Looneys...We’re dropping projects to make the group bigger.
OBZ: You venture while you’re within the group. We’re working more on individual things which will of course come up to a point where it’s like a collective as well. Once everyone is recognised individually, yeah.


Are there dates for any of those projects?
Bzurk: I have a [mix] tape titled Loading, dropping end of March. It’s almost done. I’m actually waiting for a verse from OBZ. It’s like a fire verse, he’s going to drop it soon. Thereafter, it’s getting the right promotional material out for building the hype for the mixtape. We’re working on projects – a lot of work.


How can your fans keep posted and show support for you?
Check out our social media networks, Facebook, Instagram [and our] website. We want to have an organic relationship with our fan base – they are a part of this nationwide clique, it’s like a movement type of thing. The Looneys is in everything that we do – we just want fans to be a part of that.


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