PE proved to be this muso’s muse
Budding producer and rapper Lwazi “Lwaistar” Kana's recently released project pays homage to Port Elizabeth — the city that gave birth to his music writing career.
Though he moved to Johannesburg last year, the musician calls Port Elizabeth home and reflects on the work he did in the five years he spent finding his feet in Nelson Mandela Bay, on his long playlist (LP) Paradise Collection.
Paradise Collection is a commemoration of Kana's 2015 Paradise Eventually (PE) mixtape in which he reflected on the inspiration and encouragement he received in Port Elizabeth.
He collaborated with fellow PE artists including M2Kane, Isaac Wilson and EezyThaDon on Paradise Eventually.
Kana arrived in Port Elizabeth from King William's Town in 2014 to study at the Nelson Mandela University.
“Back home I was known as a DJ but I wasn't writing or seriously producing until I moved to Port Elizabeth where I met other artists who shared the same interests I did,” Kana said.
'When I started writing, I was focusing on what was the present at the time and my music reflected who I was in that particular period,' Kana said.
Kana found a home at OTE Artistry, a Port Elizabeth-based support and promotional platform created for Eastern Cape artists by Eastern Cape artists. Along with the OTE team, he hosted and performed at local events, including their signature Night of The Elite.
“The problem we used to have in PE as up and coming artists was that we weren't getting bookings, so we started hosting our own events for artists to come through and perform,” he said.
In 2017, Kana collaborated with EezyThaDon to record and release their joint project, The Antidote, which caught the attention of award-winning cinematographer Ofentse Mwase who later shot the video for the duo's song Umgqibelo.
Kana said he relocated to Johannesburg in search of better opportunities and to get closer to some of the Johannesburg-based artists he produces and mixes music for.
One of the artists he is working with is actress Mandisa Nduna who is now pursuing a music career under the stage name Zulumecca.
He released Paradise Collection in April. The playlist is a collection of previously unreleased music that Kana produced while he was in Port Elizabeth.
“Paradise Collection is an expression of my emotions and the story of how my Port Elizabeth stay was.
I touch on the battles that we faced in Port Elizabeth and how we had to sponsor our own events and create a name for ourselves. Some of the emotions that I felt during those battles are reflected in the song Out My Mind,” Kana said.
On his first album, currently in the works, the musician revisits and reflects on his King William's Town roots, to remind himself of his identity lest it gets lost in the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, he said.
Kana will take part in a rap battle against EezyThaDon on Instagram Live at 7pm on Sunday May 10, where he will perform music from Paradise Collection.
Paradise Collection is available on major online music platforms.