The Bunda Hip-Hop heavyweight talks to us about his first ever album, the response from people so far and his music journey as a whole.
Q. Who is 024 Commodore?
A. 024 Commodore is a rapper, producer, author, graphic designer and a little bit of a dancer. In a sentence, I am an art addict.
Q. How did you even come up with this name?
A. I was watching some animation “James and the Giant Peach” somewhere around 2013. In this animation there was this character, Commodore Centipede, I liked the guy, he was more of a captain of his own life (Commodore means captain of a ship). So I had to link it up with my art and fate, you know being a driver of your own ship.
Q. Today Commodore I would like to talk about the “Rapper” you. What influenced you to start rapping?
A. I grew up in a family which love music. I remember my brothers used to record freestyles into this tape recorder we had at home, when I tried doing my raps them niggas were laughing at me, so I was like damn I gotta go hard. So I started jotting lines and going for recording.
Q. So when did you start the actual recording?
Q. Do you still have these songs?
A. Yeah, although I lost my very first song but all the songs I did there after I have them. So in my collection I have songs from 2013-2020.
Q. This means you have been recording for 7 years, so far how can you describe your progress?
A. So far so good. I took a few breaks during my course of rap (school stuff plus at some point I never really had the motivation to push hard), but now with the album, the progress is just tight.
Q. Now that you have mentioned the album, is this your first?
A. Yeah, my first ever album, second big project since my EP in 2016 (The 18th Year).
Q. What’s the name of your album?
A. Over the Hedge.
Q. How many songs does it have?
A. 16 official tracks with a bonus as 17 but the bonus ain’t out yet.
Q. Looking at your album, what’s the main message in it?
A. Its all about taking chances and risks. The whole idea of “Over the Hedge” is based on the idea of greener pastures on the other side. So I was like one needs to take chances and check the other side, who knows, we might break through when we try out some new things that we perceived as risks. So the Hedge stands for Risks and Struggles one has to conquer.
Q. I should say this is a very inspiring and encouraging message you have for us.
A. Yeah, its a great compilation. I really poured my heart and time in it.
Q. So how is the response so far?
A. People are loving it. All I am striving for right now is to give the album the exposure it deserves so that it can reach its full potential.
Q. What’s your favourite song in the album?
A. Intro. It is very personal, I even did the instrumentation myself.
Q. So if someone wants to get your album, how can they find it?
A. Currently, the album was offline since I was handling some pre-sales but will start hosting it at a couple of sites for both streaming and downloads. But the people will have to follow me on my Facebook page @024 Commodore to get up to date with the schemes since the links will be distributed mostly from there.
Q. Are you under any management?
Q. Then how did you find your self in a joint with Kim of Diamonds?
A. I have a friend, YP Crush, he has connects with Kim and so they planned out the remix and they approached me.
Q. OK. Talking about Collabo’s, who would you like to collaborate with at the moment?
A. I will list a couple of artists. I will go for ItsFriday, Luzio and Classick. Honestly, I would rather do Collabo’s with singers most of these rap nigga’s don’t impress me.
Q. This has reminded me of something. You posted on your Facebook page that ” Pano hip hop ayilowesa zifanifani”. Are you targeting this dig at any particular person or you think the whole Rap game ain’t going in the right direction?
A. It wasn’t really a dig at any particular rapper but then yeah, most rap guys are playing too much and its sad some of these playful acts are done by people we used to look up to. The Hip-hop game so far is going great, mostly impressed by the new cats since most upcoming artists put in their all. The production game is tight, videos are on point and guys are targeting the international market which is great progress.
Q. Where do you see yourself in the coming years?
A. An international artist. I really wanna push to the boundaries, try out big Collabo’s with guys from SA and U.S.
Q. I have noticed you are associating yourself with Area 24, what’s the importance of building your brand around this?
A. I feel like Lilongwe artist sleep on themselves, like a lot. We tend to give praise to Blantyre a lot, and in so doing it looks like here in Lilongwe we don’t have dope artists, and most Blantyre guys think they are on top of the game. What I want to do is to put my city on the map, just to pave way for the coming generation of rappers, and through branding and using the city we will create a better reputation for ourselves (Lilongwe MCs). Funny story: most people think I am from Blantyre.
Q. Going forward, what should people expect from 024 Commodore?
A. As of now, they should expect more videos this year and in January next year, a joint EP that I am working with my beat plug Leo Ten8.