NKWAZI: YOU ARE ONE PERSON WHO HAS EVOLVED THROUGH YOUR ART. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT REINVENTION TO PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE FENCE ABOUT CHANGING WHAT THEY ARE DOING RIGHT NOW?
Pompi: I’m 30 now and I think it would be very unfortunate to say that at this age I have found myself. There are dormant abilities that haven’t been used and I think the change only comes when you use your passions as your compass. I think if you are able to imagine something better you are called for it. Your imagination is your power. Imagination is vision.
NKWAZI: WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR MUSIC AND THE REPRESENTATION OF AFRICA. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO STRIKE A BALANCE AND BRING OUT THE AFRICAN IN YOUR MUSIC?
Pompi: I borrow a lot from African sound and the accent obviously. Like on “Silence”, its kalindula mixed with trap, but when it comes together it makes a whole new sound. I wouldn’t say I like strictly African ingredients, we should blend in with a global perspective. Be brave enough to make some Chikanda sauce noodles or something like that. Noodles aren’t African but that will bring something unique. I think It’s good to borrow insight from another culture to make something fresh.
NKWAZI: SO TELL US MORE ABOUT THE JOURNEY AND INSPIRATION BEHIND THE ALBUM AND BECOMING POMPI.
Pompi: I’d say it’s definitely been my journey and the Word itself. My spiritual journey from being an atheist to now, not being able to imagine there being a time in my life where I didn’t believe there was a God. So it’s that and my transition in life where I’m finding fulfilment in, and actually living life in God’s purpose for my life, and not people’s expectations of my life.
I believe that if God is the Creator there is no excuse for us to not be creative. We should have the attributes of God, but I think people have been hindered from their creative abilities to follow blue collar jobs or to follow what the spectrum of education has offered them, and what society expects of them.
NKWAZI: SO YOU HAD TALKED ABOUT PEOPLE NOT PLUGGING INTO WHAT THEY WERE CREATED FOR, CAN YOU SHARE WITH US WHAT YOUR DISCOVERIES HAVE BEEN ABOUT YOURSELF SO FAR?
Pompi: There are quite a few but, basically I have discovered things that I am very passionate about. There’s something that Peter Drucker said about one learning to focus their life among three things. Something you are passionate about, something you are genetically encoded for and something that’s of value to people and what will eventually drive your economic engine. I will also quote a scripture that I think is helpful. 2 Timothy 2:20 and 21, I’m paraphrasing, says that, “In a well furnished kitchen there are different kinds of cutlery; some is made from gold, some from silver. Some made to honour, some made to dishonour.” That verse is actually speaking about us as vessels. That there are different ones, some made to honour and some made to dishonour and it says after that, that be the kind of vessel that God can use to give people any and every blessing.
So essentially our giftings and our very existence is not for ourselves, it’s for other people. So you need to identify what you have that other people appreciate. Other people appreciating it can drive your economic engine. So for example, I personally love art and design, and the way I look at music is that it’s communication design. I know I can thrive in anything that is creative, that is where my treasure definitely is. Like I mentioned before about imagination, when you are able to imagine and your imagination is enabled in a particular industry, I think that is your place.
NKWAZI: HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO PUT THE ALBUM TOGETHER AND WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE?
Pompi: The making of the album took a year and half. Not to write the music, but to get to the conviction to write the music. I only release an album when I feel I have something to say or something to share. It took me that long to get to a place where I was inspired enough to write something. My biggest challenge was freeing up time to actually record the album. Striking a balance with all the other projects I have running was not easy.
NKWAZI: SPEAKING OF BOUNDARIES AND BARRIERS, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST BARRIER YOU HAVE BROKEN WITH YOUR MUSIC IN THIS COUNTRY?
Pompi: Not siding with any particular genre, I’m a singer and I’m a rapper at the same time. Also entering into Gospel without the orthodox, traditional Gospel sound and performing in places where Gospel artists would not perform or being invited to those places. Whenever there’s an international act coming in, I get called, even if I don’t perform; at least the request comes in
NKWAZI: SO WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR POMPI?
Pompi: I would like to focus on being more in the background, and continue building Atmosphere nation. Atmosphere nation is a gallery of different works of art, I don’t want to lean too much on the music side of things. I want to just make it art. My identity doesn’t just fall in music even thoughI limited it to music. I want to create experiences that people can buy into. Whether it’s the Fireworks festival that we had or The Victory Project, or Coffee and Jazz; all these are different displays of art in the Atmosphere Nation gallery.
Get his album on Spotify, Amazon, Googleplay, Tidal, Apple.
Popmpi’s highly acclaimed debut album was released on December 28th, 2012 and featured hits such as ‘Packaging’, ‘Giant killer’ and ‘Makeup’.
Released in 2014, his sophomore album garnered him several international awards including a Groove Award for South African Artist of the Year.
His much anticipated, third album ‘Become’ was released on 29th March 2018 and was launched at the Vodafone ‘All out for our own’ concert on 28th april 2018.