House of PainT’s (HoP) main musical event is a bit different this year. It’s taking place under the bridge as usual, but on Friday night as opposed to Saturday. For its 10th anniversary, HoP will feature some of the dopest, old school hip hoppers of all time – Afrika Bambaataa and Big Daddy Kane. Alongside these two legends will be Canadian-born, Cape Town dwelling artist Zaki Ibrahim. Ibrahim’s been carving a name for herself over the last decade, in Canada and most recently in South Africa. Her first full length album, Every Opposite, is on this year’s Polaris Music Prize short list. I caught up with Ibrahim this week to discuss her musical roots, her latest record, and sharing the stage with Bambaataa and Kane.
Ibrahim was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia but has lived in Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa throughout her life. Zaki’s father – Zane Ibrahim – was a prominent figure in South Africa’s Bush Radio, the pioneering South African radio station. He was an activist and big music head. In addition to involving Ibrahim in grass roots projects, he played a large part in her musical education. “He didn’t push me into music,” says Ibrahim, but he was the one to introduce her to hip hop. “He was the guy that said this music is the future. Everything in hip hop culture – from writing rhymes to beats – he was encouraging me to do that kind of thing to bridge cultures, languages, get youth active.”
That’s a great connection to House of PainT, an event that has always brought generations of people together to celebrate hip hop culture and be active in your community. “I’m geeked to be sharing the stage with Afrika Bambaataa, Big Daddy Kane and definitely looking forward to meeting them. My music isn’t hip hop though, even if some elements stem from it. My stuff’s a bit different and really influenced by different styles of music and bouncing from one place to the other around the world.” Proof of this: her latest album, Every Opposite, which mixes multiple genres from a blend of house, soul and post-dubstep groove, was recorded in seven different cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Nairobi, South London, Cape Town, Johannesburg and New York.
Ibrahim will be performing at HoP with her live band. The show is probably a bit different from the recording. “I like to mix it up too. I like to tell a story with my shows.” She enjoys playing with choreography and making songs come to life through movement, something that comes out brilliantly in her videos as well. This should definitely be a fun show.
Zaki Ibrahim is performing alongside Afrika Bambaataa, Big Daddy Kane, The Narcycist and others Friday, September 13th under the bridge at Brewer Park. Doors open at 5:00pm, performances begin at 6:30pm. Advance tickets are $25 and are available online, plus at Compact Music locations, The Record Centre (Hintonburg) and Vertigo Records. Tickets are $30 at the door (Cash only. There will be an ATM on site).
Apt613 is giving away one pair of tickets to the show. Leave us a comment below letting us know why you want to head to HoP on Friday! The winner will be announced Thursday at 1opm.