My name is Sthenjwa Shange and my stage names is Jookz
Where do you come from?
I’m from a village called Sheshi in KwaZulu Natal but recently live in Johannesburg.
How long have you been composing?
I fell in love with hip-hop in 1999 that’s around the time ‘’ngiqala ukubhala amaRhyme” That’s a line off one of my tracks explaining my journey in HipHop. I started writing in ’99.
What is your creative process? How do you start creating a beat? / How do you start writing lyrics to a beat?
I am lucky to be blessed with a very creative team. I work with a producer named Shango, he makes most of my beats. The create process starts with me thinking of a hook to a song, from there I have an idea of how I want the beat to go. Shango has the ability to transform whatever I have in mind into life. We usually argue our way to a beat that we both feel is the best quality and soundJ. Once the beat is done this is when I start writing. I write most of my rhymes in traffic the aim is not waste any time in the 18 hours I am up in a day.
What made you chose a career in this field?
As corny as it sounds I didn’t choose HipHop, HipHop chose me. I studied and got my qualifications then started a stable 9-5 job. However I never really stopped writing and making songs. From the 9-5 I saved up money to allow me to start my own company. So I can record my own music properly.
Did you do any courses for your career field?
No, actually music is not my final destination I see it as a means to an end. I am more of an entrepreneur than a musician. This is the reason I opened up my own record label called 442 Record$. I’m look to promoting young talent and going into the business of the industry and expanding my empire
What advice can you give to aspiring composers?
Be very patient, it very seldom that things will happen as planned. Never give up, keep learning and be very careful who you bring around you. The team around you can make or break you.
What other composer’s or artists have you worked with?
I have signed 2 artist to my record label Zee and Msenti all the way from KZN. I have featured them on my album. I have also featured Shango and Mbali as vocalist. There are also some industry “big” names on the line up, however I cannot reveal that for now.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I did an interview on uMhlobo Wenene a few months back and they played a few of my tracks. A few days later I got a call from a guy named Sinkwa Nebhothela who is doing a life sentence at grey town maximum security prison. He told me my music is what keeps him going. He explained how he loves hiphop and his Rhymes are what keeps him sane. He has been calling me every week as much as talking to me helps him he also has the same effect on me. It makes me keep wanting to go record more music to touch lives. I hope one day I can do a collabo with him.
Welcome to Sheer Publishing Jookz!