2 years since his ground breaking performance on the international music platform COLORS in Berlin, and 3 years since his last release Your Absolutely Right, South African rapper and producer ByLwansta returns in with the release of his ambitious debut album, SPIJØNGET, or The SPIJØNGET Series.
Mirroring his eccentric persona, SPIJØNGET offers a unique approach to the esteemed debut album, offering up in “bite-sizes” in series of three 4-track EPs that will be released and enjoyed individually Culminating with the three Chapters making a final 12-track album and complete The SPIJØNGET Series.
SPIJØNGET: Chapter One sees the rapper taking the helm of all aspects his musical direction as he transitions from rapper to composer. Presenting a body of work that reflects the rapper’s growth as a songwriter, “I’ve always known how to express my message verbally through my writing, but I’ve never quite grasped how I could translate what I felt sonically, through the actual music and instrumentation, until I started working on SPIJØNGET” – ByLwansta.
With his band NORMVLLY Busy as co-pilots, the rapper that was once labelled one of the Top 5 Most Aggressive SA Hip Hop Artists by Hype Magazine, reframes and channels new, positive energies both on stage and in studio for the first time with SPIJØNGET: Chapter One, citing his relationship as a major influence in both his direction and his writing. “I’ve always used music as an outlet to vent, I had a lot to vent about, these days not so much, and when I look around I just see her and her impact on my life”.
The EP is introduced by a dialogue between Adventure Time’s Finn and Jake, with Jake excusing himself from the duo’s usual itinerary in favour of ‘hanging out with his girlfriend’, setting the light-hearted tone of this chapter.
TRACK 1: Over a cheerful e-piano progression, ByLwansta invites the listeners into his room in a student accommodation on “Stay Naked”, where he is suddenly fed up of sneaking his girlfriend out in the early mornings before his landlord notices her overnight visit. In an attempt to convince her to stay over and not go home, ByLwansta serenades hers with vivid imagery of the different activities they could engage in instead, assuring her that he’ll deal with his landlord if they’re caught (again).
TRACK 2: “It’s Late” takes a traditionally dark turn and finds a sleepless ByLwansta up at 3am with the opening lines of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Trouble Sleeping” echoing as the soundtrack to his dilemma. Wide-awake with his laptop open and his lady fast asleep at his side, he battles to keep his mind off work and ironically, his dreams, believing that the only way to stop people from “sleeping on him” is for him to literally stop sleeping on himself, and stay awake to work towards these dreams.
TRACK 3: On “Kickstand”, ByLwansta celebrates the symbiotic nature of a relationship where the couple create a safe place amongst themselves, coming unashamedly with their guards down, insecurities and pain in hand, and ‘licking each other’s wounds’ as they bond over common feelings of pain, in an attempt to revive each other’s spirits.
TRACK 4: The EP closes off triumphantly with “The Homie”, a funk-influenced anthem where ByLwansta celebrates his lady and their success in “Kickstand”, claiming her as his ‘homie’, a very close friend with whom he can completely be himself with, one who he has earned his trust and allowed him to “disappoint his guards” and let them down by loving most of what he considered his flaws.
ByLwansta meticulously builds his debut album in real time with this conceptual and experimental approach as his core audience watches and consumes, awaiting each Chapter until it’s final form.
Stream SPIJØNGET: Chapter One below.