south african artist, benzo pays homage to all the queens with the new visuals for kumnkanikazi

March 15, 2021
99 Picks

There’s a new wave of young women in South Africa who are taking charge of the alt-hip hop scene and are not apologetic about being “extra” or “loud”.  Newcomer, Benzo is adding to the fierceness of South Africa’s vibrant hip hop scene and her new EP, Kumnkanikazi (Queen) proves why she is a force to be reckoned with. The newly released video for the title track starts off with Benzo sitting on top of a television set wearing a glorious crown of hair, and from the onset, you can tell she’s setting a statement that the Queen has arrived. Her delivery is brash, arrogant and commands attention from the first line of the song.  We caught up with Benzo to find out more about her music and the inspiration behind her video. Check the interview below:

Can you please explain the title of the song and what it means?

Kumkanikazi means Queen in my native language of IsiXhosa. The song speaks about me being the leader and Queen that I am. In the song, I also mention how life has now turned out for the better and it is because I am loved, protected, and supported by God, the universe, and my ancestors. I also want the song to be a mantra of some sort for women, and give them the confidence to take up space wherever they want.

What was the creative process behind shooting the video?

My director and stylist (Katlego Gordana) had a few sit-down meetings discussing concepts and how we would make this video legendary. We got inspiration from Lil Kim, Rico Nasty, Destiny’s Child, Doja Cat as well as Saweetie. For the shoot day, it was pretty stressful because getting the looks done on time and still keeping schedule was tricky, but because I had such an amazing team behind me we still managed to execute all the shots on time before it started to get dark and rain.

March is Women’s History Month, was it intentional to release the video at this time?

Yes it was intentional. I believe that I am a powerhouse and it only made sense to release the video during Women’s History Month.

How do you see women owning their space in the music industry?

I see women owning their space in the music industry by being their authentic, powerful, talented, and unapologetic selves. It makes me so proud to be a part of the group of young, iconic and dope women in this industry.

What message are you portraying with the visuals for Kumnkanikazi?

The message I am portraying with my “Kumkanikazi” visuals is me being proud of my younger self who was already into music and then bossing up to being Benzo the Kumkanikazi.