‘I don’t define myself with any political party , right now I just want to focus on my music’


He blew our minds and we loved him, it’s safe to say he made it. From Tusker Project Fame to Grandpa Records he had it all. He inspired many and we believed that he would take the South Sudan music industry to the next level.

Koang Deng better known as K-Denk, now 29 years old and studying Political Science at a University in Ethiopia caught up with South Theatre Academy and this is what he had to say.

STA: You have been on the down low for quite some time now, do you still do music?

K-DENK: Haha, for the past 4 years I have been silent school and stuff, but now I’m planning to go platinum.

STA: When did you start doing music? Before or after TPF

K-DENK: I started music in Kakuma, back in 2002. But life was difficult there so it didn’t grow. I then moved to Juba in 2008 where I was working as a journalist and I started recording, then TPF came along.

STA: We don’t recall seeing you win the auditions, so how then did you end up in the academy?

K-DENK: Hahaha true, I actually failed the auditions and went back. But the guy who won was going for military training in Russia and I was the next option. Therefore I was called to go into the academy and replace him.

STA: How did you get a contract with grandpa records and are you still there?

K-DENK: After I was evicted I was taken back to juba, but then after a while I came back on my own to catch up on interviews and that’s when I met with Refigah- the grandpa records producer and we struck a deal.

My contract ended with Grandpa so currently I’m open to any record label.

STA: We have been hearing many controversial things about you, that you’re a rebel. Is that true?

K-DENK: I was a rebel. I did it out of defence. But right now, I’m not politically inclined. I’m a non participant in politics. I don’t define myself with any political party right now. I just want to focus in my music.

STA: What made you stop being a rebel?

K-DENK: My music encouraged me. See, I’m a musician not a politician. I realised though late, that it would affect my musical career.

Also, the fact that I was in the front line fighting and the politicians weren’t discouraged me.

STA: You talk of going back to music what made you stop? What made you not bloom as you were supposed to?

K-DENK: After TPF I didn’t utilize my presence and resources well. I wasn’t being serious with what I had but now that I intend on going back to the music industry, I hope to make it better.

STA: Apart from you, we realize that South Sudan TPF participants don’t really make it out in the music industry. We expect them to carry our flag higher but our expectations aren’t met.

K-DENK: For me as I said, I wasn’t serious about my opportunities. For Palek, Nancy and Mer I really don’t know. I can’t speak for them but I know they’re good musicians. What I can say is that the South Sudan music industry needs to be polished. It’s not that well developed and that can be discouraging.

Also, what I realised is that some radio stations in South Sudan don’t fully promote musicians. They seem biased, they overplay some artiste’s music and others aren’t or just once in a while. It’s unfortunate because they’re many good musicians.

STA: Still on music, what can you say about South Sudan music industry?

K-DENK: Umm, our country is going through a lot right now and the way forward is difficult therefore establishing the music industry can be a bit of a challenge. But I think the most important thing is to define our genre. Kenya has genge, Nigeria has its genre, Tanzania has it bongo and Uganda has its beats, what about us?

I believe that when we define our genre, our musical journey will be a bit easy. Also, find what you’re good at and stick to it, polish on that genre and you will make it in music.

STA: Up to today we don’t have major people representing us in the music industry. Eddy Kenzo of Uganda won an award, diamond of Tanzania is all over and in Kenya Sauti Sol is also touring all over but in South Sudan we have nothing, what’s your take?

K-DENK: I still say we need to up our game. South Sudan musicians have an opportunity to showcase their songs across borders but they don’t seem to seize the opportunity. I, like many other people thought Emmanuel Jal would make it far but I don’t know what happened.

But as for me, I intend on raising our flag and being all over, that’s why I’m back. I also want to work with visionary musicians, people who are serious because nobody can work with people who don’t want to grow themselves. I really want to represent South Sudan in east Africa and to the rest of the world. I can see Supasta Babyone doing well in kenya music industry.

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