Switch It Up – Lioness, Boity & Nazizi
Coke Studio Africa just released the music video of “Switch It Up”, performed and written by fierce fast-rising Namibian femcee Lioness, South African media personality and rapper Boity and legendary Kenyan femcee Nazizi. The video carries through the theme of the season finale of Coke Studio Africa, which was to blaze a new trail for women in music, and place talented females behind the scenes and in front of the cameras and mics. It’s an all female original composition produced by Kenyan producer Viola Karuri with the video directed by Thandi Lottering.
Over the years Nazizi had to balance another kind of challenge: “I was trying to think back to my day, and if I had anybody to inspire me as an African female rapper.” Her step back in time drew zero memories of such: “I started rapping in 1998, so that’s 20 years of rap, being the only female. “ She frequently wonders, “So who am I inspiring?” She got to see on Coke Studio Africa when she met up with other Femcees. “It’s nice for me to sit back and watch and see other female MC’s coming up. You can really tell how different we are on Switch it up,” noted Nazizi.
Nazizi is a Kenyan veteran of 20 years who added Swahili spice to her bars, Setswana flexing Boity is a South African cover girl celeb who had only been in the game for months when this song was recorded and Lioness is surely the only Doctor and MC known in hip hop. Lioness not only managed this balancing act, she flourished, making serious waves that she was invited to be on Coke Studio Africa. She says, “We can do what we want, we can choose what we want to do.” For her this made the whole experience even more dreamlike, “I had to be in studio and in the hospital, it was really hard for me to balance a lot of my life.”
Though as Boity said of their banger, “This track is based around women and female empowerment,” Boity found it “Fantastic” that African artists now have the freedom to show off their skills regardless of their gender, “At the core we are doing this without having to be ‘female MC’s, we are just being rappers.” And every rapper wants to kill it says Nazizi, so “It’s very important to stop making that distinction, that she’s a female MC and he’s a male MC – we are rappers full stop.”