African Times reporter Karabo Ngoepe caught up with the musician from Makgodu Ramongwana to find out what makes him tick and why he decided to fuse gospel with hip hop
We all have different ways in which we communicate with God, for some, it’s through kneeling and praying while others will belt a worship hymn. Limpopo born musician Dr Molewah communicates with the most high by spitting bars.
KN: Who is Dr Molewah?
DM: Dr Molewah is Molewa Joe Mashalane from Makgodu Ramongwana No. 2 Limpopo.
KN: Why was it important for you to do gospel rap?
DM: First and foremost, I’m a born again Christian and I so much believe in God. I’ve discovered that I have a calling to preach the gospel through music and that has been affirmed by a lot of people from different walks of life and overseas. There’s a message of Exhortation, Evangelism and Comfort I need to carry out to the world through music. I’m from a Kwaito type of background which sometimes is applied interchangeably with rap; so I, therefore, employed such into my music so to easily be relevant and appealing to every age group especially the youth as you know rap has taken over the modern world. Lastly, I believe music is from GOD and young people from different churches are somehow reprimanded or rather condemned from listening to rap or hip hop at large, so I also came in to fill up that gap within the Christian society through Gospel Rap or Hip Hop.
KN: It’s interesting that you mention that a lot of Christians are condemned for listening to hip hop music. It actually brings me to my next question, what sets you apart from other hip hop artists?
DM: My Image, My Style of crafting music, the way I narrate the Theme or Title of a Song. I don’t swear in my music, my music is for every age group as people could clearly and easily extract my lyrics directly from my songs. All these set me apart.
KN: It’s not a lot of people doing gospel hip hop, who inspired you to go this route?
DM: At first most music videos from all over the world inspired me to follow a musical career as I would easily identify with the talent within me. There was a Kwaito Duo at Makgodu by the name Machesa, I’ve also identified myself a lot through them each time they would perform, and one of them called Abraham once assisted me to write my first ever Kwaito lyrics and that catapulted me into writing more songs. I also met a guy called Magents who’s now a Pastor who changed my musical career for the best as we were a Gospel Rap Duo. There’s just so much to say about what inspired me.
KN: Speaking about people that changed your musical career, who have been some of your biggest musical influences?
DM: My two current mentors even though they aren’t much into music but Apostle General Jannie Ngwale and Minister Lehlogonolo Kekana have also permeably managed to influence my music. And naming musicians who also indirectly influenced my music, I would have to say Tuks Senganga, HHP Nas, Talib Kweli, Rick Ross and Lecrae.
KN: That is quite a mixture of different rappers there. Lastly, how can you describe your musical journey so far and what does the future have in store for Dr Molewah?
DM: To be honest, the journey has been very difficult. Having to make progress with fewer resources, information and support was and still is challenging. One had to learn to be self-sufficient and rigorous to overcome all odds. The best side of things is that I’m proudly Pedi and coming from Limpopo has purposefully moulded my tongue, beliefs and nature into doing music with a unique taste the world has never heard before. I have bigger dreams to becoming the next big thing in music and to become the most renowned Gospel and Conscious Musician in the world. I’m also working on introducing a new subgenre into the musical world.
KN: Thank you very much for your time and all the best for the future.
DM: Thank you.