A musician, writer and photographer based in Cape Town, Andy Mkosi’s music is influenced by a variety of genres but it was through hip hop that she emerged into the world of music as a performer. Fascinated by the lyrical content of songs, she started writing her own material which she assumed at the time was poetry “but when I recited them for friends in high school, that’s when I started having the confidence and the comfort to share stuff with people, they’d say it sounded something like rap music instead of poetry,” Andy Mkosi recalls.
Immersing herself in hip hop culture she started attending cyphers in places such as Gugulethu and buying Hype Magazine. “That’s when I was introduced to the fact that people at home were making music of this nature. People like Kanyi Mavi, Driemanskap and so forth.” Her first performance in 2010 convinced her to take music seriously. “We travelled to Gugs that Saturday afternoon and when we got there there was a performance happening and people were just forcing me to go on. I was so nervous. The response was so overwhelming. I think that was a turning point for me to say okay cool, this is what I want to do,” says Andy.
Meeting OBie Mavuso via Soundcloud in 2012 led to a partnership that saw the two of them create a platform for themselves and like-minded musicians to perform. Initially planned as a once-off event, the Jam That Sessions grew to become a multi-media event that featured artists such as Zoe Modiga and YoungstaCPT, and collaborations between artists such as poets and painters or beatboxers and vocalists. “It was pure art, something which was lacking at the time within the Cape Town performance scene.”
Since 2015 Andy Mkosi has dropped a number of releases starting with her debut ‘iPressure’ which dealt with the pressures of being a young artist who hadn’t yet put out music laid over a heavy boom bap sound. Her follow up release ‘Ndine Feelings’ spoke to her “romantic affairs or lack thereof”. Soon after she released ‘This Audio is Visual’ which saw her combining her two creative outlets, music and photography and working with a number of artists such as Tsoku Maela and Darkstar. “I collaborated with a lot of people and it sort of pushed me out of my comfort zone,” says Mkosi. The release is accompanied by a self-published book which features an image for each song along with their lyrics.
Most recently she has been sharing her music through intimate performances. Her Bedroom Tours sees Andy visiting the homes of fans and performing in their bedrooms to audiences of 10 to 20 people. Having performed around Cape Town, as well as in Johannesburg her next stop is Lesotho. She has also recorded a compilation of songs performed at the Bedroom Tours to be distributed at the next show.
Andy Mkosi already has ideas in place for her next release as she is always writing. “You always have to contribute to the skill everyday. My most recent visit to Germany made me realise that sometimes at home in Cape Town and in South Africa in general we’re so focused on perfection that we forget that there are people waiting on us to share our abilities with them.”