As I walked in the room I could hear Moozlie‘s voice bubbling in the air. We sat down together to have a conversation about her career and her latest project VERSUS which will be dropping on Friday. The slight raspy texture to her voice adds a subtle sexiness that even my recorder couldn’t help but obsess over. After a few introductory giggles, Moozlie began telling me about how the desire she had to be on TV from a young age began to unfold.
“I always used to present [YOTV’s] Wildroom in my bedroom,” she says, “Even in class. My friend and I always used to do it during lunch time. Just growing up seeing CeeCee, Sifo and all those presenters made me really want to get on TV. I never really thought about myself being a musician. That’s something that just came up in the last couple of years.”
Being part of what she describes as the “slash generation”, Moozlie manages to juggle her emceeing, presenting and music career like a pro. While she is a veteran at hosting events and presenting on TV, she expresses that she has moved at a slower pace with her music. She has made sure to take the time to learn and experiment more with her music.
Curious about how she transitioned to the South African hip hop scene, I asked Moozlie how she imagined herself in that space. “I used to host a lot of parties and events. I think after a while a lot of people started t notice how really into the music I was and how when I was on stage it was like I was performing my own songs. So I think in 2014 or 2015 in the SA hip hop scene really blew up CashTime was looking to sign a female artist.” Looking beyond the musical talent, CashTime was also interested in someone who could grab an audience with her presence. And who better than Moozlie. She confesses that music was not something that she had always envisioned as part of her path, but when the opportunity came knocking, she was ready to let it into her life. “And that’s where it started,” she continues, “It started really slow. I spent more time around musicians than I did actually making music. It was a cool way for me to learn about the music industry and what it means to be an artist.”
Reflecting on the time she spent with these artists, being able to grow a thick skin as well as understanding the need to be patient are two of the biggest lessons she has learnt. “You get a lot of big ideas in your head but it takes a lot to actually bring those ideas to life,” Moozlie expresses.
Although her work is always about being true to herself, she does not mind sharing the limelight with her two alter egos, Griselda Blanco and Young Mma Br. Griselda is “an absolute mob boss. She was one of the most renowned women in the Miami drug trade, although I do not condone drugs. I think she just had like a kill or be killed mentality,” Moozlie explains. Channeling one of her childhood icons, Young Mma Br helped Moolzie to find her place among the well-known, established artists part of Cash Time.
Continuing with this train of thought, Moolzie emphasized that being a woman in a male-dominated industry should not be looked at in a negative light. “You should use it as a super power because there are so many female stories that have not been told yet. I think that female artists are incredible, not just in rap but all around. I don’t think young girls who want to be part of the industry should feel intimidated.” For her this super power allows women to translate the fact that women and women’s work is the backbone of society. By working towards changing the narrative of women in this industry as survivors to the view that they are conquerors, Moozlie is hoping that her super power will be able to translate that women lay the foundation into the arts.
This attitude can be seen with her upcoming project, VERSUS. “A lot of people wanted me to drop an album but I think because I went to the top of the hip hop game and worked with such big artists, I definitely feel like I missed a few stages. So with VERSUS I just wanted to go back a little bit and work with some of the producers I met along the way.” Through these ten tracks Moozlie has tapped into different aspects of her personality. It is a combination of trap, rap, reggae and hip hop, making VERSUS a reflection of the slash generation. “You are going to be dancing, bobbing your head, turning up and chilling in your car. And that makes sense because we live in the slash generation. Although you maybe have particular musical preferences, there are other songs from other genres that many appeal to you too,” Moozlie explains.
Be sure to check out Moozlie on Instagram to be one of the first to listen to VERSUS!