Zander Tyler, “Pirate of the Caravan Park”, or known to most as Jack Parow – either way, he needs no introduction. His 2009 track “Cooler as Ekke” went viral, far beyond the borders of South Africa, now he’s as famous here as he is in Holland, and his unique style of Afrikaans rap has made it’s way to the US and UK.
Earlier this year he released his third studio album “Nag van die Lang Pette” and later that same month Eminem closed for him at Cape Town stadium. On “Ode to you”, the latest single from the album, he tips his hat to the hardworking people of South Africa and on the verge of the music video release, he took some time to tell us about the inspiration behind the track, where he would have been had he not been a famous rapper and what he does for fun.
When did you start rapping?
When I was about 16.
Of course being a full-time musician was Plan A, what was plan B?
Did you write “Cooler as Ekke” imagining that it could be the track that would expose you to the WHOLE of SA the way it did?
Never, I don’t think anyone ever thinks that THIS track is going to be the one that blows up, or most of the time when they do think that, it doesn’t, its always that track you don’t expect that just blows the hell up.
“Ode to You” is such a great track and it’s getting great airplay at the moment, what made you stop and write that song?
Well, I think it needed to be written, I also come from working horrible jobs that I hated, and when you are stuck in those jobs, you always feel like you will never get out of them and it always feels so draining and difficult, so that’s why its an ode to the people who do those jobs, because without them this whole country would fall apart.
You’ve collaborated with so many SA artists, if you could choose any artist/band in the world to produce a song with, who would you choose?
Jeez, that’s always such a hectic question, I never know how to answer it because there are SO many. At the moment I dig the old stuff, so to do something with someone like Bob Dylan or maybe The Rolling Stones would be NEXT LEVEL. I also dig Hopsin, he’s pretty cool
What is your favourite song to perform live?
This also changes a lot, but at the moment it’s Bloubek…people go ape shit on that one…and I like that.
So, you’re a stylish guy, is that your own unique style or do you have a wardrobe assistant?
Thanks! Bar room chic, it’s mine.
How many peak caps do you own?
Only one. They always get stolen, although, at the moment I actually do have like 3.
You’re also a very popular guy, what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you as a result?
I think the craziest is just getting given so much, from sponsors to just random people giving me presents to show love and helping me make music and keep pushing it. Other crazy stuff has happened as well, but you cant publish that.
What do you do for fun?
We have a standard interview question, “If aliens ever landed on earth, who would you nominate as an ambassador” – you’ve been nominated a few times by the way. Anyway, who would you nominate?
That’s good to hear!! I would have to say David Kramer…or otherwise Nathaniel…depending on if you want them to stay or if you want to freak them out.
The “Ode to you” music video debuts on Monday, 25 August. Go here to see him and Nonku get their hands dirty behind the scenes. But, before you do, here’s the music video for “Bloubek” from earlier this year.
Photo credit: Wouter du Toit