Lists, The Booth

The Booth: Otarel Lets Us Into Her Headphones

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Original Image by Ian Lewis / Image Courtesy of the Artist

This month we take The Booth to Durban to catch up with one of the artists involved in the collaboration that resulted in Waves – the “off the wall” gem released two weeks ago. Oko Mabusela a.k.a Otarel started writing poetry in 2003 and transitioned quickly into writing rap music.

“I make a boom bap / trap fusion and put conscious and fun raps onto any instrumental regardless of genre,” she tells me, before mentioning that she released a mixtape last year called Dirty All Stars that was mixed and scratched by DJ Ready D. There’s a healthy sense of pride that goes into Otarel’s responses, as with any dedicated and hardworking artist – especially those tirelessly contributing to the shaping of Durban’s future musical landscape.

We all want to know exactly what our favourite musicians are bumping to get a sense of where the magic (partly) comes from. The Booth is a taste of all that. This edition investigates Otarel’s playlist, sharing 5 tracks that she’s into, in no particular order:

Skepta – ‘Shutdown’

I identify with his independence and the way he carries himself as a hip hop rep. I love his description of his character and how he pieces his flow together with a distinct type of content.

Martin Garrix & Tiesto – ‘The Only Way Is Up’

Martin is a kid who worked with his idol at his prime and at a young age. I admire that.

Slum Village ft. J Dilla – ‘2000 Beyond’

One of my favourite Slum Village songs. The production is dope and I identify with the content.

VituXArcade  ‘Nightmares’

This dude featured on the Cape Town leg of my tour. He did a set that blew my mind. His ability to combine the real and the escapist perspective of what people can relate to warms my heart. He actually manages to keep a sane idea of where he sees himself with the craft, and combines it with a not-so-social element that permits the listener to go anywhere his music permits. This song reminds me of how much we have to yet achieve as a culture.

MISSU, Red Robyn & Tré Flips – ‘Colours’

Another Durban collab that captures how the scene has evolved and a combination of three of some of my favourite Durban artists.

If you’re in Durban you can catch Otarel at Trap Out Thursdays tonight, and be sure to keep a look out for her end-of-year project titled Synergistic Energy Xchange (S.E.X). Stream her most recent EP below: 

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