Robin Thirdfloor is a little known, yet highly acclaimed Durban rap artist who featured on the SXSW stage earlier on this year, and was recently announced as one of Deezer South Africa’s representatives. Late last month, Robin dropped ‘Mina Nawe’, a song about a woman sticking with him even before he has found success. The song was produced by Swiss producer Dejot, and is set to feature on his upcoming EP, Bhotela, a slang word for “misfit”.
Robin Thirdfloor makes music that is distinctly Durban in a number of ways. First of all, in the mash up of kwaito, house, electronic and hip-hop, and secondly in the way in which it sidesteps most local mainstream media channels yet still manages to build a root system which stretches far beyond local borders. Despite the success of his single ‘Somdanger‘, his appearance at SXSW, and his position as a Deezer representative, very few people in the mainstream have even heard about him.
On the upcoming EP, Robin is set to look back to his early kwaito inspirations like Brown Dash, TKZee and Mdu Masilela. His more contemporary analog, at least sonically, is okmalumkoolkat, in the way he fuses turn-up jams with more meaningful and poignant themes. He is a much quieter (and hopefully, a less predatory) version of Malum, though, eschewing an aggressive social media presence and preferring to work outside of the spotlight.
Take a listen to Robin Thirdfloor’s ‘Mina Nawe’ below, and if you’re in Durban be sure to catch him at Sidebar’s First Thursday event tonight. More info here.