sunchild – Please introduce yourself to the Consciousness community and tell us a bit about who you are and what it is that you do?
quaz – My name is Richard Rodriquez Roodt, commonly known as Quaz. I am a writer, poet/emcee, community organizer and a creative activist. I currently teach creative writing at the University of Johannesburg and I am also the after school programme director for Keleketla media arts projects. I am part of Likwid Tongue a Jo’burg based poetry and performance collective and I’ve been actively involved in the underground poetry and hip hop scene for the past 9 years as a host, performer, organizer and facilitator. I published a Book entitled The Orange Book Vol:2 in 2009 and The Orange Book Vol:1 in 2005. I released an E.P. in 2010 titled Your Slice of Cake and two mixtapes; The Chocolate Brown Guy mixtape (2008) and The Immaculate Thoughts of Za`uQ (2007). In 2010 I featured on Projectah`s debut album College in Bars and on J’Pusher’s freestyle album. My writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, newspapers, websites radio and television advertisements. I also facilitate writing workshops for Ex-Apartheid Combatants for The Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (C.S.V.R). I also like spaceships, rabbit holes, comic books, those plastic things at the end of my shoelaces, milk, ant farms ,the food channel, green stuff and Happy Sindane.
sunchild – How would you describe your sound and what makes you unique, if you consider yourself to be unique?
quaz – My sound has taken so many different routes over the years it is really hard to be specific about what it is, or is not. I’ve done some work with a band, done some real abstract things, did (and loved) the boom bap style and my new EP (get it, it’s free!!!) has a more musical, laid back feel.
I don’t think I really have a distinct sound. I do however feel very drawn to the more melodic, live jazzy sounds but I get excited by both orthodox and avant garde things. Its all about what gets my attention at that time. What makes me unique?Mmmh. I don’t know if I know. My fingerprints?
sunchild – What is the essence of QUAZ, what defines you?
quaz – It’s a very hard question to answer. I feel like I am constantly discovering myself everyday. I try to be honest through my work and to be at peace with everyone at all time. I treat my craft with the highest respect, but also have fun when creating and presenting it. I hope that all of that comes through when people read or listen to my work.
I am a writer first, that is the foundation of all the other work I do.
sunchild – Which artists or bands do you most admire and are inspired by?
quaz – Oh man there are so many, artists, some aren’t even active anymore; Basemental Platform, Audio Visual, Soul2Mouth, P.O.C, Abnormal Detail, Witchcraft, Last Days Fam, The Federation, Ben Sharpa, Ben Okri, Credo Mutwa, Zakes Mda, Kojo Bafoe, Mak Manaka Lebo Mashile, Prof Willie, The Brother Moves On. I like L8 Antique, Uju Kwani Experience, Lark, The Real Estate Agents, Kalahari Dope, Lesego Rampolokeng, Archetypes, Common Man, Likwid Tongue, and Bjork.
sunchild – Is it easy to do what you do in a city like J’burg?
quaz – Jo`burg is probably the only city in the country that allows me to do what I do and get paid. It’s not easy because you have a million other people aiming for the same thing as you, so it it takes hard work networking and diversifying yourself. But once people are familiar with you or your work it becomes much easier. You really need to make sure that what you produce is good enough for people to spend their money on it.
sunchild – Do many people come to gigs and buy music and how does this affect your outlook as an independent artist in J’boug?
quaz – The people are definitely supporting the gigs and buying the merchandise but not on a large enough scale for independent artists to live off. The availability of products, the number and quality of the gigs also plays a big role with regards to how the audience responds.
I think independent artists should understand the importance of not becoming too complacent. We should constantly create work and and have it as readily available as possible. We should not undermine our buyers. Give them quality, reasonable pricing and an experience that is their money’s worth.
sunchild – What are you currently working on?
quaz – I am currently editing a collection of writing by Ex Combatants. I am promoting my New EP “Your Slice of Cake” and I am also still writing and recording for two 2011 projects.
sunchild – Where can people find out more about you i.e MySpace, Facebook etc?
quaz – Peeps can check my blog.. www.quazism.worpress.com, My MySpace page www.myspace.com/quazslamwell or link with me on Facebook by searching for Richard Quaz Roodt
sunchild – Do you have any up and coming gigs and if so, where and when?
quaz – In the coming months we will be in Durban Mpumalanga and Grahamstown to do writing and performance workshops. All other provinces to follow soon, people should just join the Likwid tongue group on Facebook, or get on our mailing list to see what is happening, when and where.
sunchild – Any final words, comments, advice for the Consciousness Community?
quaz – Live well, eat good food, give yourself fully. Put action to your words/lyrics and if all else fails, chew a Chappie.
sunchild – Quaz thanks for taking a time out to answer some questions. Keep making good music and spreading the love.
Looking forward to more of your music and inspiration.
quaz – Aweh!! Thanks for the opportunity and much love to you and the team for the great work you guys are doing.