Die Antwoord talks music, art and inspiration

Die Antwoord released Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid earlier this month, despite group member Ninja releasing a statement to reporters earlier this summer saying that Die Antwoord would be finished come 2017. Yolandi Visser, a group member of Die Antwoord, took to instagram calling out Daryl Keating, the reporter who quoted Ninja allegedly confirming the break up, saying he “twisted their words”.

Earlier this month, Visser and Ninja spoke to Rolling Stone reporter Ryan Reed on the album before its release on September 16.

Die Antwoord’s Yolandi Visser in their music video “Banana Brain”/ noisey.vice.co

“Recently, while we was finishing up this album, another layer exploded out of our dark wild juicy core like a giant supernatural mega aura, and suddenly our album was so epic and sometimes vulnerable and sometimes sweet and romantic and so brave and full of mystery and win,” Ninja said. “Like when you going through hell, and the mission feels impossible, but you not allowed to fail, and all you can do is keep your chin up and keep going, then when you least expect it you emerge from this dark never-ending hole, and … you made it!”

Daryl Keating of Exclaim was able to sit down with the Zef (a counter culture movement in South Africa) rapper to speak about music, movies and art. Although the group recently released a big budget film with director Neill Blomkamp, Ninja was more excited about their upcoming project entitled South African Ninja.

“There’s this movie we’re making called South African Ninja that we’ve been working on forever — literally like ten years — and we’ve just been finishing it off now,” said Ninja. He went on to discuss that they had just finished writing it two days earlier when an artist friend of theirs decided they would turn it into a comic.

“Then I wanna shoot the graphic novel like a storyboard, like Sin City kind of, how Rodriguez turned Frank Miller’s book into a film. Me and Ashley [the artist] are really inseparable now. He’s someone I’m collaborating with all the time now … The cover for Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid album is like one of the last scenes from the film, so it all comes together.”

On their new album, Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid, Ninja is excited to explore other realms of music, saying that the group loves rave, but he also loves trap: “We like all kinds of music. We also like experimental stuff.”

The group is excited about both their album and upcoming film; when asked to talk a little about the film’s goals the response was lively.

“So, when you see the South African Ninja film — that’s been our well that we’ve been drinking from and drawing stuff from since the beginning of Die Antwoord,” said Ninja.

The group elaborated that they have been musing on the film since before Die Antwoord came together as an official group. In short, Ninja explained that it is at heart a “South African gangster film”, one with African ninjas playing key roles.

“Everything in the film is fictitious, but it’s hard and raw, and everything in the film has some parallel to our lives,” he clarified. “It’s got a surreal connection to everything, it’s really electric.”

In the meantime, before the film comes to fruition, Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid is available for listening to, and the single “Banana Brain” off the album has come to life in a music video. In the video, Yolandi Visser plays a young woman who drugs her parents in order to sneak out to a house party in her rough-looking friend’s (played by Ninja) decked out car. Although the music video is chaotic, it showcases Zef art and music, as well as lyrics that exemplify the sweet, more intimate feelings of the musical group.

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