He is a young preacher, motivational speaker, rapper and gospel musician whose music and career is in the upward trajectory. His passion lies in elevating the youths of his community and South Africa. Meet the talented Pastor Cool.
‘Pastor Cool’ as a brand name is quite peculiar. Can you tell us about the name and what it represents?
I have been asked this my whole life and ‘Cool’ is actually my first name. Funny enough it is a result of my grandfather overhearing my father telling my mom to ‘be cool’ during arguments, while she was pregnant with me. Due to the fact that he barely spoke English, he just assumed they were referring to the baby (me). Years later, I completed a degree in Theology which gave me the title of ’Pastor’ and that’s how my brand name was created.
What is it like being an advocate for the Gospel within the current culture of immediate gratification and the decline of ‘traditional morals’?
This generation despises being told what to do and are so overloaded with information that it has become very difficult to get through to them. I consider myself very privileged to be someone that they actually listen to. I try by all means to stay humble and essentially approach them as one of their own, encouraging them to go towards God. I do not act like I am wiser, or that I know better than them. As a result, my advocacy is generally well received.
Your genre of music is Hip-Hop Gospel. Can you explain a little about the influences that led you to choosing that stream specifically?
It actually feels more like this genre chose me. I grew up listening to and emulating underground rap artists, I was a battle rapper myself, until I heard Akon. However I was scared to introduce Akon’s brand of rap to my sound because I was afraid my mentors would tell me that it’s not real Hip Hop, but I eventually switched to a sound I was comfortable with. My first time going to church was as a grown up. I used to believe that church was not for people like me but my music essentially led me there and I found a home. Thereafter, I decided I would use my craft to attract people like me to the word of God. Thus, my career was born.
You are known for being a go-getter, consistently working on your goals. What has been the biggest challenge you have had to face?
I had to overcome the pressure to fit in. It took me 6 years of hard work and consistency to get my first paying gig. My biggest challenge came about when I started receiving media attention and having to answer to my family why I was ‘trending’ but had no money to show for it. Essentially, I had to choose whether to continue to pursue my music career despite the low returns, or give up and get a ‘proper job’ to put my family at ease. Choosing to go against the odds and chase my dream was quite a challenge.
Can you recall the people that inspired you and steered you towards being the person you are now, personally and professionally?
I was lucky enough to be discovered by a guy named ‘Lazy Dwayne’ when I was 14 years old. He nurtured my talent, included me in his music group and took me places to perform while also protecting me from that lifestyle associated with being a rapper. Secondly, my late Uncle Villo was such an influence. He bought me my first microphone and that played a huge role in the progression of what I do now. Next I have my adoptive father, of course, my son, my spiritual parents, my son’s mother, my supporters; it took quite the village, but these people have all molded and pushed me forward.
What kind of impact has your success so far made in the province and what is your vision for the music industry in Mpumalanga?
My success has allowed me to take my talent and music beyond geographical borders, with a great reception each time. My vision is simply to grow this genre and take it much further than it currently is, bringing more artists into it and giving them a platform.
You recently had a video shoot for one of your songs ‘Jesu Ungithatha La’, and it is awaiting its television premiere. Can you shed some light on what the song is truly about and when can we expect it on our screens?
I feel like this song came directly from God. In 2015 I was arrested for using an expired passport and I ended up being jailed for three months. I prayed very hard and constantly asked myself why God would allow something like that to happen to me. As a freestyling artist, this was actually the first time I sat down and wrote a song – while in jail. Unknown to me, it was going to open doors, because about two weeks after my release I was invited to perform it at my friend Pretty Mhlongo’s DVD launch at Mbombela stadium. Since then I have been able to travel and perform my music thanks to that particular day. I had a video-shoot for this song at last, and it will premiere sometime in May on the DSTV gospel channels.
What can we expect from Pastor Cool in 2020 and the years to follow?
Lately, the music has overshadowed my public speaking so this year, I will be focusing on balancing out the two during the course of the year. I am heading to Namibia in July to introduce the ‘Migration conference’ currently hosted in Mpumalanga and Gauteng. I am also very excited about preaching and performing in Egypt later in the year and if time permits, I will have a music tour in South Africa again.