Gevaarlike, romantic Afrikaans rapper Zander Tyler, better known as Jack Parow, seems to have exploded out of nowhere and is taking over the SA rap scene, working with big names like Fokofpolisiekar, Heuwels Fantasties and Die Antwoord. Meneer Parow is spreading his dirty-and-dangerous lyrics and music to all he can. BizLounge, keen to get in on the action, invited him round for a coffee and chat - and to find out who the real Jack Parow is.
Parow has pretty much always wanted to rap since Std 3, after he heard Snoop Dog's Doggy Style, and because of the rise of the Afrikaans culture coolness phenomena brought about by the many musical talents emerging from the other side of the Boerewors curtain, he can now claim it as his full-time career. “I bought that Now Monster Hits 4 and Snoop Dog's Doggy style was on there and since then I always wanted to rap. I was in Std 3 or 4, that's when you first decide what type of music you like. And I always liked Dr Seuss, I have always liked things that rhyme - its fun I dig it."
Parow started out rapping in English, but quickly discovered that Afrikaans worked and sounded a lot better for him. “I rapped in English for long and then I did this song. I was with Juda from Brasse Vannie Kaap and MC Dread and everyone was rapping English cause at the time there wasn't really an Afrikaans rap market, but we did this one track called Hard Headed Hobo, where they were the Hobos and I was tuning them as an Afrikaans Boer. And it went so easy and sounded so nice and I thought: why haven't I be rapping in Afrikaans before?”
From an outsider's perspective Parow comes across as a slightly scary take-no-kak kind of guy, into hard partying and speaking his mind. Half true, Jack explained to us that he really is a nice guy who tries to avoid conflict, which seems to be a bit of an occupational hazard when he is performing in those little dorpies at places like the 100% Biker Bar, where sometimes his music and style is not the most welcomed. “I think sometimes people don't know me so they're thinking I'm taking the piss, but actually that is who I am and I'm not trying to rip off Afrikaans people.”
On asking if Jack Parow was an alter ego of Zander Tyler, or if the two were one and the same, he replied: “I am a lot like him in a way. I don't drink before I play, so when I perform I just go into my drunken self I talk and swear a lot. It is very much me, but just sort of my party version.”
Future plans for Jack Parow include releasing his EP around the end of this month. It will be a collection of tracks and video, all cleverly packaged on a flash drive, which will be shaped like an ice cream. Only 600 will be released, so make sure you head down to Musica to get your hands on one of those. He will also be working on his album, which should be released sometime next year.
You have written with some big artists. Who would you say have been some of the most memorable collaborations?
I love working with Heuwels Fantasties because they are my friends and Van Coke Kartel. I dig working with Francois a lot. He is the roughest one of them and when we on stage we complement each other. And Die Antwoord is also fun. I like working with them; we went to Belgium together.
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating tracks?
My friends inspire me the most, my friends are dik one-liners and we would sit around and get drunk and drop up all these fucked-up lines, chat-up lines. I think partying inspires me the most. I also got deeper shit about stuff that happens to me. The stuff that people like the most is when I'm just talking honestly.
Which Super 14 team do you support?
Stormers, Bulls second, just because the fans are all so super-common.
Is there any message you try to convey through your music?
I don't really have a message, but a thing that happens that I like when I play is that there are so many different people liking my music. Cause some people like it because it's common like them, and the jocks will like it because it funny, and the punkies will like it and they all come to party and will all come together ... I like to create this scene where everyone can get together and get drunk and see that the other people aren't that fucked up.
If you weren't a rapper what would you be?
A bodybuilder with the self-tan... And I would just be flexing.
How did the name Jack Parow come about?
We were really drunk and were watching Pirates of the Caribbean and I said: “Fuck fuck Jack Sparrow the pirate of the Caribbean I'm Jack Parow, pirate of the caravan park.” It just stuck.
If you could be any animal what would you be?
I like watching the National Geographic channel and there were these rats; the biggest rodents like ever. They're cool; I would like to be them.
What does Jack Parow like doing in his spare time?
Drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and playing games.
Can you tell us a little more about your look?
The hat is a big part of it. Cause I'm pretty nerdy and I like nerdy stuff, and I wanted to be like a pimp nerd and then it kinda just evolved. The cap and the moustache are the big part of the look.
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Clare Louise Thomas
Jack Parow on Taxijam....-
We had the utter pleasure of getting Parow into one of our taxis to record a taxijam last month of Jy Dink Jy's Lekker as Ekke. I still laugh to remember it!
Do yourself a favour and check it out on www.taxijam.co.za/jack-parow and keep your eyes peeled for perhaps Jeremy de Tolly hiding somewhere in there...
Taxijam is the smallest gig around. We provide a selection of some of South Africa's finest creative talent performing in an intimate 5 minute taxi ride. All clips are recorded and shot in exactly the same style, in one take and uploaded in their unedited format to our website.
Each and every performance is entirely democratic, there are no expensive stages or creative lighting, which makes it possible for viewers watch multiple musicians in exactly the same context. We are not selective about what genre we shoot - we will shoot artists, musicians, poets, performers and basically anyone who blows us away…. www.taxijam.co.za