The Set have officially announced themselves in the industry by dropping their debut EP titled ‘A Set’. The 5 track EP dropped July 2020 and is led by the debut single of the EP titled ‘Aaliyah’. ‘A Set’ is set out to introduce the group to the world, as they prepare for a full-length album. The Hip-Hop Group of 4, is formed by 3 Rappers (who are also producers) and a 4th member who’s the main producer of the crew.
The Set was formed in early 2020, when the group received a Recording deal from the recently re-established Panda Records. Kali Freshman (born Joshua Callen Clifford), Zain 2 Faded (born Zain Ntuli), Don Fabi AKA Bliz (born Thato Majozi), and West Side Kuda (born Kudakwashe Kundai Muchemwa) all form the group.
They were originally individual acts until Zain 2 Faded was offered a recording deal by Panda Records. With the love he has for his boys, he came with a counter offer to Panda Records and though it would be great to form a Super Group. The four members are close friends and have worked and collaborated together for years, brought together by their passion to create music.
Watch the Kas’lam TV interview with THE SET Below.
First things first, Tell us who you’re and where you’re from.
Zain Ntuli: I’ll start. I’m Zain 2 Faded, born bred and raised in Joburg and represent the Westrand as well.
Callen Clifford: This is your boy Kali Freshman, from the west of JHB!
Thato Majozi: The name is Don Fabi, also from the westrand.
Kudakwashe Kundai Muchemwa: I’m West Side Kuda. I’m music producer born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe.
How did the group ‘The Set’ get together?
Zain 2 Faded: Myself and Kali Freshman went to the same Highschool and we found ourselves both at ASE the year after Matric. We met Fabi and Fabi introduced us to Kuda, since then we’ve been co-conspirators and collaborators.
You recently signed with Panda Records, how did that come about?
Zain 2 Faded: So, I received a text from Panda Records’ manager, who got my numbers from a friend of mine. He had heard an EP that I and Kali Freshman dropped along side that friend of ours and he offered me a record deal. I was reluctant to sign as a Solo Artist and offered to be signed as a producer instead. However, as we were headed that way, I told him it would be dope if he signed me and my boys and we do the whole group thing. Soon after that we met with the CEO, he set up the studio and we got cracking.
You guys just drop an EP titled ‘A Set’. Tell us more about that, why an EP instead of an album?
Don Fabi: Having just recently been officially working as a group, it was only right that we introduce ourselves to the people properly. We were always friends and collaborators but not an official group before the record deal, so we couldn’t just come with a full-on album we still have to introduce the people to our sound.
Kali Freshman: Yeah, definitely! It’s more of an experiment. We’ve worked together plenty of times, but it was never in an environment like this where we’re established as an official group. So, we’re still learning about working with each other as a group.
The 3 of you are both rappers and producers, but you also have a full-time producer in ‘West Side Kuda’. When you guys cook up a track, how does it work?
West Side Kuda: Well, when I cook up, I don’t put anything and anyone in mind. I just make a track that is easy to get on, a track that any of the guys can put their styles on. So I just cook up something and the guys come in and add their individual flavour to it.
Having 3 Rappers must be challenging when it comes to the writing and recording process, how do you make it work?
Kali Freshman: lol I feel like when I record it’s the worst because I don’t write my music. I go to the booth and I spit a freestyle or something, then I build on that.
Zain 2 Faded: lol I very own Jay-Z, he done lost the pen lol
Kali Freshman: lol Yeah! So the process is different for each of us, part of the reason why it was so important to make the EP instead of the album so we can properly learn to work together.
Now for someone who’s never heard of the set. If we had to say point them to just 1 track on the EP that will convince them to be a fan, which track would it be?
Kali Freshman: As versatile as we’re, with the EP we weren’t going for that versatile sound yet. We just went with the sound that will catch people’s attentions as to who we are, but yeah ‘Father’ is the track!
Zain 2 Faded: Probably ‘Oh my Bad’! I like ‘Oh My Bad’ cause it’s bouncy.
Groups have a tendency of breaking up, how do you plan to keep the group together?
Zain 2 Faded: We’re already hard on each other! so tough love works for us.
Kali Freshman: Yeah, we’re respectfully hard on each other
Zain 2 Faded: We tell each other when we’re messing up and we keep the authenticity of the relationship. we’ve known each other for a while now, so we’ve been through trials and tribulations.
West Side Kuda: The biggest thing for us is that we were friends before this group was formed, so we don’t expect the love and the respect to change just because we’re a group now. It’s just that now we make more music together and get to have much more fun together.
As we’ve mentioned, ‘The Set’ recently signed a record deal with Panda Record. We’ve seen a lot of controversy surrounding record deals over the years, do you guys understand the terms of your deal and are you happy with it?
Kali Freshman: Don’t do that to us, you can’t ask that *The Group laughs*
Zain 2 Faded: I think whatever happens you just have to stand yours. It’s important to read the contract before you sign, and voice out when you’re not happy
Don Fabi: A record deal is an investment and both sides have to be happy. If you don’t feed your horse you can’t expect it to win the race. So, both sides have to ensure that they keep their end of the deal. If you’re not happy, you have to speak out for yourself.
Kali Freshman: well, honestly, it’s still a bit early to talk about it. It’s still the beginning of the relationship and hopefully it all goes well.
Since you’re all beatmakers and producers, what’s the best DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software to use?
The Entire Group: FL Studio
Kali Freshman: It’s the easiest and most basic to learn
Zain 2 Faded: It’s different things for different people, it’s different strokes for different folks. I started with Reason, but they didn’t have the necessary plugins for mixing and mastering. So, I had all these beats that were all not mixed and mastered. I took them to FL for mixing and mastering and eventually worked with FL completely.
West Side Kuda: I feel like FL is the best. However, anything that works for you is the best. I started out on FL Studio 10 and then went on to try all the other. I moved from Logic, to Reason, to Pro-Tools then Ableton. With me trying all of those out, I discovered that everything sounds the same. They all depend on your ability to learn and use them. It’s all about what you prefer and like and I’m more into FL Studio, I was able to learn it and master it.
For someone who has a similar dream to yours but doesn’t know how and where to start, how would you advise them to go about it?
Kali Freshman: You have to put yourself out there.Start your family and friends, showcase your skills and talents to them and build from that. You have to put yourself out the and make moves, because nothing is going to come to you when you’re just sitting at home. Use all the Social media platforms, post videos of yourself performing, rapping or singing.
Zain 2 Faded: Also, take it seriously and have a clear vision of where you want to be. If you’re to go through the social media route, make sure you don’t gimmick yourself. Make sure you do your craft pure.