We go behind the name-change, as Reason’s new handle ‘Sizwe Alakine,’ marks a smart move from Hip-Hop to Amapiano.

From humble beginnings ten years ago, South Africa’s youthful Amapiano genre of music went global over lockdown. Emerging as one of its new voices and by the handle Sizwe Alakine, is the Hip-Hop star better known as Reason.

Sizwe emerged in the South African music scene in 2005, under the name Reason, and soon gained popularity as a Hip-Hop artist. He collaborated with numerous household names, including Kwesta, DJ Maphorisa, and Proverb.

However, having spent over 15 years in the music industry as a hip-hop artist, Reason felt a need to gravitate towards a new sound, a sound that was more aligned with his South African roots.

“After so long, I felt a certain gravitation towards a new sound, a South African sound, a sound that was very familiar to me.”

Reason wanted to switch to a sound similar to Kwaito, a music genre he grew up listening to. Then came the idea of changing to Amapiano, a sound that had recently blown up internationally. 

Last year, videos with the hashtag #Amapiano received over 1.6 billion views on TikTok across the globe. This trend was also echoed on music streaming services, that saw an increase in streaming of Amapiano music.

Barely six months into his new sound and Sizwe has scored a record deal with a renowned label.

“For me, what is important is to know that I am able to make Hip-Hop music and that I am able to make Amapiano music because that is where my society is and my country is,” explains Reason.

In addition, he hopes to bring his own spin on the music genre to the rest of the globe. 

“I want to champion this sound, I want to create a new element to this sound, … and I want to be one of the first people to actually take this sound to the rest of the world.”

We had the privilege of joining Reason during a studio session as he worked on new music.

Having evolved so much in terms of his sound and his brand, we wondered what advice today’s Sizwe might have for his young self.

“There’s so many things I could have told my younger self but I don’t think I would have been here without having those things happen.”

And when he’s not busy in the studio, Reason makes sure to spend some quality time with his son, Unami. We were fortunate to tag along as the duo enjoyed a day of fun activities, including go-karting.

“Being a dad in the creative industry is an experience everyday, no day is the same but I think it’s all based on one fundamental – make time for your kids.”

Unami is Sizwe’s eldest son and they’ve had just enough years together for a father to realize how much he can learn from his child.

“I think something that my kids have taught me is the true meaning of unconditional love.”

In an industry ever pushing for a new single, trending sound or look, the long game of family and consistent values is paying off in a healthy father-son relationship.

Here’s to success with the new record deal buying more quality time for Sizwe Alakine and sons. And to the simple, silly, happy things that make life fun.


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