Monday, 9 May 2016

Interview - "I was bullied, beaten, mocked, made fun of because my accent" - Rawf K

Ashu Lawah also known as Rawf K is a Cameroonian born rapper who moved to the UK at a very tender age.  In 2010, Rawf K created a new genre in the Cameroonian Music Industry called Benskin Rap.  That same year, Rawf K founded Benskin recorded his debut single Benskin rap which gained him enormous popularity in Cameroon. Sadly little to nothing has been released by Rawf K after his hit song Benskin rap. Kinnaka's Blog reached out to him to find out what he has been up to...

KB - How was it like living in London at a very young age at that period of time. 
In the late 1990s Social Media was not as ubiquitous as it is today so the occupants of London used to view me accordingly to what they watched in the news about Africa. It was very hard going to school with white, black and mixed raced kids who have been brought up in London. I was bullied, beaten, mocked, made fun of because my accent etc. But all that did not change me it rather made me a strong proud Cameroonian child.

KB - You have lived in the UK for years and still have a Cameroonian accent. Is this intentional? Curious because many change accents in the first year after travelling abroad. 
I have lived in the UK for 17 years now just being me has been what has kept me unique, learning the English language to the best of my ability is my objective, having a Londoners accent does not matter after all I am a Cameroonian and I do not want to lose my tongue because that is part of what makes me a Cameroonian.

KB - You have been credited for starting a new genre in the Cameroonian music industry called Benskin Rap. What inspired you to create the genre. 
Growing up in Kumba as a child Benskin music used to be trending in the days of Kuchuabada (the group that sang the Essola song). The primary school I went to ‘Government school Fiango’ (Government school backside some call it), I used to play Benskin drums for the school choir. Benskin has always been a part of me, in 2010 after I had travelled to the UK for many years during a visit to Cameroon I heard the hit song Mignoncite and immediately related to it. The song had such a huge impact in me that I decided to experiment by trying to rap on the instrumental (that was the conception of Benskin rap). I cannot claim 100 percent credit for the creation of Benskin rap, truth is Salatiel made a huge contribution to the creation also as he is the one who produced the beat after describing to him what I wanted. That was the birth of Benskin rap.

KB - You went quiet after you hit single Benskin Rap. What really happened? 
Life and its troubles, let’s just say I worked with the wrong people. Deceivers, opportunists, liars, thieves, witches, back stabbers etc. I am also in Europe and you know as Africans when in Europe there’s always a family back home looking up to you so you have to work, music was not really paying then. I got a girl pregnant who gave birth to my beautiful daughter Cecilia Lawah in Switzerland so I decided to move there and lived with them starting a small family, there I picked the shock of my life (relationship problems) I was emotionally down for at least two years. 

KB - Stanley Enow and Jovi are the current Cameroonian rappers making headlines and seem to have inspired a lot of upcoming rappers. What do you think about them as rappers considering they came up after you. 
Jovi is a great rapper Cameroons best when it comes to rapping on trap beats, Stanley is a performer and I respect them both in those aspects. I have something totally different which represents Cameroon all through from the beats to the language etc. Jovi is great with the Francanglais slangs but his beats are just trap which is not quit a Cameroonian thing (we need our own genre exclusively Cameroonian).

KB - Which artists do you admire? 
I admire a lot of artists especially our up and coming Cameroonian artists but I have a list of five artists that I cannot go a day without listening to their music. In no particular order these artists are Petit Pays, Arafat, Eminem, Daddy Yankee and Terry G.

KB - Whats the next move for Rawf K? 
I have an EP coming out with all hit songs.

KB - Any advise for younger artists?
My advice to anyone aspiring to become an artist is to be original, explore yourself, find out about yourself and do you. Set a trend rather than following a trend.

What Benskin Rap below...


  1. extremely talented guy with great African culture in his veins, Cameroon needs guys like him who innovate and puts our culture first. I wish you all the best and looking foward to see you take over the African music scene.