Glints, Brihang, Faisal, Safi
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How much freedom of movement there is in the no man's land between Christoff, the ideal son-in-law of all schlager mamas, and Brahim, Flanders' original (w)rapper. Quite a bit, thinks Simon Michelena. Although he will tell you that himself with a big wink and a grain of salt, along with a great sense of self-relativity.
This finalist of De Nieuwe Lichting 2021 once started as an Antwerp 'gastje' with a guitar and a pen from which mainly heartbreak songs flowed. Around the age of sixteen he entered hip-hop through friends, and a little later he was one of the founders of the Antwerp rap clique Roedel. They had good times together – De Morgen called their debut Hondsdolheid (2018) 'rough and inciting' – but after three years the itch to try it solo started. And with that decision, the guy on guitar also cautiously floated to the surface.
Simon always felt like a stranger in the hip-hop scene. He's never been a rapper full of cool talk about being tough on the street. Just like with J Dilla - one of Simon's great heroes - the love for the music and the experiment was always greater than the urge to be seen. But the swing, the rhythmic language, he carries with him in his heart, for life. And meanwhile, the 26-year-old cabaret student still likes to write heartbreak songs in his no-man's-land.