#SpheresOfQueer: Angie Oeh talks coming out, and coming up with the best in the music biz

I really couldn’t have felt more badass than I felt in my steezy PUMA hoodie, a golden FOKOF lager in hand, headphones blaring “Dis Jou Wyfie”, getting me in the zone minutes before new-on-the-scene Afrikaans rapper Angie oeh arrives for our chat date.

She walks into FOKOF Bar – which, by the way, is a completely different world during the day – and she’s wearing her signature red beanie and Converse kicks – she’s even sexier in real life.

We take it outside, and she tells me that her first and only other interview went down a couple of tables to the right of us. And just weeks before, she’d dropped her debut EP, Sex in Afrikaans on the FOKOF Bar stage not more than five metres away – this is her territory.

We instantly bond on both being born and raised in Die Moot, and when I ask about teenage Angie she laughs and says, “[My mom] raised me like a boy. I had short hair my whole life,” she pauses before blowing my mind, “And I played rugby in school.” oeh is many things, but I wouldn’t for one second have pegged the street-style-donning, tattoos-in-her-face rocking, slender-framed Angie for a rugby player.

She tries convincing me that she used to be shy, and has me cackling when she tells me about coming out at 16, “I was basically a dude growing up and my mom had the audacity to be shook when I told her I was gay.” oeh adds, “We didn’t have the nicest relationship then, now we have a nice relationship, it’s very different.”

We talk style inspiration because her drip is too fresh, and she tells me about her first job at a streetwear outlet, where she subsequently also fell in love with hip hop. “When I left that place I knew I wanted to do music, so I put a tattoo on my face and was like, ‘Now [I] need to do music,” she reasons – sound logic, too.

I’m surprised to learn about her musical exploits before she took the Afrikaans mumble rap route. “I did English music for like two years, and it just didn’t pull through,” she confesses. Unlike her current repertoire, her English music didn’t celebrate “titties and booty and shit. That was more sad shit, but I’m gonna establish a fanbase first because I don’t think people care about my emotions and shit at the moment,” she reckons, sounding more like a seasoned music veteran than a fresh face on the scene.

 “[The English music] wasn’t working, and I was like I need to do something different, so I released “Dis Jou Wyfie” in December and after that it just blew up. After that, I knew I was gonna be something, like I felt it,” she says determinedly.

Her hunch was spot on, as Afrikaans rapper Loufi reached out to record a morsige verse on oeh’s “Dis Jou Wyfie” remix. As far as first-time collabs go, she hit the jackpot. Another top quality first-time for oeh was opening for Fokofpolisiekar, after Valkie van Coke (Wynand Myburgh) reached out to work with and help her.

“It was all happening so quickly. They literally took me out of my bedroom and put me on stage,” she remembers excitedly. “When I stood up there, I was like, ‘Jesus! It’s karaoke’ and I forgot verse two… It was bad, but it was dope as well. It was dope that Valkie had so much trust in me [as an artist and performer].”

She hits the fantastic first-time trifecta, her first studio experience being with the Prins in die Moot, producer, rapper, performer, and linguist Peach van Pletzen aka Groot Hond, who she also collaborated with on her track “Big Booty Bitch”. We both agree that that’s kak groot. “He’s just so creative, and he helped me realise the style I wanna sing in,” she explains of their relationship, “And he also understands the brand because you know how he is – he does a lot to create his image.”

She’s got Valkie van Coke for a manager, and her team includes “some of the best in the biz” as she rightfully brags. And while a lot has gone into creating and refining Angie oeh’s brand, most of it is just who she is and what she likes anyway – the tattoos, the fuck-it attitude, the need to provoke, all genuinely oeh.

Being loud and proudly queer, and inked, and singing about titties and booty is something I imagine doesn’t go down too well with conservative Afrikaans culture, so I’m curious about her relationship with her mense. “I speak Afrikaans, I am Afrikaans, but damn! The people!,” she shakes her head and adds, “They’re so closed-minded, and it’s definitely not all of them. You get people like [us] that vibe with fucking everything, and then you get Afrikaans people who still flinch when you say the word: poes. Like, ‘Calm the fuck down’.”

Her frustration is as clear as her mission as she concludes, “I just wanna open their minds and be like, ‘You know, there’s more than just Afrikaans, and South Africa. Wake the fuck up!”

Check out Part 1 of #SpheresOfQueer featuring Yann Horowitz here.

Check out Part 2 of #SpheresOfQueer featuring MOONGA K. here.

Check out Part 3 of #SpheresOfQueer featuring Zah Sampson here.