Real name Zothile Langa treated a select few of his fans and a couple of the industry’s who’s who to a taste of his 17 track sophomore album Dreams.B.Plenty last week. The album was released on Friday, 16th of September on iTunes and is available for order on the BETR GANG site with deliver countrywide. And if those who were in attendance at the you-had-to-know-someone-to-be-invited engagement are any indication of what to expect on the album, fireworks are an understatement. If you familiar with Solo‘s output, you are aware that his brand of music is a breath of fresh air in an industry that is too concentrated and often lacking in variety. We spoke to the wordsmith about his latest album and the inspiration behind it at length and this is what he had to say.
QuenchSA: How did you come up with the name Solo?
Solo: Solo, by definition, is a piece of music by one person unaccompanied by anything else. The name Solo stems from how I used to write songs alone, unaccompanied by anyone because at the time, I didn’t tell people that I wanted to rap.
QuenchSA: When did it you first realize that you wanted to make music for a living?
Solo: I realized this when I was very young. My older brother and sister would be very impressed with me for being able to learn rap songs quickly. By age 11, I was writing my own lyrics.
QuenchSA: How difficult was it to take a chance at music when at the time it wasn’t as commercially viable as it is now?
Solo: I can only speculate. I wasn’t trying to rap for a career when rap wasn’t lucrative in this country. I put out my first project in 2010. By that time, people were beginning to pay attention to hip hop. Brands were paying attention as well.
QuenchSA: Your blend of rap cannot be classified as conscious rap nor is it be said to be overly commercial. How would you classify your rap style?
Solo: I probably wouldn’t use a classification outside of hip hop. I say that because I know that I have a curiosity for music. By virtue of that, the sound will always evolve.
QuenchSA: What is the background story to the title of your albums?
Solo: Dreams.A.Plenty and Dreams.B.Plenty are two parts of a trilogy called the Dreams Series. The third and final installment will be C.Plenty.Dreams. They speak about my dreams at a given time.
QuenchSA: Your sophomore album Dreams.B.Plenty just dropped. How is it different from your debut project?
Solo: My debut album was intentionally vulnerable. I didn’t know much about the music industry when I made the album. The only thing I had practiced was my writing of music. With Dreams.B.Plenty, I stand in a different place. A couple of successes and new frustrations. I know a lot more about the music industry and have learned even more about music. I showcase all of this on the album through an ongoing theme that lives as the airport.
QuenchSA: Any special collaboration we can look forward to?
Solo: A collaboration between myself, Spoek Mathambo and Buks
QuenchSA: The South African hip hop industry is more rewarding than ever nowadays. How will you quantify the success of your output?
Solo: I’m not sure if that is for me to say. We will put the music out and make it as accessible as possible. People are able to purchase the album on iTunes as well as order a physical copy on the BETR GANG site, www.betrgang.co.za. Delivery nationwide. Everything else should follow from that momentum.
QuenchSA: Which artists are you currently listening to?
Solo: I’m only about to listen to music now after submitting the master of my album. I’m about to listen to the new Frank Ocean for a while.
QuenchSA: What can your fans expect from you in the immediate future?
Solo: (Laughs) Outside of a 17 track sophomore album? I guess visuals for the project.
Photo Cred: Images Supplied