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INTERVIEW: Touching Base With Rising Uzalo Star Ntokozo TK Dlamini

We recently caught up with Uzalo actor Ntokozo Dlamini, who plays the part of the villainous Mastermind Maphumulo on the country’s highest rated show. Check out the full exclusive interview



Ntokozo Mastermind Dlamini Exclusive interview

Ntokozo Dlamini has secured a cosy spot inside millions of South African homes, inside which we invite him as the vile and troubled Mastermind Maphumulo on SABC 1’s Uzalo. Although the 24 year old Pietermitzburg born and bred actor is acing his role on the popular telenovela, he couldn’t differ more from Mastermind if we dug harder for hints. Instead, Ntokozo beams with ambition, humility and charm. We recently caught up with him. Read on


Ntokozo as Mastermind on Uzalo. *Image courtesy of Uzalo

QuenchSA: So tell us about your role on Uzalo. How did it come about?

Ntokozo: I auditioned like everyone else and got shortlisted and then after the callbacks, I got a call saying that I got the part.  I actually had originally auditioned for another role for the show,  but they felt I was good to go for the role of Mastermind…

QuenchSA: Mastermind does some morally questionable stuff. Is there a way that you personally relate to him?

Ntokozo: I’d like to think me and Mastermind are two totally different people in terms of morals and principles, as much as we both share passion and both love for family. I am not someone who gets ruthless and is willing to do anything for a quick buck.

QuenchSA: You had to return to KZN for this production. How does it feel going back home and being based in KZN as a working actor?

Ntokozo: It is amazing! It feels good to be able to go home to family every weekend. Coming back to KZN was fantastic for my part. Everyone is happy…I am happy. I am closer to home, the family is happy.

QuenchSA: Uzalo is one of the country’s biggest shows right now. Not only in terms of viewership, but it’s always trending. These days if you are trending, you’ve made it. How does it feel being part of a show with this magnitude of success and exposure?

Ntokozo: It’s amazing hey! A lot of shows have graced the 8:30 pm slot and none of them have received the kind of reception that we’ve received from the people. People are loving it. The response from people when you walk into a Mall is great. So creatively, it proves that people are watching the show and appreciate the work that we do. When you meet people on the road and they tell you how much they love you…

Ntokozo Mastermind Dlamini

He appreciates fan love! *Image: Facebook/Ntokozo TK Dlamini

QuenchSA: Speaking of fans. Any weird fan experiences with those? We’ve heard things can get rather hectic…

Ntokozo: There are always people that love you but have a weird way of showing it! I went to an Ukhozi FM event two weeks ago and it was so crazy. People jumped on my car and nearly ripped off my side mirrors. As much as they love you, sometimes it gets out of hand if not controlled.

QuenchSA: What excites you the most about your job – being an actor and being in the public eye?

Ntokozo: I don’t really care about being in the public eye. It’s just that I am passionate about acting and I have always been. It’s just… doing something that you love and being compensated for it, you know? Money wise…being paid for it. So it doesn’t feel like I am working.

QuenchSA: But if you were not an actor, what would you be doing?

Ntokozo: I would be in radio and I would also do presenting. Those are things I see myself doing in the near future.

QuenchSA: You have already listed those on your Twitter bio as some things you do. Do you do of them already? And also, what were you up to before Uzalo came along?

Ntokozo: No, I am not doing anything now. But I am also a voice over artist, I’ve done a couple of voice overs for certain radio stations and ads. Before that I did Soul City, a cameo on Rhythm City and Single Girls

Aware of sex symbol status. *Image: Facebook/Ntokozo TK Dlamini

Aware of sex symbol status. *Image: Facebook/Ntokozo TK Dlamini

QuenchSA: A lot of people regard you as a sex symbol. How do you feel about that?

Ntokozo: (Laughs) I am grateful about that. I don’t know…I do feel sometimes they exaggerate a bit. But I do appreciate the love man, and I try to get back as much as I can. As much as you can’t tweet to everyone and you can’t reply to every message because you get hundreds and hundreds of messages everyday so there’s no way you can reply to everyone. But I do try to reply and just thank a few people here and there when I can. When I do meet up with people, I do take the compliment and I do say thank you and I do appreciate the love.

QuenchSA: Let’s represent them then. They want to know, is Ntokozo taken?

Ntokozo: (Laughs). I am not taken but I am not available either.

QuenchSA: Ouch! Moving along. What wouldn’t you do as an actor in the name of art?

Ntokozo: I feel as an actor you shouldn’t have boundaries because that would be limiting myself in certain roles. When you are an actor you are not playing yourself, you are playing a different character. So when you are given a certain character, run with it. There’s no character I wouldn’t play. I am for growing as a performer. I would take any role that’s given to me, make alterations to the role to suit me as well. But I don’t think I have any restrictions right now.

QuenchSA: …Including sex and nudity?

Ntokozo: Those are some of the things that have happened on the show. I’ve done sex scenes on Uzalo. It’s something as a performer…you will do certains things like that.

QuenchSA: Doesn’t it get awkward though?

Ntokozo: Well, it does get awkward. Especially when you share no chemistry with the person. But luckily I’ve been given phenomenal actresses to work  with and they are doing a pretty good job.

QuenchSA: Nice. Which local show would you like to star in and whose role would you snatch?

Ntokozo:  (Grins) I’d like to be on Two And A Half Men…

QuenchSA: Interesting (Nicely dodged). Which role though?

Ntokozo: Playing Ashton Kutcher’s character. Or they’d have to write me a new character! I actually see myself doing international stuff a lot. I am looking into moving into the US and that’s something I am working on.

QuenchSA: Heard. What would you like your fans to know about you that you reckon they don’t?

Ntokozo: I’d like them to know that I am not full of myself. Some people think that because I get all these tweets and comments that I am full of myself. I really don’t take it to my head and I certainly don’t take it to heart. Although I appreciate the comments, the love… but you know? I don’t believe my own hype and I think that’s what keeps me grounded at all times.


On a mission: Ntokozo’s working on his own production

QuenchSA: Besides moving to the States as something you have said might be on the pipeline earlier on, what else are you planning?

Ntokozo: I can’t say much right now but I am in the process of working my own production. There’s a certain show I am writing and that’s all I can say for now.

QuenchSA: Fair enough. In wrapping, any messages for the youth during Youth Month?

Ntokozo: As cliche as this sounds I would say, hang in there. Make sure that you push your studies. And make sure that they know that everything is possible if you put your mind to it. Even if you don’t have anything but you believe in the talent that you’ve been given and run with it – no one can stop you.

*Uzalo airs on SABC 1 at 8:30 pm, Monday to Wednesday.

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  1. nomonde

    June 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Wow nice work

  2. Pingback: ‘It Could Be Over By The End Of 2015′: Generations Faces Cancellation | Quench SA

  3. lwandisiwe

    September 12, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Oh I love you ntokozo mmmm god I wish I could see you ntokozo you are my favourite actor out of them all mcwaaa. From lwandisiwe msane escombe primary school. Queensburg. 0613162252

  4. mpumi mnomiya

    October 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I really really like you mastermind OMG!!!

  5. mbally

    November 9, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Mastermind ur the yumiest human being I have ever seen,keep up the good u

  6. tshepang mong

    November 13, 2015 at 11:28 am

    mmmmmm thank yew mastermind for motivating us ….nd I like you …you are my favourite actor

    • Tsholofelo

      July 17, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      May god be wit ntokozo every step of the way

  7. Mbarly

    November 28, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Oh wow yaw ma everday man crush Ntokozo.Keep up the good work.Love you lots!!:*:*#future MaDlam’s
    #Sounds cliche though
    #So what?!…
    #fan love…

  8. Gladness Nkosi

    December 3, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Wow Ntokozo my brother, th dlaminis alws rock,,ibambe kanjalo,kep rockng i lv u! excited ..heres my no 0721482954 lts wtsup peps

  9. Mmathapelo bokaba

    December 16, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Keep up the good work mister

  10. Mr PD MaQ

    December 17, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Muhle kakhulu umsebenzi owenzayo ndoda,sengathi uJehova angakukhulisa akuvulele eminye iminyango,we love you as your suppoters my brother

  11. Esona ngquku

    December 29, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Love u man #my crush,#favourite.Keep up the good work.LVE u TK DLAMINI #KEEP ROCKING, you going big time.

  12. Mk

    December 30, 2015 at 10:22 am

    wow zweli uya rocka boss and am sorry for ur loss I wish I could hear ur voice in my ears saying kukhala SAM sphaqulo kwa maphumulo

  13. Simphiwe

    December 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Wooow ntokozo u are unique, u are the best if ngingaku distriber kungashona ilanga, keep it up.

    • carmen

      January 8, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Ntokozo I am carmen goldstone …I wuld like to thank u for being a inspritational leader to us young people ….it was so awesome when GC,MkonTo and thobile came to our place here in Eastwood to incurage us youngsters to follow our dreams…we were looking forward to meeting u and gxabhashe it would of being better if u guys came cause a lot of people look up to u guys as leaders or rolemodels …please come again and pay a visit to us here in Eastwood secondary school …we would realy apprieciate it..

  14. Lindry

    February 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    U are so amazing clearly i jst watch uzalo to see u jst hw cute u are wow wish i could meet u personally lots of best wishes nd love mwah

  15. Esona"Queen zee"

    March 5, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Master bae:-P, love you.Thank u for being a great inspiration to us.#SEE U BABY,keep rocking.

  16. jessica kendall

    April 12, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Mastermind u doing a great job bro…may God be with yuu…You my celebrity crush

  17. primrose

    April 18, 2016 at 11:44 am

    mastermind you are the best and generous guy love u

  18. brilliant

    April 29, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    luv u buddy i olweyz check on u…. uyafanelwa. udecent…..uyi inspiration…uyiPower….. mina ngithi keep up the best standart…dmclxvi

  19. Luvolwethu Gasa

    July 1, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    mmmmh yeah Ntokozo, I do like your interview with QuenchSA wow waze wakhuluma kamnandi I wish nam abantu bengayeka ukungixhe kw career yam nami I want to be an actor 1 day any way u actor kamnandi bra….may God bless you**from LUVOLWETHU GASA**0744832179

  20. Khethy

    July 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Wow you motivate us brother Ngwane

  21. Khethy

    July 9, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Wow you motivate us brother,god bless u Ngwane

  22. kwaeyalezwa

    July 18, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    uyababa lobhudi yooooo

  23. Asanda Lwayo

    July 29, 2016 at 1:12 am

    eish i love ds guy yhoo

  24. siyethaba DLAMINI

    August 21, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I really like mastermind yooh

  25. bucie ngcobo

    August 22, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Keep u the good work ntokozo nd stay unavailable like dat hey (laughs)

  26. langelihle

    January 25, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Yooo I realy love ntokozo very much I wish I could see ntokozo so that I can tell him how much love I have

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Donald On New Album, Staying Real And Policy on Fueds – INTERVIEW

In this exclusive interview with QuenchSA, Donald shares his ambitions to become an icon, and more!



Donald recently delighted fans with the arrival of his latest album, Her Name Is?

The 20-track project, which boasts high-powered collaborations with the likes of DJ Tira, Thabsie and amongst others Mlindo The Vocalist, marks the singer’s triumphant return to the zeitgeist. “I’ve done this five times”, he says of the gruelling schedule that comes with album releases.

He’s a Pro by now, but those early mornings just never get easier. The machinations that come with promoting a new album require an element of athleticism. 

What most find intriguing about Donald is his evergreen presence in the culture. He’s managed to stay on top of his game without switching his sound to appease the market. “I don’t try to be relevant, I just do what feels good to me”, he tells QuenchSA, explaining how he’s kept true to his sound despite the ever shifting landscape.

We caught up with singer and conversed about the new album, the tricks of the trade sustaining his relevance and the pains that attend to being an artist.

The album recording process is done and it’s onto the promotional aspect. I imagine your schedule is different right now… 

Yeah,  which means few hours of sleep!

…But I hear artists are very nocturnal, creating mainly during the night. Is that true? 

Yeah, but now I am not creating much as I’m in the promo phase. It becomes harder because I have to try and sleep early, which I’m not used to.

Because it’s performance season? 

Yeah, like you have to wake up early. Sometimes I will have like 6’o clock  and 7 o’clock call times. For me it’s tough, but I think so far I have received great practice because I’ve been doing this for a while now. This is my fifth album. So I have done this five times already in the past ten years.

I mean, you are an expert… 

(laughs) I am getting better!

You have been around for a long time and you are still creating. People blow up and disappear. How do you do it? 

Ey man… I think one of the things that are mainly important is to keep the main thing the main thing. I try not to do too many things because I want to focus on one thing and make sure I do it perfectly. I think knowing what your bigger goal is helps you to be able to deal with the every day movement. I know my bigger goal is to be a South African music legend and have a legacy.

When I am gone people can look back and be like “Eish! mara this guy, this guy’s career was such a story…” You know? I really want to be that guy. I want people to look at me the way they look at Oskido, Hugh Masikela, Jonas Gwangwa, Mariam Makeba etc…

You’ve stayed true to your sound. How are you able to be so resilient to the obvious temptation to jump on a new wave that sells? 

I’ve noticed that trying to stay relevant is not easy to achieve. So don’t try to stay relevant, just focus on having a story to tell at that moment. Tell it the best way you know. Artists who are known for what they do specifically are those artists you will always remember.

When you say a name like Thandiswa Mazwai, you don’t even have to ask. You can just tell through her voice even, if it’s a new song. How she achieved that was by always being herself and not trying to fit in. I think I’m that type of artist. I don’t try to fit in, I do what feels good to me…

I think you’ve reached that level too, in some ways. One can look at a young artist and be like, ‘Oh, he’s the next Donald’. There’s definitely a distinct identity you have. 

I hear those conversations a lot, especially when Idols comes on air! Like, I always hear a Donald reference. I think last week Somizi was commenting on a contestant and made reference to a ‘Donald-like thing’ in the conversation. It’s always humbling and encouraging to hear people saying stuff like that.  That there is a thing about you that you have that everybody knows. It tells me whatever I’ve been through, including the pain, was not in vain.

What kind of pain have you been through?

Things don’t always work out the way you have planned, you know? You come across challenges, and I have came across a lot. You can ask anyone who sings and who is successful. They will tell you about the challenges because to be successful, you have to be challenged the most and the challenges don’t determine who you are but they make you strong and you always get better, no matter  how hard it is.  I am inspired by people who go all out to be achievers… like Bonang. I can relate. Like, I see myself in her and I know how much pain that woman has to go through. The struggles and challenges you don’t see.

You’ve have kept a very clean brand’, is that intentional or is that like are authentic reflection of you character?

I mean, a part of it is…the intentional part of it is not to share too much of my personal life. That is intentional. The simple things that I do on a daily basis… I don’t think that is of interest. Like I don’t think that is why am here. I kind of try and figure out and find why I am in this industry. What is it that I have to offer? I offer my message of love, not what T-shirt I prefer to wear when we get home at 7 o’clock…

Do you have any feud with anyone in the industry?

No. I have learnt to accept that people are just the way they are and have their own choices. It’s not worth me even sharing it on social media. Conflict does not grow the industry, it holds us back. We grow when we actually encourage each other…

You have a neat discography with hits and well received albums. Do you still get nervous before releasing new work? 

I think being nervous of how people will receive the music is the natural thing, and it shows that you care. Yes, I do get nervous and worry sometimes! Like, when the album dropped you know that is why I tweeted something and people just made a big deal out of it because Twitter is Twitter, but I tweeted ‘I haven’t seen even one negative comment about my album’. People were responding like, ‘why are you looking for negative things?’ and ‘This tweet is so negative.’

All I was saying was in this world there is so much negativity, especially on Twitter. It’s very rare that you release an album and not hear someone say ‘this is a shitty album’. I was like humbled that after three days I had not seen any of those negative things, you know?

Is there any song that has an important meaning to you or is closer to your heart on the album? 

Mina Nawe is very special for me because I think it ticks all the boxes. I rate that song as probably the best song I have ever recorded. From a songwriting point of view to the production, the mixing… like everything for me… I would admire it if it was another artist’s song…

Then there is another song called Ngiyazi.  That song is little bit more personal. The story is quite personal, but I also listen to it like a fan of music. I hear it and I think that is definitely it is my most relevant songs in the album. I do love every single song that is on that album though

How did you decide on the collaborations in this album?

Most of it was just organic. I would start a song and then hear someone’s voice in it. That’s how I would be inspired to get someone on it. The Zanda and Thabsie collaborations happened when I was working on the songs but kept on hearing these artists on the songs. The Mlindo collaboration was not even planned. I met up with him at a club and then asked him if he was busy the following day. When he said no, I was like ‘ntwana come to the studio…’ It’s magic.

What’s the one thing that shocks you or your fans about you right now?

One that people don’t know about me is that, do you eat noodles? Those two minute noodles. Does it make sense to eat noodles with eggs? I eat noodles with eggs and that is one of my favourite meals of all time!

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Vusi Nova Talks Longevity Ahead Of His Intimate Show – INTERVIEW

He’s been letting the music do the talking.



Vusi Nova Interview 2019

Vusi Nova famously shuns splashy displays and the trappings of celebrity to allow his music to speak for itself. And it’s not surprising – he’s got the vocal chops and the artistic elasticity to do it.

With a catalogue full of timeless classics and countless love songs, he’s succeeded in sustaining the momentum and staying on top of his game, often with no attention grabbing theatrics to amplify the music.

We recently touched based with As’phelelanga hitmaker, who’s getting ready for ‘An Intimate Night With Vusi Nova’.

Slated for Saturday, October 5th at the Lyric, Gold Reef City, the show will also feature special guests Ntando and 047.

Vusi Nova Interview 2019

It’s a rough industry. Artists blow up and disappear just as quick. How have you maintained your relevance and longevity?

I found that staying true to who I am, and talking about things that happen in my life… people relate more to my music. I wouldn’t necessary call it a formula but it has worked for me.

Along with that, you’ve kept a scandal free brand and allowed the music to sell itself. Is that a conscious thing or just an authentic reflection of your character?

It’s definitely a conscious thing and a reflection of my character. “Keep your nose down and focus on your work.” But also, in this industry it is hard to maintain a scandal free life as people make things up.

You’ve got a rich catalogue of albums which have spawned many hits throughout the years. Musically, what kinds of things are you still excited to do as an artist?

Thank you! Just working with different artists from South Africa, around the continent and the rest of the world, I believe that this help you grow.

The music industry has changed so much since you first came out, amapiano now being the popular sound. How do you stick to your authentic sound?

How do I do it? How… I guess it comes naturally first of all, and I’m always trying to make it sound fresh and different, by adding elements of other genres.

Does your previous success ever make you nervous whenever you are about to do something in your career?

You mean pressure, pressure is always there. And I guess its what makes you wanna do better, it’s what drives you to do better.

After all these years, do you still get nervous before you perform? How do you get over that?

Yes, all the time! (I get over it) By being alone. Some alone time to zone in and focus on my stage delivery.

How do you decide on your setlist for your shows?  

It depends where… which part of the country I’m performing at – I use this to guide me.

Can you recall your most magical stage moment? 

I have so many of those,  I feel like most of them are. I never take being on stage for granted – I always give it my all.

What’s the one thing that would surprise your fans the most about you

I’m extremely shy

What can your fans expect at the Intimate Night with Vusi Nova Show.

LOVE LOVE and more LOVE!

Tickets to the show range from R250 at Computicket.

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INTERVIEW – Tshego Dishes On ‘Pink Panther’

Organic. Melodic. High Quality. Musical



Now that Tshego’s long awaited Pink Panther album finally has a release date, everything has fresh hues of pink all over.

It’s quite a definitive season for the singer, who recently inked a record deal with Universal Music.

Although the album, which has kept the same title despite its long and adventurous journey to the market, has been a long time coming, the King Monada feature on the first single was a dope blindside.

A whole King Monada, on a Tshego song. You love to see it.

“I never want to be boxed in. I always tell my fans not think they can go for more No Ties on the album. If that’s what you are expecting, you will be sadly mistaken!”

Sonically, the artists couldn’t be further from each other. But, says Tshego, the flow engineered itself perfectly. “It was a very clean and organic process”, he tells QuenchSA, detailing tales of how he reached out to the Malwede hitmaker.

He’s thrilled about the critical applause and buzz around No Ties, which not only sparked the heaviest trend for the Garden hitmaker, but has also produced his best charting single debut to date. “It feels like, finally, people get it. It’s not that they didn’t get it before, but it feels like it’s finally time”, he says of the crit.

You are known for blending different flavours. Do you think No Ties finally captures your sound?

I feel like No Ties captures one piece of it, you know? I never want to be boxed in. I always tell my fans not think they can go for more No Ties on the album. If that’s what you are expecting, you will be sadly mistaken! (Laughs) In terms of the sound, I haven’t even placed it myself, but I know there are certain things you’ll be able to identify my sound with.

My sound is very musical, high quality and melodic. I’m very melodic and energy driven. So that’s my sound, but to find a genre for it… I haven’t been able to do that yet because I love moving in between as many genres as I can.

I read somewhere that you are the Prince of RnB. I was thinking RnB? Okay? I wouldn’t think of your sound as just RnB…

There are so many guys in South Africa right now who are proper RnB singers, so to call me the Prince of RnB when I’m not even trying to do that is a big compliment! I accept it. But, it’s definitely not what I’m trying to be known as because I’m just not putting a title on myself.

How did the collaboration with King Monada come about?

Very easily man, Instagram! His song Malwede had been out for a little bit and he was trending around that time. My mom knew about it. I was travelling to Mafikeng that day. I sent him a DM. When I got home, I told my mom. I told her I’d just DM’ed this guy, hopefully we can do a song together. Then he DM’ed me that night and I was like ‘yo, mom, he actually DM’ed me back!’ (Laughs). I actually posted it on my Insta Story the day he FaceTimed me and sent me his verse on Whatsapp. It was a very clean, organic process. He’s a very, very humble guy.

It’s a collaboration most didn’t see coming. The individual sounds couldn’t be further apart, but you made it make so much sense. Did you have a specific vision for his verses before hitting him up?

Nooo! Literally I said ‘bro, listen here’s the song. This is my hook. I want you to be here, and here, and here. If you want to give me a verse, it’s up to you. Feel it, it’s up to you.’ He sent it back with that and I was like, perfect! End it right there, no changes.

How did you decide on this being the first single?

I took it to a lot of labels, like four of five songs to a lot of indie labels, distributors, to like… literal A&R people and my friends. I was sending them a pack of five (songs) and they would always come back with ‘this one has to be the first single! These three over here are crazy, but this one is definitely the one.’ It’s the one that’s always come back as being the one.

Tell us a bit more about your departure from Family Tree. Is everything okay there?

Everything is Okay, man. It’s just business wise, the way I like to deal with things is on terms. It’s just like when you sign a contract with whatever company, there’s a term there. Whether it’s a year, 12 months, 6 months, you have a term. You are expected to do this and you are expecting x amounts back. That’s the way I like to live my life and with Family Tree, it was just another one of those terms. I had to give this an x amount of my years and I when I reached the cap, I had to find a better situation and grow.

That’s what happened. I reached my cap. Family Tree helped me a lot in terms of the touring. In terms of touring, that’s where Family Tree really catapulted me. Without Family Tree, I wouldn’t have been where I am now in terms of my performances and my energy on stage. But yeah, it was just time, business wise. Family Tree was signing into Universal and I was getting interest from Universal directly. I had been having conversations with them three years prior to that, so when that happened I thought man, let me just sign direct.

Why so much pink? It’s everywhere. All the time! 

I’m big on organic. That’s another one of those things that happened organically. It first happened on Hennessy. One of the outfits had the pink VANS with the teal in it. Then I had on pink shirts, a pink GANG shirt and a pink cap. People instantly reacted to that and kept coming back to me like, ‘yo, that outfit was sick.’ So I tried it again on Garden. Pink dog, pink Limousine, pink outfit, pink everything, which was even crazier.

It became cleat that it gets a reaction from people. When you put the marketing and branding together you understand that to build a brand, you have to market it. If this pink is working well as a marking tool to build the brand, why not? It’s gold. I couldn’t leave it alone. But, at the same time, it’s not like I don’t like pink.

Why the title ‘Pink Panther‘?

It’s because me and Gemini (Major) had a similar sounding album title. I saw him post it on Twitter and I immediately called and asked him what the hell!? Bra, don’t you know my album is titled blah, blah blah, and he’s like, ‘Ja, bra but it’s not the same!’ I was on loud speaker and Les happened to be in the room and he was like relax man, just call yours Pink Panther, trust me. (Laughs) I was like you… are… actually… right!

Tell us everything we need to know about the Pink Panther album? 

The features are people whom I consider friends. Nothing was forced or planned. In fact, none of the features was in studio with the features, except Focalistic. That wasn’t even a full studio session. I just made the beat there and put the melody down. He went home and sent me his verse back. It was that comfortable, where I could be just like ‘Yo, Riky I got something. Listen to it and tell me how you feel about.’ He hit me back, he felt great. He put down a verse and sent it back to me. Thabsie, same thing. She’s always told me we have to work. So as soon as I thought I needed a female artist, Thabsie was the first one I went to. Well, Rowlene and Thabsie.

Kwesta… I remember Durban July weekend. I was like ‘Yo, Kwesta, I’ve handed in the label copy. I need you on this song. He was just like ‘Bro, I don’t even have to listen to the beat, I’ll give you the answer now. Yes!’ The Tuesday after he returned from the Durban July, I had my verse done. Same with Thabsie, that same Tuesday, done. Who else… Tellaman, Fokalistic, Frank Casino…

Half of it is features and half is just me. I wanted to give you enough of me. I know I’ve killed my fans with the features man! I think every single I’ve dropped, except Dem Ah Wind, which was a street anthem, was feature heavy, So that’s it – it’s an intimate vibe. You know with me, everything is always high energy, quality, melody, music and organic.

Is there any song you can’t wait for your fans to hear on the album?

Yeah, but I feel like I will put pressure on it if I say it now. There’s a lot… I want them to hear the whole album. I can’t wait…

And it’s a hotly anticipated one. Part of that is how loooong we’ve had to wait for it. Are you nervous about delivering to satiate expectations?

I think anyone would. It’s the number one thought when I go to sleep and when I wake up. Now that the album is in, I’m having very critical thoughts. It’s like yo, eish! That verse, I was rushing on that verse. Maybe I was talking nonsense on that one (laughs). It’s a lot of critical things but I understand that now it’s up to God. Whatever is gonna happen, I put in the hard work, the time and I’ve done everything that I could do as Tshego. Now it’s in the next phase of life and God is going to let what ever is meant to happen, happen.

You haven’t been in the news for any weird scandals, or tweeting trash, or anything like that…

Nah… The thing is, you guys miss it. I could name a couple, but I won’t. There’s been situations where I had to leave Twitter for months. There were situations where people affiliated to me had to close their accounts because it got hectic. But this is like five years ago. There’s been certain personalities on Twitter, whether it’s DJs, who have tried to come at me. But my character… I just let things die. I won’t entertain it, especially on social media. I’m not gonna tag you, if you’ve tagged me. I’m not reply. I might subtweet…

That’s what I’m getting at… are you intentionally trying to maintain a clean brand or is it a reflection of your authentic character?

No, it’s really how I am bro. I’m a very loud guy! I’m loud, proud and stubborn. I’ve had, in the past, some anger issues. People don’t know that side of me because it only comes out in very serious situations. That’s why I don’t wanna bullshit. When you wanna talk, let’s talk. There shouldn’t be games.

A lot of artists do leverage the drama to promote what they are selling. Are you just gonna allow just the music to do all the talking?

Not just that, because I’m also trying to venture into other things. Like fashion. I wanna get into the music business in the corporate side. Like music libraries, the publishing side of the business. I also wanna score for movies. So I wanna get into a lot of things. Now I want to focus on the merch next. The Album’s been handed in and taken care of. We are doing the PR runs, that’s been taken care of.

Besides you getting angry from time to time, what else will surprise your fans about you?

I’m a really sweet, humble guy. I can be very soft spoken and I can match your energy.

What can they expect?

They can expect the next level of myself in the industry. Whatever genre that you put me under, expect the next level of it.

Pink Panther premieres August 30th.

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