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Exclusive: A Quick One With Family Tree’s Tshego!

QuenchSA.com interviewed Family Tree’s Tshego to speak about his re-release of the album Since 1990 and his take on the current climate of the music industry.

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Family Tree artist, Tshego is looking to bare fruit for the new record label founded by multi-award winning artist Cassper Nyovest. The 24 year old muso released his debut album Since 1990 in December of 2014 before he penned his deal with the label. The album is set to to be re-released digitally under Family Tree with new singles and a maximum of  8 smash hits from the original release. Titled Since 1990 2.0, the album is set to feature a star studded cast and showcase both his vocal and production skills. We spoke to Tshego at length about the genesis of his music career and his plans for the year.


QuenchSA: Who is Tshego and where is he from?

Tshego: I am a producer, singer and an actor. I was born in Atlanta Georgia, in Decatur and I moved to South Africa back and forth from the time I was three years old and I settled for good in Mafikeng when I was 12 which was in 2002. I don’t know exactly where I’m from, all I know is where I was born and where I ended up.

QuenchSA: When did you realize that you wanted to do music for a living?

Tshego: I’ve always loved music so I’ve always known that but I think my last year of high school. I’ve been making music since I was 15 so I had been making music for like three years at that time. So at the end of high school I decided I should stay here (South Africa) and work on this music thing. The market/industry here is better.

QuenchSA: Which genre would you classify your brand of music?

Tshego: I don’t think anyone in life plans to limit themselves in anything. Its just part of life, you have to continuously explore and gain knowledge on things you don’t have knowledge on.

Tshego

QuenchSA: How did the link with Cassper come about?

Tshego: The link with Cassper happened a long time ago back in Mafikeng, it was just an organic thing. Growing up in school we used to play soccer against one another, just kids coming up trying to make music. He heard about me and I heard about him, we had many of the same friends anyway…so when Cassper moved to Jo’burg it just got to a more serious level in terms of us working together, when we were in Mafikeng it was really more of a hobby thing. When I decided to take this music thing seriously I moved to Pretoria and he hit me up and we started working on his first album Tsholofelo. And we did Cold-Hearted, there’s a couple of other songs that haven’t been released yet. So that link happened a long time ago, so I guess its only now that Cassper decided to invest in something bigger than himself in terms of a record label and I was one of the first people he thought about.

QuenchSA: Having grown up in the US, what is the one difference you’ve noticed between the two industries?

Tshego: In the US its a lot more corporate. There’s not a lot of education about the music industry in South Africa and the different money streams one could be earning from. In the US all this stuff is public knowledge…long story short, it is easier to make money and sustain yourself in American than it is in South Africa.

QuenchSA: Being signed to Family Tree, does it put any pressure on you to perform at a certain level?

Tshego: Not at all. That’s because I’m not new to the industry, I know a lot about it. This just means I have a bigger team around me that understands what they are doing. I now have people I grew up around versus having a corporate situation where we going back and forth…as opposed to being at your boy’s house.

QuenchSA: When can we expect new material from you?

Tshego: The next time I drop a full body of work will hopefully be in the next two months. I have all the songs lined up, they basically done. Just want it to be perfect. I’m a perfectionist, Since 1990 2.0 is like ready. With the first project I spend a lot of my own money and I still made sure that I gave it away, just to prove to people that its more than just about the fame and the glory. It’s more about the passion. Now I need everyone to come together and support, more than just tweeting about it.since-1990

QuenchSA: Who can we expect to make an appearance on your next album?

Tshego: You can expect Cassper, Gemini Major, Riky Rick, Shekinah, Nasty C, Stilo. You can expect a lot more but those names you can definitely look forward to.

QuenchSA: With the founder of Family Tree being associated with rap beef, are there certain artists you wouldn’t do music with because of that?

Tshego: There’s no one that I wouldn’t work with but you have to be sensitive to the fact that everything you do will have a consequence. If I decide to do music with AKA for instance, certain things are going to happen, someone is going to be unhappy. So just because you want to do what you want to do doesn’t mean you are immune to the repercussions of your actions. So its a question of would I want to start trouble with my brother just because I like something that is over there? Its all about that opportunity cost, can we make music? Yeah we can make music, one day, but not now. I have to think about my brothers.

QuenchSA: Mostwako artists have made their mark on the SA music industry, how do you intend on maintaining the rich tradition?

Tshego: This music journey is so bigger than just the artist, it has a lot to do with people who are listening to you and how they react. No amount of publicity can make people buy the music and come to shows. So what can I do to maintain the rich tradition I don’t have that answer. But what I can do is quality music.

QuenchSA: What are you currently listening to?

Tshego: Right now I’m to that new Jhene Aiko & Big Sean, that new Kendrick, Untitled album… if you South African and I know your name and you dropping something I’m definitely downloading it.

QuenchSA: What can we expect from you in the immediate future?

Tshego: In the immediate future you can expect a lot more concerts, you can expect more shows and you can expect more music.

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Netflix

Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed

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We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.

When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.

A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.

The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.

This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.

Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.

Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.

After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.

Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.

In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.

After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.

Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.

THE ENDING

Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.

Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.

In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?

Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.

We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.

What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.

We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.

Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.

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Netflix

First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’

DRACARYS!

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Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.

The House of Dragon

Photo Credit: HBO via Twitter

First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe,  the world ready to let old baggage go.

The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.

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Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it

‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.

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The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.

While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.

Midnight Mass

“The LORD’s angel”‘s life giving blood comes scams locals into horrible mistakes on Midnight Mass.

When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.

With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.

It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.

We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.

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