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INTERVIEW – Tshego Dishes On ‘Pink Panther’

Organic. Melodic. High Quality. Musical

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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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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to land on Disney+ in February

Welcome to Wakanda!

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Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are in for a treat. Disney+ has announced that 1 February marks the arrival of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The blockbuster will be joining 16 other on the streaming platform.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.

As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, is now playing in theaters. 

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Music

The Shocking Fallout of Black Motion

Tensions have reportedly escalated.

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They are one of South Africa’s most revered music duos.

Their discography packs both blockbuster club bangers and lush delights for lovers of House with a transcendental African sonic flair. And the explosive fallout of Black Motion, which has been splashed across the internet long before reaching the courts, has shocked many.

Loved for their electrifying live performances and awe-inspiring chemistry, Mörda and Smol have always seemed like musical soulmates. But that relationship seems to have reached a bitter end.

In 2022, rumours of their reported split triggered a frenzy on the internet. Following the uproar, the group’s members Bongani Mohosana, who now goes as Mörda, and Smol (real name Roy Thabo Mabogwane), jointly calmed fears that they had fallen out.

It had been said the break would be temporary, as Mörda moved to focus on the release of his solo studio album.

Far from it, it now seems. The parties have escalated things to court.

According to reports, Black Motions have confirmed that they had pressed charges against Mörda for alleged housebreaking and theft.

A court order by the High Court in Gauteng posted on social media has ordered Morda to “restore possession of a recording studio apparatus” to the group by 13 January, at 5pm. 

Black Motion shared snaps of the alleged damage caused by Morda – a broken door and stolen equipment.

 

It looks like we won’t be getting a new Black Motion album with Mörda anytime soon.

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Reality Shows

Inside the Big Brother Titans Premiere!

South Africa and Nigeria unite under Biggie’s roof.

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Sunday, 15 February 2023, marks the roaring arrival of BBTitans.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW.

The highly anticipated social experiment brings under Biggie’s roof housemates from both South Africa and Nigeria. And for 72 days, we will be splashed with the finest in South African and Nigerian swag, banter, romance and all the trappings of a fun-filled, dramatic and – we’d hope – an entertaining show.

A first of its kind, the social experiment assembles the most colourful personalities from the two nations to outwit, outplay and outsmart each other in a bid to get their hands on a massive bag, life-changing bag!

In addition to a number of lofty prizes that will likely be on the line throughout the season, the winner of the show will also be walking away, a whopping grand prize of US $100 000 (over R1,7 million) is up for grabs for the one who trounces his Housemates to charm audiences across the continent.

That’s not all; the amount of social capital, celebrity and opportunities for lucrative brand deals after the show, all form part of the career-launching lift-off that comes with being on the popular franchise.

Both Big Brother Mzansi host Lawrence Maleka and Big Brother Naija’s Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will co-host this debut season.

Fans of Big Brother Mzansi and Big Brother Naija in the diaspora are not left out as Showmax will stream the show in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and about 50 other countries.

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