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Listen to Focalistic’s New Project ‘Sghubu Ses Excellent’

Focalistic releases highly anticipated project 'Sghubu Ses Excellent' featuring Riky Rick, Madumane, Mr JazziQ, Vigro Deep, Mas Musiq, Semi Tee, 25K, Reece Madlisa and more.

Focalistic has had a splendid year and he has just put the last nail, or maybe not, with the release of his new EP Sghubu Ses Excellent, his third project for the year following Quarantined Tarantino and Blecke, which both dropped in April.

Sgubhu Ses Excellent consists of 14 bangers, including the three that were on the Blecke EP, and features heavyweights like Riky Rick, Madumane (DJ Maphorisa's alter ego), Mr JazziQ, Vigro Deep, Mas Musiq, Semi Tee, 25K, Reece Madlisa and more.

His fan base, Squad Sa Maradona is even credited as a feature on the introspective outro—they appear on the track via voice notes.


On the EP, the musician continues with his signature style of rapping over amapiano beats with clever lines, and incorporating and interpolating South African popular culture and lyric references.

In an interview with OkayAfrica, when asked where he got the idea of rapping over amapiano beats, he revealed:

"Amapiano is from kwaito, so it was a natural thing. It was never a decision of let me switch bands… people make it like there's two different genres; hip hop and amapiano, for me it's never felt like that, it's one thing; good music."

"In Your Mind", produced by Tyler ICU and DJ Maphorisa, showcases exactly that—a perfect blend of kwaito, amapiano, hip-hop and even mid-tempo 45bpm house.

Read: Interview: Focalistic's Blend of Hip-Hop and Amapiano Is Working

The EP is the first to be solely released under his record label, 18 Area Holdings.

Recently, the rapper was announced as the new Spotify RADAR: Africa artist and this week, it was revealed that he ranked at number 5 for the most streamed hip-hop artists on Spotify(SA) in 2020.

At the EP's launch, the rapper also revealed that his previously released single "Blecke" has gone gold. With the release of the new project, it's definite that the Pitori Maradona is going to carry his momentum onto 2021 and will certainly keep his fans entertained throughout the festive season.

Stream

Sghubu Ses Excellent on Apple Music and Spotify




Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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