Tshego Explains Why He Left Family Tree: ‘I wanted someone to point a finger at’

Listen to Tshego's candid interview with The Sobering.

Tshego is about to release his debut album Pink Panther. As part of his press run, the South African hip-hop artist sat down with the hosts of The Sobering, one of the country's most consistent podcasts.

Among other issues, Tshego discussed leaving his previous home, Cassper Nyovest's label Family Tree. He's currently signed to Universal Music Group. His main reason for leaving Family Tree, he says, is that he needed to be in control of a lot of things in his career and needed a dedicated team to help him achieve his goals.


"I wanted to control when I drop," he said. "I wanted to control whether I get PR or marketing and how much I spend on this. I finally wanted someone to point a finger at. I wanted someone I can wake up in the morning and know that I can call that person ask them why hasn't this been done. I wanted to actually like, 'okay, it's time to move, I need to hit these marks,' but I needed people to be accountable to hit these marks. I can't hit these marks alone."

The artist revealed that his Family Tree deal was informal. "And this Family Tree environment," he continued, "I haven't signed anything. So, if I haven't signed anything, no one is responsible."

Tshego's interview with The Sobering is one of the most candid you'll listen to this year. The artist was brutally honest about his career and the music industry, opining on why artist development is a thing of the past, how he had to put in the years to get to where he is, among other things.

Tshego has been bubbling under since the early 2010s when he still went by the rather awkward name of Shag (The Gorilla) and being part of the collective Sotho Mafia.

The artist has grown to be one of the most respected, working with the likes of Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Gemini Major, Nadia Nakai and more. His EP Since 1990, which he considers a classic, was released in 2017, and is a true gem.

After announcing his signing with Universal last month, Tshego released the single "No Ties" featuring King Monada. It's a smash.

Listen to Tshego's full interview with The Sobering below and pre-order/pre-save Pink Panther underneath.




Follow Tshego on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Interview
Photo: Nick Beeba

Interview: Sango's ‘Da Rocinha 4’ Is a Polished & Grinding Take On Baile Funk

We speak with the Seattle-based DJ and producer about his new album and the music bridges connecting Brazil, the US and the world.

It's a common joke in Brazil: once three or more Brazilian people gather together, they will start a WhatsApp group. The producer and DJ Kai Wright, who goes by the alias Sango, is well aware of that. While he is giving this interview through a Zoom call, a sound notification pops from his computer. "Do you hear that?" he says, amidst laughs. "It's WhatsApp, this album was made through WhatsApp groups."

Once and for all, Sango is not Brazilian. "I am an ambassador for that sound, but I am a Black American," he says. "That sound" is baile funk, the most prominent Brazilian electronic and popular music of the past decades. Born in Michigan and based in Seattle, Sango became a beacon for a new strain of baile funk around 2012, when he released the album Da Rocinha—a suite that he revisits in his new release, Da Rocinha 4.

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