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

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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