5 minutes with Sho Madjozi

5 minutes with Sho Madjozi

She’s bold, dynamic and entertaining, so is her music. We spend 5 minutes chatting with Sho Madjozi about her style, sound and international stardom.

By Ayanda Sitole

I would describe myself as a rapper, that is my music genre, but I also dabble in Gqom music because I enjoy it. But, at the core of who I am, I’m a writer and a rapper.

My music resonates well with South Africans even if they don’t understand some of the languages I rap in. It mostly resonates with young people because they can sense that it’s a new movement and a new era. Young people can see that we’re onto something that is different in the history of Africa and how Africa is positioned in the world.

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My mother tongue is Tsonga, so I rap in Tsonga, but with most Tsonga people we can speak different South African languages. I also speak Swahili and French.

My music is getting a huge response outside of SA, and we’re getting a lot of international bookings. In the past South African artists would be booked to perform at World Music festivals where people would look at us and be entertained because we sang in a different language and we dressed weirdly. Today we’re getting booked as individual artists at big festivals and we are booked alongside mainstream artists.

I am my own fashion inspiration and all the Tsonga women who were serving looks in the 90s and early 2000s. These women made an impact on me while I was growing up. I saw big beautiful Xibelani and I’ve spent the rest of my life trying to recreate that beauty in various ways.

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I have a few collaborations coming up which I cannot talk about yet, but I can tell you that I have a song with Kwesta coming up which will be different to what people are used to hearing from me. I will also be dropping my first album in September.

At the upcoming Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival I’ll be experimenting with new material for fans to get a taste of what I’ve been working on for my new album. It’s a freedom festival, freedom is often associated with fighting but I want to show that freedom is also about celebrating.

Catch Sho Madjozi at the upcoming Basha Uhuru Youth Festival that will take place at Constitution Hill on 28-30 June 2018