Cassper Nyovest – Rapper with a ‘Family Tree’
Cassper Nyovest – when he was still young and determined to make his mark he left his debut single “Gusheshe” at radio stations around South Africa and no one could have predicted that the grimy, unashamedly ghetto hip hop anthem would steer the Mafikeng born rapper’s career into the stratosphere of the African music scene. From Benz to Beemer, Yaris to Lexus, in those 4 minutes that “Gusheshe” knocked on radio’s speakers, fans transformed into the most suave gangsters, cruising the streets of their townships as the kidney grill of their BMW 325i proclaimed black excellence.
Cassper has since delivered a barrage of hits after the success of “Gusheshe.” From the chart-topping sing-along “Doc Shebeleza” to the huge middle finger to the haters that is “Phumakim”, Cassper Nyovest is officially leading the new school! Tendai caught up with the rap sensation to find out more about his debut album, topping the charts and the weird places his braid has ended up.
Firstly congratulations on the success of your debut album, ‘Tsholofelo’, that continues to top both local and international charts. Was its success what you were expecting for the album?
Cassper Nyovest: I appreciate the increadible response we are receiving, really overwhelming. however I expected it to do well, and it will do even better I believe.
One of your trademarks is your hairstyle. What’s the craziest thing a fan has done when they managed to get ahold of the famous braid?
Cassper Nyovest: [Laughs] put it in their mouth, no jokes!
At just 24 you’re already heading your own record label, ‘Family Tree’. What motivated the decision to have your own label rather than being signed to a major?
Cassper Nyovest: Honestly, I wanted to own my work and in the process make more money.
‘Tsholofelo’ has enjoyed the top spot on iTunes and spawned some healthy competition in SA hip hop yet some of your fans feel the emphasis on the platform alienated a large number of them without Apple devices. What, if any, measures have you put in place to cater to your wider digital fan base?
Cassper Nyovest: We released so much free music to cater for the wider audience, right now we appreciate the love the people that don’t have iTunes are showing via physical copies.
Still on ‘Tsholofelo’; in the intro you rap, “The biggest killer in the country isn’t HIV, it’s Twitter”. Do you sometimes feel there’s a dark side to your celebrity status and how do you deal with it in the moments when it gets to you?
Cassper Nyovest: I’m struggling but learning to deal with it, reason being that I’ve been a likeable most of my life. Its really the first time I experience so much hate in my life, but I continue to learn.
Having watched you perform live a couple of times there’s no denying the energy that goes into your performances. Do you rehearse often or is it all a spur of the moment thing?
Cassper Nyovest: I never rehearse, but I [do] realize the importance to [do so].
You’re billed to perform at the 2014 edition of the massive Spring Fiesta. Considering how many of your fellow stars are also on the lineup, how do you plan to steal the show from the rest of them?
Cassper Nyovest: Hehe I’m just planning to do me, not really steal the show.. just be the best I can be.
You made a bold move and dropped out of school to pursue music. It’s since paid off, but do you think you’ll one day go back to the books like Zakes Bantwini did?
Cassper Nyovest: Hehe yes, if I get bored of what I do.
Lastly, you recently signed a massive deal with DSTV for Doc Shebeleza, besides the gorgeous BMW what else did you splurge on and spoil yourself with?
Cassper Nyovest: I went to Zimbali for a little rest, bought a few kicks.. but I invested most of the money on my brand.
Connect with Cassper Nyovist