Cape Town – Born in Welkom and raised in Australia, Neo Pitso is making all kinds of waves Down Under, as well as in the rest of the world.
Being an independent artist based in Sydney, Australia, Pitso uses the skills acquired at law school to self-manage his career, increase his fan base and also get some noteworthy endorsements.
He has shared the stage with artists such as Nas, The Game, Rick Ross, Bone Thugs & Harmony and Cassidy. Labels continue to head hunt the South African native but he has remained independent placing creative control above all else. He remains the go-to artist for official supports in Australia. As one blogger put it ‘If there’s an artist coming from overseas and Pitso isn’t performing there it means he turned it down’.
In 2015, Pitso was awarded an iconic African Australian of the year award at the Sydney Opera House. Later that year he released a song with hitmaker AB Crazy titled We On. The song went #1 on DJ Ms Cosmo’s Hot99. The song stayed at #1 for 3 weeks in South Africa and cracked the top 10 in Australia. In early 2016 Neo released what would be the first single to his The Neo Pitso EP titled Money First. The song earned him a Best Rap Act of 2016 award at the prestigious AMMA Awards.
Neo Pitso recently released his brand new single Energy featuring AB Crazy and he will be releasing his debut album The Neo Pitso EP in September 2017.
We chat to the rapper about his new single, his SA roots and what to expect from his album.
Check it out here:
You recently released your new single, Energy featuring AB Crazy, how did the track come about and how long have you been working on it?
I created a song initially with AB Crazy titled We On. That came about through producer by the name of Mr. Kamera who heard my songs and thought a collaborative effort with AB Crazy and myself would be incredible. Once we established the connection, creating the second song was almost second nature. Based on the feedback we have been getting I think people like Energy more than We On.
You were born in South Africa, can we expect more collaborations with SA artists on your upcoming EP?
Definitely! On the project I will have songs that feature South African artists, other than AB Crazy Max-Hoba and Cassper Nyovest are other artists that will feature on my project. There’s one more surprise guest I would like to feature who’s also South African.
What inspires your music?
My life experience and the experience of others inspire my music. I don’t always speak from my point of view.
Does having South African roots influence your music and the way you approach music?
Yes, I’d like to think my roots are quite evident through my songs. For example the word play on a song called ‘Savage’ make it quite clear that I’m proudly South African. This is not just through the lyrics, but the cadence and delivery I’ve been told is similar to South African artists.
Do you still visit South Africa often?
Yes quite often. I was there in December and will be headed there again in October.
You’re an independent artist, what would your advice be for up and coming artists trying to make it?
Take the good with the bad. The journey for an independent artist is fraught with challenges. Let the negative experiences build your character and the good experiences inspire you. Think of your talents or gifts as a seed. You need sunlight and water but you also need the dirt. Together those elements help build you as an artist and will ultimately create a fruitful experience in the industry. Once you start putting songs out to the public treat your artistry like a business. Invest your time and effort into it and watch it grow.
Was there a specific moment in your life that you realised music is what you want to do?
Yes, I was 16 and got on the stage to perform to a crowd of about 400 people. As soon as I got on stage the whole crowd left the hall without me reciting a single word. Four people remained and they were the organisers. It was at that moment I had to make a decision. As I started performing the first song, I pictured that the hall was still packed to capacity and as my set progressed it became quite clear that this is the path I was choosing.
What’s the one thing no one knows about you?
I’m still trying to learn the Gwara Gwara. Eish.
Who has had the biggest influence on you musically?
Jay-Z, his ascension from corner store to billboard charts to corporate office then ultimately Hall of Fame is nothing short of phenomenal and incredibly inspirational.
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