Creatives Under Lockdown is a SABC News feature that focuses on issues affecting artists. This week musician Focalistic talks about his virtual concert.
Musician Focalistic’s song titled Ke Star is making waves in African countries including Botswana, Swaziland, and Mozambique. The song, which means, ‘I am a star’, aims to encourage people to live their best lives.
The song features music producer and Baby Boy hitmaker Vigro Deep.
Focalistic, whose real name is Lethabo Sebetso, says the song is more relevant now since people are dealing with challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everyone who listens to it must understand that no matter what they are going through, what is happening, o star (you are a star), you are the best to ever live. It is just to make a life worth living, just to make people feel cool and good about themselves in the midst of everything.”
South Africa has been under lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus since March. With no gatherings allowed, Focalistic has been keeping his fans entertained through social media.
“Social media is very instrumental because that is the platform we have to disseminate, spread our music, and kind of like connect with our fans. It is the only bridge to reach our fans, even with corona (coronavirus pandemic) you can see that that is the only way we can connect with our fans. “
KE STAR ? pic.twitter.com/u8CmFoIoiW
— KING SACRIMIMA ? (@FOCALISTIC) July 14, 2020
The 24-year-old’s musical journey started when his father gave him an ultimatum to choose between buying him soccer boots or a microphone. Maradona, as he was affectionately known at the soccer grounds, chose the microphone. This was just before his father passed away.
“He never got to hear my first song and for me, it has always been about expressing myself, how hurt I was and different subject matters started coming out into my head and since Grade 9 I have been making music. “
He also drew inspiration from artists including Khuli Chana, HHP, and Spikiri.
“HHP had this South African Maftown sound and he always represented his hood, as well as Khuli Chana, and for Spikiri he always had the baseline that was definitive to a song. So, for me, that is what I am about, baseline and representing my hood like Khuli Chana, catchy hooks like HHP, and representing South Africa as a whole to the world.”
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Working with stars
The University of Pretoria BA Political Science graduate went on to work with the music duo Major League in the songs 19 Tobetsa and Skhaftin which also features hip-hop musician Cassper Nyovest. Focalistic also features Nyovest in a song titled Never Know. Although he is currently doing well, his road has not been easy.
“I think one of the greatest challenges is what people were saying at the time, that ‘you can’t graduate and then become a musician’, for me I broke all the barriers, I broke all the boundaries that people were setting for me.”
Can’t believe my song is the official soundtrack for an SABC 1 campaign!!
GOD HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME ??♂️?? https://t.co/LDuGATAa2Z
— KING SACRIMIMA ? (@FOCALISTIC) August 6, 2020
He aims to continue making his fan base, the Maradona Squad, proud through representing Ga Rankuwa, where he is from and surrounding areas in Pretoria. “Every song of mine is like taking a walk through the streets of South Africa. Be it in Sandton, Alexandra, or Pitori where I am from and where I represent. For me, it is about that.”
His #StayAtHomeConcert will be streamed live @1606Streams today at 4 PM. Below is the conversation with Focalistic:
Q: Who is your favourite artist right now?
Q: Besides music what else are you involved in?
I’m heavily involved in politics still. I keep up with the news and sign the necessary petitions. I know it’s important for youth to be up to speed.
Q: What do you think about the future of Pitori music?
A: The future of Pitori music is in the world because we have such an authentic and raw sound; it will be one of South Africa’s biggest exports.
Creatives Under Lockdown related articles:
Related: Part 1: Starving artist’ a more meaningful phrase amid lockdown
Related: Part 2: ‘I don’t know myself outside my world of acting’
Related: Part 3: Letshego Zulu on fitness under lockdown
Related: Part 4: Uzalo’s Wiseman Mncube shares his journey
Related: Part 5: Artists advised to spend prudently in order to survive rainy days
Related: Part 6: Thabo Malema on the new enemy, his dream and COVID-19
Related: Part 7: Musician Tribute Mboweni on her collaboration with DJ Ganyani
Related : Part 8: Musician Shade on life as an independent artist
Related: Part 9: Kabelo Letshwene talks about fine art
Related: Part 11: MusicianTzafenda to release new single titled “Its Alright”