The Sunday Independent - - COVER STORY -

IT’S UN­BE­LIEV­ABLE the amount of drama that Cassper Nyovest has had to deal with in prepa­ra­tion for his Fill-Up Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium con­cert, that I don’t blame him for wear­ing sun­glasses in­doors.

I am slowly re­al­is­ing wear­ing sun­glasses in­doors is a de­fence mech­a­nism to hide your true feel­ings.

I would have done the same thing if I was him.

If you don’t know about the drama that has en­gulfed Cassper re­cently, here’s the back­ground:

There were ru­mours that Cassper was given R56 mil­lion to stage the show in Dur­ban by the eThek­wini mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

There were re­ports that DJ Tira was sab­o­tag­ing the con­cert and was al­legedly be­hind Ga­gasi FM host­ing its an­nual Beach Fest on the same day.

Peo­ple were al­legedly re­mov­ing street pole posters ad­ver­tis­ing the con­cert.

These are just some of the is­sues he’s had to deal with. So I will give him a pass for wear­ing sun­glasses in­doors. Imag­ine pre­par­ing for what could be your best con­cert yet but the city you are bring­ing it to is hos­tile?

I can’t help but won­der if he re­grets bring­ing his show to Dur­ban. It turns out he doesn’t.

“No re­grets at all. There have been is­sues to fix, yes, but I wouldn’t say I’m de­mo­ti­vated by it. Our mar­ket­ing has been ma­jorly af­fected, and the over­all prepa­ra­tions for the show. But we have to sol­dier on,” he said.

He still wants to put on the best show he’s ever done.

“I can’t wait to de­liver this world­class show for KZN peo­ple. More than any­thing, my fans de­serve this!”

It’s a full-cir­cle mo­ment for Cassper. His first per­for­mance in Dur­ban was with the late HHP.

“He had a tour with Cas­tle and I was his hype man and I had a verse on a song of his. Some shows were hard be­cause of the lan­guage di­vide. His mu­sic had a lot of Tswana and Dur­ban was one of those places that wouldn’t re­spond as loudly as other cities. So he would look to me and tell me to dance to get the crowd hyped up. The crowd would al­ways lose it.”

And with KZN be­ing so dif­fer­ent from Joburg, in terms of it be­ing a city that is un­apolo­getic about its love for dance mu­sic, kwaito and maskandi, he has done ex­ten­sive re­search to make sure that he makes the peo­ple at the con­cert happy.

“It’s an ur­ban show and the con­cept is very much from town­ship cul­ture. Kwaito, maskandi, dance and hip hop will all form part of the show. We did ex­ten­sive re­search for the show. We had peo­ple on the ground to find out what peo­ple want. Like maskandi mu­sic is re­ally huge in Dur­ban and so that’s why I have a track with Shwi Nomtekhala, to cater to that. The dance el­e­ment is where Babes Wo­dumo comes in, be­cause I have col­labed with her and a guy called Dan­ger Flex who’s a chore­og­ra­pher and he’s go­ing to be at the show, too.”

Themes haven’t been a ma­jor part of the “Fill-Up” con­certs, but he’s clearly see­ing that it gives each show a dis­tinct dif­fer­ence, as he saw with last year’s Mu­fasa-themed show at the FNB Sta­dium.

“For #Fil­lUpTheDome we didn’t re­ally have a theme. I was do­ing it to show ex­e­cu­tion by a hood kid at the high­est pos­si­ble level. #Fil­lUpOr­lan­doS­ta­dium also had no theme, but there was a spe­cific di­rec­tion we were tak­ing. #Fil­lUpFNBS­ta­dium was themed Mu­fasa.”

Cassper re­cently re­vealed that he would re­lease a kwaito al­bum. He’s mov­ing away from box­ing him­self into just be­ing clas­si­fied as a rap­per. He wants to be known as a mu­si­cian. It does come as no sur­prise since kwaito has been a huge in­flu­ence on him over the years, from his break­out Doc She­beleza to his lat­est Get Getsa, he has in­fused kwaito into his brand of hip hop. But why now?

“Tim­ing. It’s the right time. It is who we are! I’ve been do­ing it over the years but now I just de­cided to make a full kwaito project, you know, give the genre the re­spect it de­serves as cre­ated by our leg­ends.”

I guess it’s fit­ting that Cassper is bring­ing the show to Dur­ban, where he did one of his best per­for­mances in his ca­reer. It was the 2015 Metro FM Mu­sic Awards and Cassper was the hottest new mu­si­cian in the in­dus­try. Doc She­beleza was a smash hit. With just the song play­ing in the back­ground, Cassper dropped the mic and took to the stage with dance crew Freeze Frame. It was a mar­tial arts-themed per­for­mance and they all wore red. The au­di­ence was trans­fixed and I didn’t see a sin­gle per­son sit­ting down af­ter that per­for­mance.

Af­ter Fill-up, he’s tak­ing on FNB Sta­dium at one of his big­gest per­for­mances to date – the Global Cit­i­zen Fes­ti­val Man­dela 100, where he will per­form on the same stage as Bey­oncé, Jay Z, Usher, Ed Sheeran, WizKId, D’Banj and Tiwa Sav­age. “I’ve been given 30 min­utes and I’ve pre­pared an amaz­ing per­for­mance.”

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