The responsibility to break new artists has been pegged on radio stations and DJs but this has not been the case. Radio stations are at the mercy of global charts which dictate listener’s choices and in turn the stations’ playlists as they look to attracting a wider audience and catering to their clients’ needs. The same effect has trickled to club DJs who observe the same tradition of playing what the public deems entertaining. As a result, a cycle has arisen where popular music is the order of the day and new artists have a mountain to climb when trying to break into the industry.
Enter 24 year old Kagiso Kenosi known as Fella. Honing his skills while studying in UB around other producers of that time such as Karli Beatz, Risq da Villain, Rimzy and more, he built a signature sound focused on street Hip Hop reminiscent of California native Dr Dre’s thumping anthems that made him the industry’s go-to mercenary on the boards for over 30 years.
Over the past 5 years Fella has released 6 projects under his own banner, 2 of which were beat tapes, 2 EPs with Hip Hop artist D-Rap and another with Ozi F Teddy and a fully self-produced project featuring the finest musicians Fella hand-picked to accentuate and reinterpret his beats, and tell their own story. His latest, the 9 track ‘Crowned Is The EP’, falls in this category.
Fella’s strength has been persistence despite hard knocks. Top on his list is getting through to major artists to collaborate with him, reluctance of artists to make payments for services rendered and lastly, maintaining relevance as a producer.
Save for producers like Dintle On The Track and DJ TriggerMayne, full projects from producers as masters of the orchestra taking Quincy Jones’ approach to music making are very rare. Fella has remained the most consistent in this space.
Asked why he felt the need to release full projects, he had this to say “I’m young and full of unimaginable ideas that I shouldn’t let go to waste hence these musical projects and more to come in addition I’m a producer who is always surrounded by artists who are always in the creative process. The other thing is that I just wanna be different hence why I’m the only producer in the country doing this much. Lastly, Botswana is gradually moving towards understanding the consumption of music hence the demand from my fan base is always high. We have to account and take care of everyone with our local music.
For Fella, the mix of talent in the projects is a no-brainer. “I use hot, recent and popping artists who are pushing their stuff out there individually but above all if you are hungry, passionate and determined you definitely have my attention and possibly feature on my projects,” the producer explained. The features on this project represent various regions across the Botswana showcasing the country’s creative diversity. This was not a coincidence and the producer was quick to point it out. “Nothing I do is by accident, there is always a conscious and very well calculated decision behind why it happens, will happen, and happened so the project was a deliberate attempt to bridge the gap and crack all boundaries and showcase the unity, talent and the universal language – Music.
A surprise is in store for listeners as he encapsulates singing and rapping on the songs “Affair” and “Feel It” though he was quick to make it clear, cheekily so, that he will always remain a producer and the “experiment” saying this was done to satisfy the few people who know of these other talents he has. In a bid to encourage and cultivate new and young upcoming talent, he has started a competition ending July 15th using beats from Crowned Is The EP. Fledgling artists are encouraged to download beats provided on his social media pages and record a 12 or 16 bar verse. From this, 10 winners will be announced and featured on a fully fledged project with other handpicked artists.