2017 was a year to remember for Francistown-based artist Ras.T.
The 34-year-old Kanye native, who was born Tebogo Nkadile, celebrated a decade in the industry by scooping the ‘Best Dancehall Album’ at the recent Northern Arts Awards.
It is an impressive achievement, especially considering the award-winning LP, an eight tracked offering entitled ‘Ke Tlhadilwe’ (I have been dumped), was only released in October.
The accolade capped off an emotional month for Ras.T, as two weeks prior to the ceremony he became a father for the first time, his girlfriend giving birth to a healthy baby girl.
Talking to Voice Entertainment this week, Ras.T explained the name ‘Ke Tlhadilwe’, which is also the album’s lead track and features MC Maswe, was inspired by a Kalanga girl he once loved but who later dumped him.
“My album sends a message to men that they should accept failure in their relationships. I was also disturbed by the rise in divorce and passion killing cases as men do not want to accept that it is over,” revealed the dreadlocked singer, adding his music is based on real-life, everyday situations and not ‘bubble-gum pop’.
In order to ensure ‘his message reaches the people’, out of 5, 000 copies released, Ras.T gave away 2,000 for free. The rest are on sale for P50.
Produced by Emjoe records in Francistown and mastered by Bullet Ketshabile in Gaborone, the explosive album contains songs in both Setswana and English, including catchy numbers such as ‘Zaka Zaka’, ‘Gabana Tsebe’ and ‘Lord the Mercy’.
Describing his style of dancehall as ‘mpaxanga music’, Ras.T hopes ‘Ke Tlhadilwe’ will help take his career to the next level.
“I want people to listen to it and hire me in corporate events. I also want to see myself playing my music live on stage, owning a recording company and also to see Batswana recognising local dancehall,” stressed the ambitious artist, adding he ultimately hopes to be performing outside the country within the next two years.
“Dancehall is now an international music and I want to capitalise on that!” concluded the performer who first entered the music business back in 2007, when he recorded the single ‘Mosadi Phologolo’ in Zimbabwe.
He has come a long way since then!