In addition to the 16th of December being Day of Reconciliation, it is also the birthday of one of South Africa's biggest music stars, Cassper Nyovest. On this day in 1990, the man that became known as SA's Mufasa was born in Mafikeng.
Refiloe Maele Phoolo, better known as Cassper Nyovest, was born 16 December 1990, and became one of South Africa's most adored, admired and popular musicians in just a few years since he entered the music industry.
Not only is Cassper creating the kind of musing Mzansi wants to hear, he is a successful record producer as well. He owns an independent label and media company, Family Tree.
As we celebrate this bright star's birthday, Briefly.co.za took a look at how it all began and what Cassper's journey has been like.
It all started in a Mafikeng village called Montshiwa...
Cassper was born to become greatness, and like all great figures, his roots are humble as he wasn't born in a privileged suburb or city.
According to information gained from play.freeziki.com, Cassper loved being in front of crowds since an early age and would fight to be part of every show and play in primary school.
The musician was inspired by his late brother, Khotso Motebang Phoolo, who was a rapper, to pursue a music career. Khotso sadly passed away in 2003.
Cassper was part of a band called Childhood Gangsters in 2004, but they split up. He joined an 8-member band called Slow Motion shortly after that, but it didn't really go anywhere.
He left school in 2006, hungry to chase his dreams and moved to Johannesburg.
In 2008, when Cassper was a tender 17 years old, he got a record deal with Impact Sounds. However, he spent 2 years working on an album that seemed to be going nowhere, so he parted ways with them and launched his own label - Press Play Music. This didn't work out though, and he had to move back home.
Enter music legend, HHP
Motswako rapper, HHP, first noticed Cassper at a performance and was impressed with what he saw and heard, according to information learned from musicmag.co.za.
HHP gave Cassper a shot and featured him on his Dumela album - exposing South Africa to the man they adore now. Wam tseba Mtho:
Cassper's relationship with HHP pushed him into the industry and he toured with the late legend and even travelled across SA's borders to the UK, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana.
Tsholofelo is the album changed it all
In 2013, Cassper released Gusheshe as the first official single from his debut album, Tsholofelo, which was released later on 18 July 2014.
Doc Shebeleza was released shortly after Gushehse and was received with a lot of success. It went to number 4 on South Africa’s official music charts. Even Yvonne Chaka Chaka praised the song.
The album shot to number 1 on the iTunes South African albums chart for 2 consecutive months.
Since then, Cassper's success has not run dry...
On August 14 2015, the album’s first single titled “Mama I Made It (#MIMI)” was released for purchase on iTunes and as a free download for 24 hours only. Shortly after its release, it peaked at number 1 on iTunes South Africa chart, across all genres.
He was ranked the number 1 “Hottest MC in Africa” by MTV Base as well as number 2 “SA’s Hottest MC”.
#FillUp was born
The first #FillUp, Fill Up The Dome, was hosted in 2015 and was a hit. Then on October 29, 2016, Cassper pulled off #FillUpOrlandoStadium, and it was a game-changing moment for the hip-hop genre in SA and Africa as a whole. He is now often referred to as Mr. Fill Up.
Cassper's iconic #FillUp concerts became wildly popular as he did another one - FillUpFNB concert in December of 2017, which was highly successful.
December of 2018 saw Cassper's #FillUpMosesMabhida and it was a massive success as well.
To conclude, a few fun facts
- Cassper's ‘signature’ logo originates from the Cartoon Network checkerboard logo. He said on Twitter that he was inspired by Cartoon Network.
- Mr Fill Up partnered with AG Mobile in 2015 to release a phone that was inspired and partly designed by him called the “AG Hashtag “.
While Cassper's journey wasn't all roses and smiles, Briefly.co.za chose to focus on the good stuff as it is his birthday today, after all.
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