It's not meant to be easy

02 August 2019 | Columns

[Laughs] I remember a time when I received a text message around 03:00 that casually said 'yo what's up bro'. The reason for my laughter is the 'casually' description, because it surprised me how the person who sent the message - whom I shall not mention, expected an immediate response while I was dreaming about nice things.

But then I finally woke up, a couple of hours later of course, I remembered that one line Gazza says on My Boeta, 'Vandag is swak, maar môre is nog 'n dag'. That line reminded me that there are so many people pushing towards their musical dreams every day, during the nights and the mornings. Oh, I replied to the text, in case you were wondering, which included a '3 AM? You are crazy bro', response at the end.

Anyway, these past couple of days I have been contemplating on how the pursuit of getting to a desired success level in the music industry really doesn't recognise the effect of time. Because of what I do, I have been told stories of musicians recording until late at night, sometimes even having the sun rise while they are still in the studio because they seem to have been possessed by a spirit of determination that only a few understand.

It really humbles me how so many artists continue to strive forward with their careers even though they have encountered so many setbacks and individual struggles. Ever heard of that phrase, 'to be a winner you have to be consumed by your own fire'? I see a lot of artists engulfed by this spirit and I am certain if they continue to be resilient and work at perfecting their craft, their wildest dreams will ultimately come true sooner or later.

I applaud every artist, established or new, who continues to push and send those 03:00 texts for the good of the hustle. It can be annoying sometimes, being on the receiving end but I get it, trust me!

“I will not lose, for even in defeat, there's a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me.” Yes, Jay-Z said that. So it is my 20th tjil edition, and it so happens that Oteya, who is our cover star for this week, is celebrating 20 years of being in the music industry this year, weird right?

However, what is more weird is, on Wednesday, 31 July Dani Booysen the editor of the Afrikaans daily Republikein found me having lunch and said to me: “Michael, I really like what you are doing with tjil” and further commended my writing style. That compliment made my day, because it's Dani bro! Just like me Dani is a very reserved person, so the fact that he communicated his observations about my work took me by surprise, as I honestly never thought my content appeals to people like him.

Enough about me. As I said above, Oteya graces our cover this week. I also had a sit-down with Tate Buti, Karabo and Kinzzo - so you can look forward to those exciting features and more. Until next time, it's goodbye for now

[email protected];

@MichaelMKAY on Twitter

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