Taking Kwaito to new dimensions

It is never an easy thing to elevate yourself beyond your own expectations, and to fully take charge of your career is a whole different story.

05 July 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Musician Tulisan is one ideal example of total control and going on a successful school tour with his industry friend Adora pretty much justifies his grip on the game. Ahead of his sophomore album next month, tjil got an opportunity to chat to Tulisan.

Tulisan's school tour began last year and so far he has performed at 11 schools. “The school tour is our way of doing groundwork and establishing and growing our fans.

“It is about understanding that social media hype and groundwork are two different things. My team and I do not just want to shine on social media, we believe in taking the music to the people and putting in the groundwork,” said Tulisan

He mentioned that being in the music scene ever since 2012 has taught him many lessons about the music business and finally after releasing his first fully fledged album in 2016, he is ready to follow it up with an 18-track sophomore album. “I am really in a good space; I have been touring and recording new music more often. My album is dropping next month and I cannot wait to share what I have been cooking up with my fans.

Tulisan has diversified his sound and started to incorporate cultural elements in his music, stating that we cannot stand out if we do not pay homage to our roots and keep our authentic sound. “I have switched up my style, I no longer just make kwaito music, I now refer to my music as Afro-kwaito, thus the album is a cocktail of different flavours (genres) which caters to everyone,” said Tulisan.

On why the album is going to be lengthy, Tulisan said that he feels like he has not said much as he only has one album out. He has learned that music consumption has changed over the years that is why he has only been releasing singles accompanied with music videos in recent years. “Studying the market is important; it has helped me navigate the music scene with ease. An album needs to have a certain theme and concept, and I am at a point where I have gone through so much and want to share my stories through the music and a single or an album with fewer songs won't suffice,” he said.

Tulisan's manager, Abraham Amushila said Tulisan has been granted complete creative direction of the album. Amushila added that he figured that was the best way to bring out the best out of him - by not limiting his creative control over his art. “A lot of times artists are held back by management because they do not let artists execute their ideas the way they see fit. We did not want to do that with Tulisan. He has full control of his music, which makes him easy to work with,” said Amushila.

On growing his brand, Tulisan revealed that he has also ventured into merchandise and will be launching it together with the album. He believes to stay relevant in the music industry, consistently releasing music alone is not enough. “There are a lot of avenues I am exploring as an artist. I have also started performing with a band and that has made performing a more exciting and meaningful experience.

“I won't say much as I prefer letting the work speak for itself. I am driven by the will to make timeless music. In 2025 and beyond that, people should still be listening to the music I am making now,” said Tulisan.

MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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