Tshepiso Makhele
2 minute read
5 Mar 2016
10:19 am

Idols winner Karabo growing in the biz

Tshepiso Makhele

Karabo Mogane displays growth, despite industry trials and tribulations.

It seems like just yesterday when Karabo Mogane’s name was called out as the winner of South African Idols Season 11 with a total of 54% of the final votes – over 78 million votes were cast for this Nelspruit-born talent in comparison to 2014’s 24 million votes, Mogane says the journey after being crowned the winner hasn’t been smooth sailing and wishes somebody could have warned him about the industry and its coldness.

“Everything was done for me after Idols, from photo shoots to setting up interviews and travelling; now life is more real, since I have to dig into my pocket to do it all on my own,” he says.

Apart from this, what he finds dreadful in the music industry is the inability of artists to help each other and their incapability to welcome upcoming talent.

“There is an enormous amount of competition and animosity in the industry, and that should be replaced with guidance, kindness and more music collaborations,” he says.

Mogane says that while joining the industry has had its fair share of trials where established artists attempt to demoralise new-coming talent, he nonetheless has managed to grow as an artist, and says he perceives himself as “less dependent on others and more independent and in charge of the future.”

He says while Idols judge and prominent choreographer Somizi Mhlongo gave him rather a tough time about his “old dishwasher liquid” look, the competition opened him up to a world of possibilities when it comes to the fashion front and he is thanking the quirky Somizi now for his observation and honesty.

“The fashion transformation had to be done. It was about time, no doubt. “It has done so much for my image but it hasn’t changed the person I am at all, that’s the great thing about it.”

Mogane, thrilled about what he has managed to achieve so far, with his Love is a Verb album receiving just enough airplay, says though he is focusing on growing his profile in his home country, he would like to develop his career more internationally.

“Although I’m concentrating of promoting my album and writing new material for the next one, I would concurrently like to begin to build a name for myself abroad with an authentic South African sound, something that is much appreciated internationally.”

The 24-year-old says that while South African music is growing noticeably, what works against South African musicians is their tendency to adopt international sound and imitate it, failing to remain true to the South African sound. He intends to do more love songs in future and have a full album based solely on love.

“I want to do music that people can reminisce to – and my next album Matters of the heart will allow people exactly that chance.”

Mogane’s 2017 album will be released on Valentine’s Day, February 14, during the month of love.