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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

EXCLUSIVE: Blxckie reflects on his career as he heads to the US to tour with Bas

Blxckie was invited by US rapper Bas-the first artist to be signed under J. Cole’s record label Dreamville – on the more than a month-long tour.

While the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the livelihoods of many artists who are still trying to recover from it, that period was a good one for Blxckie where his star rose after the release of the song  Big Time Sh’lappa.

“I’m in a pretty good place [now], there’s an appeal of what I do. It would’ve been different if I had come in the industry around 2016, thanks to ipiano (Amapiano) and the likes of [Black] Coffee who opened the international gates for us,” Blxckie told The Citizen.

Real name Sihle Sithole, Blxckie spoke to The Citizen just a few days before flying to the US after being invited by American rapper Bas – the first artist to be signed under J. Cole’s record label Dreamville – on the more than a month-long tour of the US.

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Cementing his place

 “We never spoke about it [the tour] in person when he was here, even the song we did; we did that after he had left. I just sent him the verse,” averred Blxckie.

The tour is in support of Bas’s fourth studio album, We Only Talk About Real S**t When We’re F****d Up, which Blxckie features on in a track titled U-Turn. The album was released earlier this year.

“Some people weren’t surprised when they saw that I’m on the Bas album, we have a cool relationship. We speak a lot on Instagram about the music and other things,” said the 24 year-old from KwaZulu-Natal.

It’s been about four years since the release of the Big Time Sh’lappa where he featured Lucas Raps and Blxckie has, in a short space of time, cemented his place in the annals of local entertainment.

He said there’s a difference between the audiences in South Africa and that of the US.

“It’s hard to figure out what they [audience] want sometimes. But it’s different here at home because I’ve already laid the groundwork, unlike in the US where I’m seen as an underground artist,” he said.

For him to be even invited by Bas and collaborate with international acts is a sign of the rapidity of his rise.

This won’t be his first trip to the land of the free. Last year, he spent three months in the US. He performed at last year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas.

 It was around that time that he shared footage of himself with Nelly Furtado in studio.

“The song is there in the vault, we’ll see when it comes out,” he said about the Nelly Furtado collaboration.

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New music

Blxckie has one album under his name, 2021’s B4Now. He released The4Mula EP in 2022 and has been featured on other artists’ songs.

His long run of collaborations between the release of his debut album and now is evident on his Spotify where all but one of his top five streamed songs are tracks where he was roped in – the biggest being Sete by K.O.

“There is something I’m working on for this year, the music is there, I just don’t know when I’ll drop,” Blxckie said about possibilities of releasing new music this year. He wouldn’t commit to whether fans should expect more singing from him or whether his music will be rap-dominated.

“I don’t really plan it, it just happens… we’ll see.”

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