The music industry in South Africa has been booming for years . With so many artists thriving and it's wonderful to see. Another music act rising up in the ranks is Cape Town born ABT . #
Also known as Athenkosi Brian Tshoni. The gifted and talented MC and songwriter takes the main stage this season as he shares his highly anticipated EP Ellipsis. Featuring production from Litha Phillip and Mofu Beatz , the EP hosts a wide range of sonic gems and bursts of inspiration. This intriguing and refreshing project covers a multitude of subjects such as Poverty, Gangerism, childhood memories, dreams and goals and more. The upcoming artist takes you behind the scenes of his latest 5-track offering as well as giving more insight into his process, favourite artists growing up and more.
1. A.B.T it’s nice to have your EP Ellipsis out there, how does it feel to release this project?
ABT: I feel “accomplished” for a lack of a better word. I have been releasing singles prior to this EP, but releasing this EP made me feel like a complete artist as I had to conceptualize the feel/subject matters that would encompass a body of work instead of focusing on one song as I usually did.
2. As a rapper and songwriter what are some of the themes within the EP. Was there a specific direction you wanted to go?
ABT: Yes, the EP does have a sense of direction as it speaks on various things that I am exposed to and experienced in my upbringing. It essentially provides hope to the many hopeless township (hood) children who may feel discouraged because of their immediate environment.
Despite it being a concise body of work, it touches on various subject matters that are relatable to the masses, from poverty, gangsterism, single-parent households to love…so there’s something for everyone.
3) Moving up in your music career, who are some of your inspirations and what type of music did you grow up with?
ABT: Growing up I used to listen to whatever was played in the household because my mother used to “run a shebeen”, so the music would range from jazz music (Caiphus Semenya) to pop music (Branda Fassie). I later got exposed to house music by one of my cousin brothers when I used to go for weekend visits, and I became a certified house head to the extent where I thought I would become a dj.
I only fell in love with hip-hop when I was in high school when my uncle played Life After Death by the Notorious BIG. I was amazed by how he put words together in a very poetic manner, so I dabbled in it.
4) You released so many wonderful tracks on the EP .What are your Top 3 favourite songs and why?
ABT: Ingcambhu (The Roots): This was the first song that I recorded with the EP in mind. It sets the tone/direction for the whole EP. This song speak about A.B.T’s upbringing (roots) and the hardships he faced with his mother in the neighbourhood of Philippi, Cape Town.
Keke (feat CVNON): This is a “fan favourite” and funny thing is, I was meant to be a feature on the song, but I had such a beautiful verse that I somewhat convinced CVNON to give me the song so I can have it on the tape and luckily he agreed.
Keke is a love song that’s a beautiful vibe and very lyrical. It depicts a picture that has a Bonnie and Clyde type of love.
Black Man: This is the last song on the EP and it ends the “tape” beautifully in relation to the first song which is quite dark and sad as it paints a picture of broken relationship between a father and son.
Black Man speaks on how it is seemingly being mended because it’s opening lines are “I be cruising with my dad, making new plans, tryna be a better man…”
5) If you could collaborate with any artist and producer on a near future project who would they be and why?
ABT: Internationally it would be Mick Jenkins (rapper). I feel like he would push my artistry as he dabbles in various sounds.
In the producing aspect, it would probably be Mash Beats, a South African producer. I would love to work with him because he understands the South African landscape yet he has an international sound, so we would appeal to everyone.
6) Finally, What’s coming up next from you. Any live shows or maybe you’ve got an EP loading or more music videos ?
ABT : I have a couple of shows lined-up and will make my television debut sooner rather than later. I am also working on some great visuals for the EP – have the concept, just need to execute.
For more music and updates follow ABT on Instagram