Teargas have to be one of the hardest working groups in the country. They have now joined forces with hard-working behind-the-scenes mover and shaker Thabiso Khati. The company is called Cashtime Life and the aim is to build a music, entertainment and lifestyle company.
Teargas and Khati explained that their vision is also to empower black artists and take the industry to the next level. They are challenging the old guard and status quo entrenched in the South African music industry for the last 15 years.
TS Records, 999 and Kalawa Jazmee have been very cosy with our government – as well as with the ANC Youth League before it disintegrated.
Cashtime Life, however, want to carve an independent and unique root for themselves and their artists.
The music company will use a 360 degree strategy that will focus on building artists into household brands. As the live music circuit does not have many outlets, the group are also planning to build up events and concerts aimed at the youth market. They site the example of the Showdown Hip Hop Festival, which is hosted in Mpumalanga – with plans to hold another one in Durban on March 30. There is also another festival planned for April 19 in Polokwane.
They have already launched the music video for Teargas rapper KO called Mission Statement, which is enjoying airplay across entertainment channels.
But what will be interesting to observe is whether Cashtime Life have what it takes to bring in the new blood that is much needed in the industry. The earlier companies like TS Records and Kalawa Jazmee happened organically. This is evident from their business plans, which ranges from guerrilla marketing to the fact that many of them are better A&R managers than they are businessmen.
Add the fact that these kwaito artists turned business leaders have a punk ethos that comes with the chaos of anarchy and it is somewhat of an anomaly that they are still the industry leaders today.
However, Cashtime Life comes with younger artists who are highly educated and who believe that business should be conducted in an orderly and professional manner.
Khati, in particular, has a vision that is in keeping with someone who intends to change the industry into a well-oiled, professional machine. He sees opportunities for artists who partner with corporates and has no problem playing the corporate game.
He is that cool combination of a businessman and a hip hop head. Bring on the young lions.