Cassper Nyovest, is getting ready to fill up Moses Mabhida on December 1 2018. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

The CEO of Family Tree is stepping away from his indie label roots and is branching into the next phase of his career with a major. On Thursday, November 15, at the Universal Music Group headquarters in Johannesburg, it was announced that Cassper Nyovest’s Family Tree company has partnered with the Group.

His forthcoming fourth album is the first release from this partnership. The newest single, Sponono Sam, will drop on Friday, November 16.

About the signing, the artist who is known as Mufasa says: “It shows what I have built has value.” 

He has often spoken about how he has to do things alone for a long time before he is supported and how independence gave him a freedom to own his work. 

Tsholofelo, Refiloe and Thuto sold successfully without his signing with a major label or, he says, much support from radio. There was also how sponsors came on board at the last minute for his Fill Up FNB Stadium concert. Now, he is attempting to pack out Durban's landmark stadium on December 1.

He wasn't intent on playing by the mainstream rules. So why would he want to play by those rules by signing to Universal? 

“I sat with one of my business mentors – this billionaire dude – and initially, I wanted him to invest into my company and he said the whole thing of owning 100% of a company sounds like a great idea, but sometimes you have to build it til it's worth something and then sell a bit of it. So how I looked at it is I have built Family Tree, and for me to grow, I have to share a percentage of it.”

Does this partnership mean his indie signees, Nadia Nakai and Tshego are now out of jobs, though? 

“Everybody was given an option,” says Abuti Fill Up. “Tshego opted not to come with me in this venture because he wants to do his own thing.”
“I don't want to speak on Nadia yet, because she will announce but to be clear: the deal is Family Tree, so I will still be able to release other artists through this deal.”

Catch Cassper Nyovest Fill Up Moses Mabhida at the stadium in Durban on 1 December. Tickets are at Computicket.

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