Thirdfloor, born and raised in Durban, started making a name for himself when he released his debut EP in 2014. But his love for music started way before then.
“Music has always been a part of my life. It’s a part of everyone’s life, I think. I enjoyed all kinds of music, but in high school I was introduced to hip hop.
"It was an Eminem album my friend made me listen to and I fell in love with it immediately because of what Eminem was rapping about. He was speaking about bullying, and I was bullied at school so I related to that,” he said.
It was in 2008 that his interest in music grew. “I met a guy in my hood and he played a CD for me and said it was his. I was very shocked, I could not believe that a guy from uMlazi could make his own CD in a studio in uMlazi. It really fuelled my fire to make music. A close friend then challenged me to write songs and I was surprised at how easy it came to me. I didn’t have any issues, I just wrote,” he said.
Robin Thirdfloor. Picture: Facebook
Although he was enjoying making music, he was also studying towards a BCom degree and decided to focus on his studies. After graduating in 2014, he dropped his debut EP.
“I figured that I would have spare time on my hands while looking for a job, so decided to focus all my extra time on making an EP.” And that’s when Sounds Empty Pockets Make was born.
Thirdfloor describes the EP as alternative hip hop. “Really that album was an intro to me, who I am, where I stay, the struggles I have gone through as a young black man and even about my bullying at school,” he said.
He was signed to a label and this year was invited to perform at the SXSW Festival, along with Kwesta.
“We were the only two hip hop artists in South Africa invited. It was absolutely crazy, I enjoyed every moment. The festival attracted thousands of people and huge stars across the US.
"It was an honour sharing a stage with someone like Kwesta, who really is doing amazing things in the South African hip hop industry. I was so shocked that he actually knew who I was when I introduced myself to him.”
Thirdfloor said his new EP is a fusion album. “I met Dejot in Durban and we hit it off and he wanted to work with me. With his background in electronic music, I decided to have a fusion album: a mix of kwaito, hip hop and electronic,” he said.
He hopes to release Bothela 2 next year.