South African rapper Costa Titch collapsed and died while performing at the Ultra Music Festival at the Expo Centre, in Johannesburg on Saturday night, his family said.
He was 28 years old.
Even though the cause of death is yet to be confirmed, Weekend Argus understands that he had a seizure possibly triggered by the flashing lights.
Costantinos Tsobanoglou, better known as Costa Titch, reportedly had a history of epilepsy, a condition that affects the brain and causes seizures.
“Death has tragically knocked at our door ... robbing us of our beloved son, brother and grandson,” read a statement sent to Weekend Argus.
“It is with deep pain that we find ourselves having to acknowledge his passing at this time ... we are thankful for the emergency responders and all those present in his last hours on this earth.”
Ultra SA told Weekend Argus in the early hours of Sunday morning that it will be releasing a statement during the course of the day.
He was a rising artist from Mbombela, in Mpumalanga. His most successful single, “Big Flexa”, has received over 45 million views on YouTube, and a remix featuring US artist Akon was recently release.
Tributes poured in on social media, with EFF leader Julius Malema tweeting the late rapper’s name followed by broken heart emojis.
Costa Titch💔— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) March 11, 2023
The independent artist used the power of social media to establish a strong fan base for his fusion of hip hop and some amapiano beats.
Earlier this year, he received a major co-sign from Senegalese-American musician Akon, who praised him and predicted that he would be “a game changer”.
Akon’s co-sign went beyond just praising him in a video. He also linked up with the South African artist and was a surprise guest during Titch’s performance at Cotton Fest.
He later announced that he had signed a global deal with Akon’s record label, Konvict Kulture, and they would be teaming up for the “Big Flexa” remix, whose visuals have already surpassed a million views on YouTube.
At the time, the award-winning artist explained that he decided to partner with Akon’s label to push his career on an international scale.
“I’ve always wanted to remain independent and instead of signing to a major label, I’ve always wanted to partner with one.
“After the success of my 2022 catalogue we felt it was time to partner with a global entity so we can continue to push the barriers on an international scale.
His death is the latest tragedy to hit the South African music industry. In mid-February, popular rapper Kiernan Forbes, also known as AKA, was fatally shot in Durban. Musician Rikhado Makhado, known as Riky Rick, was discovered dead from an apparent suicide in February 2022.