He is an artist that has changed the landscape of the local music scene both with his group Tumi and the Volume as well as a solo artist. However, local rapper Tumi has recently undergone a reinvention and now goes by the name Stogie T. Now, Stogie T has teamed up with some of South Africa’s hottest acts as he drops his debut album under the new stage name. This week, the rapper opens up about his reinvention, his new single ‘Diamond Walk’ and his brand new album.

You’ve recently changed your stage name from Tumi to Stogie T. What is it about that stage name that you identify with?

I am a cigar lover. Stogie is another name for a Cigar. It has come to represent my growth. The letter ‘T’ comes from my name.

Why do you think reinvention is so important for an artist?

I think as an artist you want to create different things but people fall in love and get attached to the creation and forever link you to it without allowing you to make different things.

You’ve been in the music industry for a very long time. What is the greatest lesson the industry has taught you?

Trust your lane. It may be very appealing to go out and explore other avenues but it’s better to be great at one thing than to be average at many things.

Your new single ‘Diamond Walk’ is fire! What inspired the song?

The song was inspired by a variety of things. Materialism. Celebration. Exposure to the blesser life. It was also inspired by my love for luxury brands.

You’ve dropped your self-titled album recently as well. How different is it to your previous records?

I’ve grown a lot. This record shows a side of me people have never seen before. It’s some of my best work as a solo artist and I’m so excited that it’s finally out for the world to hear.

There are quite a few collaborations on this record. How differently does a collaboration come together than a solo track?

There’s a lot if chasing people around. You have to trust your collaborators enough to know when it works and when it doesn’t. When it does, it’s an incredible thing and I’m very proud of the collaborations we have on this album.

You’ve released many albums throughout your illustrious career. What sparks your creativity?

I still have an insatiable appetite for music. I love learning new things and I add all the new elements I learn into my music. It’s all about experimentation for me and seeing what works.

Many young South Africans look up to you. What advice would you give to someone wanting to make music their career?

Learn everything about music – including the business of it. The industry isn’t just about making music and performing. There is so much more that goes into it and you have to understand these things if you want to succeed.

What does 2017 have in store for you?

I’m expecting three things from 2017 – Tours, awards and plaques. I want to bring my music to the people, be recognized for my work and sell thousands of copies of the ‘Stogie T’ record.’

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