Yosh (Rapper)

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Yonela Faba (Born 23 May 1994, in Mdantsane) better known by his stage name Yosh (Or Yosh ZA). Is a South African independent Hip Hop artist, poet and singer. Most known for his 2014 mixtape, The Yosh Ep, which The Blacksmithed called “a tape with mouth-watering production credits”.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Career Beginnings

To Yosh hip hop has always been an integral part of his life, although he was a fan of the popular South African genre Kwaito. It was only when he became 10 that he started taking a liking to hip hop. Listening to acts like Eminem, Driemanskap and South African super group Skwatta Kamp.

It was only when he started High School that he delved deeper into hip hop music and poetry. This was the period where Spaza music was taking off. Yosh vowed to only listen to South African hip hop. Falling in love with acts like Proverb, Reason, Driemanskap and Golden Shovel. He would soon acquire physical copies of their albums and mixtapes. The monthly release of the Hype Magazine sessions also helped keep his love for local hip hop alive.

This then sparked his writing abilities as the local hip hop scene was beginning to prosper. He would participate in cyphers that were held on school grounds. This helped him gain confidence in his craft. There was a weekly competition held at Tru Fm studios where rappers were invited to rap on air, for the title of champ. Because of his newly found confidence, he saw it fit to participate in these competitions. He went there a couple of time until the show’s host B.laqphamas took a liking to his style and offered to record him. Those tracks never saw the light of day.

Towards 2009, is when Yosh met Massive Content and Svydo. And they formed a rap trio called the EMC’s. They recorded a couple of songs and performed on school grounds. Although this helped, Yosh felt that he needed to explore several sounds and find what he felt comfortable with and so he split from the group.

The need to find a unique sound led him to break his vow of strictly adhering to South African hip hop. He started listening to acts like Raekwon, The Alchemist and Tupac. He experimented with a couple of sounds, jumping from beat maker to beat maker until 2009 when he met. Bhisho based producer Rydxr. The moment they first spoke he knew that this is who he wanted to work with.

2010 - 13: Career Developments and Highlights

Yosh and Rydxr worked on a couple of songs together. They released a song titled Can’t Do This on a downloaded beat it was well received in the Bhisho and King William’s Town community as it was one of the first songs to use the Auto-Tune effect. They worked on a couple of projects slowly garnering popularity. This popularity lead to more people joining them under the banner South Military Recordings. The collective performed at several events, with Yosh performing at one of King Williams’ Town’s biggest events- The Summer Carnival, alongside acts like Pro and HHP.

Then came time to evolve, this included getting better recording equipment and improving marketing. This is why Yosh then approached TeedotBeats to expand South Military Recordings, to not only gain access to more advanced recording equipment but to diversify the sound by adding a second producer to the group. The first project to be released was titled Class of the Special Eds Ep: Hosted by Rydxr, which was heavily inspired by American crunk. And it was fully produced and mastered by Rydxr. This project was well received in Bhisho, King William’s Town and East London. The collective also started a Facebook and Reverbnation page, to further amplify their reach.

In 2012, Yosh moved to Grahamstown for his tertiary education. Exposed to different cultures he became inspired to create genuinely South African music. The increased access to the internet allowed him to grow his fan base without being constrained by the expenses that came with buying airtime or data. This is when he began to slowly craft his individual style. Because he had moved away from home he thought that being solo was the best route, in the past he had always been either part of a group or collective. He was still under the banner of South Military Recordings but as a solo artist. This new found freedom allowed him to not only explore rapping in his mother tongue but also improving his poetry skills.

This bore fruits when he entered a poetry competition, presented by the Students HIV and Aids Resistance Campaign in conjunction with Drama For Life and supported by the Goethe Institute, in 2013. The topic was centred around “Man, Woman, Any (Queer)ies?” which was, at the time, a subject he had never dealt with before, this caused him to take the opportunity. He took part and was the first runner-up, with his poem “No Homo; God Is” that confronted both the internal and external conflicts of sexual identity, he was then chosen to represent the Eastern Cape in the national finals held in Johannesburg alongside the winner Treiahn Hama.[2] In Johannesburg, twelve poets participated, he made it through the first round only to be eliminated in the top five.[3]

2014: The Yosh Ep

On October 5, 2014, Yosh finally released The Yosh Ep. This was Yosh’s third independent release. And the first to receive wide spread success. The nine track Ep was fully funded by Yosh, it was a mixture of Soulful rap, Spaza, and Trap. It featured production from TeedotBeats, Rydxr, Kimosabe, and John-A. This mixtape/EP lead to several doors opening. This includes airplay on Radio Grahamstwon for So Beautiful ft Zubo (Prod. By Teedotbeats, on Rhodes Music Radio for Kapital ft Gubhashev/Skir (Prod. By TeedotBeats) and on Mdantsane FM for #Khotha ft LLN (Prod. By Teedotbeats). This mixtape went on to get several downloads on hosting sites.

It also provided him with the opportunity to perform at the world-famous National Arts Festival alongside acts like Msaki, Umle Sounds and many others.

2015- 2017

In 2015, he officially split from South Military Recordings this was him further exploring his individuality. He took hiatus as a means to gain inspiration. He has been working since and has promised to release new music second half of 2017.

Discography[edit]

Mixtapes

  • Split Personality (2010)
  • The Yosh Phonetape (2011)

EP’s

  • Class of the Special Eds Ep: Hosted by Rydxr (2012)
  • The Yosh Ep (2014)

References[edit]

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  1. ^ http://theblacksmithed.com/2017/04/01/march-wrap-up/
  2. ^ http://oppidanpress.co.za/treiahn-hama-wins-lover-another-ec/
  3. ^ http://www.poetrypotion.com/review/drama-for-life-lover-another-2013/