Phodiso: Botswana-born, Auckland-based hip-hop artist drops new album

Act II, the second EP from Botswana-born, Auckland-based hip hop artist Phodiso is out now. The 5-track release sees Phodiso collaborate with some of the most exciting producers in Aotearoa, including Mueslibeats (BLKCITY, Jodang), Carawei Gao (Venom Dolls, Milky Avenue Studio) and Zaidoon Nasir AKA Who Shot Scott.

These Days is the third single from Act II. Self-produced in collaboration with Gao, Abraham Kunin (TEEKS, Home Brew, the Dalai Lama) and Hugh Okechukwu Ozumba AKA Mazbou Q, the soulful tune incorporates jazz elements, African drums, beautiful harmonies, and lyrics about never losing sight of your dream amid the mundanity of everyday life. It features Tom Dennison on double bass and Connor Strati on keys.

“The final version of These Days is the seventh one,” recounts Phodiso. “It took me reimagining it a few times to get to that one. I recorded the vocals in the first lockdown in my room. I didn’t really know I wanted it sounding that African until I was about to send it off to get mixed and threw in the Afro flavour all at once.”

The EP release and the release of These Days builds on the epic response to the record’s first single Talk Too Much, which topped the New Zealand Alternative chart  list in its third week and is currently charting Kiwi Hot 20. The accompanying video clip has received over 190k views on YouTube.

‘Talk Too Much’ is the first single from Act II, the second EP from Botswana-born, Auckland-based hip hop artist Phodiso. The energetic track is the emcee’s response to critics of his confidence and his defence of his right to do the most. Following the release of teaser track ‘Usain‘ in March, the tune sets the tone for the artist’s next chapter. No shrinking, no holding back.

The second single War is also winning fans with its powerful lyricism and African beats, and a mic drop of a music video directed by Connor Pritchard. Released on the 14th May 2021, it has received 80k+ views on YouTube so far, a number that continues to climb.

Also featured on Act II is Double Double, a hopeful reflection on what Phodiso’s family, and indigenous peoples more broadly, have lost and “all the goodness returning to us multiplied.” Goat Curry was released in October 2020 and is a nod to the artist’s homeland, Botswana. A proud celebration of who he is and where he comes from, Goat Curry was produced by Mueslibeats, RL Beats and Ledger Beats and features vocals by Diana Simumpande and Hillary Osei.

“It was a joy watching this collection come together and to play a supporting role in its genesis,” says Abraham Kunin of the EP. 

“I’m proud of Phodiso for these fruits of his fervent musical labour. Some tracks have already become crowd favourites in the live set, while others break new ground both musically and lyrically. As a collaborator and fan, I’m excited for Act II to step out into our musical ecosystem.”

Who is Phodiso?

Phodiso, born Phodiso Dintwe, is a songwriter, singer, rapper, actor and poet. Born in Gaborone, Botswana, he began learning Tswana percussion styles at the age of four. At five years old, he moved to the UK, and then to New Zealand in his early teens. Since then, he has brought his thought-provoking lyricism and experimental artistry to stages all over New Zealand, the UK, South Africa and Botswana.

Phodiso takes influence from Motswako (a Southern African sub-genre of Hip-Hop), various other styles of Hip-Hop, Afro Jazz and poetry. His influences have seen him express his musicianship in a number of ways including on his 2019 debut single ‘The Entry Point’, as a former member of Auckland band, New Telepathics, on the main stage at Northern Bass as an MC with UK hip-hop outfit, Foreign Beggars and as a feature artist on tracks by Kiwi artists such as JessB and Mazbou Q.

Phodiso’s thought-provoking lyricism and experimental artistry scratch the itch of contemporary pop, while honouring his Southern African hip hop and Afro jazz influences. Since settling in Aotearoa in 2010, the multi-disciplinary, multilingual artist has developed his creative approach and shared his gift of language and rhythm in a variety of ways, including as a vocalist and percussionist (New Telepathics, Pan Africana, Black Sunday), writing and performing poetry, and the release of his debut EP Act I. The lead single from that record, ‘Running Lines’ put Phodiso on the map, dominating student radio charts for weeks following its release.

Released on 28 May, Act II sees him collaborating with some of the most exciting producers in Aotearoa, including Mueslibeats (BLKCITY, Jodang), Carawei Gao (Venom Dolls, Milky Avenue Studio) and Zaidoon Nasir a.k.a WHO SHOT SCOTT. It’s not often that an artist surfaces with a truly unique sound and story. Phodiso is here to present a new narrative.


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2 weeks ago

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