At 19, The Big Hash is one of the biggest, youngest and most successful artists to come out of SA. The JHB-born artist who goes by the name of Tshegetso Reabetswe Kungwane has already produced 4 albums – pretty impressive for someone who decided to focus on his music career rather than the structures set in place by society (Hash decided to pursue his music career and to place school on hold – indefinitely). The Big Hash has shown many aspiring artists how its done, and we’ve collaborated with adidas Originals South Africa to find out what moves and inspires The Big Hash.
1. Club to club, festival to festival, city to city and country to country – how does your creative process differ depending on where you’re working from?
I think when you travel to different places, you get different vibes and like different situations, and the best thing to do is try to be different about how you make the music. Because you don’t really live in those places so while you’re there, take advantage the experience and try to turn it into some thing of your own that’s different.
2. What are some of the things you do to stay in your zone while working on your music?
What helps me stay in the zone is watching a lot of Netflix and relaxing, it helps me think a lot better when I’m not trying think, and when I’m able to write I know that I’m not trying to be lazy anymore and I’ve done what I needed to do to rest, so I can get back into it.
3. When did you have your creative awakening and realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I realised I needed to be The Big Hash when I was 16 – my parents were going through some heavy financial situations – or single parent rather and I needed to become someone who was able to bring something to the table, but at the same time doing what I loved the most, so the experience that I had at that age made me want this even more than I should have.
4. As a creative, what is the best advice you’ve received?
The best advice I’ve been given is always to be myself, because if I’m not myself then then there’s no authenticity and it’s not really 100 percent coming from the heart. And that’s what a lot of people are starting to buy into these days, they’re over the superficial side of things. People just want something genuine to rock with.
5. Can you tell us a bit about your new album Young and your single Circles?
Circles was originally a part of my debut album concept, called The Life and Times of a Teenage Influencer HD, which was supposed to be the EP that I dropped last year turning into an alum, but it didn’t feel like an album and thought, ok it’s too early to do that, so I decided to make it into a tape but I didn’t know what to call it at the time.
But when people like Mac Miller and X started dying, I decided that I needed to put out a project that was going to be worth being coined as my last, if it was supposed to be my last and that’s where all the work came into it. Circles was a very emotional song, but it had four different verses done, so there were two versus on the original that didn’t make the cut, and I ended up rewriting the verses to make it feel more genuine and I actually vibed out with the last two verses that I wrote.
6. For a lot of people, Ricky Rick’s collaboration on Dark Horse was the first they every really heard of who you were and got to really see you stand next to somebody that has helped pioneer and helped put out a lot of other emerging acts. How did that collaboration come together and what has it done for you since?
Dark horse was made around the same time as Circles, that was like back in April 2018. I originally heard the beat from a homie of mine on his Instagram story and I asked him for it, and he sent it through to me and then I wrote something that was equal to at least a minute. I wrote like a hook and a first verse, and then the night of Back to the City 2018 when Ricky brought me out on stage, we were still travelling to other shows, so during that space and time I played him the songs and he asked me to play the beat and he kept freestyling and eventually we linked up at the club Sumo one night, and he said, Yo bro, I’m ready to hop on that, are you? And I said, Yo bro let’s do it!. I was very excited and then a week later the song was ready and the week after that we shot the music video.
7. As a creative brand, adidas puts creativity and open-source collaboration at the heart of everything that they do. What has this your experience been like, connecting with the brand and everyone else involved on this project?
The experience has been nothing short of pleasant working with adidas on this campaign because they’re very hands-on with what they do and they’re very hands-on with the people that they work with and are very interactive.
When we speak we have these sorts of conversations that can be felt off camera and on camera – relating to the campaign and I get to feel the vison that they have for the project and we get to put their vision and my vision together to see this whole thing through – because I actually think it’s beautiful.
8. When you look at the Rivalry franchise, it’s one that carries quite a bit of heritage and history behind it. We look at Run DMC and Flavour Flave – people that really pioneered this silhouette throughout the years – what is it that you feel that you’re going to add to the franchise as the 2000s generation wearing Rivalry?
What I feel like I’m going to add to this is definitely longevity, because there are things that the old generation had but they started out older and for me and adidas adopting this whole project together, it’s actually helping the people that are coming in the later years to know what happens when you wear this brand and what comes with the perks of wearing this brand – and fashionability. Like if I grow with the shoe, it’s guaranteed that most of my fans and most of my people will grow with the shoe and it becomes a more matured, yet young vibe.
Shout out to sportscene, shout out to adidas for putting this whole thing together and shout out to the team who actually helped make this project come to life.