South African rapper Costa Titch died after reportedly collapsing on stage during a festival performance.Costa Titch was the stage name for Constantinos Tsobanoglou. He was 28 when he died.
Sky News looks at the life of the artist and his place in South Africa’s music scene.Finding successCosta Titch started his career as a backup dancer, but even after finding success as a rapper was known for his impressively choreographed music videos.
As a rapper he rose to fame with his single Nkalakatha with Riky Rick and AKA.In 2020, he won Best Collaboration and Best Remix at the South African Hip Hop Awards for the track.His breakout success was Big Flexa, featuring Akon, Alfa Kat, and Ma Gang.The video has 46 million views on YouTube, making it the most-watched amapiano music video of all time.
Amapiano is a South African sub-genre of house music, fusing African melodies, reggae and hip-hop.In February of this year he announced on Instagram that he had partnered with fellow rapper Akon’s record label Konvict Kulture.In the same month he won the Soundcity MVP Viewers’ Choice Award.Blending languages, cultures and genresTitch released his debut album Made in Africa in 2020, rapping in isiZulu, Sesotho, English and Afrikaans across the album’s 17 tracks.In a profile for The Conversation, journalist Sanya Osha reflected on Titch’s ability to meld cultures and genres.”As a white man embracing African hip-hop culture, Costa Titch was a symbol of South Africa’s rainbow nation aspirations,” he wrote.”Here was a white rapper who was fluent in African languages, dressed like an urban hood dweller, danced like the son of a Pantsula (a township street dance characterised by incredible physical flexibility) expert and shot most of his videos drawing heavily on ghetto scenes.” On-stage collapseTitch was performing at the Ultra Music Festival in Johannesburg on Saturday when he reportedly collapsed.He died later in hospital, with his family confirming his death on Instagram.The cause of death has not yet been released.The organisers of the festival put out a statement on social media, saying “Costa was a galvanizing voice amongst South Africa’s amapiano scene – a talented rapper, dancer, singer, songwriter, collaborator and friend to the festival”.