Savage Sossa, whose real name is Thamsanqa Nogaga, was born in Springs east of Johannesburg in a township called Kwa Thema. He was raised by his mother and grandmother in a home full of siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. “It was fun growing up in that house”, recalls Savage Sossa.
He went to Zamani Primary School, then later went to Brakpan High School where he completed his matric.
Savage Sossa is an exciting musician whose mixture of writing and performance has earned him a place in the music business. This dynamic individual has incredible artistic abilities that vary from penning a song to video production.
The idea to do music started in the early 90’s where Savage Sossa was in a school choir and sang tenor.
“After that I started seeing myself as a future music mogul who will later dominate the music industry globally”, reminisces Savage Sossa.
“I have nothing but this talent that God gave me”.
Savage recalls: “In high school I grew a passion to write lyrics and got good at it, with the intentions of becoming a song writer. This skill quickly developed which led to recording my first song called
“The Dope Sh!t”, and also making a killing on stage earned me the name Savage, and because of the desire to make a lot of profit, I later earned the last name Sossa, who is a wealthy character in the movie Scarface”.
“In high school being an artist started occupying my mind” says Savage, who in his spare time prints T-shirts, applies tattoos, draws and does a bit of TV acting. He embraces a vast array of styles including reggae, dance-hall, house, kwaito, RnB, afro-pop, gospel, and maskandi
Savage’s style of music varies from urban rap, hip hop, reggae, rock and roll, mbaqanga and popular music. He embraces a vast array of styles including reggae, dance-hall, house, kwaito, RnB, afro-pop, gospel and maskandi. Under his music influences he counts 2Pac, Michael Jackson, Bongo Riot, Sean Puffy Combs, Cassper Nyovest, Osmic Menoe, Bob Marley, Jay Z and many more.
Savage Sossa draws his inspiration from township life. “It gives me the drive to write music,” says Savage, “If my access to the township got taken away somehow, my drive to write would die” he says of Kwa Thema which has delivered stars like Theo from Boom Shaka, Matilda Hlobane of the Mahotela Queens and Joe Nina and the Nina Brothers.
[Discovering Rap Music]
Savage Sossa started rapping in 1997 when he saw a neighbour’s kid who played around with words. “Seeing that fascinated me”, recalls Savage as he smiles. The way words that sounded similar were delivered in a rhythmic style, and also said in a way that makes sense, was of great interest to the young Savage.
“I saw more of this fascinating art at school during break-time. This is where I got more into it and discovered a hidden talent”, says Savage. “One guy would do a beat-box (mimicking a beat with your mouth), then the rest of us would take turns rapping to the crowd surrounding us. We were gods”.
[Artists worked with]
o Gang of Instrumentals
o Bongo Riot
o Sifiso Mbebe
o Bantu Soul
o KBM Music
[First Big Break]
“My first big break was when we toured the country with Gang of Instrumentals in 2009. We hit cities like Durban, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Mpumalanga etc. and we were on TV every Thursday as the tour was
televised”. “We did a lot of radio interviews to let the people know about the brands that were on tour. I can’t forget those moments as they helped shape the person I am at the moment”, remembers Savage Sossa.
In 2011 Savage Sossa and Bongo Riot toured the three major cities JHB, DBN and CPT. This was to grow the brand even more as it rewarded Savage with more fans to look out for his music.
o Yfm Rap Activity Jam MC of the month award
o Hype Mag Music CD
[The Debut Solo Album]
We Grinding – Modus Operandi is a generous debut offering from an explosive creative individual, overflowing with great ideas, well-executed production and stellar performances. The album is structured in a way that it caters for hip hop lovers and music lovers in general.
The beats are thumping and they take you through different emotions as Savage Sossa gels nicely on them with the different concepts and messages.
Though each song is different you can’t help but notice the sense of using what you have to make the most of life. Savage has always been known for his killer flows on wax and his ability to write beautiful music, from dope punchlines to catchy choruses. The one thing that you cannot miss is that the album has substance and a mature feel to it. The basic message in the album is that one needs to work to get the things we all desire. And that to acquire those things one must have a mode of operation.
With summer approaching, be sure to hear it on the airwaves spinning on high rotation and playing full-blast at gatherings. As Savage said throughout the years developing the act, “This thing will pick up from the ground with a lift-off that defies gravity, Savage Sossa won’t be silenced”.
The worst thing is that up and coming artists feel entitled to being paid for their art without having to build a name first. These artists believe that the hip hop culture is a playground for whoever wants to make a quick buck.
The Best thing is that the world is looking at South Africa for new talent. We are now at a point where the rap game is a million rand game. Artists can make huge amounts of money and sign endorsement deals and grow wealth for themselves. South African artists are now collaborating with the world’s artists and putting our country on the map.
The best highlight must be travelling to and performing at Kwa Zulu Natal. The hospitality was remarkable and the culture of hip hop was very much alive. I enjoyed KZN very much.
The worst highlight must have been a time I was supposed to get an interview at one of the Radio Stations, the guys were just acting like they were not seeing me. “Those guys must have been intimidated”. “I did not get the interview”.
Savage Sossa is more than a rapper as he owns a clothing line and has a record label that he’s signed under. Besides the hard bars that he spits, he spends most of his time reading and educating himself about entrepreneurship, which is an interest of Savage Sossa.
“It would be devastating” (Laughs). Hip hop is a teacher to me. It is the very reason I aspire to be a mogul in the music business. Most hip hop acts have the ability to make a fortune from their mentality alone. This kind of mentality is brewed by the culture of hip hop and it would be a very dark and boring life without hip hop.
I try to share what I learn from the books that I read. This way I get to inspire my listeners. I also see myself as a journalist that reports stories from the streets and convey a positive message that people can relate to. I like to add value to my listeners’ lives. That’s the motive behind my writing.
I’ve noticed that Mzansi citizens do not celebrate each other. South Africans are not patriotic towards each other. This is hindering the progress of Mzansi hip hop. We sort of have the mentality of thinking we can do better than the guy who’s doing it at any given moment.
Savage Sossa is entrepreneurial. He is always on the next quest and looking for his next passion. Expect movies and endorsements. Expect more unknown artists featured on projects by Savage Sossa. This is because his latest belief is making it big without the aid of “Known” or big names.
Facebook - Savage Sossa
To someone who wants to quit out there, just know that it is never easy for anyone out there. Everybody has it tough. It’s a tough world. And also do not do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Change your approach and maybe you’ll get different results.
To my wife and child. To the DJ’s that play my music. To Narco the producer. To Charmaine, Salim and Tumi. To Lebohang Mothapo from 5Shaft productions. Another shout out to Rap Type Mag and most of all to Street Corner Academy.