A singer from Bonteheuwel recently released a new album called Mix Masala, which he hopes will help local artists to get their name out there.
Rico White, said he knew that a career in music was meant for him as he started singing at the young age of 11.
He remembered the first song that he performed was Too Young by Donny Osmond, at the Bonteheuwel civic centre. He later became involved in bands such as Glass Onion, and performed solo shows around Cape Town.
He attended Central Park Primary School and Emil Weder Secondary School in Genadendal. In Grade 10 he dropped out of school and decided to tour the Western Cape and then moved to Johannesburg. He has been back in Cape Town for 20 years now.
Mr White released his first single in his 20s called Let’s celebrate and after four years another single called We’ve got the night.
He then released his first album called Kom dans met my five years later.
In 2001 he took a trip to Spain and performed in Motown shows where he stayed for nine months and went back every year for six months, up until recently.
He has also produced a new single called You’re sexy which is sung by one of his friends Theo Watt, and was also produced in Bonteheuwel and edited by Adiel Salie.
One of five siblings, he remembers growing up with the sounds of the guitar which was played by his Uncle George.
When asked what made him decide to pursue a career in music, he said: “Music was always my passion. My mom and dad loved music and always played music in the house. I love music, Once it’s in you, it’s in you.”
He said that one of the challenges, however, is that as a South African artist it is quite difficult to become successful as work is sometimes scarce, but the up-and-coming musicians now have the advantage of using social media to promote their work.
“One of the challenges is also that very few radio stations play local music. Some of the radio stations in Cape Town only play Joburg house music; it’s very seldom you hear Cape Town music getting played here but American music is played the whole day.
“This is a problem that’s always been there from way back in the day. If you take your songs to the stations here it gets judged yet most of the DJs don’t know what our people listen to in the ghettos. When we record songs we know where we’re aiming to sell our music,” he said.
He said that he uses local artists in his albums to help get their name out there and provide them with a platform to showcase their work.
“My advice to youngsters is to first get an education and do this part-time, and to always stay away from drugs,” he added.
For more information on Mix Masala, call Mr White on 076 738 0005.