LEGENDARY South African DJ and producer, Oskido, says the road to stardom is paved with challenges which require discipline and diligence to overcome.
Oskido was addressing the finalists of the Vodacom Superstars competition during an interactive meeting in Maseru on Tuesday.
Launched in May this year, the fourth installment of the talent-search, saw scores of Basotho audition for the popular competition. The contestants have since been narrowed down to the top three finalists in the music, dance, as well as male and female deejays categories with the grand finale set for 10 October 2015.
The top three winners in each category will walk away with M70 000, while the runner-up scoops M40 000 and third-place takes home M20 000. The first prize winner in the music category will also get a recording deal for a single with Oskido’s Kalawa Jazzmee, while the first prize winner in the dance category will also get a Video Feature with the same label.
For the first prize winner in the DJ category, Vodacom Lesotho has lined up a Booking/Performance Deal at a Kalawa Jazzmee gig during the festive period.
During the meeting, which was meant to provide mentorship to the up-and-coming stars, Oskido said innovation was the only way to survive in the cutthroat entertainment world.
“As an artist, you have to develop yourself as a brand. Think beyond this privilege that Vodacom has accorded you and look for opportunities around you that will generate income. For example, dancers can think of coming up with a dance academy,” he said.
“What is important is humility, which unfortunately most people lack. It starts at home by being able to communicate well with other people. Do not, at any point, think you have made it and become pompous because that will be your downfall.
“I owe my success to the ability to keep up with changing trends while also maintaining my identity. You should always research how artists in other countries have attained success to keep up with the trends.”
He continued: “Lesotho has always been known for producing good musicians, and it is sad because that seems to be on the decline. It is up to you, the young generation, to reclaim that reputation.
“Do not just strive to penetrate the South African market, because it is just a border away, but aim for the global market as social media has made the world one village.”
Oskido said he would only consider continuing to work with the finalists beyond the competition only if they had the “wow factor” and humility.
“I know talent when I see it, and I always carry a contract with me to sign an artist immediately,” he said.
The I Believe hit-maker said his first job was as an intern at a BMW factory in Johannesburg. However, he later on realised that his passion lay in music and decided to quit.
“I would take a long time to finish any task I was given because I would spend most of my time dancing to beats playing in my head. After four months on the job, the manager told me to take a month off to decide where my fate lay, and when I came back, I decided to quit,”Oskido said.
“I found myself in a dilemma of whether I should tell my parents who were already boasting to their friends that their son would soon become a mechanic.
“I bought a trolley and a gas cylinder and sold hotdogs in the street during the day and then outside a club in Hillbrow at night. I could not go home because I did not have the guts to face my parents.”
He would stay at the club until it closed and took the opportunity to learn how to play at the DJ booth as the workers were cleaning up.
“It happened once that the resident deejay did not pitch up, so the manager asked me to play. The crowd loved my set and I was offered the job as the resident DJ, earning R3 000 a month,” said Oskido.
Over time, he invested in turn-tables and started to land gigs at universities around Johannesburg which ultimately launched his career.
“My parents only found out about my new career because of my popularity. I formed Kalawa Jazmee 21 years ago with the help of Jazz maestro Don Laka,” said Oskido.
The moral of the story, he said, was that achieving dreams is never an easy process, but takes hard work and passion.