The ‘Pitori Maradona’ is an MC for our times. In the decimated wasteland of a music scene shuttered by COVID-19, energy and entrepreneurship aren’t just valuable traits, they’re essential. Qualities the 24-year-old South African has in spades. Not to mention first team talent, hence the partial name-share with that recently departed Argentine footballing legend.
More widely known by his moniker Focalistic, real name Lethabo Sebetso, his first big score came via 2018’s Major League DJz smash 19 Tobetsa, the upstart’s bars leaving a lasting impression on everyone in earshot. Since then, a barrage of standout releases have landed thanks to a relentless work rate. For proof, think three singles, an EP and the albums Sghubu Ses Excellent and Quarantined Tarantino in the last 12 months alone. A pace the lyricist matches with an endless supply of fresh ideas.
Nevertheless, he’s arguably most vocal about the fact this is a completely independent operation; he retains full control over every aspect of every project, his image and trajectory. With that in mind we can completely understand why the only opportunity to answer our questions comes just before Christmas, when he’s still on the road having recently headlined the Johannesburg edition of Ballantine’s x Boiler Room True Music In The Round. It’s hard to switch off when you’re running the show.