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Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Meet MXO - Meet MXO

2006-03-29 11:01

MWEB: When did you move to Jo'burg, and why?
MXO: I was born in PE and grew up there. And in 1999 I decided to come to Jo'burg, because my music career started around 92, and I'd never ever travelled. Jo'burg was my first place. I left to explore. PE is a big city. But Jo'burg is a bigger city. If you wanna follow your ambitions, you come to Jo'burg! I had to start by taking a risk.

MWEB: How long until you felt you were cracking it on the music scene?
MXO: It was before I knew anything about music. On the Shell Road to Fame - the talent show. I saw I had talent. I can stand on the stage, in front of hundreds of people, without stage fright. And that inspired me to move forward. Then round about 99 I met Redd-Angel and we formed a duo and we were coming up with something new and fresh. And sheeuw I mean, from there... we ended up going our different ways. (They're still friendly - ed) I did my first EP - Another Day - and now the new album, and I'm still learning. It's constant elevation. The more I learn, the more I love it, the more I learn about business.

MWEB: Your work is pretty collaborative. So who would you still like to work with?
Right now, I like to work with underrated artists who're aspiring to become MXO. Who are talented. I want to give back to the community. I have to give opportunity and a platform to those who are not known yet. There's lots of underground talent in South Africa. That's the only way our music's going to grow.

MWEB: When you make your music, what do you think of people doing to it? Dancing?
(laughs for a while before answering.) I see people relating to it. It's about expressing ourselves, and not throwing out this feeling inside. I put myself in other people's shoes whenever I'm writing, so that people can hear what I'm saying.

MWEB: If you had to choose one country to make it in, what would you choose?
The universe, I guess.

MWEB: But say if you had to choose one country?
One country? Uhhhmm... I don't know. I guess I love South Africa. South Africa is a beautiful country to be in. Especially now.

MWEB: So what are your plans for the next few months?
MXO: I'd like to reach as many people as possible. I'd like to spend some time with my family - December is the season for family reunion, and I miss my mom. I'm shooting a video with Arno Carstens and Tumi (Or Tumi and the Volume - ed), of "Rebel Girl". One day I'd like to have an MXO Greatest hits, but right now it's about building. I want to play live, so that as many people as possible can hear my music.

- Jean Barker

"I love my job" says Jo'burg based MXO, rising star of the SA Soul music scene. And who wouldn't? MWEB spoke to him about fame, family, and his eclectic sounding yet very South African CD, Peace of Mind.
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