Getting to know Touchline in an exclusive Q&A

2019-07-11 14:13
touchline joox

Getting behind music isn’t always about exposing what happens behind the scenes. Sometimes it is just about having a conversation with music artists. In this Q&A, JOOX sits down with Touchline, who has recently been recognised within the rap game with a People’s Choice Award at the Verse of The Year Awards.

JOOX: You’ve done and achieved a lot in the industry, particularly in the last 2 years or so. Before we get into that, for those that have been living under a rock can you tell us a bit about your start in the rap game?

Touchline: I got started back in high school when I heard Prokid rapping. His skill level, flow and his use of syllables really resonated with me. He has been a big influence and inspiration for my career.

JOOX: How long have you been rapping?

Touchline: It’s been 11 years in the making and I’d say just before I joined Muthaland I started gaining some traction, but I would say the past two or three years have been breakthrough years for me. Seeing more and more people coming to my shows and seeing my online reach expanding.

JOOX: What would you say makes you stand out from some of the artists that are out right now?

Touchline: I think the realism aspect of my music has really resonated with audiences. People want to hear something that they can relate to and it’s really an aspect of my music that people appreciate.

JOOX: You mentioned before that you’ve seen growth in the online space - when would you say you started seeing a shift in numbers and responsiveness to your brand on socials?

Touchline: I think it happened mainly when a certain toweled share a video of a freestyle I had done on a radio interview. I think that day I got around a thousand followers. The next time was when I dropped the Winnie tribute. That got the whole country talking, people still tell me that that was THE tribute. Dropping 5 grand basically rounded things off and took it to the top.

JOOX: Who would you say your core audience is?

Touchline: I think my core audience starts from high school age like around 16 and because of the diversity in my music it stretches to older audiences to like 36 year olds. If you listen to 18 Flow it has a track for everybody like the song that's trending on radio right now ‘Zone 6’ is loved by the kids whereas ‘5 Grand’, even show also popular with the kids, resonates with the older crowd. Then a track like ‘Procedure’ which is my tribute to Prokid which OG’s will definitely love.

JOOX: You won The People's Choice Award at the Verse of the Year Awards earlier this year for 5 Grand and you actually have a song called Award Shows that critiques award shows. First off do you think artists and fans alike have lost faith in awards shows?

Touchline: Honestly, I think so. I believe that the system doesn’t seem to be a true reflection of what’s happening in the streets. There’s bribery and buying of awards behind the scenes and I just felt I should highlight that. It’s important to speak on it the same way I speak of many other topics.

JOOX: I’ve heard a lot about the East Rand being a hub of creativity, do you think your upbringing in Tembisa has influenced your music?

Touchline: Everything that I do is influenced by where I come from. The way I speak, everything. This is in addition to the Pro influence who happens to be from the South.

JOOX: Do you think younger audiences are catching on to streaming?

Touchline: In part yes, but they are facing the same accessibility issue. My audience can sometimes be from the hood or from rural areas and they are using mostly FB but I do think if the costs came down we’d see even more kids from various demographics able to engage with streaming.

JOOX: We’ve seen some big collaborations happen throughout this year and are anticipating more - who would you say is in your ultimate collaborations wish list?

Touchline: Sjava definitely, Nasty C I think he’s really talented, Kwesta and Emtee too. The rest would come from other genres like Mafikizolo and even some of the legends even.

JOOX: We’ve seen a lot of youth using music as a means to escape and heal. If there was one message you could leave your fans with what would it be?

Touchline: That everybody gets their chance in life. When you get your shot you’ve got to go for it. And when you’re not getting your shot, you need to believe that it’ll come. That’s what kept me going. In everything you want to do and achieve you must know that there is a whole process to it and part of that is starting. You have to start! That’s where changing your life comes from. You have to believe in yourself and believe in what you want to achieve.

JOOX: Anything we can look forward to soon?

Touchline: Yes definitely! I’m working on my next project and working with a lot of artists and DJ’s so expect a lot of features and a lot more visuals will be coming through too.

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