Sho Madjozi on viral hit 'John Cena': It's inspired by heartache
Sho Madjozi (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Johannesburg – She is without a doubt one of the hottest acts in the country right now, and maybe even in the world, some might argue, so when I got the chance to chat to Sho Madjozi, I jumped on it.
The rapper, who formed part of the line-up for the Johannesburg leg of the Boiler Room X Ballantine's True Music Tour, is currently enjoying worldwide success with her track John Cena, which she performed on international music platform Colors.
It's been over a month since the star's video was uploaded, and since then it has garnered over three million views on YouTube (at the time of publishing).
Like many around the world, I love John Cena. It's a catchy tune – every now and again I find myself randomly humming along to the beat or getting lost in videos of dancers from around the globe showing off their moves to the track.
But according to Sho Madjozi, what many of those dancers don't know is that they're "generally just dancing to my pain". She laughs a bit when she tells me this as we chat via telephone.
"I don't think a lot of people noticed this, but I really make a lot of heartbreak Gqom," she says, explaining that John Cena is about "this boy who doesn't see me" so, "maybe I'm John Cena."
The song became an instant hit, and it has not even been released as an official track yet.
According to a post shared on Instagram, it will be made available to the public soon.
As an independent artist, the Tsong rapper says having her song reach so many people in such a short space of time is exciting.
"It's amazing when your stuff catches on organically, cause that also gives you hope in general about music, and that maybe there is some truth in the fact that if you make good music, then that's enough."
Of course, we have to address the fact that the actual John Cena and the WWE reacted to Sho Madjozi's song as well. The muso says she was in studio when she found out that the US wrestler had posted about her on social media.
"I was recording a verse, and I just started hearing commotion outside the studio, and I was like, 'what's going on?' So, I'm thinking I'm killing it inside [the studio], and then I walk out, and they're actually excited about this post."
And what about a music video? I saw one fan suggest that John Cena should be in the video for the track. Naturally, I asked about this.
"Even if John Cena's there what's the point cause people are not going to see him," she joked as we laughed.
Okay, so maybe no pro wrestlers, but "definitely expect a music video."
Before we hang up, we talk a bit about her upcoming performance at the Boiler Room X Ballantine's True Music Tour.
"With Ballantine's and Boiler Room this collab is about really showing a lot of what's happening in experimental and alternative circles within the SA industry," she says, adding that fans should expect some new stuff from her set.
"Expect to hear a lot of new stuff, a lot of stuff we're experimenting with. A lot of the Sho Madjozi they know, but with a twist. Kind of like what we jam to in the car on the way to shows."