Samthing Soweto: Watching The Soil succeed without me was depressing

20 February 2018 - 12:36 By Kyle Zeeman
Samthing Soweto says he embodies South Africa.
Samthing Soweto says he embodies South Africa.
Image: Via Samthing Soweto's Instagram

Former The Soil muso Samthing Soweto has once again opened up about his exit from the award-winning group, claiming he helped revolutionise their sound and watching their success depressed him.

After founding the group, musician Samthing Soweto left to focus on his solo career and told Afternoon Express this week that he was often ashamed to tell people that he was once part of the group.

"At first I was really a little ashamed of it (being a member of The Soil) because I was not part of the success when they blew up. I was working with them, crafting this whole sound, before it became mainstream. So to see them doing all these amazing things without me in the middle, it was really depressing and I tried to run away from it."

Sam spent some time in a juvenile prison and said he brought a sound he learnt during his time there with him to The Soil.

"What's funny is the sound that we eventually crafted with The Soil was inspired by my time in prison. When I was there, there was a type of singing that they did, which is very acapella type singing. It is very prison-based. I took that and thought how could I make it very palatable. The topics went from prison to love and from bass to more hip-hop type of beatboxing. I had a vision to see The Soil as big as they are today."

Sam has since gone on to achieve mainstream success of his own, topping the charts recently with his single Akanamali.

He told TshisaLIVE that after his experiences with The Soil and his own solo career, he didn't fear being a one-hit wonder.

"I wrote Joy off The Soil's first album. So this is my second hit. I don't think I can be labelled a one-hit wonder. And even if I was, I would still be very happy. I keep telling my friends that if I had to die tomorrow, I would be really happy with my career. I have done exceptionally well for someone who is self-taught and self-trained and I am grateful for everything that has happened."

Sam is currently working on a project that will fuse a number of genres he has performed over the course of his career, while still staying true to his trademark sound.

The album is set for release in the second quarter of the year.