Monday, February 26, 2024

In a Klass of her own

While sitting down and having a chat with Sasa Klass, one thing one does not find hard to observe is the stark difference between Sasa Klass the performing artist, and Sasa the regular 21-year-old-girl.
That is something that’s most intriguing about Sasa ÔÇô her ability to transform from the girl-next-door to a skilled, confident, and sexy rapper, at the drop of a good beat.
It’s obvious that Sasa was born to be in the limelight, never letting her increasing fame and recognition as one of Botswana’s most notable female rappers get to her head.
Born on May 17, 1993, Sasa says although she is relatively young, she is more mature than most people would expect a 21-year-old to be.
“I act a lot older than my friends. I’m like the mom,” she says.
Her friend, with whom Sunday Standard found her shooting the breeze with on a Saturday afternoon over a few chilled Hunters Gold’s quips: “She’s the first one to say ‘lets go home’ when we’re out.”
Growing up raised by a single mother in Lobatse, South Africa and Gaborone, Sasa for the most part had to be responsible from a young age.
“I was raised by my mom, so that made me very responsible because my mom had to work a lot.”
The fact that Sasa had to take care of herself and was raised in a single-parent home has not stripped her of any fond childhood memories.
When asked what her favourite childhood memory is, with a sparkle in her eye, she immediately recalls a competition held in Gaborone at the Woolworths in Broadhurst Industrial.
“I won a competition for doing the Macarena! My mom was so excited,” she said.
Sasa was on something of a winning streak when she was younger as she entered as many talent competitions as she could. Even her family benefitted once when she won them a stay at Sun City after coming first in a dance competition at the tender age of 11.
“I’ve never been afraid of performing!” Sasa says enthusiastically when asked if she has ever had stage fright.
Being under bright lights and performing has always been something that this young woman has dreamed about doing. Rapping, however, came rather by default.
“I always knew I wanted to be involved with music; from as far back as I can remember. I wasn’t always a good singer, so I diverted into rap. I told myself that if I wasn’t good at that, then I’d do something in performing arts.”
Breaking onto the local hip hop scene was greatly facilitated by the contacts and extensive interaction Sasa made with local hip hop artists when she was the presenter of ‘The Foundation: Next Level’ on eBotswana from 2011 until 2012.
Her first solo single, ‘Hadsan’, was released through the Spirit of Fancy Path Music Group (FPMG). The group, which includes her marketing manager, Onkabetse and creative director, Kago, was released around the time their clothing label called Hadsan was launched.
To promote both the clothing brand and Sasa Klass, the musician, the single was released and blew up the radio airwaves.
Other singles released by Sasa Klass are: ‘A re mo khandeng’ featuring Scar and Miss Nature, and ‘We Did It’.
Sasa has also featured on many tracks. She has shared the mic with local stars like Kast, Prezbeats, Magosi, Nature, Mosako and Tref.
Being one of the few female rappers on the music scene right now has been advantageous for Sasa.
“Entering the scene, fully aware of the fact that I was one of the few female rappers has been something of a strategy I have used to my advantage. I knew that I would be noticed more because I was one of a very small number of ladies in the industry. Having said that, though, I must also say that being one of very few is a bitter-sweet experience. I don’t have many female peers in the industry to interact with.”
Not one to be boxed-in, Sasa has a busy year ahead of her, with her music career and personal development being the two most important things on her list.
“In 2014 I’ll be working on my album, clothing line and growing spiritually…and taking myself more seriously,” she says laughing.
Also on her to-do list is working on a cause that is close to her heart. Through Stepping Stones, Sasa is involved in a Gender Based Violence campaign.
“We are doing activations all over the country throughout the year. The campaign was launched last year around the time when the ‘16 days’ campaign is commemorated, but we decided to extend our campaigning to last the whole year. We encourage people to report any such violence against them or people they know or to get themselves out of these situations if they are in them.”
A song titled ‘Freedom Calls’ featuring Scar has been released as part of this campaign and Billboards supporting the campaign can be seen around town.
It’s a pleasure being in the company of someone filled with such promise. One can only hope that the local music industry, that can be brutal, does not ingest Sasa Klass.
If she continues on this path with the same excitement, determination and level head, Sasa Klass will remain a success and in a class of her own.


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