The Whole Thing: In Conversation with Frank Casino

The Whole Thing: In Conversation with Frank Casino

To the uninitiated, our #CSARadar Volume 2  star, Frank Casino, may seem like an overnight success – a fame that has crept out of nowhere to pleasantly surprise a cynical audience. While a romantic notion, the true story of Frank Casino is far more grounded. With his name in lights and on everyone’s lips, it’s time to hear the full story of one of Hip Hop’s greatest hustlers 

 

Words: Tshiamo Seape

 

 

Moulded by Hip-Hop from his earliest days, Nhlanhla Tshabalala, better known as Frank Casino has been working his way through the industry since his early teens. Frank has been a stalwart of raps groups from the very beginning, practising his craft along the way.  Of his time in Blaque Print, his most successful collective, Frank recalls how the experience helped him define his own style and refine his own tastes. Even in the dissolution of a successful music endeavour, there was still a great deal of learning to be done and Frank has taken it in his stride.

 

So, although Frank Casino seems to come to us fully formed with his breakthrough tracks it was, in fact, the natural progression of an artist who has been well on the road to success for many years. For his past accomplishments and his boundless potential, CSA is proud to announce our Radar Volume 2 star, Frank Casino

 

For the uninitiated, who is Frank Casino?

Frank Casino is an artist from South Africa, born in Tembisa raised in Kempton Park who prides himself on quality work regardless of where he is or where he is going.

 

What sets you apart from the other SA rappers currently dominating the local scene?

My music, sound, style and aesthetics’s of how everything is done around my brand.

 

See the full On The Radar Vol.2 here

 

The Radar is all about unearthing the most influential new talent from across Africa. Describe what influence means to you?

Influence means getting inspired for me, whether it being music, art, fashion or business, it essentially means you were inspired.

 

 

Who are some of your biggest influences?

The 90’s era of hip hop and RnB music, how everything was themed, the characteristics of how the culture was carried through.

 

Internationally The Radar has selected artists like Teephlow and Stonebwoy (Ghana) to name a few. How much of an influence have African artists from across the continent influenced your style and sound?

They’ve made me more open to the idea of new elements sonically.

 

Do you have any plans to collaborate with any artists from across the continent?

Yes, definitely.

 

 

Can you take us through your process a little more? From selecting beats to writing your rhymes, how exactly does a Frank Casino track come together?

I love skimming through a lot of instrumentals online; ones we’ve made and so on. The type of beats I select are predetermined by the mood I’m in. Sometimes it’s songs that are stuck in my head which I jot down bit by bit until the right moment to complete it.

 

What’s the best present you’ve ever bought yourself?

Studio Equipment.

 

Take us on a tour through your ideal weekend from turning up on Friday to turning down on Sunday. Take us through your perfect 72 hours.

I actually don’t party much, if I’m not out working and doing shows I’m either in the studio with my engineer, Dellz, crafting new material or just listening to some instrumentals. And on Sundays and Mondays, my team and I usually meet and work on the business side of things.

 

 

You started your career with a number of group projects including Blaque Print. What was the biggest learning curve transitioning to a solo artist?

Learning elements that others brought to the table, having that influence in my music thought me a lot. The dynamics change when you’re a solo artist, completing a song rests on you. So having been in a group before I learnt and understood how to finish a song from beat selection, writing all the way through to record a complete song or body of work.

 

What single would you say was your breakout? When was Frank Casino introduced to the world?

Well, I would say “Mayo” was the introduction phase, then “Whole Thing” Remix was the one that brought attention to a wider reach than the one I had.

 

 

You’ve collaborated with Riky Rick on “Whole Thing” and “Family”. How did you two meet and why do you enjoy working with him?

I met him through a mutual friend and since then we hit it off from the first day as if we had always known each other. I’ve learned a lot since, and I still do every day just from watching Riky do his thing.

 

 

You’ve had a long career, but you must have some highlights – tell us what blew your mind?

When I first met Riky.

 

Where would you like to assert your influence in the future? Whether it be fashion, music, or business is there anywhere specific you want to make a mark?

It has to be business, its always been a personal interest of mine ever since I was a young boy in primary school. My dad is a huge influence on that aspect of my life.

 

If you could ask any South African entertainer one question who and what would it be?

How did the name Phat Joe come about? (Phat Joe)

 

 

If you could ask any South African entertainer one question who and what would it be?

Tony Montana (Al Pacino). haha

 

What’s one piece of advice you wish you’d received when you were first starting out?

Lock yourself in the studio.

 

You’re on our Radar, but who are some talents you are on the lookout for?

Life Of Sallie, Gator, Ricco, to be honest, there’s quite a few.

 

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