I asked artists to submit for potential inclusion in the new crowd-sourced iteration of my #indiespotlight column. One artist, Shane Eagle was recommended — and almost immediately the suggestion was co-signed by nearly 100 supporters. It didn’t go unnoticed, and I gave his debut release Yellow a listen. Flame emojis in abundance.
I think what I found most surprising after listening to his incredibly accessible LP was that he was from Africa, which I discovered while attempting to set up a phone call. “I was born in the east of Johannesburg, South Africa to an African Mother and an Irish Father,” he explained to me via email. “Growing up, I had two very different perspectives of the world and how it worked because I would spend my time bouncing between the suburbs of Johannesburg to be with my dad and Rabie Ridge which is a small township in East of Johannesburg to be with my mom and most of my friends.”
“It made my childhood dope because from a young age I was able to learn how to move in different surroundings,” he says.
“Hip Hop has always been a part of me and my surroundings growing up,” he notes, “but, I started taking rap as an art seriously when I was about 13 years old.”
Yellow shows an eclectic range of sounds, and positions him as in both in tune with the current wave of Hip Hop dominating generation next and as a lyricist capable of manhandling jazzy 90s Boom Bap. “I worked on Yellow for about a year and half,” he says. “[I was] finding the right way to get my message across and represent myself as accurately as possible — because it is my debut album, it’s the introduction of me to the world.”
“I blocked out everything that was happening around me at the time and made the music that I wanted to make.” — Shane Eagle
“Majority of the album is produced by Shooter Khumz, who is the in-house producer at Eagle Entertainment,” he points out. “He produced 11 out of the 13 tracks, with the other 2 songs being produced by Tay Beats, a talented producer from Zimbabwe. I like to work with people when things are organic, thats why we only have the one feature on the album, KLY.”
The most important part of the puzzle though, is that his fan base is super active, and hold him down. As a result, he’s making money, charting on SA radio, and is on a trajectory for big things.
“The impact Yellow has had on people has been humbling and feels like a huge blessing,” he admits. “I love my fans. Together we’re going to grow and dominate everything.”
His company, Eagle Entertainment, are currently working on The Yellow Tour, which is scheduled to start this year. Apart from that, he’s working towards another body of work. One thing is clear, this is only the beginning for the buzzing South African rhymer.
“I want to be best at what I do across the globe,” he says. “I want to bring Africa to the world in a way that hasn’t happened yet.”