After bagging Best Hip Hop Artist in 2017 at the prestigious African Australian Music Awards, Neo seeks to soar even higher by winning an ARIA award in the near future. Since then the rapper has gone without either award or nomination due to lack of releases, which begs the question; is he still hungry for success?
The ARIAS are a different level. Artists that release minimal compositions cannot expect to be recognised via nomination. In this current climate, in the music industry, there’s no reason why an artist cannot produce at least one album or mixtape on an annual basis. This is where Neo Pitso unfortunately falls short.
Many established artists that release music consistently, have never received the coveted award, let alone a nomination. With such a huge mountain to climb, Neo Pitso has to understand that momentum is key and he cannot ever rest.
His Outlier mixtape received rave reviews that led to an ambassadorship with BlackBerry, a sponsorship with Alizé and a campaign with the Australian Institute of Music. This also led to him having his face plastered on buses around his then city of Sydney. He unfortunately did not exploit the momentum to his benefit again.
Prior to the realise of his Neo Pitso EP, Neo released a banging single “We On” featuring crooner AB Crazy from South Africa. The song was well received in South Africa and peaked at number 1 on the charts. Few could have predicted how quick things would change for Neo. Numerous sponsorship and performance opportunities opened up for him. Tasked with flying to South Africa to perform his hit single, Neo yet again did not capitalise on the momentum. He eventually flew to South Africa a few months later and performed for a hostile and unwelcoming crowd that felt disrespected at being slighted, by the artist for not making an appearance earlier. At this point it became abundantly clear to Neo Pitso that he had a responsibility to his fans.
He made up for this mishap by releasing his long awaited project, The Neo Pitso EP. This solid body of work finally gave his supporters an opportunity to know their favourite artist on a deeper level but was also a form of atonement for his absence. Exploring such topics as gangsterism and apartheid in South Africa, to waxing lyrical about his own childhood traumas and mental well-being the project allowed listeners to peal the layers to reveal the real Neo. Tackling these topics is no easy feat and in the cutthroat music industry it gives many detractors or haters ammunition, should they ever need it.
Unbothered and unperturbed Neo soldiered on and even conducted a Q&A on social media to allow fans to ask him personal questions. It was clear from the reception and exponential growth on Twitter and Instagram that many listeners still had an insatiable thirst to hear from him.
He subsequently released a serious head banger “Money First” which showed his growth as an artist and ability to create hit songs sans crooner. His decision to continually release singles kept him on peoples’ radars. Whilst arguably lacklustre with the output, it was certainly better than nothing. He capitalised on the momentum by releasing back to back singles; Monopoly, Crüe Lobe and Fuggaparahee. Monopoly would eventually have a video along with Fuggaparahee. This allowed Neo to remain relevant enough to still be discussed in music circles.
Some call it the curse of the gift; where an individual born with a gift often squanders his opportunities and career by not working hard to complement his talent. For every Michael Jordan there are many more Kwame Browns. Neo Pitso has his work cut out for him and he needs to deliver quality projects on a consistent basis in the second half of 2022.
There’s no denying his abilities on the microphone or his electric live performances that have audience members glued to their seats in amazement. The fact remains, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
The real Neo Pitso is an artist, a maverick in his field and a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Many fans question his reluctance to release music and wonder if he can deliver on his promise to release 3 EPs in 2022. With time ticking, 6 months remaining and a stage beckoning him, Neo Pitso will have to rise to the occasion.
Picture this; It’s the future and the announcer at the ARIA awards opens an envelope and reads the name of the recipient of Best Artist. Gasps and cheers can be heard echoing in the auditorium. To everyone’s amazement an African Australian comedian stands up and starts walking towards the stage. The crowd is confused but then bursts into laughter and applause at the prank pulled. Once the cacophony of screams and laughter dies down the announcer gains her composure and looks at the envelope again:
Now will the Real Neo Pitso please standup
You can watch Monopoly on the below link and follow Neo Pitso on Instagram.
Monopoly Video: https://bit.ly/3t9j7fo