South African rapper Costa Titch has died after collapsing on stage at a festival.
Costa Titch was the stage name of Constantinos Tsobanoglou. He was 28 when he died.
Sky News takes a look at the artist’s life and his place in South Africathe music scene.
Costa Titch began his career as a backup dancer, but even after finding success as a rapper, he was known for his impressively choreographed music videos.
As a rapper, he rose to fame with his single Nkalakatha featuring Riky Rick and AKA.
In 2020, he won Best Collaboration and Best Remix at the South African Hip Hop Awards for the track.
His resounding success was Big Flexa, with Akon, Alfa Kat and Ma Gang.
The video has 46 million views on YouTube, making it the most viewed amapiano music video of all time.
Amapiano is a South African subgenre of house music, fusing African melodies, reggae and hip-hop.
In February this year, he announced on Instagram that he had teamed up with fellow rapper Akon’s label, Konvict Kulture.
The same month, he won the Soundcity MVP Viewers’ Choice Award.
Mix languages, cultures and genres
Titch released his debut album Made in Africa in 2020, rapping in isiZulu, Sesotho, English and Afrikaans on all 17 tracks on the album.
In a profile for The Conversation, journalist Sanya Osha reflected on Titch’s ability to merge cultures and genres.
“As a white man embracing African hip-hop culture, Costa Titch was a symbol of the aspirations of the rainbow nation of South Africa,” he wrote.
“Here was a white rapper who was fluent in African languages, dressed like a city dweller, dancing like the son of a Pantsula expert (a street dance characterized by incredible physical flexibility) and shot most of his videos on his own. strongly inspired by ghetto scenes.”
Collapse on stage
Titch was performing at the Ultra Music Festival in Johannesburg on Saturday when he allegedly collapsed.
He later died in hospital, with his family confirming his death on Instagram.
The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
Festival organizers released a statement on social media, saying “Costa was an uplifting voice within the South African Amapiano scene – a talented rapper, dancer, singer, songwriter, collaborator and friend of the festival.”