Tyson Sybateli pictured with If Found, Bring Home long artist Jay Jody and rapper A-Reece. Photo: Instagram
South African rapper Tyson Sybateli is redefining what it means to be an independent artist, with a roll so legendary it puts even South Africa’s most popular hip-hop groups to shame.
His journey started like any other young artist with a dream. Born in Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal, he grew up in Pretoria where he flourished. The cultural contrasts of Umlazi and Pretoria are what inspired him to explore his art.
I feel like my story was as old as time, a kid whose parents got jobs in town and so we left the neighborhood for what some might consider greener pastures.
He moved to Gauteng with his parents and two sisters.
With parents always on top of pop culture and music trends, her upbringing was filled with art.
Tyson Sybateli has released a 12 track album titled Home. Photo: Instagram
“One thing about my dad is he loved scrambling in his car,” Sybateli said. Her father played music for hours while waiting for her mother to finish her work.
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One day, at a music store he remembers frequenting throughout his childhood, he ran into an old friend who only remembered him by his favorite songs.
“The bulb went on. It was like a twisted divine intervention. I immediately knew what I had to do on earth,” he recalls.
Sybateli has four EPs, a mixtape and three albums to his credit, each more eminent than the next. Listening to his early discography sheds light on his trajectory.
I felt like all my previous releases had to find a way to be heard and hold attention. I wanted all the hype.
“I literally had no experience or knowledge of how to release music, but I knew I was meant to do more than just download and hope for the best. I knew pretty early on that everything I did mattered. , even though I was not big in the industry at that time.
This formula seemed to work for Sybateli, who created a solid musical accompaniment in Pretoria, with other young aspirants like Thato Saul at his side. They started releasing music on Thursdays rather than Fridays like most industry professionals.
This laid the groundwork for its rollout strategy for its latest release, Home, which debuted on May 27.
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With 12 tracks of sonic gold, the album details his journey to find himself, to understand the different places that can feel like home and the people who make it feel that way.
Contrary to the focus of his previous albums, this time Sybateli went a step further and created a deep personal experience of where he is now and how he sees the world.
The mastermind behind Tyson Sybateli’s blank face campaign. Photo: Supplied
One of the biggest standouts was the warmth he received from South Africa, thanks to his promotional efforts alone.
In a world where visuals and faces have become the most important consideration for support, the contrasting culture of celebrities has become its greatest asset. Beyond the audio, there was a man with a story and a voice that needed to be heard.
With the classic phrase ‘if found, bring home’, Sybateli set the record straight on what a good South African campaign might look like. A simple Twitter search for those words will tell you everything you need to know, as the statement garnered massive public support.
Good art really seems to market itself. Within a month, Sybateli’s fanbase grew from 800 subscribers to over 4,000. He even involved music channel MTV, with his first face revealed in an exclusive recording of his single If Found, Bring Home.
It doesn’t stop there. My debut single If Found, Bring Home was released with a secret EP that I personally released on my site and was never to be heard from again.
Thanks to this album, Sybateli has achieved what is impossible for most, finally signing a recording contract not only for himself, but for his entire label, which he will reveal more about soon.
He advises young artists to be passionate about their music and their storytelling, and to control what they want to be seen and heard, because it matters.
What will Sybateli do next? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.