Karabo Mogane, winner of the 11th season of Idols SA, is quickly establishing himself as a successful solo artist.
The Mpumalanga-born musician won the Idols crown in November 2015 after securing the lion’s share of the 74 million votes cast over the season. He walked away with a prize package worth more than R1.2 million (US$75 000), including a record deal with Universal Music SA, a new car and vouchers for clothing and music equipment.
Just days after Karabo (24) was announced the winner popular talent search, he released an album, Love is a Verb, and launched it in December at the Mbombela Stadium in his home town. “After winning, I knew that was when the big work would start, so after the interviews I went straight to the studio every day working on my album. Five days later it was released,” said the singer in a recent interview with CNBC Africa. The album is now rapidly closing in on gold status (sales of 15 000), no small feat for a singer who was virtually unknown a few month ago.
Karabo was one of many South African students unable to complete their studies due to financial constraints. Winning Idols has not deferred him from wanting to complete his BSc degree. In fact, the money he made from his music has allowed him to return to his studies. “I want to finish my degree, so I’ll be studying part-time. I haven’t let go of that dream but I’ll be working on my music,” he said.
The singer emphasised the importance of taking his music career seriously and that his music journey will not end with Idols. “I want to remind people of all the good music but I also want people to understand that music is a business and a career worthy of being acknowledged. We spend money to get money and that’s important in any business that is starting out,” he said. “I have a plan and I want to build an empire.”
Karabo is now looking forward to attending the American Idols finale in the US in May this year, part of his prize. “I love love and I want people to feel something when they listen to my music,” he added.
Love is a Verb is available from iTunes. Watch Karabo’s Idols performance of his single ‘Ding Dong’ in the video below.
Auditions for the latest season of Idols SA take place at Carnival City in Johannesburg on 28 February and at Grandwest in Cape Town on 5 March. For more details visit the Idols website.