Sometimes it takes a crisis to pave the way to realising our dreams.
So many people have lost so much thanks to Covid-19 and Tshepo Leshomo is no exception.
He was retrenched but rose from the ashes of the unemployment heap to team up with friend and old colleague Nkululeko Nkosi in recognition of the many talented artists who lack the resources and network to make it.
And this was how a movement was born.
FacelessBand is a partnership project between Piccasto Artists and Okel Origins, founded by Nkululeko Nkosi, aka Muchacho Kinn Timo, and Tshepo Leshomo, aka Tshepo205. The two seasoned media professionals have worked on several productions and have a deep understanding of the music environment and media industry.
FacelessBand is more than just music, Tshepo tells Drum. It’s a global platform that aims to unearth exceptional talent, connect artists, brands and audiences through a network of resources and skills. It is a movement that seeks to bring Ubuntu/botho back through its music, he says.
Time to realise a dream
The pandemic proved to the spark that ignited the partnership’s fire. Tshepo says there were many lessons for him during this time.
“Covid made me realise how fickle we are and how everything can be taken away in a day. It made me realise that we really don’t have all the time in the world to achieve our dreams.
“I realised we had so many freedoms that were taken for granted and how we missed many chances as a species.”
Tshepo says the effects of the coronavirus gave him “space to meditate, reflect and it offered me less distractions since the world was closed. It made us work harder because we wanted to be at the front when the doors finally opened again.
“We also realised that people had become more interactive with the internet, and that gave us less dependence on traditional media and afforded us a fighting chance.”
This, they believed, was the moment to release their debut EP, Chasing Dreams and its lead single, SA-BA-WE-LI.
“It has taken Muchacho Kinn Timo and I close to two decades to get to this point. We realised that perhaps it was not the right time – until now. We have taken all our experiences, physical and spiritual, to give our best to this project and we have been so blessed to work with such a wonderful team”
The team is Kagiso Kgomo aka King Khai, Tsietso Tee-Jay Letlojane, Lebo Bogosi of LeboGotEats, Bunny Majaja, Tshepo Blezzman Zibi and Yandiswa Nkonde.
“We are so grateful for this team of hard workers who have risked everything to do this project. We finally feel strong enough to make dreams come true.”
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A movement for music
Music has always been part of his life, Tshepo says, but good marks at school initially made him consider other professions.
“I had wanted to go to university and become a doctor, until I was put off by a documentary that showed a lot of blood during operations. Then I knew I’d go for accounting or law.
“But I’ve loved music since I was a child, attending Methodist church, dancing and singing to the beat of Amadodana. I always wanted to be different, and when a fellow pupil told me about sound engineering, I started pondering over it.”
And so his first step into the entertainment industry was made, but he never believed he’d be a founder of a band that gave artists an opportunity to become something big.
And now the duo are on the cusp of achieving big things and creating a different name for themselves. They say they would like to see FacelessBand as the centre of a global network of artists, music technicians, writers, dancers and so on, and they’d love to reach a place where they can make things easier for talented individuals so they can get somewhere too.
“We would love to be the resource for passionate individuals and teams and become a platform full of coaching and learning,” Tshepo says.