Costa Titch, a rising star in South African rap, died at the weekend after collapsing on stage at a music festival. He was 28.
Titch, whose legal name was Constantinos Tsobanoglou, was performing at Ultra South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday when he suddenly collapsed. Videos on social media showed him briefly standing up before collapsing a second time.
“Death has tragically knocked on our door,” the Tsobanoglou family wrote on Sunday in an Instagram post. “Robbing us our beloved son, brother and grandson, Constantinos Tsobanoglou, whom South Africa had some to love and idolize under the stage name ‘Costa Titch’.”
The family did not release Titch’s cause of death.
Titch had recently signed a record deal with Senegalese-American artist and producer Akon following the breakthrough success of his single “Big Flexa” across Africa. The song originally exploded on TikTok.
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“Costa was a galvanizing voice among South Africa’s amapiano scene – a talented rapper, dancer, songwriter, collaborator and friend to the festival,” Ultra South Africa said in a statement.
Born in the eastern South African city of Nelspruit, Titch entered the country’s pop culture scene as a dancer. But Titch’s true passion was making music and later performing it.
“I realized my passion was more within the artist than within the dance industry,” he said in a promotional interview in 2020. “It’s never been easy, especially when you’ve accomplished a lot in one field.”
Titch initially struggled to achieve mainstream musical success, but gained recognition in South Africa with his 2019 single “Nkalakatha”, which came after a series of, in his words, “wack drops”. Titch said collaboration was what changed the course of his career.
“I feel like a lot of artists are so focused on trying to do everything themselves,” he said in 2020. “They let their ego block the fact that with a little bit of assistance, more people’s ears are listening to their music and being involved. in the creative process, they could actually make their product go much further.”
One of Titch’s many collaborators was South African rapper AKA, who was killed last month.
“The Tsobanoglou family thanks you for the love and support you have given our son and may you continue to lift him up in spirit yourself,” Titch’s family said Sunday.