This week’s Monday Motivation or rather your Motivation Crush Monday (MCM) is Mr Neo Pitso – the award winning hip hop star who is also Obsessed With Success (OWS). He’s not just a recording artist as he also holds a law degree. In 2015, he was awarded an iconic African Australian of The Year Award at the Sydney Opera House.
Having supported hip hop heavyweights such as The Game, Nas & Cassidy to name a few, has cemented his status in the industry as an artist to watch.
He is originally from Welkom (my home town) and a living proof that no matter how small your beginnings are, you are never too small to achieve greatness. He goes by the name The Only Neo on his social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. His name Neo means “Gift” and he is living up to his name sake as he uses his gift and success to give back and to inspire disadvantaged youth to be Obsessed With Success (OWS).
I was lucky enough to grab his attention during his off days and interview him. This is how our interview went:
1) What is your current area of work?
I am a recording artist and motivational speaker. I also run an organization called The Neo Pitso Foundation which does charity work mostly in Africa.
2) How long have you been in this field?
I have been active in these fields for the past five years.
3) What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I enjoy most about my work is the ability to see parts of the world whilst doing what I love. I also like the fact that I get to spread an inspirational message of hope wherever I go. Years ago if someone told me that one day I would be able to fly to wherever I want to do what I love I would not have believed them. It brings me joy getting on a plane knowing that in a day or a few hours sometimes I will be on stage doing what I love and getting compensated for it.
4) What are the requirements for someone who wants to be in this field ( age, education, special skills etc.) ?
The requirements of becoming a recording artist are similar to any arts field. To develop the skill, in this case song writing:
- Continuously work on your craft
- Record and release the songs and do so consistently
- Start performing your songs across your town or city
- Build a relationship with promoters and then start performing in different cities then different countries
- If you’re self-managed like I am, to an extent, then you will need to have some negotiation skills and the ability to read contracts
- As much as it is entertainment, contracts form a huge part of what I do. Every plane ride is a contract or 2 that has been signed and back and forth negotiations.
- An artist may need to hire a manager or lawyer to help them with their contracts and negotiations.
- The skills I attained at law school have not gone unused and have come in handy.
- In terms of motivational speaking the requirements are – plenty of practice, and watching experts in the field. You will need management and or lawyers too for contracts unless you intend to work for free.
- By free I mean no compensation for the actual work done. Initially when I started I accepted a plane ride and accommodation and I was not paid for my presentations. I was happy with this as it got me started and built long lasting relationships with promoters and event organizers.
5) Do you need to have a college degree or qualification to be in your profession?
No college degree required for becoming a recording artist. In terms of motivational speaking no formal education is required but it is looked upon favourably if you’re a member of a speakers’ organisation such as toastmasters that is recognized either globally or locally.
5) How many countries have you traveled to?
I have travelled to 7 countries; Australia which I now live in, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, England, Indonesia and America. I never considered myself a traveller till recently so every country I went to, I did the bare minimum and spent most of my time in the hotel or local shopping malls.
This all changed after I went to America. Of all the places I’ve travelled, America has to be my favourite. It exceeded my expectations on every level. The culture is very progressive, the cities and people were incredibly welcoming, there’s plenty to do every day and lots of places to see. There was no way I was going to stay indoors in America. Besides, all expenses were covered by the brand that sponsors me and all I had to do was ask and they’d take me where I needed to go. Now that the travel bug has bit me the number of countries I have been to will most likely double by next year.
6) Where is your next travel destination?
Neo on his way to his next destination
My next travel destination is South Africa, then Kenya and Tanzania in a few months. I don’t know why but even though I was born in South Africa I like going back to check out tourist attractions when I’m not in Welkom 😉
Keep up with Neo on Social Media
YouTube: Neo Pitso
Well folks, we’ve gathered that Neo means Gift in Sotho , Pitso – his surname is a Sotho word which stands for a gathering/ meeting/ organization (wink 😉). Nothing makes me happier to see fellow Welkomites ( as we call ourselves) flourishing. I am personally not astonished at Neo’s success, if anything he is living his passion and his name and surname are a testimony to that.
Do you dream of a career as a recording artist? I have to admit that I’m not suited for it, but I know many people who are and are doing great just like Neo. Maybe you will join the list too.
Have you checked out Neo’s tracks? He is releasing his new single – Energy ft AB Crazy soon. Be on the look out and don’t miss out! Remember to remain Obsessed With Success (OWS) as Neo does.
At least I can now say that I know famous people (lol).
Until next time.