Snrd’s varied forms of self-expression

Bataung Moeketsi

TŠOLOANE Tšolo aka Snrd has over the years relied on visual art, photography, videography and recording and music production as self-expression.

A holder of a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Witswatersrand (2018), Snrd is now pursuing a Photography and Film degree at The Open Window Institute in Centurion.

The multifaceted artiste began dabbling in different forms of art during his time at Maseru Preparatory School between 2003 and 2006 where he would illustrate Dragonball Z characters and noticed he was “a league above the rest”.

He carried on with his artistic inclinations once he enrolled at Machabeng College from 2007 until he obtained his International Baccalaureate diploma in 2013.

“I want to believe I took art to heart while in high school because I found it harder to fit into the social groups that I wanted to play key roles in,” Snrd told the Weekender this week.

“I couldn’t fit in because my background was so different from that of other learners.”

He found solace in his arts assignments and would spend most parts of his final years at Machabeng in the art room.

It was on Christmas Eve in 2011 when he started writing and recording music as a rapper with Jiji F who introduced him to the basics of song creation and the writing aspect of it.

“My inspirational figure at the time was Lil Wayne because he was at the peak of his career and I’d just bridged from listening to House music throughout high school. He made English and storytelling sound really beautiful on beats.”

Snrd has released a slew of projects including Damage Kontrol (2013), Anubis (2016) and Tndncs (2018).

On Tndncs he became more introspective and would narrate stories stemming from his private life. His production capabilities also blossomed on the project and it stands out as his most successful release to date.

In January 2020, he released a five-track project dubbed Diary of a Bad Little B*@!h and has continued showcasing by introducing guitar chords in his productions.

Snrd’s music career highlights include performing at the 2014 and 2015 Vodacom Lesotho Summa Feva, opening for Cassper Nyovest at his high school tour in 2015 in Johannesburg and his one-man Tiny Gallery Concert in 2019 at the Hub in Morija. He was also awarded the Best Newcomer award at the Ultimate Music Awards in 2017.

He is working on his fifth musical project whose release date is yet to be set and will be accompanied by several visuals.

While taking a break from the music scene in 2015, Snrd discovered his love for photography and developed what he deems “High-Fashion” photography which this year has seen him garner some acclaim.

“I never thought my photography would as well-received as it has… I now feel like a new person lately in that regard.”

Snrd wants to “be known largely for my music” but also aspires to shoot photos for globally acclaimed magazine Vogue while establishing his own “fashion-centre magazine” is his ultimate goal.

“The magazine will help circulate, showcase and test designers. I also want to develop a magazine because I need a space to roam within my photography practice here at home, and help models get into the local market for reason that align with their line of work,” Snrd said.