JOHANNESBURG – South African rapper Costa Titch has died. He was 27 years old.
According to reports, Costa collapsed on stage during his performance at the Ultra Music Festival at the Nasrec Expo Centre on Saturday, 11 March.
His family confirmed the news in a statement on social media.
The family thanked “emergency responders and all those present in his last hours on this earth.”
“As a family, were are faced with a difficult time as we try to make sense of what has befallen us and ask that we be afforded the time and space to gather ourselves.”
“The Tsobanoglou family thanks you for the love and support you have given to our son, and may you continue to uplift him even in spirit. Please keep us in your prayers and uplifted in the Lord”, ended the statement.
Costa was booked to perform at the launch of the Smirnoff Storm Room, described as a new entertainment platform for Amapiano and Afro-Tech music and culture.
The Big Flexa rapper said in a press statement ahead of his performance: “The Smirnoff Storm Room is the ultimate space for Amapiano and Afro-Tech to own. It’s time for the music genres to have a platform like this, something which supports the music and the culture. For me, it’s also about finding that freedom to create and then sharing it with people on the dance floor. I can’t wait to bring the sound.”
Costa Titch – real name Constantinos Tsobanoglou – originally started as a backup dancer in the industry.
In an interview with AVG Productions in 2020, Costa said he transitioned into becoming a music artist after realising that he had reached the pinnacle in dance and wasn’t breaking through financially and ‘internally.’
“Via the backup dancing, I started to realise that the vision that I envisioned since I was small was within the artist, not me as the backup dancer. I was making music for fun at that time, and people were receiving it pretty well, and at that point, I decided to go full-on with this and see where it goes,” he said.
Costa won Best Collaboration and Best Remix for his Nkalakatha remix featuring Riky Rick and AKA at the 2020 South African Hip Hop Awards.
He recently signed to Senegalese-American rapper Akon’s record label Konvict Kulture. The Lonely rapper recently featured on the remix of Costa’s hit song Big Flexa.
In an interview with IOL, Costa said that he partnered with the record label to launch his career on an international scale.
“After the success of my 2022 catalogue, we felt it was time to partner with a global entity so we can continue to push the barriers on an international scale.”
Tributes from industry colleagues and fans poured in on social media on Sunday.
“RIP, Costa Titch. Great talent gone too soon,” tweeted rapper Da L.E.S.
RIP Costa Titch. Great talent gone too soon. 💚🕊️
— Da L.E.S (@2freshLES) March 12, 2023
Julius Malema, president of the Economic Freedom Fighters, tweeted “Costa Titch” with a broken heart emoji.
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) March 11, 2023
The Southern African Music Rights Organisation wrote on Twitter: “SAMRO is saddened by the passing of popular rapper Costa Tsobanoglou, better known as Costa Titch. Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and broader music industry.”
SAMRO is saddened by the passing of popular rapper Costa Tsobanoglou, better known as Costa Titch.
Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and broader music industry. #RIPCostaTitch pic.twitter.com/qeXOcAxxFs
— SAMRO (@SAMROMusic) March 12, 2023