Cassper Nyovest at the 2014 Back to the City festival
|Refiloe Maele Phoolo|
December 16, 1990 |
Montshiwa, Mafikeng, North West, South Africa
|Genres||Hip hop, Motswako|
Refiloe Maele Phoolo (born 16 December 1990, in Mafikeng), professionally known as Cassper Nyovest, is a South African recording artist and record producer. His debut album Tsholofelo was released on 18 July 2014. He is currently signed to his own independent label and media company, Family Tree.
Nyovest grew up in Montshiwa in Mafikeng, the capital city of the North West province. He attended high school at Sol Plaatje Secondary School. In school, he was athletic as he partook in various sports activities including football, cricket and basketball. He started rapping when he was in grade 6, at the age of 12.
In grade 10, Nyovest failed his exams, and moved to his grandmother's house in Potchefstroom. Then the following year, at age 16, he decided to drop out of high school: "I told my parents that I'd rather chase my dream, which I believe is going to work out, rather than keeping it safe and regret it my whole life." Nyovest relocated to Johannesburg the following year to pursue a career in music as a rapper and producer.
In 2004, he was a member of a group called Childhood Gangsta (CHG) which later disbanded. He then joined an eight-member group Slow Motion , which included the production team Ganja Beatz .
Nyovest dropped out of high school in 2006, left home and moved to Johannesburg. The following year, still at the age of 16, he was signed by the Motswako label " Impact Sounds ". After two years without a release, he left to start a label of his own to no avail -- he moved back home.
Months later, Motswako rapper HHP spotted Nyovest at a performance. HHP was impressed and featured him on his track " Wamo Tseba Mtho " from his seventh studio album Dumela. Nyovest embarked on international tours with HHP where he gained exposure as an artist. He has also shared stages with international acts such as Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Talib Kweli, Mlondi Caluza and Wiz Khalifa. In the year 2014, Nyovest was involved in a highly publicised "beef" with fellow South African artist AKA, this led to both artists recording diss tracks about each other.
In 2013, he released "Gusheshe" as the first official single from his debut album, Tsholofelo. The single was well received and playlisted across various radio stations in South Africa. It was accompanied by a music video which premiered on Vuzu's V-Entertainment.
After "Gusheshe", he released his second single titled "Doc Shebeleza" which saw him gain major success. The song peaked at number 4 on South Africa's official music chart. The song received positive reviews from the public and other South African acts including Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
His debut release, Tsholofelo, was released on 18 July 2014. It was number 1 on the iTunes South African albums chart for 2 consecutive months before being knocked off by Duncan's Street Government.
In October 2014, Nyovest was ranked number 1 on "The Hottest MC in Africa" list by MTV Base. Nyovest was also ranked number 2 on MTV Base's "SA's Hottest MC" list with K.O at number 1. Nyovest criticized the list because of DJ Vigilante's close affiliation with Cashtime Life rapper K.O. He stated that Vigilante should not have been on the ranking panel and showed his discontent with the list by releasing a song titled "Beef" in which he disses DJ Vigilante, AKA and K.O. It quickly sparked controversy after which the rapper later apologized to K.O for a line on the song.
After the release of Tsholofelo, Nyovest hinted that he was in studio recording new music, presumably for his second album. He was pictured working with Casey Veggies, DJ Drama, Wizkid, and frequent collaborator Anatii. However, it would later be revealed that the songs were for the platinum edition of Tsholofelo. The platinum edition was released in April 17, 2015 with only 10,000 copies printed out. Nyovest announced that he was planning to headline a concert on the 31 October 2015 at the Ticket Pro Dome billed as "Fill Up the Dome" and release his sophomore album at the venue on the same day. He revealed the title of the album as Refiloe on July 13, 2015. He mentioned that he wanted to fill the dome - which currently accommodates up to 20,000 people - to its full capacity. In a Twitter post, he explained that a ticket bought comes with a free album and that if he managed to fill the dome, Refiloe would go gold in a day. The album cover was released on August 10 via Nyovest's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
On August 14, 2015 the album's first single titled "Mama I Made It (#MIMI)" was released for purchase on iTunes and as a free download for 24 hours only. Shortly after its release, it peaked at number 1 on iTunes South Africa chart, across all genres. It was also playlisted across various radio stations in South Africa, most notably on DJ Fresh's "Fresh at 5" show on 5FM. It was produced by Ganja Beatz, which Nyovest has worked with for a long time. On the same day, the American rapper Talib Kweli whom Nyovest had previously collaborated with on the "Doc Shebeleza" remix released his lead single off his album entitled "Fuck The Money" which features a guest verse by Nyovest.
On October 25, 2015, Nyovest announced on his official Twitter account that tickets to the Fill Up The Dome concert were sold out. Each purchased ticket to the concert came with a complimentary copy of Refiloe, which each concert-goer received on October 31, 2015. In November 2015, Nyovest was named as the Hottest MC in South Africa by MTV Base Round table experts, he beat his rival AKA to top the list . Nyovest was also listed as the hottest MC in Africa by popular Nigeria music streaming blog industry experts, notjustok.com
As of January 13, 2016, Refiloe was certified Platinum for shipments in excess of 40,000 copies domestically. On October 29, 2016, Nyovest filled Orlando Stadium, a 40,000 capacity venue and it was indeed a game changing moment for the hip hop genre in South Africa and Africa as a whole. Nyovest is now often referred to as Mr. Fill Up by locals. Nyovest has already announced his plans to fill up FNB stadium, an 80,000 capacity stadium in December 2017.
On December 2, 2016, MTV Base ranked Nyovest first on its list of South Africa's Hottest MCs of 2016. The list was compiled by a panel of judges, which included veteran rappers and influencers from South Africa. The list was based on these six pointers: impact, style, lyrics, sales, buzz, and other intangibles.
On December 31, 2016 Nyovest was once again named as the Hottest Rapper in Africa . This list was compiled by a team of industry experts of one of Africa leading and most reputable music downloads and online publishers. 
Nyovest was the big winner of the SA Hip Hop Awards 2016 held in December after receiving 9 nominations, as he bagged 4 awards on the night. Nyovest was also named as the SOUND CITY MVP for Best Hip Hop Artist in Africa.
Nyovest got a SAMA award for best collaboration for 'NGUD', a song by Kwesta featuring Nyovest.  On 10th of October ,2017, he was also awarded best Male Southern African by African Musiq Magazine Awards  Nyovest Thuto Album went Gold on the day of release  and within a few weeks it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) 
Nyovest Announced plans to fill up 75,000-capacity FNB Stadium in August. On 17 November 2017 he announced that the tickets for the golden circle was 70% sold, and some notable performers for this concert were also revealed.
With Nyovest initially finding it difficult to fund the show all by himself due to lack of sponsors, his biggest rival in SA hip hop, AKA, offered to perform at FNB Stadium for a fee of one million South African Rands and also insisted that their differences should be finally put to bed. This quickly got fans from both sides talking and it did contribute to the hype surrounding the whole show. However, Nyovest's management team rejected this offer from AKA. Kwesta threw his weight behind the concert and advised other hip hop acts to support this historic move and made it known to the fans that he is performing for free at the concert. Fans took this to be a slight dig at AKA who is also a good friend of Kwesta.
Nyovest finally got three major brands to sponsor his show: Ciroc SA, SABC 1 and Budweiser. On 2 December, Nyovest announced that 72,000 tickets were sold, compared to the attendance record of 68,000.
Nyovest partnered with AG Mobile in 2015 to release a phone that was inspired and partly designed by him named AG Hashtag.
In July 2015, after months of denying any romantic involvement with each other, Nyovest and actress Boitumelo Thulo finally confirmed in a July issue of DRUM that they were dating. This issue of the magazine article contained that the couple was engaged but they later came out to deny an engagement. The couple broke up in December 2015.
Nyovest has been awarded and nominated for various music awards both locally and internationally. His first set of awards were in 2013 when he won four awards at the second edition of the South Africa Hip Hop Awards .