Cape town based Karabo Mokgatle or Dada Shiva, known for his “confident lyrical flow and hard hitting bars” (Red Bull Studios) returns in 2019 with a brand new album set to blow things out of the water. The 12-track release – E55NCE is about “looking beyond the surface of occurrences and understanding their core nature.”

Dada Shiva’s sound explores the construction of polarity through the projection of multiple personalities within single tracks. “Dada” is both a reference to the classic title of address, “Da don Dada,” and Dadaism, an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th Century.

The brand new release, E55NCE, explores the true meaning of things, the parts that make the whole. Dada Shiva explores this relationship sonically and lyrically on each track, against a tapestry of numerical patterns – bringing light to the old adage – “one man sees a simple sequence, where another sees the secrets of the universe”.

Dada explains – “Each number projects it’s own sort of influence on the perception of those listening, thus affecting the character of their will. This is one of the processes by which I explore the E55NCE of all things on the project, a study of the numbers that force their way in whether it be by the length of a song, it’s number in the listing, or the number of bars present. Numbers keep track of what happens, and allow us to begin understanding. They are change and they are strangely constant, a beautiful expression of polarity – which is a concept I seek to explore in all my works”.

In essence, E55NCE is an exploration of my existence, informed by this methodology. A sort of exercise or meditation, punctuated by a care for the numbers wrought”.

THE LEAD SINGLE from E55NCE is the chaotic “FlyingFlock”
“The flying flock concept came from the thought of switching lanes in convoy, comparing that to how the birds of a flock remain untouched by obstacles, like a hologram; and how going with the flow uncompromisingly means that sometimes you’ll be the same, for better or worse”.

2 other stand out tracks on the album are “WAYHF” – created with
Danish electronic artist, Yangze and “IonizingRadiation” – a song about calls unanswered and electro magnetic cellphone waves exacerbating the situation. As Dad Shiva recalls – “The concept was born of an ache. It was a true and rare physical expression of the concept of E55NCE. Calling and calling and getting no answer, when all you really want is that answer. I called so much I got a headache, I’m not one to espouse pseudo-medicine, but electromagnetic hypersensitivity did feel real for a time. I felt as if the microwaves emanating from my cell phone were melting my brain.”

Dada’s previous offerings include a two track EP titled, “Antimatter,” produced with assistance from prolific jazz guitarist, Dylan Fine, and Danish electronic producer, Yangze; and “MNC: AT,” a 6 track EP recorded at and in association with Red Bull Studios Cape Town, which was released through their channels and explored the sameness of man and god, as well as the vehicles by which that sameness is achieved.

His debut solo EP, “FIRE WATER,” was a six-track meditation on the elements and on the new age of alternative hip-hop.

Dada Shiva appeared in a Nike Golf campaign in partnership with major German media outlet, Highsnobiety; and more recently wore the Adidas Prophere line for the company’s South African Ad campaign. As a member of Tone Society, he took the helm of GQ’s weekly style diary. Dada also laid down soundtrack vocals for the new CR7 Denim campaign. With an ability to produce his own music, while being able to adapt and morph any genre under the sun, he offers an all encompassing experience as an artist, challenging himself as well as the listener.

Processed with RNI Films. Preset ‘Technicolor 2’


  1. IonizingRadiation
  2. Doughboy (Feat. Ayema Problem, David XCV & Bafana4eva)
  3. Child’s Play (Feat. Jakinda, Dr. Masipa, Yusuf Abdul Karim & Thor Rixon)
  4. 88 (Feat.Dylan Fine)
  5. Am I? (Yakuza)
  6. Flying Flock
  7. WAYHF (Feat.Yangze)
  8. Da Don of a Grimm Red Moon (Feat. Brother Ramesses)
  9. E55NCE
  10. Shortcake (Feat. David XCV)
  11. 3-33
  12. Good Side


22 FEBRUARY 2019