I remember back in 2010 sitting at home watching MTV Base when a very awkward-looking music video popped up on my screen. It was very colourful but I didn’t understand the dance they were doing nor the words they were singing. Fast forward to a few months later, both the dance and the song have gone viral! Everyone, including celebrities, are going crazy and doing the dance – which then made it even more popular.
As I would soon find out, the song was called “Windeck” by Angolan-born artist Cabo Snoop, real name Iva Manuel Lemus. The young boy was 20 around that time but he still managed to have the whole of Africa dancing. He went on to remix the song with Grammy award-nominated rapper Fat Joe, which goes to show how big the song was.
Initially Cabo was a dancer and was part of a group called The Crazy Boyz, the recording part was never the plan – it was all accidental. IVM Beatz and Cabo recorded “Windeck” in late 2009, so I spoke to him about how the hit song was birthed.
“I was an assistant at a record label in Angola called Powerhouse. That’s where I met IVM who was behind the label. One day I knocked off late from work and I didn’t have a ride home. So while I waited to be picked up, IVM and I decided to kill time in studio”
The song wasn’t intended for release, this was until early 2010 when label executives at Powerhouse heard it and almost immediately started requesting Cabo to perform at concerts and festivals. He soon became the most requested newcomer on the Angolan music scene.
With all that buzz at such a young age, you’d wonder how he managed to deal with all the money and fame – and the girls too.
“I was a very humble boy who grew up from the ghetto and was raised well, so everything didn’t change who I am, I stayed true and thank God for that. The fame and girls were very fun and entertaining but I still kept myself humble.” Cabo stated.
Soon after the release of his debut album Bluetooth and his live DVD, Cabo went quiet for a while. Mainstream media was again missing another talented artist and we didn’t really know why he was not on radio and TV as much. As it turns out his label decided to strike while the iron was hot and focus on touring after the success of his second single “Prakatatumba”.
This proved to be a smart business move because he got to travel around the world and expose a larger, more diverse market to his music in countries like Germany, USA and the UK – and picking up a few awards along the way. In this time he also starred in a soapie that focused on Angolan trends and culture, like the image Cabo had and the kind of music he made – so his silence in the media was ironically loud.
Cabo is no longer with Powerhouse so this has opened him up to opportunities to do more features across the continent and the world. His ultimate goal as he states, is to bring Africa together and has thus dubbed 2015 as “the year of resurrection”.
The future seems very bright for Cabo regardless of him leaving his label. He landed in SA to do a few collaborations and also shoot music videos, but that’s not all:
“Next step is flying to Nigeria after, I hope to record with Davido and also shoot music videos there too. After Nigeria I also want to go to the USA because I have a song with Fat Joe and Shaggy, and I want to try shoot the video there. After all that it’s the new album, the tour and yeah see where we can take it from there“, he stated.
Cabo also had a few tips to give to young talented artists who would like to be like him and who are inspired by the work that he has done. There are a lot of upcoming artist who would appreciate the opportunity of gracing international stages and move people with their music like he has.
“First of all stay focused, if you doing something then give it your all, be a hard worker because you may never know what may happen. Never give up too, when you do something do it well so people can remember the good things and not judge you for not being strong enough or too weak.”
Follow Cabo: @Cabosnoop1