The first time he busted on the scene in My African Dream talent show with the verse ‘Dintshang’, it was already written in the stars that A.T.I was going to be a star.
Ironically My Star singing talent could not spot nor see the shining flair and that is when he broke out of the shell. A.T.I managed to scoop position two in My African Dream against all odds and during the time when dance groups were driving the audience crazy. He was still a Form Five student in 2008 and that did not stop him from pursuing his African dream. A.T.I went on to break into the music industry with his first hit single called Skeleton and people were aware that there is a name A.T.I.
From the beginning A.T.I did not hide the fact that he was inspired by Vee Mampeezy and the fact that he lost a deservingly award to Vee at some point did not stop the respect he has for the latter. And possibly it is still a surprise that the two had not collaborated yet. Now back to the flower that was still blossoming inside A.T.I, just like other artists trying to find their way into the unwelcoming music industry, he faced a lot of challenges.
With an unusual makeup and huge black teardrop, A.T.I was accused of being a Satanist and the hype worked for him at the time when he was making waves with the hit song Ke lekhete in 2012. People’s perception fueled the Satanism rumours and he chose to offer them what they wanted.
He even told a journalist at one point that it is the misperception about him that has worked in his favour. Even the title of his maiden album Polao ya motho fuelled the gothic rumours and A.T.I later shot a rather interesting video in Motho le motho. Haters created a page on Facebook page called ‘We hate ATI’ where they publicly shamed him.
The artist, who was doing Public Administration and Environmental Science degree at University of Botswana at the time, failed and discontinued when showbiz got in the way of his studies.
With so much hype and reputation created by Ke lekhete, A.T.I collaborated with Noello in the 100% Mixtape and before its release A.T.I told his fans that if the song does not reach national anthem status he would quit music.
The song in specific called Tshoo pau never reached that stardom and of course he did not quit and it seemed like the death of the rapper at that time. It went from bad to worse and at some point a popular graffiti artist called Khwezi attacked the rapper. Real name Atasaone Molemogi, A.T.I once accused his former manager Michelle Gaofano of sexual abuse something that was used by Ozi F Teddy in his beef track last year. With kidnapping case on his lap, it all looked like the teenager who burst into the scene had been silenced and left with nothing but trouble. A.T.I was brewing something and no one saw it coming as he came up with the tag line Thanya lekhete. He was too busy to respond to Ozi F Teddy’s beef track. The end result now proves it even more. He once told the media that he is going to be a superstar and signs of the giant waking from his grave after a long sleep were seen as A.T.I released Poelo morago and indeed there was no turning back.
The moment Khiring Khiring Khorong dropped, it became a national anthem that claimed the solid return of A.T.I after a dark spell in his life of being financially broke and having to push back the release of his album, Envelope for close to three years.
Right now his music is banging in every stereo around the country, his music has proved to be timeless, a rare musical remedy. People of different ages and backgrounds love his music.
The years have proved that A.T.I has a legit talent infused with natural creativity and it has made him outstanding not only as a musician but an artist. He applies his creativity in his musical lyrics, the beat, dress code, the way he talks and his image.
He has made crazy outfits that look cool; the black tear on his face has become his trademark. Every time A.T.I stages a performance he leaves his audience in cloud nine; his recent performances when he arrived in a crane at the St Louis Festival could not have been a clearer example. From the energy, high spirits, choreography, art directing, A.T.I applies creativity in his craft.
In as much as he looks or sounds funny at times A.T.I is one of the most professional young artists in the country. This can be picked from how he handles himself on stage and tv screens.
Speaking of screen, he once rocked the Flava Dome stage wearing a black dress that covered the whole studio and left people wondering what he is up to. He later told them that he felt the stage was too empty so he needed to cover it. With pop music not being familiar amongst local artists, A.T.I has claimed the local music pop throne.
You cannot talk of local pop music and leave out A.T.I. You cannot talk of the famous local hits and leave out Khiring Khiring Khorong and you cannot talk of the art, creativity and leave out A.T.I.
The Serowe native has set the bar high in the Botswana music industry and he has gone to do what a number of artists have not done. Having proven himself as an artist, he needs proper management that will take him to greater heights not managers who block out the media to talk to him for no reasons.
At this stage A.T.I needs to be celebrated internationally like other young Africans such as Cassper Nyovest, Wiz Kid, Jah Prayzah and Sarkodie.
What he needs at this moment is a team that is well connected globally and shares the same vision with him. In developed countries artists of such a stature would have been long endorsed by different public and private entities.