#HypeMoments: A sit down with Love & Hip Hop SA’s Shane Eagle

In light of the launch of Love & Hip Hop South Africa, a reality show known for showcasing hip-hop stars juggling their careers, relationships and family dynamics, we take a look back at a HYPE Moment where cast member Shane Eagle was featured as our very own HYPE cover star.

Shane previously found fame through on season one of VUZU’s reality TV show The Hustle in the 2017. On the pilot season of Love & Hip Hop South Africa, viewers will get a glimpse into how he became a South African Music Award winner for Best Hip-Hop Album in 2018, but also some saucy secrets to maintaining a 12-year-long romance with artist and model Nicole ‘Nikki’ Swartz.

Let’s take a look back at an exclusive interview we had with the ‘Cutting Corners’ hit maker in October 2021 as our issue 11 cover star.

What’s that one thing you think makes you unique and makes you stand out as an artist?

The fact that I’m always myself, because I know that already makes me different from everyone else. When you’re true to yourself, you can’t be like anyone else. God made me unique.


How do you measure success – a gold plaque, over a million streams on iTunes, winning Best Hip Hop Album at the SA Music Awards? Or is it something more than any of these?

I am extremely thankful to be acknowledged for those accomplishments, especially being one of the first award-winning independent artists and record label founders from South Africa. The only aspect of success I can take from this, however, is to prove that you can allow yourself to create from your own pool of inspiration, without any inhibition of how it will be received, and still be rewarded for it.


So, would you say you are successful?

I think the idea of success is relative. For me, success means that I’ve managed to solidify and secure global relationships, on my own accord, for my next album. The fact that I’m still independent at this phase of my life is a success to me. If I win, it’s on me; if I lose, it’s on me. But I would rather count on myself than do what someone else believes is right for me.

Looking at your life and career so far, what makes you most proud?

The fact that my father got to see me be successful before he departed and became my “North Star”.


How do you remain positive and inspired during challenging times? Who or what inspires you today?

I think change is always challenging because it destabilises a sense of comfortability. But change is important for growth, even though it may feel like a loss. Only true pioneers will use this to their benefit. For me, I have learnt so much as far as engineering and producing my next album goes, and how to channel it directly to my fans for their enlightenment and appreciation.

I am inspired by the new world and era we are in; the next phase of growth towards being a better human; the new and existing relationships I’ve maintained with great artists and producers from across the globe; the people who have been consistent in my journey; my fans who are eagerly waiting for my next offering; the new range of skills I’ve acquired in being more self-reliant and involved in my musical process; and the new places I have yet to see and hope to perform in.


You’re quite strategically active on social media and it’s clear you’ve got something up your sleeve… What is your social media strategy?

On my upcoming sophomore album, I’ve grappled with the idea of finding a balance between happiness found in real-life experiences versus a digital replica of that feeling. In other words, I have a real-life strategy – that I choose to share on social media as a reminder that I am a source of realness, and social media is a reflection of what is real.

How important is your engagement on social media in terms of building your career?

I think the most important aspect of my career was to find a channel where I could use my talent to find my true purpose. Social media has served as that channel thus far; however, I feel authenticity may get homogenised or lost in the influx of images and information. So, as an independent, I’m more interested in coding for my own database of followers who serve my cause directly, kinda like my own crypto.


On your latest single, ‘SKYDREAM’, you surprised fans with the redveil and Monte Booker collab, and on DMF, the list of features is also insane. What do you look for in an artist when considering a collab?

Well, I love the process of finding artists who I feel are great and not necessarily the most popular; who are leaders and legends in their own right.


Who would you say have been the most important people in terms of assisting you in developing your musical career and achieving your goals?

Definitely my father, who raised me to be the man I am today. My mother, who has always been a reminder for me to remain humble. My life partner Nicole Swartz, who is also a gifted painter, visual artist and art director to my record label. She is the most consistent person in my life and journey, and her perspective is rare. I’d also like to add that she’s the executive producer for my sophomore album – where every artist I have connected and collaborated with has also played a part in my artistic development and achievement.


You’ve already hinted at your sophomore album… Is the anything else you can share with your fans about the music out now and the music coming up?

‘SKYDREAM’ is my latest single out now on all platforms. I have fused with idiosyncratic American producer Monte Booker and featured promising lyricist redveil from PG County on this timeless sound capsule. This is an appetiser for what my fans can expect on my upcoming album. Right now, it’s looking like 18 songs that I’ve written, engineered and arranged all on my own. I’ve worked with a variety of sounds from different artists and producers from all over the world, and I still record every day, finding gems to add and remove, but it will be special because it’s a different approach to any previous template or process I have followed.

Besides the music, what’s next for Shane Patrick Hughes?

At this point, I just want to become a better version of myself daily! Being great is a choice you have to make every day, and that drive affects everything you do.


Finally, where do you see your legacy fitting into the South African hip hop and rap story?

Being the first independent artist from South Africa to be globally recognised.


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