Sjava launches own record label 1020 Cartel

Sjava sees his new record label 1020 Cartel as much more than a music label, but rather a movement in the arts space.

After cutting ties with record label Ambitiouz Entertainment that turned him into a household name, Sjava will today launch his independent record stable. Sjava has teamed up with renowned engineer and producer Mfanafuthi “Ruff ” Nkosi.


“Having been in the music industry for a number of years now, I’ve learnt many lessons and have grown to understand how the industry works,” Sjava told Sowetan.
What’s different about 1020 Cartel is that we see it as more than just a label, it’s also a movement in the arts space. We want to give the wider arts space – not just music – a platform.


“A strong focus will be on collaborations with different artists in the scene, not just musicians but all types of artists.

“What is important to us is helping to build the artists that are part of the label and movement into people who understand the industry and are able to make good career decisions.


The first four artists to be signed by the label are vocalist Yallunder, rapper Anzo, poet Nue_Sam and maskandi artist Mzukulu. Collaborative album iSambulo, which means revelation, will be the first project to be released on August 28.

“It has been an inspiring experience putting together the unique talents of each artist on this one project,” Nkosi explained.

“iSambulo draws from different genres: African rap, maskandi, hip-hop, poetry, classical and soul, and what makes it amazing is that the end product doesn’t feel like many different parts put together. The sounds are perfectly blended and the end result is smooth and clean.”

Sjava said he had no animosity towards Ambitiouz Entertainment and the artists signed to it.

“I left Ambitiouz because I cancelled the agreements I had with them for contractual reasons,” Sjava said.

“Like I said in the statement I released when I announced my leaving Ambitiouz, I have no animosity towards Ambitiouz, the label or the artists.

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