Costa Titch, South African rapper, dies at 28 after collapsing during performance at music festival
Constantinos Tsobanoglou, better known by his rap alias Costa Titch, died Saturday after appearing to collapse while performing at the Ultra South Africa music festival in Johannesburg. He was 28.
His family mourned his passing in a statement on his Instagram page, though they did not share his cause of death.
"Death has tragically knocked at our door. Robbing us of our beloved son, brother and grandson, Constantinos Tsobanoglou, who South Africa had come to love and idolize under his stage name 'Costa Titch,'" the statement read.
In video of Titch's Ultra South Africa set, which made the rounds on the internet, he appears to fall over on the stage before being helped up by someone next to him. The rapper regains his footing for a few seconds only to fall again and collapse off the stage.
"We're thankful for the emergency responders and all those present in his last hours on this earth," the statement continued. "As a family we are faced with a difficult time as we try to make sense of what has befallen us and ask that we be afforded the time and space to gather ourselves."
The festival issued a statement saying it was "devastated" by Titch's death: "Costa was a galvanizing voice amongst South Africa's amapiano scene — a talented rapper, dancer, singer, songwriter, collaborator and friend to the festival."
Amapiano is a subgenre of house music that originated in South Africa in the mid-2010s combining deep house, jazz, and lounge music and characterized by log-drum basslines and piano melodies. Titch released his critically-acclaimed debut album Made In Africa in 2020, featuring collaborations with other South African artists such as AKA, Riky Rick, and Boity. In February, AKA was shot and killed outside a restaurant in Durban, South Africa.
At the end of 2022, Titch's track "Big Flexa" became the most viewed amapiano music video on YouTube and earlier this year he released a remix with Akon.
The singer-producer-entrepreneur, who famously signed Lady Gaga, paid tribute to Titch on Instagram, writing, "Costa Titch was more than just an artist. He was a brilliant superstar and hardworking man with a kind heart which endeared him to all around him."
Akon added, "I was convinced that he was going to make an impact in this world."