Up Close & Personal with Speedy
Speedy is, as usual, wearing his trademark baggy clothes - the dark blue baggy jeans, the bling, a red and white sweater and crisp, clean white sneakers.
He winks at the camera playfully, posing for pics. Minutes later he's sporting a red and blue track top.
He doesn't conceal his excitement about the interview. He's changed outfits twice already for the Sunday World photographer.
This flurry of activity happens in the middle of our chat, seated on a luxurious leather couch in the living room of his home in Sunninghill, Jozi.
Apart from these interruptions, he's chilled. Like when he excuses himself and heads to the kitchen to fix us a drink.
"I didn't invite you here to show off, you know. It's my week-off so I figured it'd be comfortable for all of us," he says, as if he's predicted my next question.
His phone rings constantly and two of those calls are bookings for a gig, one in Namibia. He smiles broadly, takes a deep breath and thanks us for bringing him some good luck.
He's still caught up in the excitement of the showbuzz game. The busy-ness too.
Life's taken on a heady speed of its own for Speedy - and rewarded him with a few frills, like his two fancy rides.
This is a far cry from the hustler we knew back in about 2000, when he left Bongo Maffin to face the music world as a solo artist.
"I said it before and I'll say it again, I had no regrets and I have none today."
I can tell he doesn't want to discuss it further. There are wounds that mustn't be opened. Hmm, sensitive lad.
But I can't help but ask him how he survived during his yo-yoing career.
He wracks his brains. The mood changes, as if the question has jolted him out of the present into a rather unpleasant space. He admits it wasn't a bed of roses but says TV projects such as Gazlam 1, 2 and 3 and Backstage kept him afloat.
They must have paid well?
He stares into the distance: "Not really, hey, but I was in survival mode. I managed to pay my bills and I had one or two friends. I also learnt who my real friends were - you know the saying when days are dark."
The one true friend turned out to be former Bongo Maffin member Stoan Seate.
They teamed up to release the album The Second Sonrise, featuring jazz legend Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse on the track Burnout. It drew a massive fan base, earning them two Metro FM nominations and one Samas nomination.
He also drew the attention of big brands such as Chevrolet and Tropika, with whom he's now associated.
"I kept quiet for a while and people thought it was over. Then BOOM! Lento surfaced and rocked the airwaves. The song is now nominated for the record of the year at the Samas.
"How about that?" He smiles, exuding a "who's the biatch now" vibe.
Hey, even his mom is proud of him.
"One day she called me from church to tell me they were playing Lento. Can you believe it?''
The boyish pleasure is palpable.
These overdue words melted his heart because they meant one thing: his mom finally approved of his career choice.
"She's always been against it, but of course, my stubborn self wouldn't hear of it."
He truly and dedicatedly had it all planned out.
"Dude, I work nine months in advance. I plan and execute in advance."
In addition to the musical hits, today he's in Generations playing music guru Eddie, something he claims he didn't expect.
The biggest surprise, though, has been the regrouping of Bongo Maffin.
"DJ Oskido didn't really confirm it with us; he just announced it on a social network.
"But trust me, we're ecstatic to be working together again."
He adds that he'll be releasing a DVD featuring all his music videos and his new single Lobola, with behind-the-scenes footage - under his two-year-old label Speedy Records.
"There's no stopping me, dude. I'm content and I'm heading in one direction: forward."
THIS & THAT
- His real name is Harold Rangakane Matlhaku.
- Likes Chinese food.
- Enjoys vodka and cranberry juice.
- Would like to work with Ringo Madlingozi.
- Wants to star in a movie with Rapulana Seiphemo and Kenneth Nkosi.
- Likes basketball and American football.
- Favourite destination is Zanzibar.
- Went to Barnato High School with Sonia Sedibe and Dikgang Mabalane.
- Says he wishes he was taller.