- Published on Monday, 14 May 2012 10:38
- Written by Nicole Wilcox
Xolani Dludla, better known by his fans and friends as X, plans on making big waves after winning BlackBerry’s on campus “Wanna B Famous? Speak BlackBerry!” competition in March.
One great Jammie Thursday, X competed against other emcees at UCT and came out on top, walking away with a BlackBerry and the opportunity to work alongside South African hip hop artist A.K.A.
This budding artist from KwaZulu-Natal hopes this is the start of a promising career in the music industry, especially now that he has enlisted the help of one of South Africa’s biggest hip hop talents.
X now has to go head to head with all the finalists for the chance to perform at BlackBerry’s Secret Gig as the opening act for a mysterious international artist.
BlackBerry’s Secret Gig is one of the coolest events on the entertainment calendar. It offers the public exclusive tickets, which can only be won, to a gig at a secret location with the promise of incredible local and international talent. Last year’s mystery headline act was the UK’s Tinie Tempah, who performed for an intimate crowd of 500 in Johannesburg.
X’s amazing performance, which included an ode to UCT, won the crowd over the moment he took the stage. BlackBerry will now fly X, along with two other candidates from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Western Cape, to Johannesburg and Durban to be mentored by A.K.A.
The Speak BlackBerry campaign is now heading to other competing universities around the country, such as Wits University, Tshwane University of Technology, the University of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. X, along with the other competitors, will then record a track that will be released and opened to public voting. The ultimate winner will be the contestant whose song accumulates the most votes.
X feels extremely privileged to be working with A.K.A, “[He] is really an artist who’s doing big things. His music is very relevant and he relates to a lot of people in our generation.”
He has also been approached by other aspiring artists to work with them: “the faith that I’m receiving from people is overwhelming and right now it’s the driving force for me to continue writing.” X believes that this moment could be the beginning of his journey to greatness.
When talking with X, you can feel the confidence this young man exudes. X began exploring his knack for rapping in grade 6 and started competing in grade 9.
He was previously a part of a group named Insane Mentality and looks upon his high school career as the catalyst for his amazing way with words and verse, “I went to two high schools and both of them taught me significant things. I bonded with a lot of the teachers and they’re the ones accountable for boosting my self-esteem.”
The rewards that rapping has given X have been more personal than material, “Being a rapper, you know, when I was still growing up to me it seemed like if you’re a rapper you must have that energy and not be afraid of things so I took up challenges that I wouldn’t normally take up.”
X claims that under the hardcore exterior he is genuinely a shy guy: “Rap became my excuse to go out there and do whatever I want to do so long as it’s a good challenge and I might get something from it.”
While taking a break from the books, he works on his mixtape, Cheese and Mayo Music. He aims to blend his knowledge of socio-politics and his love of entertainment to produce music to which listeners can relate while sharing world-views.
When X produces, he fills his lyrics with flow and flavour without taking away its relevance, “If I’m going to come up with the words, it has to mean something to me.”