Have you heard about Raymnd? If not – take this moment to get to know the rapper and film-maker from Giyani, Limpopo. Currently a resident in Johannesburg, Raymnd moved to the city to study Media Studies and get a move on his music. Telling us a bit about himself Raymnd says;
“I am in love with performing art as a whole, I’ve pretty much dabbled in as many forms of art as I possibly could growing up until I found my place. I love my hometown, I try to represent where I am from whenever I have the opportunity to do so. I try to inspire my younger homeboys, my little brothers as much as I can. My passion is in uplifting my province and working towards building entertainment in Limpopo more especially Giyani because I feel like there isn’t enough light shed on our brothers and sisters so people end up going for something against their God-given talents because they don’t get the validation they need.”
One of Raymnd’s most fond memories looking back at where it all started for him is how he always used to sketch and paint since he was a kid. Raymnd tells us that, way before creche he was already doing sketches for the older kids’ art homework. “I’m still waiting on that bag“, says Raymnd sarcastically referring to the payments he was promised for that work. It’s when Raymnd started singing at church and school that he knew he wanted to make and perform his works. In high school, Raymnd started recording and he never looked back.
“I released my debut single in 2010, it was called For The Rap. It felt good to release because I also got to perform the song. I gained a lot of support in my hometown. I was one of the first few artists to really push through and the culture hadn’t grown much. There were a lot of Hip-Hop fans but not a lot of Hip-Hop musicians. The song was really just about my love for Rap music. I was heavily influenced by Underground Rap culture so I sneaked a whole lot of bars in there. The beat was by my friend Tronix Deep.”
Raymnd says he strives to be identified as a solid rapper. However; the Tsonga, Selobedu and English creative does step outside the Hip Hop umbrella if given a chance to. Thus far Raymnd has released four musical compilations and multiple singles and collaborations. Speaking on the reception of his music, Raymnd says;
“It always feels good to receive feedback. I’ve been nominated for a SAHHA and the Limpopo Music awards in the past. Those kinds of things give me the confidence that I am doing the right thing and that someone out there appreciates the efforts put into crafting my music. It is always an honour to know how my music makes people feel, whether the feedback is good or not.”
Raymnd recently released a new single dubbed New Phone featuring LuE (Listen below). New Phone is the title track and lead single to the creative’s forthcoming ten-track EP. Speaking on New Phone Raymnd says;
“New Phone is basically about an Uber ride I took to see my girlfriend. So I’m basically telling the story of how I left, went through some Uber beefs with metre taxis, car chase and eventually decided to get off and go into a strip club.”
Closing off the conversation we asked Raymnd, “Is what you expected coming into the industry what you got? What’s your view on the treatment of upcoming musicians on the SA entertainment space be in music/ film. And in that regard, what changes do you expect to see in the industry, if any?”
Nah, the reality did not match the expectations I had coming into it. I feel the industry hasn’t gotten to a point where our people can see their own artists in the same light as they do their favourite international artists. From promoters, compilers, schedulers to fans, the experience could be a lot better. When I started making music the market wasn’t as open as it is now. It grows gradually and I’m pretty sure every other generation of Rap artists will have a better experience in the game than their predecessors.
Hip-Hop culture is not a fad, it grows every year, we have a bad year in Hip-Hop then we have a good one but it’s not going to fizzle out anytime soon. It just evolves. I understand it a bit more now than I did then and I feel if one expects it to be a walk in the park then they’ll most probably walk out of it quick. It’s really for people with a passion for making the music first.