L-Tido is one Hip-Hop artist that is part of the surging growth of aspiring performers who are up on the get-it-to-go themselves. Free and independent of a binding and often crippling record deal contract, he released, marketed and distributed his own first mix tape City of Gold, selling over four thousand units. He also scooped the ‘Most Gifted Newcomer Channel O Award – 2010’ last year; a reflection of the fast rise to success he has enjoyed.
With just a few weeks ahead of his All or Nothing album launch series tour, which by the time you read this would have taken place [30 June – 3 July 2011], the L-Tido camp have been on a grind inspired by the promise he has made to bring fireworks to the performance. His album includes collaborations with K.O. from Teargas, Nigerian superstar Banky W, Tumi from Tumi and The Volume and Da L. E. S of Jozi and the Glitz Gang.
A great deal of his commercial market appeal is that he chooses to rap in English instead of Zulu and Tswana. I ask him if he feels judged for this and if so, does he care? “Yes, I have received flack from a few people but it doesn’t bother me because I wanna be heard everywhere by all nationalities. English just so happens to be the language understood by most people.”
Since a lot of artists pursue the independent route [with fewer reaching fruition] I am curious as to his strategy in self promoting and selling his first mix tape City of Gold? “I was selling my CDs at shows after my performances. With the money I made from my CDs I invested that back into making videos which ended up giving me great exposure.” He continues, “Artists should be more educated about the industry and take more initiative in their own careers. Labels should also start adopting new ways of marketing. The game has changed and labels need to keep up with the current trends.”
L-Tido is very clear that his climb to the top won’t stop in South Africa and that he plans to break internationally. He believes that the top three elements it will take to achieve just this will be none other than talent, hard work and vision.
All or Nothing [his new album] is a collection of tracks that represents the sacrifices he has been forced to make to achieve his goals with little time to stop while certainly not settling for anything less, hence the title. “I deserve to be where I am right now and all the awards I receive. I don’ t want a piece of the pie, I want everything!”
Aside from his own music, L-Tido is positive about the current state of Hip Hop in SA; “The growth has been really amazing over the past years. Everybody has really stepped their game up from the music production, videos and marketing ideas.” Setting the record straight: As far as publicity stunts go, for those of you who are wondering whether or not he started the beef with rival Hip Hop MC AKA for the pure sake of it last year, he claims that he didn’t; “its old news and I wish AKA the best of luck.”
L-Tido is a self confessed workaholic and can be spotted gigging most weekends at clubs in Johannesburg. On his down time he prefers chilling at his crib with friends. What can fans expect once the album launch is done and dusted, I ask? “I’m currently working on several international digital distribution deals. We are also conceptualising a DVD of the tour for a Christmas release and a new mix tape. There is so much… I don’t want to reveal everything at the moment. Just wait and see it’s gonna be an exciting year, big things ahead!”
A lot can be said for the fierce, independent and rearing-to-go spirit of L-Tido. This stands as an example of what these qualities can achieve when you set your mind to something.
His hit track We Rollin’ has reached number one on the Channel O Weekly Charts, MTV Base African Chart, ETV’s Club 808 Chart and French music channel Trace TV’s Africa Top 10 Chart and stayed there for five straight weeks. Enough said!
Written By : By Mary Honeychild