Based: Johannesburg

Talent and a hustler mentality can only get you so far in the cutthroat entertainment industry. Combine that with some legitimate financial acumen and entrepreneurial spirit and you get yourself force to be reckoned with in the form of award-winning hit maker, L-Tido.

Born and bred in Alexandra township, L-Tido has made the term “self-made” his own after he self-released, self-marketed and even hand-to-hand distributed his mix-tape titled ‘City of Gold’. The mix-tape sold over 4,000 units and won him a Most Gifted Newcomer award at the 2010 Channel O awards.

He’s not your average, run-of-the mill musician looking to simply make music, sell a couple of albums and blow up in South Africa. “ I don’ t want a piece of the pie, I want everything”, says L-Tido.

His plan for world domination began last year when he released his mix-tape City of Gold, which received a lot of acclaim and woke the industry to the new, fresh sounds that puts the swag in swagger.

L-Tido’ s interest in music, especially hip-hop began when fellow artist and friend, Sean Pages introduced him to the genre at a young age. Since then, their love for hip-hop took them on a journey of self-discovery which ultimately saw them conquer the local industry, without an official album under their belt and even a record label backing them. “ I’ve always been an expressive person and out of every music genre, hip hop is the only one that allowed me to express myself as much as I want to be,” he adds.

For a while, L-Tido used it as a hobby. Far from the rapper with the stylish swagger that he’ s known to be now, L-Tido was once a suit-man with a 9- 5 financial job. “ I also studied marketing, which I guess ties up to the creativity because just like with music, you have to use words to get people’ s attention.”

L-Tido eventually decided to pursue his on a full-time basis. “ I realized as I watched some of my friends in the industry make it that It’ s okay to take the risk.” He then left his job and invested all his money into making sure his new career takes root. “I believed in myself so much that I realized that in order to be able to focus on my music, I had to give it my all. And that’ s what I did. There’ s no turning back.”

He recorded his City of Gold mixtape, launched it at club Inc in Braamfontein, sold out the venue to capacity, a testament to his rising popularity in Gauteng province and beyond.

He’s fiercely independent spirit who believes that artists in South Africa need to take the reign of their own career instead on entrusting them into the hands of recording labels.

His debut album, titled All or Nothing, reveals everything about his journey and what it took for this rising star to get to where he is. The album includes collaborations with K.O from Teargas, Nigerian superstar Banky W, Tumi from Tumi and The Volume, Da L. E. S of Jozi and the Glitz Gang. “I chose new people on production because they are hungry to make it and will also bring a fresh sound from what everyone else has already done.”

“I believe this album is a great body of work. There are certain songs that make references to the title, which is all about the sacrifices I made to be where I am. I deserve to be where I am right now and all the awards I receive. I refuse to settle for anything less”

While many local hip hop artist decided to rap in their mother tongues, L-Tido refuses to limit his fan base to those who only understand vernacular language. “At the end, I want everybody to be ale to understand and appreciate my music. Why bother expressing yourself through music if only a few people are going to understand? I want mine to go beyond South Africa and African borders and since English is a universal language, the universe is where I’m headed.”

His ultimate goal? To be the best rapper alive. “ I have all the elements to penetrate the African market and beyond. And so far, the reception of my music has been great.”

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