Dala Fam, a 24-year-old rapper from Waterval, Limpopo, did a remix to Nasty C’s hit “Hell Naw” last year. He shared the song with Moloko Pretoria host Deso Banks and Moloko Pretoria club DJ Tyga Banks. One of them passed the song onto Nasty C. Nasty C was clearly impressed with the remix, as he invited Dala on stage to perform the song with him at a show in Laviato Lounge, in Pretoria.
From hustling a remix to radio airplay
The rapper, who switches between English and Tsonga in his raps, recorded a Tsonga track last year called “Spani“. It received airplay across Limpopo and also YFM. The song is about his struggle of being forced to choose between getting a varsity education and following his love for music. His new single, “Ni Famba Na Khutso“, has been playlisted on YFM, and is the theme song to one of their shows Charged Up, hosted by Khutso Theledi.
Dala Fam has flows for days, and keeps the punchlines coming. He is capable of jumping on any type of beat, from trap to boom bap, to even house.
Limpopo’s hip-hop scene has huge potential
Dala admits it’s hard to break through as a hip-hop artist in Limpopo, but not without hints of optimism. He believes that with the right exposure, he can make it. “Hip-hop in Limpopo is not that established,” he says. “That’s why some of us run to Jozi, forgetting that charity begins at home.”
Dala strongly believes in Tsonga rap. “If Tsonga rap can get me on Hype, get me on the Top 5 on Munghana Lonene FM, get me interviews on stations that have nothing to with Tsonga rap, and also get me a theme song, I think with the right exposure, we can take it to the edge,” he says.
Except pH, Mchangani and now Sho Madjozi (who appears on OkMalumKoolKat’s album, Mlazi Milano), Tsonga isn’t well represented in South African hip-hop. He used to rap in English, but feels rapping in Tsonga is what sets him apart.
The love of music resulted in the rapper starting a record label Nu Skool Rap Ent which aims to take artists and producers from Limpopo and introduce them to the industry by booking them gigs in Pretoria to showcase their talents.
Dala is currently planning a massive event called #FillUpWatervalStadium happening in July. Waterval stadium is a small community stadium estimated to host more than 500 people. “If Cassper Nyovest can fill up The Dome I can fill up the stadium where I’m from,” he says.
In the meantime, Dala Fam hosts a student night every Wednesday at Joe’s on Faya in Sunnyside Barclays Square where he always fill up the VIP section, and still working on general access.