With his red & green Gucci backpack, an entourage of five including his one-year old son Logan, rapper Emtee visited the Mail & Guardian recently to speak about his musical journey for the second instalment of Finding Your Niche. The 27-year-old who was signed to Ambitiouz Entertainment until earlier this year, founded his new record label African Trap Movement in September this year. ATM is also the name of the group he formed with Sjava, Saudi and their producer Ruff before they were signed by Ambitiouz Entertainment.
Emtee revealed that he has aspired to be a rapper since he was in grade one, inspired by a lot of young musicians who were booming in the late 90s and early 2000s. “There was an era where a lot of child stars were coming up and I was a child too at the time,” he says. “Here’s Lil’ Bow Wow at 8 years old, he’s doing his thing. We have Msawawa here at home. We have Mzambia. So that alone has taught me that age doesn’t really matter. If you have the skill, if you have the talent, you can pull through,” he said.
“Flow starts with rhythm.”
Emtee likened the art of flowing to how one might move their body. “My flow, from the way I walk and talk, it’s still influenced or inspired by somebody and obviously I bring my own flavour which is Africanacity,” he said. His producer, Ruff, whom he still works with to this day, also helps him in his creative process and has always told him to speak to his truth through his music.
In an interview with the Mail & Guardian in April 2019, musician Sjava revealed that when the ATM (African Trap Movement) was formed they decided to put Emtee at the forefront. When speaking about the importance of having a group or collective that only focuses on the growth of one artist at a time, Emtee said that they only realised at a later stage that what ATM was doing as a collective pushed each artist to their limit.