11-year-old local rapper ready to take over the music industry

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Tevin Reddy spits lyrics like the pros, has recorded and released four singles, shot and performed in his debut music video ’vibe on check,’ and loves doing mathematics all whilst being a ‘normal’ 11-year tween. (Supplied)
Tevin Reddy spits lyrics like the pros, has recorded and released four singles, shot and performed in his debut music video ’vibe on check,’ and loves doing mathematics all whilst being a ‘normal’ 11-year tween. (Supplied)
  • South Africa's youngest rapper, Tevin Reddy, is ready to take over the music industry with his beats.
  • The 11-year-old has already released four singles and one music video.
  • "But I am just a normal kid," he says.

He hasn't even reached his teenage years yet, but 11-year-old KwaZulu-Natal rapper Tevin Reddy, who writes his own lyrics while juggling his school work, already has four singles.

After getting a taste of fame locally in 2020, Reddy, from Queensburgh, released his single Vibe on Check in April. It has roughly 2 000 views on YouTube.

"My songs highlight the blessed lifestyle that I'm fortunate to live. I gain inspiration from every experience and I highlight and celebrate my family members and those close to me in some of the songs I write," Reddy said.

He said he was always interested in music.

LISTEN | Ndlovu Youth Choir share inspiring message of hope with South Africans through song

The young star's music career took off last year when he started performing at local restaurants, such as Legacy Yard in Umhlanga and El Patron, and the Durban Book Fair. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, places of entertainment were closed and that meant that performances were no longer allowed under lockdown restrictions.

"This gave me more time to write songs and work on my music," he said. 

"Growing up, my mum and dad would host lots of events and family gatherings, and they'd play all kinds of music which I learnt to enjoy. It was when my dad met a young and talented local musician from the Malvern Child and Youth Care Centre - Verge the Rapper - a few years ago, that he decided to launch his record label, Boss Life Entertainment."

His father and manager, Venan Reddy, 38, started the recording studio in 2020. Tevin found himself spending a lot of his time there along with other artists.

SA's youngest rapper
"I’m just a normal kid who loves playing on my go-kart,” said Reddy.
Photo Supplied

"I decided to give it a shot and record a track which blew everyone away. I found my passion for making music inside the studio and decided to keep working on it further," he said. 

Tevin wants to inspire the youth to believe in themselves and live out their true passions and purpose.

His dad said they focused on helping the youth make something of themselves through their musical talents.

"We want to give everyone an opportunity, especially the less fortunate kids who don't have the funds to access a recording studio," Reddy added.

READ | Former gang member uses music to turn his life around, inspire youth

The Grade 6 pupil said he did not receive special treatment from his peers and teachers just because he released some singles.

"They have great respect for my courage to chase my dreams and ambitions at such a young age. But I am just a normal kid. I prefer to be treated as an equal because my parents have raised me not to act or believe that I'm better than another person," he said.

His father said it was "God's divine intervention" that made him sign up his son.

The proud dad said he always wanted his son to pursue something in music but did not want to force him.

"After Tevin created the first track, he knew it was divine intervention and this was a God-given talent [of] his son, so he signed him to the label," Reddy added.

"Being a family that has a great appreciation for music, we always knew that Tevin was destined to be a star - and he dared to claim it," said Reddy.

According to the young rapper, he spends time in the studio over weekends and during school holidays.

He said:

I take school seriously and always put it first. My parents also keep me grounded when it comes to making school a priority.

And when he isn't working on his rap music, he plays with his go-kart or gets stuck into mathematics, which he loves.

The natural-born performer shot the music video for his lead single at an upmarket Umhlanga venue on his eleventh birthday, complete with fire dancers, luxury cars, showcasing the beauty of Durban.

The budding TikTok star also boasts a large social media following on the platform and hopes to use his success as inspiration for other children who want to someday be musicians.

Tevin's music is available on major streaming platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Deezer.

According to his dad, his music has already made waves on one of KwaZulu-Natal's largest commercial radio stations, East Coast Radio, as well as Durban Youth Radio and Sunrise FM.

He has plans to study engineering or business studies at university once completing school.

"I see myself soaring higher and becoming more successful the older I get, and with the team that I am part of, I believe in my talents and abilities. I love every moment of making music," he said.

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