Born Lehlogonolo Ronald Mataboge, A-Reece is the SA rap game’s latest youngin. He has taken SA hip hop by storm with his debut single Couldn’t – an antithesis of his budding career.
The hit song currently burning up airwaves features golden boy Emtee and even pays homage to Somizi, with Reece spitting out in one verse: “This sh*t right here make Somizi go straight”.
But who is A-Reece?
The Pretoria West MC scored his big break last December when he got signed to a big record label, yielding the aforementioned breakout single as a result. Mind you, just little over a year ago the 19-year-old star was in high school.
“I don’t want to say the record deal came easy, but it was meant to be. I sent an e-mail with everything – all my videos and music that I put out on the internet. I wrote a little bio and I sent it through. The next day I got an e-mail back saying they want to hold a meeting. That was that. It has all been exciting. For me it is everything that I have expected,” Reece points out.
Reece bills the song as his introduction to the world and says the reception has been overwhelming, even recalling a highlight so far in which rapper Tumi Molekane gave him the thumbs up. At current, he is putting the finishing touches to his follow-up single and he hopes to drop a full length album by mid-winter.
“‘Couldn’t’ is just me showcasing my skills, because I told myself I’m not going to box myself. It was Emtee-driven, as a tool to introduce me to the masses. The response has been mostly good. I learned a lot from Emtee in a very short space of time. I usually make music alone, had a one-dimensional approach before and after working with Emtee I’ve become more musical,” Reece states.
“After I performed the song in Durban, when I walked off the stage Tumi from the Volume came up to me to pat me on the back. He said: ‘I hear what you’re saying. I like the song. Shout-out’. – That was surreal.”
Aries = A-Reece
He breaks down his stage name for us, which he reveals comes from his fondness for astronomy. His alias is inspired by his star sign Aries, the first astrological sign in the Zodiac often closely associated with Greek mythology of the ram.
He took Aries and spelled it differently so all the letters can have a significant meaning for him.
“So the ‘A-R’ stands for ‘Above Reality’, which means that I’m a dreamer, because I know that dreams can come true. The ‘ee’ stands for ‘Exceptionally Emotional’. As a human you are emotional, sometimes you are extremely happy or sad or whatever. Lastly, the ‘ce’ stands for ‘Conscious with Everything’, because that’s me I’m conscious with everything. I’m very inquisitive. I like to explore new things,” A-Reece explains.
The young rapper states that he doesn’t like to box his sound, citing that prior to Couldn’t he stayed clear of trap music but was open enough to embrace the modern genre when an opportunity presented itself. He says his sound might be considered relatively dark to what is currently out in the local hip hop circuit.
“In terms of the field, I feel that my sound is a bit darkish and nocturnal. I record mostly at night. The night-time gives me a certain feeling that’s when I make most of my music. My sound is kind of mellow too, that’s when I’m in my zone. But you can’t really box it,” A-Reece discloses.
“As a whole my sound is how you feel as a human on a daily base. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I’m being honest, sometimes I’m just conflicted. Sometimes I’m contradictory, sometimes I’m controversial.”
‘I love women’
Although he prefers to diarize matters of his childhood upbringing in a song, he affirms that his mom raised his well. A-Reece mentions that he has two brothers and both his parents are still alive; adding:
“My parents are together, there was a little bump along the line, which is the reason why I think I’m this person, that I over-think at times. But that is just life. I had to experience such things so I can learn and gain wisdom. I was raised well. My mom raised me well and my paps here and there.”
“I grew up around my mom a lot, I really learned how to appreciate women. I love women, them as people and creatures of the earth. They are interesting to me, I like to learn from them.”
Slow your roll ladies, Reece remarks that there is someone special in his romantic life.
“I actually do have someone special in my life right now. I do feel like I still need to know her more,” Reece coyly voices.
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