Don Dada Shares His Journey With Mamelodi Happenings
Don Dada To Bring A Unique Voice To Local Hip-Hop
As we all know that most rappers tend to be high pitched as they spit rhymes, not the laidback Dada – you can call him the Barry White of rappers.
Menelik Nesta Gibbons, 30 has an eclectic if not eccentric life which translates beautifully in his music. He was brought up by a Rastafarian father and Christian mother and was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, migrated to South Africa at the age of 5 and grew up in Turffontein south of Johannesburg. He’s found his musical home in rap and not reggae. However, inevitably, reggae seeps into his musical arsenal as he makes hip hop.
In 2016 after well over a decade of making unofficial tracks and working in the background, Dada decided it was his turn to shine! Together with his dad RasMoe the registered a company RuFF CuTT Studio and with the basic of equipment working from his bedroom, he set the wheels in motion.
Don Dada released his first registered single WANT THAT on April 2016 and while busy with his promo tours he applied to perform on the MTN Mandala Day Tribute Concert. He was approved and allocated a six minutes but the problem was that he only had a three minutes song. That did not faze him! He accepted then got into action to complete the second song to fill that time slot. In two weeks the second song was registered with RICA / SAMRO and available for download on MTN Network.
Don Dada made his debut on the 2016 MTN Mandela Day Tribute Concert, dropping the new song PHESHE PHAYA on stage and received a positive response from the crowd. From the MTN Mandela Concert stage Dada worked with SuperProducerRapz they completed the full AVANT GARDE Album is less than 3 days! This album is available on all digital platforms worldwide.
In 2017, Don Dada decided to pushing the boundaries further heading to Zimbabwe to promote his album. Within 7 days his album was playing on the 3 mainstream national stations and Don Dada was featuring on the front page of the top selling paper on a Sunday and the middle spread of another paper!
Dada was still basking in the success of the Zimbabwe tour when he received an offer from Content Connect Africa to do the 2017 Mandela song! Dada accepted as he felt that the man who gave his life to freedom for others needed to be celebrated – this fuelled the birth of his VIVA Mandela song supported by CCA, MTN and has relevant Nelson Mandela Foundation permissions. Unlike his usual speed to produce Dada took a few days starting by reading Mandela’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ and using extracts of that journey to create a song that can be used to tell that story.
The VIVA Mandela song quickly gained momentum and Dada was invited by the ANC Johannesburg Region 1912Radio to spend Mandela Day and join their team 60min Mandala initiative. His AVANT Garde album also gained momentum in Zimbabwe, leading to an invite to perform on the Shooting Stars Concert stage opening for a Jamaican artist Darmaco aka Kon Kong on 26th August 2017.
The concert in Zimbabwe industry communicated ‘An Historic Event’ of two major Jamaican Artists performing on different stages on the same night. Post performing to an estimated 6300, Dada’s popularity increased as he captured the Zimbabwe audience and while still in Zimbabwe, he received the offer to start his own weekly Hip – Hop segment on the 1912Radio. Dada as usual full of confidence agreed to the opportunity even though the mandate was a launch date of the 1st of September 2017 leaving him with four days to put a program together that included having guests to interview.
Dada managed to pull off a very successful launch of this segment which he named HipHop4Life #DadaFriday. To differentiate form traditional radio programs Dada added a facebook live footage and a youtube video of the full 2hr audio/visual show.
By: Fortunate Machaba