The Namibian music industry has seen many young talented lads come through the music avenue to rub shoulders with the big guns of the local industry and abroad. Many have come to add to the already existing flair while others opted to introduce a new melody. A few others simply passed by and are today only remembered for their first song.
The music industry in Namibia may not be as massive like that of South Africa and Nigeria on the continent but it has surely made its mark on the continent. While big names like The Dogg and Gazza managed to place the land of the brave on the continental playlist, Namibia continues to possess great potential to remain relevant on the world music charts.
This is evidently seen in the caliber of music that comes from Namibia. One sure talent is the new kid on the block Young T. The young talent brings a different flavor to the music fraternity – tunes that are miles away from the normal sounds. Tulina Ndafyaalako has introduced himself to the industry without brag but pure talent and good music.
Born and raised in Northern Namibia at Ongha, a place he has sang widely about in his music. Growing up, the 26-year-old was a fan of American guns 50 Cent and Eminem- renowned rappers, which he says, inspired his music. He attended school at Epoli Combined School and later matriculated at Ongha Secondary School.
As a child, Young T recalls being crazy about music. It was in 2006 when he took his first musical steps and recorded his first song. “I started off as a rapper because I loved poetry and reading, to be honest I was the nerd in the village. I listened to rap and my friends did not understand it so I was more of the different one,” he reminisced with a smile.
His tertiary journey began at the University of Namibia where enrolled for a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2008. “It was not my interest really so I quit immediately after I acquired my diploma and went back to the village.”
In 2010, he enrolled at the then Polytechnic of Namibia where he acquired a National Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering to seal his schooling career. The music lover then turned to his passion by hustling for a laptop and other equipment to set up his own mini music studio. “I started selling beats for N$80. Part of the venture was also because I wanted to be self-dependent and not always ask money from
“The guys in the industry took note of my musical talent when I produced beats for Sunny Boy’s ‘50/50’ hit song,” Young T vividly remembers.. In 2013, the young talent introduced himself in local music circles with his debut album titled ‘Philosophical Pages.’ The album vowed music lovers as it introduced a different style and an undefined genre to the industry. Young T introduced himself under the Mshasho record label working with the kwaito giant The Dogg. “I always wanted to sign under a record label where I could be free. I wanted to work with someone who would not limit what I do but to rather built on my ideas, therefore it was easy to choose Mshasho.”
“Philosophical Pages was something I always wanted to do in life. I really went deep to make my mark,” he said.
Asked how he comes up with his music and recipe to produce good songs, Young T responded –“It takes a good mood and a peaceful environment to write good music. But the inspiration comes from something deeper.”
While the industry has seen a number of artists introduce themselves with a top-notch album only to fade into the next, Young T maintains that keeping the momentum is key priority for him. He recently delivered another polished album titled ‘The Music Merchandise.’ The 18-track album is testimony, according to those in the music circles, that the young talent is indeed star in the making. Since stepping onto the music scene, Young T said he has written about 50 songs.
Young T is confident that his music will never be tied to a specific genre. “I cannot do music minding the genre because I will be below par. It can be a blessing and a curse at the same time because music bodies find it hard to classify my music under any genre. But as long as the fans love it because of its uniqueness, all is well.”
In both his 18-track albums, Young T makes it seem easy to make music. His talent on weaving from word to word and still maintain the flow is one very few musicians possess. “You find many artists who find it difficult to express themselves in their vernacular because they feel it will not sound right. I do not fear this as I believe I can do almost anything with music.”
His music mainly speaks about his life, struggles and what he wants to do. “I simply sing about truth. You will hardly hear me sing about Rolex and car which I do not have. I do not want to sing about a life that is not a reflection of me.” Both of his albums continue to receive praises, his promise therefore, is to deliver bigger and better product.
Under his record label UGU Audio, Young T also plans to bring out other young talents to the industry to do big things. However, he sees his partnership with Mshasho as a stepping stone to taking on Africa. “I want the continent to hear my talent. My music must introduce me to the continent such that the big names recognize me for my talent. Other than that, I live to see UGU-Mshasho grow”