Up-and-coming hip-hop artist Ayanda Mvandaba, a.k.a Young Lenn, of Summer Greens, started his rap music career about five years ago. At the time he was just a teenager in matric at Y2K College in Woodstock.
The 23-year-old assistant teacher at Sinenjongo High School, who brought out his first EP this month, was born in East London in the Eastern Cape and grew up in King Williams Town. His interest in hip hop, he says, started while he was at high school in neighbouring Bhisho.
“I remember watching my friends writing songs in class and rapping at the sports fields. I was fascinated by the stories they were telling through their raps. Stories about hardship and the struggles they were going through as young people coming from impoverished backgrounds.”
Mvandaba says he knew then that he wanted to pursue a rap career, but he did not see any possibility of this happening in the Eastern Cape.
“There were no resources available to us in King Williams Town; you had to travel very far to get a recording studio.”
However, things started changing when he moved to Cape Town in 2015, while in Grade 10.
“I started recording music in my late high school years when I moved to Cape Town. It felt like something cool, and being around other artists in studio helped me sharpen my writing skills. It also helped me become more expressive in my music.”
Friends of The Internet, the title of his debut EP, is about how he has used the internet to network and create music with other artists online, both locally and internationally, he says.
“The opening song on the EP is called Good Morning World and it is about upliftment, and why you should keep on going to get to where you want to be in life.
“People who support me can expect more uplifting music, as well as exciting collaborations with other dope artists.”
His music is available on SoundCloud and YouTube. You can also follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.