Linda Ndabeni, affectionately known as Al Pacino, has a passion for music and a hunger for success.
The 29-year-old from KTC in Nyanga has slowly been carving a name for himself in the competitive music industry.
The humble, talkative rapper started his musical journey 15 years ago when he was introduced into music by a relative. He started rapping for fun but soon became hooked.
In an interview with Vukani, he told the paper about his new album, titled New Words Order. In it he raps mostly about the his challenges in life and music.
“In this project, I have poured my heart out. I talk about my struggles and achievements but the core message is hope and the spirit of not giving up,” he said.
His struggles, he says, are mostly financial.
“I have less work experience because of my music. I have always earned my living through music by either selling albums or organising shows.
“I supplement my income by selling burgers in the streets of KTC. A lack of funds is the big issue facing young and independent artists like myself. Fans following well-established artists like Riky Rick are probably following my music too but for me to reach his level, I need funds to finance my music.”
He has a team and his fans have kept him motivated, he says.
“Sometimes I go to bed having no food at home and feel depressed but the team that I’m working with play a massive role in keeping me on my toes, in terms of music. Another thing that has kept me going is that people believe in my music and have always complimented my songs and my craft.”
He hopes his perseverance will motivate other aspiring musicians.
“To everyone out there many have failed but here you are, your destiny is different from others – never give up,” he said.
Recalling his first live performance, in 2007, at an HIV scrutinize campaign event, he said that at the time he was just performing “for fun” and had not yet decided to pursue music as a career. This decision happened in 2010 during his first recording. The song, written for his girlfriend at the time, became an instant hit in KTC and surrounds.
His next project which was in collaboration with another artist, sold over 100 copies a week.
His future plans include and Eastern Cape tour in November and writing more songs.