By Ndileka Swakamisa
Itumeleng Thabo Noga known as ‘GdaLyrical’ or ‘Darko’ is a very inspired and hardworking rapper from Kroonstad in the Northern Free State. He has always been described as a musical child because he joined the school choir at the age of 9 and continued singing up until the completion of matric. GdaLyrical further explains “when I first started writing rhymes, my neighbour who actually got me into this used to call me Tumi G because there were two of us in the neighbourhood and he used to say I was the genius out of the two.
By the time GdaLyrical became serious about making music, he adopted the “G” and combined it with the second part of his stage name which came from his former producer which worked on “Under ConstruXion EP” with him. His former producer used to tell people that he is a lyrical genius. The formation of his stage name then later changed to GdaLyrical, meaning ‘The Lyrical Genius’.
GdaLyrical also mentions that he was what we call a “book worm”, that is how his fascination for rap music established, he took it as a challenging hobby. After he had graduated from his Computer Systems Engineering course, he noticed that the career path he had chosen was not for him so he indulged in finding joy through being behind a microphone. GdaLyrical describes himself as being a competitive artist; he simply refuses to lose. “I think what sets me apart is my mind-set” he says.
He further explains that there are too many people that make songs that are not relevant to the country’s social ills. “My friends say my mouth has no filter, I just shoot whatever comes out of my mouth” he explains. GydaLyrical explains that his biggest challenge was trying to help people instead of shifting his focus on his dreams and aspirations. He also explains that, many people hold themselves back because they do not want their friends or colleagues to feel inadequate, but the honest truth is that they are not doing anyone a favour by doing that, he explained that by quoting from Marian Williamson “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
GdaLyrical’s greatest highlights was being given the opportunity to open up for Winnie Khumalo at the Pure Bliss in Soshanguve, having his first sole show at Rhapsody’s in Sunnyside Pretoria and his first EP appearing up in the Hype magazine in 2014. GdaLyrical sees himself working with Priddy Ugly, A-Reece and Frank Ocean in the future because according to him ‘they have a different appeal to South African Hip Hop’.
GdaLyrical is currently working on his debut album and he has recently recorded his first studio single titled “No stopping” which he produced himself, composed by Hybrid who is part of the Crownville Entertainment (founded by GdaLyrical) and engineered by Bobby Johnson from Rebirth Music who also worked on Cassper Nyovest’s previous album.
GdaLyrical also mentioned that he is fully independent; he has his own record label which he hopes will grow and venture into making more music. He remembers also mentioning to his manager Gift Makhene that he wants to work so hard, he feels as if he has energy to put effort into his music for the next 5 years. He describes this entire experience as an ‘adventure’ that he portrays as the beginning, which will draw more positive outcomes.
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