Aryton Ssegawa simply goes by the name A to the T. He is a 19 year old upcoming rapper and producer. Of all the rappers in skinny jeans and baggy clothes commonly found around Gaborone, local rapper, A to the T needs no introduction. This talented rap/hip-hop artist and producer seems like he is headed for greater heights. Unfazed by pessimists calling him names like ‘le cat’ or even worse, ‘le-checky’, this upcoming lyricist has graduated from being a mere cat to being a force to be reckoned with in the local hip hop industry.
Apart from being a highly recognised street battle rapper and a Bachelor of Finance student at the University of Botswana (UB), the young, talented lyricist is finally on the road to superstardom with airplays from local radio stations flooding in. He talked to The Telegraph about his phenomenal success and his album, ‘Smells like the 90s.’
“I started rapping when I was 9, and I recorded my first studio track when I was only 14 years old,” he says with a boyish smile. “That’s the same age I learnt how to make beats and in 2011, when I was 15 years old a track of mine titled ‘My World’ played on Yarona Fm’s Scramble 4 Africa and it was rated as ‘fresh’ by popular Yarona Fm radio presenter Dj T-Izzy.” During this time, the young lads’ love for Hip Hop culture began to manifest. As a result, A to the T used to get a lot of respect from his peers from different schools across the city.
‘Smells like the 90s’ concept is based heavily on samples inspired from hits which were playing in the 1990’s. The debut album is expected to drop today (Wednesday, January 28th) which is the official release date. “It will be a free digital release, meaning that it will be available and distributed absolutely for free on the internet on popular websites such as reverb nation and sound cloud,” he added.
The youthful rapper says he’s been working on it for about a year and 3 months.
“I was inspired by one of VH1 Classic’s programmes called ‘Smells Like the 90s.’ Production was handled mostly by me with help from Ruey, The Beat Chap who produced one of the tracks. I got features from Toon, Millie and Loony.”
To date there have already been two tracks which have recently been pre- released to promote smell like the 90s ,these being the emotional love song ‘EX-hale’ which samples Whitney Houston’s waiting to exhale. The other pre release was the club banger ‘One Night’ which is a sample from Andrea Martin’s 1990’s hit, Let Me Return the Favour. All have received positive reviews for having a 90s feel.
The aim of the concept was to create a nostalgic atmosphere for those familiar with the original samples from the 1990s. But as for the main target market which is obviously the youth, a lot of people would know or be at least familiar with where the style of music is coming from.