Young Port Elizabeth artist off to the United States

BY CHARL BOSCH - DECEMBER 2, 2014

An 18-year old Port Elizabeth singer/songwriter has realised a lifelong dream after winning an international talent search competition, which will see him jetting off to the United States next year.

Having originally discovered a love for poetry, Westring High School pupil, Aziz Dladla’s live changed after watching the 2002 hip-hip themed movie, 8 Mile, starring rapper Eminem – writing sonnets and stanzas soon turned to writing lyrics and producing mixes on his computer.

At the age of 14, Dladla, performing under the name Azz Veritazz – taken from his name which means ‘know’ and the motto of his primary school, Veritas, meaning ‘truth’- succeeded in recording his first album, which went on to receive airplay on various radio stations across the Eastern Cape including Algoa FM, BayFM, TrueFM, KQ FM and nationally, uMhlobo Wenene FM.

Despite achieving success with the album, titled “The Beginning of the End”, his entry into the talent search earlier this year changed everything.

“I was told about auditions, on the day it took place, held by a company called International Talent Scouts, which had been taking place all over South Africa. When I was told that they were in Port Elizabeth, I immediately rushed home after rugby practice to get changed and get ready,” Dladla told RNews during a recent interview.

“The judges enjoyed the performance, especially my stages presence and interaction with the audience. From there on, they invited me to perform at Monte Casino in Johannesburg where there were American talent searchers which included Kim Myers and Nate Butler from America’s Got Talent. I performed, they liked what I did, and I was given an invite to perform at an art events in Florida in June next year.”

Unlike the movie which kicked started his interest in hip-hop, Dladla stated the purpose of the trip is to get a better understanding of the industry whilst performing, but without getting ‘knocked out’.

“From what I have been told so far, the first couple days will be in New York, attending workshops with agents and songwriters and basically being explained what is needed from us and what can be expected. From there, we will be showing our talents in an event, and after this, we will be doing meetings with colleges and universities with the opportunity of applying for a bursary or scholarship.”

Asked what he hopes to achieve from the experience, Dladla stated that it was all about showing-off his unique talent and approach to hip-hop outside of South Africa with the hope of making it big internationally.  

“I want to give something to the music industry as I have been producing and writing for quite a while, and I do believe that my music is big enough to be international. I am all about dreaming big.”

On what makes his blend of music different from the usual hip-hop selections, Dladla stated that as per his stage name, he is all about telling the truth about his life experiences, but without the stereotypes and crude language normally associated with the genre.

“My music is more about teaching and due to my upbringing, swearing has never been something that played a part in my life and frankly, I don’t see why I have to incorporate it into my music. To me, that just shows a lack of lyrics. What does that say about your creativity? There are other words you can use to make your point”.

With his trip to the States pending and second album, “I am Moving” due for release next week Saturday (December 13th), Dladla urged fellow musicians to always work hard and “socialise as much you can as you tend to meat to new people willing to help you with your career going forward”. 

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You can contact Azz Veritazz on;