April 24, 2023

Chavani Rapper - Leon Hlabathi on How he got over 1M Streams on Spotify & How his other Hommies can Achieve such

Leon Hlabathi, a rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer from South Africa, was born in Tzaneen, Limpopo. Later, he relocated to Chavani, a quaint village also situated in Limpopo. From a young age, Leon displayed a great interest in music. As a student in primary school, he eagerly collaborated with friends to write songs, create covers, and experiment with remixes. Eventually, he became proficient in music production, creating beats accompanied by his own vocals.

In 2018, Leon Hlabathi released a Hip-Hop/R&B single called "Be My Guest," featuring Lester Matthews and Manotry. Later on, he released “Dominance” together with Manotry, with an accompanying music video. These releases paved the way for ongoing collaborations with these artists. In 2022, Leon dropped several singles featuring Manotry, which resonated with listeners and garnered positive feedback. Leon keeps working on his skills, making more music and visuals in a laid-back, creative way.

Being the only Rapper who had over 1M overall streams on Spotify around Chavani, What would you say to the fellow rappers as motivation?

The path to success is never a straight line. Focus on enhancing digital marketing efforts by creating visual content, promoting new releases through ads, find other creatives who have a similar vision to yours to collaborate with, and reach out to playlist curators.

What is the Good and Bad thing about being a Rapper around Chavani?

If you’re really passionate about what you do, the good thing about being an artist in Chavani is it’ll make you work harder than everybody else to reach a global audience. The bad would be having limited access to studio facilities, proper musical venues and a lack of like-minded creatives.

Out of all the songs you’ve released, which one would you say it gave you a “big break”?

Depending on the aspect of my artistic persona, “Dominance” would have to be the one that had more reach that introduced me to new listeners around Chavani and established an online presence. I've also achieved huge success with other releases in the Lo-Fi and Neo-Classical Instrumental genres.

Most Rappers have Stage Names, what made you to stick to your government name… Leon Hlabathi?

Didn’t really start out as a rapper so I never had the urge to come up with a stage name. By the time I ventured into rapping, I had already grown comfortable using my own name as my artistic identity. Plus, it feels natural to me when someone calls me by my own name as it's the identity I've known since childhood.

What do you write about in most of your songs and why?

My lyrics typically revolve around personal experiences, emotions, and vulnerability, encompassing themes such as heartbreak and self-reflection. Writing about genuine life experiences and emotions comes more naturally to me, as I find it challenging to create content about fictional or completely unrelated topics.

How is the response from Family and Friends towards your Music?

My friend group is small and mainly consists of fellow creatives, so there's not much to discuss regarding our shared experiences and interests. My family is fully supportive as music is not only my passion and what I love doing, but it’s also my main source of income and I make a living out of it now.

If there could be one thing that you would change about Hip Hop around Chavani, what would it be?

I’m barely in touch with what’s going on in the Hip-Hop scene at Chavani, but not seeing local artists on my feed means they're not doing enough to market themselves. Like I said before, content is key, so these artists should focus on getting their stuff out there digitally.

Few Years to Come, where will Leon be?

As far as God lets me.

Who do you want to send your shout outs to?

Shout out to Lester Matthews, man’s working hard on visual content with an upcoming film which is inspiring to see from people around.


Follow Leon Hlabathi On:

Facebook - Leon Hlabathi 

Instagram - @leonhlabathi

Twitter - @LeonHlabathi

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