Breathtaking and phenomenal. Refreshingly and pleasantly taciturn with a touch of genius. This is how best one can describe multi-talented Katleho Monyako, aka Nerd – the eccentric geek who has metamorphosed from software engineer and cinematographer to rapper.
When he started out, producing beats for other artists in 2010 – something he was to do for ‘the longest time imaginable’ – it never occurred to Nerd that he too could actually rap.
“I started producing music for a rapper friend of mine and that is when I got inspired to also try my hand at the trade. I realised that it is actually something that I enjoyed, and I can safely say I am more than just a rapper; I am a musician,” he said.
Nerd is not one of those artists who profess to have discovered their love of music at a tender age; he is something of a late bloomer as he was only bitten by the music bug later in his life – when he was already an adult.
“Somehow, listening to other people’s music spurred me to start developing different beats, ultimately leading me on my new journey as a rapper. This helped him hone and perfect his craft.
“You see, it is rather unfortunate that there aren’t enough role models in the local music for up and coming artists to look up to. As young artists we need the guidance of established artists who’ve been around the block a few times, but we have a disheartening dearth of such artists.
“As for me I was fortunate enough to break into the market by entering rapping contests and testing my skills against better known rappers. This is why I encourage other rappers to have faith in themselves and associate with people who can add value to their lives. It is not easy out there; it is a dog eat dog world.”
He said he has an EP out called Alchemy, which he released last month.
“I would say the EP is different from other local acts’ because it taps in to trap, soul and RnB. It is a new sound that many people are not really doing right now locally. I am hoping to be an inspiration to other aspiring artists,” he concluded.