Commonly known by his stage name “Da Saint”, Aleck Sibusiso Mhlongo is a versatile hip hop artist, born and raised in Mpumalanga’s capital city; Mbombela, KaNyamazane.
He was drawn into the music industry in 2011 when he was introduced to hip hop by a classmate through Lil Wayne’s “Drop Tha World” which featured Eminem. He was
fascinated by the way someone could construct such a well-crafted sentence and put it into an instrumental to form a song; his fascination led him to start writing his own rhymes.
Of course this was not rocket science for the 20 year old since he was then one of the poets and public speakers in his primary school days. He continued mastering his craft, his writing and delivering skills throughout his high school years until 2015 when he was in grade 11, he
then started working with a local producer known as 97Beatz, together they mastered their sound and later on during the year he released his debut single titled “Dance”.
Da Saint… What’s the story behind this stage name?
I sat down and thought long and hard about what I would call myself. I had three name changes before I decided “Da Saint” is the right one. And it’s story is insane, long story short, I picked up a name that my Sunday school teacher used to call me with because I liked church at a young age. I just replaced “The” with “Da” to give it some spice, I hope.
How do you think life would be without Hip hop?
Hip Hop is one of those genres where people get to express themselves and send a message throught it. The likes of Blaklez, Stogie T, just to mention a few. There would be an unfilled gap that we’d feel in the face of the earth if Hip Hop were to dissappear.
Hip hop in Mzansi… what’s the good and the bad according to your experiences?
The definite good thing about Hip Hop in Mzansi at this moment is the undeniable growth of it as a whole, I myself took a risk and created my own style of music and people around Mpumalanga gave me an ear without hesitation, I have also seen independent acts such as Shane Eagle & A-Reece rise above all obstacles, which is very inspiring. The bad thing about SA Hip Hop has to be the fact that radios are still rejecting music from new artists, they still want to play the same old people that we’ve been listening to since our teenage years, which makes the growth of the genre a little slower.
So many rappers out there never had a chance to be featured on programs like The Big Breakfast and some print media, how would you encourage them to hustle their ways to the top?
I would tell them to find the right team, they should never think they can do everything themselves, which is the mistake we Hip Hop upcomers do. Find a good photographer, DJ, Producer, graphic designer, people that believe in your hustle and want to see you grow, in that way ya’ll will help each other without having to pay anything and in some way, all of you will grow in your respective fields, also be humble at all times and never think you are bigger than the game.
Few years from now, where will Da Saint be?
Few years from now, Da Saint is going to be a force to be reckoned with, I see myself being one of the most timeless & most consistent artists in the continent, definitely owning my own record label, as I am in the process of starting it up right now. I also see myself owning other businesses outside of the music industry. Afterall, Jay Z inspires the hell out of me.
What is the Motive behind Most of your writings?
I used to want to always prove a point in my music, hence I used to always write for bars and wanting to “spread the gospel” everytime. Which became a drag, I am not saying it is a bad thing to have deep messages in your music but sometimes people want to listen to good music, and nothing more. And so at this moment my music is all about art, creativity and good music above it all, with Jaden Smith & XXXTENTACION being my forefront artists I listen to.
Who is your main inspiration in this Hip hop game?
Haha, that’s a tough one. But I listen to XXXTENTACION all day, so I guess he wins….R.I.P Prince X
How is the response from family and friends towards your Rap Journey?
My family is open-minded, so they have no objections to what I do and they are a 100% behind me, God bless them. Most of my friends on the other hand are also in the music industry, some are radio hosts, DJs, Producers, Vocalists, other artists, and we support each other. Those of my friends outside the industry, they are angels fam, I’m blessed haha.
What keeps you going as a Rapper?
Watching Documentaries, Interviews, Live Performances & Music Videos of already established artists. I get an immediate inspiration to do some insane move
Follow Da Saint On:
FACEBOOK : Da Saint
INSTAGRAM : @dasaint_real
TWITTER : @dasaint_real
I wanna send a S/O to Yung Don & Skinny Stepz for being part of Team Da Saint, & influencing my decisions. Another S/O goes to my family at large, and all of my fans in every corner of South Africa, and not to forget Sommy, who makes sure my music is heard in Nigeria.