Mike Tuney enters the big leagues
Johannesburg – It has not been easy for Mike Tuney to rise from the proverbial backwaters of Sendedza Village deep in Limpopo Province to make his mark on South Africa’s hip-hop scene. But hard work, natural talent and no little amount of good fortune have seen the singer, rapper, producer and director make people sit up and take notice.
Born Mukhethwa Mukhadi, Mike Tuney has been nominated in three categories in the City Awards.
His song “Secure the Bag”, featuring AB Crazy & Sense 2.0, was nominated for Song of the Year; while his hit “Mama I’m Sorry”, which features Kapinos, is up for the Artist of the Year and Producer of the Year awards.
Speaking to The Southern Times Arts, Mike Tuney conceded that it had not been a smooth road.
“It has been a tough journey, especially because I’m an independent artist though I am glad I finally made it to the mainstream. Getting the family to support my dreams was not easy, making it to the mainstream was a hustle, and funding my dreams was the biggest challenge. Right now I’m at a point where I don’t see those challenges anymore, and the family has been super supportive lately,” he said.
The “Tonight” singer has worked with artists like Mac J, McSwagga and Suppreme.
“My music career started to take shape after releasing a video for “Secure the Bag” with AB Crazy & Sense 2.0 which premiered on MTV Base & Channel O. On top of that, AB Crazy gave me a co-sign, that’s where my life changed.”
He said hip-hop was “a genre which allows me to say whatever I want to say freely with no guidelines, unlike other genres like R ‘n’ B where everything has to be love-related. Hip-hop can touch every topic”.
Mike Tuney says he has been inspired by artists such as AB Crazy, A-Reece, Nasty C, Drake, Bryson Tiller, Tory Lanez and Jeremih.
“My dream of meeting one of my major influences became a reality when I met A-Reece during the annual Venda nga musical event,” he revealed.
He released his first mixtape, Life of a Hustler, in September 2015 and in August 2016 he dropped another one, X-Pectations.
In 2017 his third project – The Heart, Mind and Soul – was released. The EP consists of six songs, among them “Blvck”, which features award-winning rapper Athimda, and for which he directed the video.
The following year he dropped his first self-produced single, “Ini Mini Miney Mo”, featuring Sive and Sense 2.0.
“Limpopo is a home to many talented and intelligent people. Apart from the President and Miss SA, people such as Julius Malema, Makhadzi, Master KG, and King Monada, among others, are from Limpopo. Not only that, Limpopo is one of the most beautiful places in South Africa and has many hotspots for tourists.”