It takes a community to raise a child and this new wave of talent is living proof of this statement! We are all born with talent, not many of us are able to tap into it at a young age but Andile Snethemba Jwara has been able to do this against all odds.
The 19 year-old who hails from uMlazi, Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal has found that music which is his escapism, reality and comfort has brought him to the big city lights.
Andile whose stage name is AJ Apple, is shy and reserved but transforms when given a microphone and beats, music is his alter ego.
Fusing isiZulu and English his sound is one that resonates with the ekasi and suburban music lover, coupled with the real ness in his writing ability, the prince of trap is riding on the music notes.
He is a triple threat as he raps, sings and dances…
Just like his fresh name he is just what the doctor ordered and a one of the most anticipated artists in South Africa.
AJ Apple grew up with his mother, brother, aunt and three cousins and theirs was not an easy journey.
Having lost both his parents and aunt he has had
to survive the streets and grow a tough skin from the tender age of 11.
“I lost a piece of my mind, I tried to manage and hustled to make ends meet. I did not even know that I had a voice,” says AJ Apple.
“ I did not even know “
The rising hip-hop star who has always been close to God, used his spiritual comfort and music to release some of the feelings he had inside. One would think that such a crucial stage in a teens life would break him but he indeed rose to the occasion, just like his second name Snethemba he was built with hope. He would clean people’s gardens and help wherever he could just so he could have a meal at the end of the day.
In 2007 he was taken in by his father’s family in Joburg along with his brother and cousins as they had nowhere else to go
but life had a di erent plan for him and
he decided to come back to uMlazi alone where he lived and fended for himself in the house he grew up in.
He then had to drop out of school at grade 10, and was taken in by one of his friends mother who opened her home and heart to him. When he was 12 he along with four of his friends formed a group called Trap Lordz and that is where he found his voice.
The group was treading on shaky ground and they were praying for a break through, it did not come and they went their separate ways. BUT it was destiny that brought them together again through their producer, G-Songz and he further introduced them to the owner of The Music record label, Themba Moyo. “G-Songz told us he would introduce us and our music to Themba, at the time I had kind of lost hope and was not really excited as this meant another let down,” said AJ Months went by and he had heard nothing but little did he know that Themba and his team were looking for him across the streets of uMlazi.“
He gave Themba our demo and I guess he liked what he heard and but then it was Gastor Serumula who along with Themba scouted and spotted me in the group,” he said with tears in his eyes. 2015 was his year and change had already begun even though he was not aware of it. When he was found by The Music, he could not believe it, he had to pack all his things and was heading to Jozi, where stars don’t sleep.
AJ had to leave his group behind and this was bittersweet as he said that the four understood and were happy for him. In November 2015, he officially signed with The Music and was introduced to a new life, one that he had only dreamt of but his vision was always clouded by his circumstance. “Music is my soul, it’s is apart of me. I cannot live without it,” he emphasized.
His life story can bring any human being to tears, but he uses this as his energy focus to draw strength and grow as a performer.
The rest was history, two months later he has a new single titled Phihli Phahla featuring hip- hop legend, DJ C-Live.
The song which is trap music, is a feel good party song which is just an introduction of who he is. “The only thing that I would change about my story is having my mother alive to see where I am headed. All I want to do it make great music and be an international star. I am grateful for all that Themba and Gastor have been doing for me,