09 Oct Introducing the Bettr Generation: Khayelitsha-Born & Raised Rapper Dee Koala Opens Up About Her Career Journey & Money Matters
Many people know Dee Koala as the 22-year-old rapper hailing from Khayelitsha, Cape Town, who is steadily climbing up the music industry ladder and taking the local rap scene by storm. The authenticity in her style of rap, and the realness in the verses she spits bring an entirely new, yet exciting offer to the hip hop game.
The isiXhosa-speaking rapper began her career back in 2016 after recording one of her first songs and soon received recognition, which then opened doors for her to the music and entertainment industry.
“I started recording one of my first songs in 2016 and then I think 2/3 years later, I got recognised because of the work that I had been doing, though I think Whuzet is one of the first songs that people got to know about me from,” she says. “I also started doing campaigns as well. So yeah man, everything started around 2016,” Dee adds.”
Her brand has since gained momentum over the past few years and has been able to collaborate with well-known South African artists such as Busiswa, Riky Rick, Yanga Chief, Boity, Dj Dimplez, Moonchild Sanelly, and many more. The rising star has also graced stages across a number of South African festivals including Absolute One Source Live, Boiler Room, Major League Gardens, Cotton Fest, Capsule Fest, South African Hip Hop Awards, and more.
Evident from singles such as Ungenaphi and Utatakho Remi, Dee’s style of rap is raw and authentic. This is influenced by the hood she grew up in and many other similar areas in the Mother City. “I’m from eKhayalitsha, so the way I talk is basically how everyone talks around here. It’s also not just eKhayelithsa, it’s all the hoods in Cpt – like Langa, Gugulethu, Nyanga, and everywhere else. So it’s really the hoods that influence me to rap the way I rap, places I grew up in, and the friends that I had throughout the time,” she shares. Dee also shares that her versatile dress sense is influenced by this, too.
Dee’s style has afforded her the opportunity to work alongside a number of highly recognised brands such as Adidas, Doritos, and now, Bettr Bank. Earlier this year, she partnered up with newly launched Bettr Bank to create a song and music video that promotes the bank’s vision of being a digital banking app for the next generation of money-makers. The single, titled We Deserve Bettr features fellow rapper, Costa Titch. We caught up with Dee to chat about the partnership and money matters:
1. Briefly tell us about how you make your money? Do you have multiple streams of income?
My money is based from what I do, so just being an entertainer, whether its music, campaigns, photoshoots, or voiceovers. So it comes from a lot of angles.
2. A lot of people, particularly between the 18-35 age group, have a number of financial challenges usually caused by a lack of financial education. What are some of the challenges you are faced with?
I think I have the same challenges that the youth faces out there. I’ve recently learned how to save, and I feel like it’s a good thing to start this early, I’m 22 by the way, and I think it’s good to save. I also feel like, with everything that’s happening – such as lack of jobs and a lot of other things happening around the world, every income we get should be driven towards saving it. I won’t say I’m faced with a crazy amount of challenges; I just try my best to around here at home
3. What are some of the things you learnt about $$$ after you started making your own money?
Well, I learnt that you need to save, and that you need to spend your money wisely. If you don’t spend it wisely, it’s gonna finish before you even start to enjoy it.
4. As we know, Bettr is a digital banking app for the next generation of money-makers. Can you tell us about who the “next generation of money-makers” are and what the statement means to you?
To me it means that the younger generation of today is being very creative, smart, and very artistic with what they are trying to do; whether it’s styling, or creative directing, rapping, singing, or whatever. We are the future of the world, so we might as well be the next money-makers of the world – our creativity is about to do a lot!
5. How and why do you think Bettr Bank is a better banking option?
It’s easier and safer, and everything is on the phone You don’t need to be going to branches and standing in lines, you do everything from your phone, and with today’s generation, I think that’s the easiest way to appeal to them.