Who is Tray V?
Algiero Tony Minnie, aka Tray-v, was born, 1994 October 29, in a undeveloped township, Ritchie, in Kimberley (a place you could then figuratively call the desert). With his father gone and with no opportunities or work, his mother was forced to leave him with his grandma and relocate to Cape Town a few months after birth. In grade 4 his mom took him to stay with her, she had found stability and a life that could provide the necessary resources to better his future. It was definitely better than in Ritchie, however they were extremely poor and had to beg for food. Fully living out Kimberley’s culture, traditions and lifestyle caused him to struggle to fit in and he was bullied and made fun of for being different. Every afternoon after school was food collecting time for him while his peers played joyfully outside. That pushed him to the edges of being an introvert, schizophrenic and always feeling depressed. Life was extremely hard for him under his step dad. As he grew older the more he got accepted the more rebellious he became. His hard knock life started in high school as his step dad then belonged to a gang and was heavy on drugs and with him turning into a rebellious teenager. During these chaotic stages of his life he managed to make 3 friends that invited him to a youth service while he was high from sniffing glue. After that night he faithfully went to youth and church for girls and popularity cause it filled the void. Circumstances at home got worse and he was always on with his stepdad. That was the only way to protect his mom from getting physically abused. She could only helplessly look on and do nothing while his step dad physically abused him. He ran away from home for three days, came back home being reported missing and became a social worker case. He then got kicked out of the house and went to live on the streets. Knowing how to beg helped him to survive and at night he would go stand by a fire for warmth and ended up smelling like smoke in school. Despite that he faithfully went to church and ended up living with a church couple and got saved but wasn’t happy and moved back home as it is hard to fit into a family where you don’t belong. This one evening his stepdad was heavy under the influence of drugs and hanged himself in the bathroom, but the wire snapped and broke the moment the chair was taken out from underneath him. One “Guy fox’’ evening he came in late, his stepdad waited for him and made him jump into a cold bath water while being hit with a electric wire, he eventually got a gap to close and lock the door and then jump through the bathroom window he and ran to the police station butt naked with bloody marks all over his body. He made a case however the cops brought him home and filed it under discipline. He was the laughing stock of his neighbourhood for months and that pushed him further into being suicidal. He then got kicked out again, lived on the streets for a while then went to live with a different church couple. During his matric year his stepdad converted and tried picking up the pieces. He forgave his stepdad. Today both of them are converted and respect each other, leaving the past behind them and looking to a bright future for the both of them. Years past and his step dad decided to hang himself, committing suicide which left him with answers that he is now searching for.
“I am basically back to square one.”
What got you into hip-hop?
A community group known as Skarrelbaan. They introduced me to fast rapping, basically artists like Tech9, Twista and Busta Rhymes rap styles. We went to hip hop cypher sessions such as the Ready D show, did a lot of park jams. Chilled in a room, record and they would smoke weed and get drunk. They tried to pull me in but that was never for me I was basically there for the music and the journey so I left short after that.
Explain your rap style.
This is the most complicated thing for me personally to answer. My music consist of pop, RnB, hip hop and pull more to a trapsoul kinda vibe. I’m just a story teller that will use any genre I can to tell my tail. Definitely more of a conscious rap style. No time for bubblegum
What does a day in the life of Tray V look like?
Hehehehehe I’m pretty human. I come alive in the night time as creative juices flow more at night. During the day I do normal stuff I just recently resigned at my day job to pursue music as a career in Joburg but I use to work during the day and work on my brand at night.
If it wasn’t Hip-Hop, what else would you be doing
Definitely pop and RnB. I love listening to artist such as Justin Bieber, One Direction and many more. Edm is grabbing my attention and I also want to venture into jazz music
How do you normally prepare for a performance?
Way ahead of the performance time I always rehearse all of my music. During sound check I check out the atmosphere and the vibe of the crowd and then decide which songs suits the atmosphere best. After that I pray and then before I hit the stage I become completely quiet to the point where I look like I’m nervous but that’s just the calm before the storm.
Your song, Remnant Soldier. What inspired it?
My life story of how I grew up inspired it. Always had to fight and fend for myself. Always had to keep moving to stay alive and eat. Always had to defend what’s mine even a plate of food. Literally the come-up. Remnant Soldier is my direct testimony and life story word for word
How was your experience working on the Remnant Soldier EP?
On the real though, I planned this E.P for 7 long years and in that seven years I recorded the E.P and decided that it lack in quality so I sought out professional help and recorded for another 2 years and finally we’re here. In those years I felt like giving up, I even wanted to quit. I felt like this dream was never gonna come to fruition. However Yahweh knew best as I believe those were my faith building and patience learning years. God connected me with people that understand my vision and also people that had the resources to further my vision. People such as Timothy Feder and Vincent Frazer. Everything was like a puzzle that just fit in. I couldn’t have done it without a team
Which is your favourite song off the project?
Look at your boy now. This song might not be the song that represent the CD or the promotional track but it’s my favourite.
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Having a registered business that functions well. Having a family I need to look after. Living in my own house
Name your top 5 rappers of all time.
This is sooooooooppperrr hard but here goes. (Mali Music), Kwesta, Cassper Nyovest, Tory Lanes and Nasty C
What are your views around the Cape Town hip-hop scene?
These are the kinds of questions I normally try to avoid ‘cause it can become so trivial however I shall answer this one lol. Cape Town hip hop is one of the biggest scenes after the jazz scene. It also has the power to bring together communities however because of the fact that most of us are selfish and have the idea we need to take a head of the other artist in order to move up so it’s like a game to get to the boss kill everyone. Till we decide to work together the industry will always be one sided and underground
If you could work with any producer/artist who would it be?
I’ve been dying to step into production with Jimmy Nevis. He inspired me a lot in my career so I’d like to really do a track with him
If there’s one thing you’d like to do with your music, what would it be?
Turn it into bread for the poor to solve hunger and poverty
Which word do you use the most?
What is your least favourite thing about the music scene lately?
Dissing and hating on others’ success, those are very common things in the music scene.
What can we expect from Tray V in 2017?
Ghost writing, a lot of featured tracks and maybe a music video
If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
A disease called hate
What is your biggest fear?
Not being able to provide for my family since I am the man and the career I have is very unstable and uncertain
If it’s our last conversation, what word of advice would you give me?
Do whatever you can today and leave very little for tomorrow ‘cause tomorrow isn’t promised and you might not have the time to do what you initially planned
Twitter: @Tray_VSA | FaceBook: Tray V | Instagram: @Tray_VSA
Soundcloud: Tray V