A FORMER child soldier who fled the Congo for Bradford has been credited with creating a new genre of hip-hop – mixing French, English and Congolese.
Rdc Soldier, known as the ‘King of Lingala Hip Hop’, first arrived in the city at the age of 16.
The rapper’s youth was left tarnished when militia killed his family in front of his eyes.
But now, 13 years later, he describes himself as “a soldier of peace” and a voice for Congolese teenagers.
He told the Telegraph & Argus: “I’ve inspired a lot of people in Congo.
“I lost family. The only thing you can do is to survive and trying to pass the message against violence to women.
“That’s what Rdc stands for, the image of Rdc Soldier.
“Lingala is a language. I was working in the UK grime, bassline, so I mixed it together.
“I can tell my story.
“They can look at my story and relate to it.”
The rapper is soon to release a new single called ‘Ujana’ in a call to stop attacks on females in Congo.
Rdc Soldier said: “These girls, they’re vulnerable.
“Their parent was killed in the war, they’ve been victims.
“They cannot do anything else.
“They become a victim of the system.”
Rdc Soldier started his music career by recording music in the studio at M A P A Youth Club in Bradford – inspired by Tupac.
Volunteers saw the musician’s potential and arranged one-on-one sessions and video filming at Studio 12 in Leeds.
He said: “From Bradford to Leeds I managed to get quality music.
“It was a great experience.
“You can do a verse in Lingala, another verse in French.”
The hip-hop artist is taking both Yorkshire and his homeland by storm.
Rdc Soldier has performed in major venues across the globe alongside acts like Akon, Sean Paul and 50 Cent.
He said his greatest achievement to date is supporting Nelly at the O2 Academy in Leeds, selling more than 2,500 tickets.
The musician was also crowned Best Male African Rapper in Yorkshire and Best Congolese Rapper in the UK.
Next year the artist is set to perform at Afro Nation, an annual beach festival in the Algarve, Portugal.
But even now the rapper returns to the city to film his music videos near Bradford Stadium, riding in expensive Lamborghini and Bugatti cars.
The artist performed at Global Bradford, a festival organised by migrants at the Dominica Association, at the weekend.
He said: “I’m still coming back. My connection is really strong.
“The future’s great.
“I realise that my dream came true.
“I can travel, I can go around the world and always remember where I came from.
“Bradford is the place I started in 2005 to now, performing with artists. It’s very important for any artist to start from where you are. Show your talent, you don’t know who’s listening.
“Bradford was an opportunity. It opened the door for me.
“Bradford is like home.”