Henkie T

If Henkie T doesn’t pay attention, he will soon have another hit. That’s bad, he has to be careful of that. He learned that lesson from his years with SBMG, one of the most successful rap groups of the 1910s. Blasting hits – such as ‘Oeh Na Na’, ‘4x Duurder’, ‘Lit’ and ‘DomDoen’ – are fun and important for a successful career, but you should not let them define you as an artist.

As a solo artist and co-founder of record label Quatro Vision, Henkie T certainly does not swear off hits, but he also ensures that he will never lose his connection with the street, where it all started. The Edison nomination for his solo EP. Visionair (2019) proves that he is on the right track.

For Henkie Mando (1994), ‘the street’ is the neighborhood around Kraaiennest metro station in Amsterdam South East, where he grew up with his mother and brothers. It is fertile ground for rap talent: MocroManiac, Hydro, Dret & Krulle, Latifah, Jowy Rosé, Rasskulz and Green Gang, among others, come from here. But while Henkie comes up with his first raps, he does not dream of a career as a rapper.

Until the age of fifteen, his life was devoted to sports and he played football at a high level for a few years. Not in Amsterdam, but at Excelsior in Rotterdam, where one of his teammates goes by the name Kevin and, a few years after Henkie, also broke through off the field. In 2016, SBMG’s debut album Richting Kraaie was released, which stayed in the album top 100 for almost a year, including five weeks in the top 10. Songs such as ‘Dansen’, ‘Hard Work Pays Off’ and especially ‘Mandela’ are enormous streaming successes and in the autumn the dancehall-oriented second album No Mickey Mouse Business will be released, with the hit ‘Lag/Boven’.

Henkie and Chivv think they are going well. Until they released ‘4x Duurder’ in the spring of 2017 and all the brakes on success were released. That hit (36 million streams on Spotify, 38 million on YouTube) breaks open all doors. It’s chaos. ‘Pull Up Game Strong’ (together more than 30 million streams) comes next. His e.p. Visionair (2019) is a balanced solo debut and is nominated for an Edison. It proves to Henkie T that people love Henkie, whether he scores hits or not. He is still young, but has been involved for a long time. This way he will hold on for a while.