Mthembeni Ndevu was born in the mid-sized town Matatiele, situated in the Eastern Cape, a coastal province in South Africa. He grew up in Rockville, Soweto, a major township in the Gauteng Province] In an interview on South African channel ANN7, eMTee claims that he wanted to be a musician from first grade in primary school. He performed on stage for the first time at the age of 9, at a Yeoville primary school talent show. At the age of 17, eMTee started making money from his musical efforts. He became the youngest choir conductor at Barnato Park High School, and won many provincial competitions as a member of his school's marimba band. eMTee kept working on his music throughout his late teen years, opting to not repeat his final year although his pass was not good enough to enter him into the major universities in South Africa. In 2010, emTee collaborated with South African rapper Maraza on a song titled "In It To Win It" In early 2015, a friend of eMTee, his producer Ruff produced the beat for the song that would eventually become his debut single "Roll Up". eMTee claimed that the entire track was recorded and finalized in two hours. "Roll Up" received major radio play in Southern Africa and peaked at the top of DJ Speedsta's hip hop chart on YFM. Wizkid and South African rapper AKA featured on the official re-release of his single, which eMTee called "Roll Up Re-Up". He said that "Roll Up" was recorded within a tight schedule, because he and team were finalizing his debut album. Emtee won his first award and nomination for the Song Of The Year award at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards, due to the single "Roll Up". "Roll Up" competed in a category where two South African gold selling artists as well as Khuli Chana each made at least two appearances. The next day on December 4, 2015, eMTee's debut album Avery was released on iTunes and to domestic music retailers. eMtee is currently the third most played South African hip hop artist in the latter part of 2015 (10th most played artist overall).