24 February 2021
- Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper (born July 2, 1993), known professionally as Saweetie, is an American rapper and songwriter.
- She was born in Hayward California to Trinidad Valentin, her Filipino-Chinese mother and Johnny Harper, her African-American father.
- She attended San Diego State University, where she studied communications and business before transferring to the University of Southern California, where she completed her degree and received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications. After graduating, she focused on her rap career
- After the release of her debut single “Icy Grl”, she was signed to Warner Record and her manager Max Gousse’s record label Artistry Worldwide.
- Her second EP, Icy was released in March 2019, and spawned the top 40 single “My Type”.
- Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini (born October 21, 1995), known professionally as Doja Cat, is an American singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer.
- Born and raised in Los Angeles, she began making and releasing music on SoundCloud as a teenager. Her song “So High” caught the attention of Kemosabe and RCA Records where she signed a joint record deal at the age of 17
- Doja Cat released her debut studio album, Amala (2018), to commercial failure, but later earned vital success as an internet meme with the single “Mooo!”, which appeared on the deluxe version of her debut album along with singles “Juicy” and “Tia Tamera” in 2019.
- Doja Cat’s second studio album, “Hot Pink” (2019), reached the top 10 of the US Billboard 200 and spawned the single “Say So”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart following the release of two remixes with Nicki Minaj
- Doja Cat has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and has won two American Music Awards in additions to the MTV Video Music Award for “Push Best New Artist”, and for the EMAs.
- The Chainsmokers are an American electronic DJ and production duo consisting of Alexander “Alex” Pall and Andrew “Drew” Taggart (with Matt McGuire on live shows).
- Pall and Taggart first made a name for themselves by creating remixes of their favourite indie bands that garnered tens of millions of streams.
- The duo released their official debut single, “#Selfie” in January 2014. The song hit number one on the Billboard dance chart and sold over ten million copies.
- “Don’t Let Me Down”, featuring American singer Daya, became their first top-five single on the Billboard chart and won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording at the 59th award ceremony.
- Their single “Closer”, featuring American singer-songwriter Halsey, became their first number-one single on the Billboard chart. It remained in the top spot for over ten weeks, breaking the record previously held by Drake’s “One Dance.”
- Eminem, byname of Marshall Bruce Mathers III, (born October 17, 1972, St. Joseph, Missouri, U.S.), American rapper, record producer, actor, and one of the most-controversial and best-selling artists of the early 21st century.
- His first album, Infinite (1996), sold poorly, however, and he continued to work menial jobs.
- Eminem placed second in the freestyle category at the 1997 Rap Olympics in Los Angeles, and came to the attention of DR. DRE, founding member of pioneering rappers N.W.A. and the head of Aftermath Entertainment.
- Eminem released The Slim Shady LP early in 1999. The album sold several million copies, and Eminem won two Grammy Awards and four MTV Video Music Awards.
- In 2000 Eminem released The Marshall Mathers LP, which set a record in the United States for the fastest-selling rap album.
- Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo ;born 11 February 1997), known professionally as Nasty C, is a South African rapper, songwriter and record producer.
- He has an older brother, Siyabonga Ngcobo, who influenced him to rap as he learnt the basics of producing music from him at the age of nine.
- After releasing two mixtapes and two EPs, Ngcobo released his critically acclaimed debut album Bad Hair (2016), and Strings and Bling (2018) which was associated and supported by his first tour, The Ivyson Tour
- He was the youngest recipient of an award at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards, namely the Best Freshman Award
- In March 2020, Nasty C signed a joint venture deal with Def Jan Records and released his third album on August 28, 2020 and his first on the label titled Zulu Man With Some Power
- DJ Stokie, whose real name is Setoki Mbatha started his career in the 90’s from his room in Mzimhlophe. The self-taught music maestro is inspired by the likes of Soweto’s top DJ’s; Mpopo, Fetsi, Ma-Leven, Mahlomola, Mdoo, amongst others
- Stokie’s success traces back to 2006 when he became a finalist in the Mad Half Hour, a feature on Joburg’s popular youth station, YFM.
- In 2019 he was chosen to be the Brand Advocate for the Carling Black Label Cup and performed for 90000 people @Soccer City, also known as FNB Stadium
- Following his well-received “Amapiano Movement Vol. 1” album, with hit single Amainternational, Soweto-born DJ and producer, delivered his highly anticipated sophomore album “My Journey” in 2020.
- The album “My Journey” is about a DJ/Producer from Soweto that had to work his way up to be where he is today. Determination, patience, perseverance, and hard work being key drivers of the project.
KABZA DE SMALL
- Kabelo Petrus Motha (born 27 November 1992), better known by his stage name Kabza De Small, is a South African DJ and record producer. He was born in Mpumalanga and raised in Pretoria
- He has been referred to as the king of the Amapiano genre, and has collaborated extensively with record producer DJ Maphorisa.
- Kabza De Small began his career as a DJ in 2009, venturing in the genres: Afro-fused house and EDM. In 2016, he made his production credits by releasing his debut album, Avenue Sounds under the label, House Afrika Records.
- He is considered as one of the best-selling music artist of Amapiano, and also one of the pioneers of the genre. With his breakthrough in 2018, he played an instrumental role in popularizing the amapiano genre.
- On 3 December 2019, Spotify South Africa, named Kabza De Small as the most-streamed South African artist in the platform for 2019.
- Thabang Kganakga, also known as Masterpiece, is a young artist from Tembisa.
- He attended school in Edleen Primary School then moved to Rhodesfield Technical High School, where he completed his matric in 2013.
- He started off as a member of SteezFresh (a fashion group from Tembisa) which hosted events in Tembisa.
- His group decided to make Masterpiece an MC for their ‘Winter Warm Up Steeze’ event and that was when his love for being behind the mic started. He has been an MC for events since 2013
- 2018, he met up with Leehleza the Entertainer who convinced him to start recording music. Masterpiece gave in and went to the studio with Leehleza and the piano king Kabza De Small. That is when Thul’ubheke was made
- Dumisani Simelane, known to his listeners and fans as DJ Madumane, is The Mzansi Breakfast Show host on Ligwalagwala FM, musician and producer
- He was born in the late 70’s at Pienaar (Msogwaba Township). He attended Msogwaba Primary and completed matric at Lihawu Senior Secondary School. Due to insufficient funds to further his education, he worked in a construction company for 9 months to save for his childhood dream of becoming a teacher.
- He then enrolled and obtained a Diploma in Outcome Based Education and later a Computer and Business Administration Diploma and a Tourism & Hospitality Management Diploma.
- After lecturing was no longer challenging, he worked at a Bank as a Sales Consultant before joining Radio (Ligwalagwala FM) as a presenter for Saturday and Sunday shows
- The euphoric DJ has been voted the best DJ of 2005/06 by listeners and DJs of Ligwalagwala FM and scooped the Ligwalagwala FM 2005/06 DJ of the Year Award which he still defends to date.
- Edward Christopher Sheeran; born 17 February 1991, is an English singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, and businessman.
- In early 2011, Sheeran independently released the extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project. He signed with Asylum Records the same year.
- Sheeran’s debut album, +(pronounced “plus”), was released September 2011 and topped the UK Albums Chart. It contained his first hit single ”The A Team”. His second studio album, X (pronounced “multiply”), was released in June 2014. It was named the second-best-selling album worldwide of 2015.
- A single from X (multiply), “Thinking Out Loud”, earned him the 2016 Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
- Sheeran’s third album, (pronounced “divide”), was released in March 2017, and was the best-selling album worldwide of 2017. The first two singles from the album, “Shape of You” and “Castle on a Hill” broke records in a number of countries by debuting in the top two positions of the charts. He also became the first artist to have two songs debut in the US top 10 in the same week.
- His fourth single from ÷, “Perfect”, reached number one in the US, Australia and the UK, where it became the Christmas number one in 2017. Making him the Global Recording Artist of the Year (2017)
- Ali Salehe Kiba, is a Tanzanian singer-songwriter, and footballer. He is the owner of Kings Music label. In 2017 he became the director of Rockstar4000.
- On 20 May 2016, he signed a deal with Sony Music Entertainment.
- Ali’s debut album and hit single ‘Cinderella’ became the biggest selling record in East Africa in 2008
- His second album ‘Ali k 4 Real’ was released in 2009 with the mega-hits ‘Nakshi Mrembo’, ‘Nichuum’ and ‘Usiniseme’.
- Alikiba has been nominated for ‘Best International Act’ for Black Entertainment Film, Fashion, Television and Arts Awards in 2009, Best East African Artist for African Music Awards in 2009, Winner of Best Zouk / Rhumba Song at the Kili Music Awards in 2012
- He was named Sibusiso Leope when he was born in Tembisa. He was raised by both his parents, Mothlegi Leope and Ntombizodwa Mothlegi Leope.
- Sibusiso started his studies at Welamlambo Primary School and he advanced his studies at Central Secondary School in Pretoria, in 1993. The musician enrolled at African Media University where he studied Sound Engineering and graduated.
- Dj Sbu began his broadcasting career in 1998 when he worked at Tembisa Info Radio which was a community radio station
- He then started his journey as a DJ for YFM, a South African Radio station, in 2000.
- Dj Sbu is a notable DJ in the South African Music industry with hits such as “Remember When It Rained”, “Lengoma” and many more hits which have made people take an interest in Kwaito, house music and deejaying.
- Jackman Thomas Harlow is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Born March 13, 1998, in Louisville, Kentucky, where he began his rap career
- Harlow began rapping at age 12 when he and his family moved from Shelbyville, Kentucky. He and his friend Sharath used a Guitar Hero microphone and a laptop to record rhymes and songs. They made a CD entitled Rippin’ and Rappin’ and sold copies at their school
- He is signed to Don Cannon and DJ Drama’s Generation Now record label, which is under Atlantic Records. He is also the co-founder of his own musical collective, Private Garden.
- He is best known for his 2020 single “Whats Poppin”, which peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.
- His debut album, “That’s What They All Say”, was released on December 11, 2020, and peaked at number 5 on the US Billboard 200.
- Justin Bieber is a Canadian singer and songwriter. Born in 1994 in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, to a single mother
- After his mother posted YouTube clips of her boy performing, Bieber went from an unknown singer to a budding superstar with a record deal, within two years
- Bieber went on to become the first solo artist to have four singles enter the Top 40 before the release of a debut album.
- His 2017 collaboration with Luis Fonsi, “Despacito,” broke the all-time record for most consecutive weeks at the number one spot on the Top 100.
- Bieber broke another record in early 2020 when the success of Changes made him the youngest artist to have seven albums reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 200.
- Benjamin Joseph Levin (born March 8, 1988), known professionally as Benny Blanco, is an American record producer, DJ, songwriter, and record executive.
- He is a five-time BMI Songwriter of the Year award winner and 2017 iHeartRadio Producer of the Year award winner.
- Blanco has contributed to the sale of over 500 million albums worldwide through his work with artists
- In July 2018, Blanco released his debut single as a lead artist, “Eastside” a collaboration with singer-songwriters Halsey and Khalid. It peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Blanco’s first top 10 credited as an artist and his 27th top 10 as a writer.
- “Eastside” was followed by “I Found You” with Calvin Harris, “Better to Lie” with Jesse and Swae Lee, “Roses” and “Graduation” with Juice Wrld, and he released his debut album later in 2018.
- Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born 16 July 1990), known professionally as Wizkid (sometimes stylized as WizKid), is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. One of Africa’s biggest artistes, Wizkid is the most decorated Nigerian artiste ever (the most decorated African internationally)
- He began recording music at the age of 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed
- Wizkid signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) in 2009.
- He rose to prominence after releasing “Holla at Your Boy”, the lead single from his debut studio album “Superstar”(2011).
- In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, “One Dance”, which reached number one in 15 countries
- Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson (born June 27, 1997),better known professionally as H.E.R. (pronounced “her”, an acronym for Having Everything Revealed), is an American singer and songwriter.
- After initial music appearances and singles under her real name, Wilson re-emerged in 2016 with the H.E.R. persona, releasing her debut EP “H.E.R. Volume 1”.
- She then released subsequent EPs “H.E.R. Volume 2” (2017), “The B Sides” (2017), “I Used to Know Her: The Prelude” (2018) and “I Used to Know Her: Part 2” (2018).
- H.E.R. was nominated for five Grammy Awards at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019, winning Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album.
- Wilson was born in Vallejo, California and raised in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. She was introduced to the public as a young child, covering Alicia Keys on piano on the Today Show.
- Joshua Christian Nanai (born 5 November 2002), better known as Jawsh 685, is a New Zealand music producer.
- While a student at Manurewa High School , in South Auckland, New Zealand, he made his breakthrough with the 2020 single “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” in collaboration with American R&B singer Jason Derulo.
- This debut single reached number 1 in over 15 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Nanai was born and raised in South Auckland, and currently lives in Manurewa. He is of half-Samoan and half-Cook Island descent.
- Jason Joel Desrouleaux (born September 21, 1989), better known by his stage name Jason Derulo, is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer.
- Derulo was born in Miramar Florida, a son of Haitian parents. He attended performing arts schools in Florida and made some early attempts at music composition, writing his first song at the age of eight.
- Derulo released his debut single “Whatcha Say” in May 2009. It sold over five million digital downloads, gaining an RIAA certification of triple Platinum, and reaching number 1 in the U.S. and New Zealand.
- Since the start of his recording career in 2009, Derulo has sold over 30 million singles and has achieved eleven Platinum singles
- In June 2020, Derulo released the single “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” alongside beat producer Jawsh 685. The song went viral on TikTok and was later on remixed by BTS.
- David Adedeji Adeleke (born November 21, 1992), popularly known as Davido, is a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is one of the biggest most influential artistes in Africa
- He studied Business Administration at Oakwood University before dropping out to make beats and record vocal references
- Davido rose to fame after releasing “Dami Duro”, the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo (2012), from which six singles were taken.
- In January 2016, Davido signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment and a few months later founded the record label Davido Music Worldwide (DMW)
- Davido released his third studio album “A Better Time”, on 13 November 2020. In February 2021, Time Magazine named him on their Time100 Next list.
- Dominique Armani Jones, (born December 3, 1994), known professionally as Lil Baby, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia.
- He was two years old when his father left the family, leaving his single mother to raise him and his two sisters.
- He rose to mainstream fame in 2017 following the release of his mixtape “Perfect Timing”, becoming one of the most prominent figures in the trap music scene to date. His debut studio album “Harder Than Ever” (2018) was certified RIAA Platinum.
- Lil Baby’s second studio album, ”My Turn” (2020), peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and is certified two times platinum by the RIAA.
- In June 2020, he released the single “The Bigger Picture”, which peaked at number three on the Hot 100 and became the highest charting song of his career.
- Mlungisi “Manqonqo” Buthelezi is a 21 year old Musician born and bred in Zwelitsha, Adams Mission in KwaZulu-Natal.
- From the age of 10 his passion for music grew through participating in music school groups. He later got used to writing his own songs and producing his own music.
- He was inspired to grow in music through talents such as local music heads DJ Tira & DJ Cleo.
- His song titled “Eyadini” has now reached +2.6 Million views on YouTube
- For his upcoming album he worked with young people around his age. Majority of the tracks on the album was produced by 19 year old Mlondi “Airic” Ngubane
- Dason MDUDUZI MBELE, born on 1999 June 30, is a South African rapper, songwriter and record producer.
- He gained public recognition after being featured by Manqonqo on his song “Eyadini”.
- The song he collaborated on was nominated as song of the year (2018)
- Zain Javadd Malik born 12 January 1993, known as Zayn, is an English singer and songwriter. He grew up in Bradford, England.
- Malik auditioned for the British music competition “The X Factor” in 2010. After being eliminated as a solo performer, he was brought back into the competition to form the boy band One Direction.
- Zayn left the group in March 2015 and subsequently signed a solo recording contract with RCA Records.
- With his debut studio album, “Mind of Mine” (2016), and its lead single, “Pillowtalk”, Zayn became the first British male artist to debut at number one in both the UK and US.
- Zayn released his second studio album, “Icarus Falls” in 2018. His third album, “Nobody Is Listening”, was released in January 2021.
- Siphephelo “Dr MaVibes” Hlatshwayo is a 23-year-old DJ and producer who hails from Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal
- He grew up in Soweto and only moved back to Ladysmith at the inception of his high school at the age of 14 and that is when he fell in love with music
- He met Ndu Brown of Blaq Diamond back in 2012 when he was in the ninth grade. They became the best of friends and realized they both had love for the creation of sounds and music.
- Dr MaVibes was derived from the making of beats and creating new sounds. His friends eventually coined the name Dr MaVibes as everything that sounded intriguing to him was a “vibe”.
- His love for music was inspired by listening to genres like Maskandi, RNB, Hip Hop, Gospel and Afro-Pop which is what encouraged him to be the versatile DJ that he is today.
- Coming from the depth of Umtata in the Eastern Cape province, born Snethemba Bibi (36) ‘Snymaan’ is an award-winning Xhosa trap artist
- Snymaan was part of his school choir as well as a local Sqathamiya group in the village. He was fully involved in soccer and music at school
- The trapper and his friends formed a music group called ‘Snymaan Mavusana and Syda’ (SMS) which performed at school events.
- Snymaan finally released a track titled ‘Sus’bambezela’ as an independent artist in 2016 which was playlisted by radio stations. The song was such a success that it bagged him two nominations at the Kumkani FM Hip Hop awards
- In 2019 Snymaan received a call to sign a contract with Ambitiouz Entertainment. Released on the 20th of March 2020 ‘Umvulo’ is Snymaan’s first song release since he officially signed with the record label.
- Manny Yack is an artist from South Africa signed under Ambitiouz Entertainment.
- Manny Yack was brought up by a single mother, leaving him with many questions about growing up without a father, and led him to write an open letter to his father, which is now his debut single “Khumbula”.
- R&B and Hip-Hop artist Zakrim Phiri better known by his stage name “Manny Yack” turns his pain into an art piece titled ‘Khumbula’.
- He released his debut single on January 15, after being featured on songs by Miss Pru, Kid Tini, and Dr. MaVibes
- He was born and raised in Ladysmith, listening to Reggae, RNB, and Pop music which inspired him to be the artist he is today
- The duo’s names are Ndumiso Mdleteshe and Sphelele Dunywa. They were both born in 1994.
- They grew up in Ladysmith, KwaZulu Natal.
- When Ndu and Danya were in grade 9, they used to rap battle on the school bus.
- The first day they released their first album, it was number one across all genres.
- Ndu and Danya also play musical instruments like the piano, marimba, and drums.