DYK 16 February 2021
- 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.
- 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 favorite 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.”
- Kelsea Nicole Ballerini (born September 12, 1993) is an American country-pop singer and songwriter. She began songwriting as a child and signed with Black River Entertainment in 2014
- Growing up, she was at the forefront of music in her hometown, leading the worship and choir at her church, in addition to her school choir and glee club.
- She moved to Nashville when she was 15 and attended Lipscomb University, studying communications and marketing for two years before leaving for a full-time music career.
- Fun fact: Her mom Carla also worked in the communications field as vice president of marketing at Bible publishing company Thomas Nelson.
- Her dad was in the country music industry before she was, a radio programmer. He was also a sales manager at WIVK, a local radio station in Kelsea’s native Knoxville
- She entered her first talent show at seven years old with a performance of John Lennon’s, “Imagine,” and received not only first place but a standing ovation.
- Before she became the solo-artist we know her as today, Beyoncé was the lead vocalist in the girl group Girls Tyme, which was a precursor to Destiny’s Child.
- Her favorite number is 4. The representative of her and husband’s lucky number, birth dates, wedding day, and now album names–Beyoncé’s “4” and Jay-Z’s “4:44”.
- After releasing the hit song “Bootylicious” under Destiny’s Child, The Oxford English dictionary paid recognition to the title by coining it as an official word.
- Not only is Beyoncé the most-nominated woman in Grammy history with a whopping 66 nominations, but she also is the first woman to win six Grammys in one night. He holds an overall of 23 Grammy wins.
- 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 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.
- Deja Monét Trimble (born April 8, 1991), better known by her stage name Dej Loaf, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Detroit, Michigan.
- She began her music career in 2011 and released her first mixtape “Just Do It” in 2013.
- That mixtape attracted the attention of a fellow Detroit-native rapper SAYITAINTTONE. She was later signed to his indie record label, called IBGM (I Been Gettin’ Money) under his management team.
- In October 2014, she signed a major record deal to Columbia Record. After signing a deal, she released her second official mixtape, called Sell Sole.
- Dej Loaf rapped on the song “Detroit vs. Everybody” featured on a fellow American high-profile rapper Eminem’s compilation Shady XV (2014). In 2015, she opened for Nicki Minaj during the North American leg of The Pinkprint Tour.
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 into 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 artists 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 on the platform for 2019.
- 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 has 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 addition to the MTV Video Music Award for “Push Best New Artist”, and for the EMAs.
- Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd was born February 16, 1990, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a Canadian R&B singer and songwriter
- In march 2011 he released a nine-song mixtape, House of Balloons, which he released as a free download. The album gained critical notice and was short-listed for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize
- The Weeknd partnered with Republic Records in September 2012. Two months later he released Trilogy, made up of remastered versions of the songs on the three mixtapes; it became a bestseller.
- The Weeknd’s next three hit singles, “Earned It,” “The Hills,” and “Can’t Feel My Face,” were featured on his album Beauty Behind the Madness (2015). He also won Grammy Awards for best R&B performance for “Earned It,” and Beauty Behind the Madness took the award for the best urban contemporary album.
- Also, his song “Earned It,” was included on the soundtrack of the film Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), and was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) in 2016.
- Micah Davis (born June 8, 1993), known professionally as Masego (ma-seh-go), is a Jamaican-American musician and singer known for incorporating the saxophone into his music.
- At a young age, the drums became the first instrument he learned how to play without formal lessons. He then learned piano, sax, and various drum machines. In high school, Davis adopted the name Masego as it was given to him as a church name
- Drawing from his upbringing of both his parents being pastors, the church allowed him a place to learn music from talented musicians. Davis also cited John P. Kee, Andre 3000, and Cab Calloway as influences.
- Masego released two EPs from 2015 – 2016, The Pink Polo EP with Medasin, and Loose Thoughts.
- He gained widespread attention with his collaborative record with FKJ called “Tadow” in 2017. In 2018, he released his debut album, Lady Lady. His new EP, Studying Abroad was released on November 13, 2020.
- Caleb Zackery “Don” Toliver was born June 12, 1994, and is an American singer, rapper, and songwriter.
- Toliver was born and raised in the Houston area. He had no musical experience before releasing music. He began releasing music in 2017 on SoundCloud
- In March 2018, he signed onto Atlantic Records and We Run It Entertainment.
- He released his first major-label mixtape, Donny Womack, in August 2018. He is known for his singles “No Idea” and “After Party”, from his debut studio album, Heaven or Hell (2020)
- He has also garnered great success from his August 2018 feature on the fellow rapper and label-boss Tarvis Scott’s song “Can’t Say”, from his third studio album Astroworld.
- The 33-year old’s name is Yanga Ntshakaza, but uses the name Yanga Chief
- He used to enter talent shows, was part of a drama club, played the trumpet in the brass band, and started rapping in primary school (grade 4)
- Since he was first introduced to the world on AKA‘s mega-hit Run Jozi he’s continued to create and feature on hits
- Yanga has lent his voice to DJ Vigilante’s Sorry Makhe and the iconic Run Jozi chorus.
- He directed the video for the AKA & K.O collaboration including AKA’s popular follow-up single All Eyes On Me featuring Burna Boy, JR, and Da L.E.S through his Young Legend Films upstart.
- Jarad Anthony Higgins (December 2, 1998 – December 8, 2019), known professionally as Juice Wrld, was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Chicago, Illinois.
- He started rapping in school but rose to fame in 2018 when single Lucid Dreams peaked at No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No.10 on the Official UK chart.
- “Lucid Dreams”, along with his earlier hit single “All Girls Are The Same”, helped him secure a recording contract with Lil Bibby’s Grade A Productions and Interscope Record.
- He derived his stage name from late rapper Tupac Shakur and his part in the film Juice and that it represents taking over the world.
- His first posthumous album, Legends Never Die (2020), debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album was the most successful posthumous chart debut in over 20 years.
- Jeffery Lamar Williams born August 16, 1991, known professionally as Young Thug, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter.
- He is considered to be one of the most influential rappers of his generation, with his music having heavily shaped contemporary trap music and inspired numerous artists.
- In early 2013, he signed with Gucci Mane’s 1017 Records, and later that year he released his label debut mixtape “1017 Thug” to critical praise
- Young Thug received mainstream recognition in 2014 with the singles “Stoner” and “Danny Glover” in addition to appearances on several singles, including Tyga’s single “Hookah”, and Rich Gang’s single “Lifestyle”.
- Young Thug’s debut studio album, “So Much Fun” (2019), debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and included the Billboard Hot 100 top-twenty singles “The London” and “Hot”.
- Tumi Molekane born on 16 August 1981 is a South African rapper and poet.
- He was born in Tanzania while his South African parents lived in exile there. In 1992 he repatriated to South Africa and took up residence in Soweto.
- He was the lead vocalist of Tumi and The Volume, which consisted of members from the Mozambican band 340ml. They officially disbanded in 2012
- In 2016 Tumi relaunched himself as Stogie T and released an album called Stogie T which featured Da L.E.S, Lastee, Emtee, Nasty C, Nadia Nakai & Yanga.
- In 2016, he was featured on Ghanaian rapper Manifest’s album “Nowhere Cool”. In 2018 Stogie released Honey and Pain, which is the follow-up to his eponymous 2016 album.
- 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.
- Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993) is an American singer and actress. She was born in Boca Raton, Florida.
- Ariana began her career at age 15 in the 2008 Broadway musical “13”.
- She rose to fame for her role as Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television series “Victorious” (2010–2013) and “Sam & Cat” (2013–2014).
- She subsequently signed with Republic Records in 2011 after the label’s executives discovered YouTube videos of her covering songs
- Grande’s album “Sweetener” (2018) won her a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album, while “Thank U, Next” (2019) broke the record for the largest streaming week for a pop album, and was nominated for the Album of the year.