Women ruling the beat
Women ruling the beat
Here is our list of female musicians hitting all the right notes with their music and career moves.
One of Zimbabwe’s hottest export of the moment, musician Sha Sha, is, as Generation Z put it “doing the most”. No stranger to music, Sha Sha, whose real name is Charmaine Mapimbiro, started performing at music festivals in Zimbabwe after her friends encouraged her. She was not supposed to get into music and actually wanted to be a nurse. Growing up she would sing in the choir and at school plays but never actually thought she could sing while others did.
After pursuing music professionally and having her singles hit the airwaves in Zimbabwe, the rising start decided to move to South Africa and pursue music here. She started doing gigs and soon started growing a fan base but things really changed when a cab driver she befriended introduced her to DJ Maphorisa. That’s when she hit the big time. Sha Sha went on to be featured on some of the biggest hits in 2019 alongside stars like Samthing Soweto and Kabza De Small and she released her debut EP, Blossom. She was awarded Best New International Act at the 2020 BET Awards and later release a hit single, Woza.
After racking up nearly 2 million views independently and receiving glowing early praise for her hit single “Getting Late” and receiving praise from i-D, Paper Magazine, and more, the singer and songwriter has inked a global deal with Epic Records.
Born and raised in Johannesburg, Tyla grew up listening to American R&B triple-threats like Aaliyah and Cassie. It is these MTV TRL staples of the day mixed with a curation of homegrown sonics like SA House, Gqom and Amapiano that shape Tyla’s sound.
Meshing the richness of South Africa’s diverse music scene with international influences, she is part of an active new generation of African creatives, proudly sharing their culture with the global community on social media.
“I’m proud of being South African and I want to take Africa everywhere I go. It’s amazing how social media connects me with the world. TikTok allows me to express myself and show the world our South African dance moves like Pouncing Cat and the Gwara Gwara,” Tyla said.
“I actually have a challenge for this video that combines some SA moves, so it’s like a little window into our culture. You have the Harlem Shake and we all know that, so you must also know how to ‘Vuli Gate’.”
This concept of worlds colliding is nothing new to Tyla. It’s in her blood, with a diverse heritage that stems from Indian, African and Mauritian roots, to name a few. With ‘Getting Late’ steadily making waves around the globe, Tyla now sets her focus on building a career as a multi-hyphenate entertainer and shining a spotlight on Africa.
“I’m a singer first and foremost, but I love acting, dancing, drawing, and writing. I just love to express myself in all these different ways and I hope to explore all of these paths as I grow as an artist. I want to build a legacy for my family and South Africa. I see myself involving a lot of African people wherever I can just to build the continent and bring the world’s attention to us”, she said.
Another musician doing the most is Nomfundo Moh who just released the latest single, ‘uMthwalo’, which is off her upcoming album, Amagama. Nomfundo describes her music as authentic to who she is, from its sound to visuals.
Nomfundo delivers passionate vocals and consuming harmonies in isiZulu, over a sparse Afropop instrumental with strong elements of trap soul.
“Umthwalo is a song about hope. It talks about the difficulties of life, how everyone has got a burden on their shoulders. Most importantly, it encourages people to talk about things that bother their soul, someone is always willing to listen. Depending on how you feel, the meaning of the song can be religious, where you get to pour your heart out to God, so you feel lighter. Listening to it as an Afro Pop song, it’s more of confiding in someone you trust instead of bottling all the negativity inside” said Nomfundo.
Speaking about her sound, she said, “I would like people to pay attention to my lyrical content. In every song, there’s a story, and that story is a gift from me to them. And the sound, that sound is unique, I’d like people to treasure it and let it be one of the things that remind them of being an African”.
Singer and songwriter Ami Faku has cemented her place in the music industry with every single she has released.
Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, Faku started making a name for herself when she auditioned for “The Voice South Africa” and was picked by Lira in 2017.
Although her time on the show was short-lived, she caught the attention of the show’s music director, who later connected her to record label boss, Raphael Benza.
The award-winning star has performed on stages across Mzansi and bagged 3 nominations at the South African Music Awards which are set to take place later this year. She is nominated in the Best Female Artist, Best Song of the Year and Best Rising Star categories.