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Idols Reaches Milestone But Not Enough For Amanda

Amanda’s hopes to become South Africa’s newest Idols were cut short on Sunday evening, sadly.

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Idols SA Season 11 reached another milestone this week with over 6.4 million votes cast for the Season 11 Top 7 between Sunday evening 11 October and Tuesday evening 13 October – that’s over 4 million votes more than for the corresponding week in last year’s Season 10. But unfortunately Idols’s “comeback kid”, 22-year-old Amanda Antony from Port Elizabeth, received the fewest of this massive number of votes, making her the fourth Top 10 finalist to go home.
With the Top 10 now whittled down to Top 6, each contestant on Sunday got to perform two numbers under the musical theme of “90’s vs Today” – one song each in the first round from the decade in which they were all born, the Nineties, and then for the second round, a hit song from the current charts.
The first person to receive enough votes to survive to the Top 6 was 24-year-old Karabo Mogane. Born in 1991, Karabo went back to April 1995 for Boys II Men classic “Water Runs Dry” for his first performance. And from today’s tracklists he selected Hozier’s “Someone New”.
“You were heart-and-soul, knee-deep in that song,” Gareth Cliff said happily. An impressed Somizi Mhlongo said that Karabo was a songwriter’s dream and a producer’s dream and an arranger’s dream. Unathi Msengana agreed with both of her colleagues and also commended Karabo on his professional breath control. “Your singing has improved tremendously during this competition,” Randall Abrahams noted approvingly.
Karabo
Next up was Dineo Moseki (22) from Vryburg, a 1993 baby who chose Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” from December 1998 as her Nineties song. And her current hit choice was local outfit Beatenberg’s “Rafael”.
Gareth noted how much better Dineo sounds when she tackles something upbeat like that second song. “Last week your spaceship crashed and you were the only survivor found!” Somizi joked. “You survived,” he said encouragingly. Unathi commented that she loved Dineo’s interpretation of the Lauryn Hill song, but it didn’t sound like Randall was impressed – “I have a funny feeling the boys are going to take the second round as well,” he commented.
Dineo
21-year-old Rhema Varrie from Alberton was born in 1994 and his Nineties hit from February 1995 was Radiohead’s “High And Dry”. His selection from the 2015 charts was One Republic’s “Counting Stars”.
Gareth noted that Rhema has a unique sound and advised him to make that his distinctive standout quality. “When Jesus says ‘yes’, no Randall can say ‘no’!” Somizi cracked. “Hallelujah!” Unathi concurred. And Randall was happy not only about Rhema’s improvement as a singer, but also with the talent that he displayed on multiple instruments tonight. He just expressed a wish that Rhema would also increase in confidence, like Karabo and Loyiso had done.
Rhema
Siphelele Ngcobo (24) from Inanda, who was born in 1991, selected the classic All 4 One hit “I Can Love You Like That” from June 1995. And for his second round song Siphelele stuck with a vernac choice as always, Nathi’s “Nomvula”, which earned him a standing ovation from Unathi and Somizi.
“I was blown away,” Gareth admitted. “Your voice is anointed!” Somizi raved. “Even if you don’t speak English or sing English, stick to where your heart and soul is, you will never be hungry,” he advised. Unathi thought Siphelele “destroyed” with the second performance, and Randall seemed dumbstruck. “Just a few weeks ago it looked like you were going home,” he spluttered. “In my time on Idols I’ve never seen such a comeback …”
Siphelele
23-year-old Mmatema Moremi from Limpopo was born in 1992 but her Nineties hit tonight was from September 1998: Deborah Cox’s “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here”.  And from the current world charts Mmatema chose Jess Glynne’s hit, “Hold My Hand”.
”It’s almost as if you’ve been performing all your life. You just don’t put a foot wrong,” Gareth marveled. But he requested that she tackle something “risky” next week. Somizi admitted that he didn’t know the song, “but you made me love it!” he raved. Unathi was not thrilled with Mmatema’s first song, “but then you came back and said ‘this is I … this is how it will be done …’” she noted happily. And Randall thought he couldn’t add anything to that feedback. “I’m just going to say it was great to hear you do a pop song,” he smiled.
unname
16-year-old Loyiso Gijana from Uitenhage was born in 1999 his Nineties song, from August 1991, was the Boyz II Men hit: “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday”. Halfway through Sunday’s show Gareth Cliff, Somizi Mhlongo, and Unathi Msengana thought that Loyiso had delivered the best performances of the first round, and Randall Abrahams agreed that all four of the guys had given sterling performances.

Loyiso

And for his 2015 hit at the end of the second round Loyiso chose “Hold Back The River”, by James Bay. “You see, you’re not afraid at all to take risky songs and make them work,” Gareth said happily. “I don’t know how to fault you,” said Somizi. He noted that Loyiso could give Usher and Chris Brown a run for their money. Unathi commented on the passion in Loyiso’s performance, “and the passion you will feel in the voting,” she smiled. “We so easily forget how young you are,” said Randall. But he warned that from next week it’s anybody’s competition to win or to lose.
Voting for the Top 6 opened during the course of Sunday’s live broadcast and will close at 22:00 on Tuesday, 20 October.

Music

FIRST LOOK: AKA’s Pics For ‘Fela In Versace’ Visuals Are Rich AF

AKA on Wednesday thrilled fans with lush previews of his over the top Fela In Music shot

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AKA Fela In Versace behind the scene pictures
Photo Credit: Austen Malema via Instagram

AKA once again broke his portion of the web when on Wednesday he unveiled behind the scenes snaps of his Fela In Versace music shoot.

SUPAMEGA thrilled fans with a crisp first look into the looming and lush visuals for Fela in Versace, the latest single to emerge from his first-day-Gold-selling third and final album, Touch My Blood. There will be no solo studio albums after that, and Touch My Blood has been a solid wrap to that journey.

Photographed by Austen Malema, the pics see AKA clad in a half-unbuttoned R25 000 Cornici Balletto print shirt, making his new blonde box fade pop. He launched the new colour locks last week to much fanfare and furore. The man knows how to capture headlines, we’ll give him that!

ALBUM REVIEW: AKA – TOUCH MY BLOOD IS HERE 

Featuring Kiddomant, Fela in Versace is a mid-tempo bop which finds AKA humming soulfully and belting through the synthetic autotune over afrobeat flavoured 808 and clean electric guitar. Unlike most of recent bangers, the single is thin on lyrical and more focused on a smooth vibe.

Effectively, this is the 5th single from Touch My Blood. 

FELA IN VERSACE 🎷 📸 by @aust_malema

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Kwaito Duo Darkie Fiction Are On Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight

Kwaito never died, as Darkie Fiction prove in their fresh, Apple Music New Artist Spolight featured EP

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When rapper Katt Daddy and singer Yoza Mnyanda decided to form one of the country’s freshest music duos back in 2017, they couldn’t have predicted that it would take about a year for their graft to start yielding serious returns. Being that Kwaito is presumed to be dead in the mainstream, there was certainly no promise of an instant hit either.

Darkie_Fiction_New_Artist_Spotlight

Founded in Cape Town, Darkie Fiction left the Mother City behind in search of the dream. Of course, they didn’t possess much more than a passion for music and storytelling.

Now, Apple Music has noted their efforts and is proud to showcase their debut EP Sobabini: A New Mzantsi Evolution as the New Artist Spotlight for August.

Darkie Faction draws their inspiration from kwaito, afro-funk, neo-soul and hip hop, to create a sound that pays homage to authentic South African music of the past and bring those styles into the new millennium.

Listing amongst others South African legends Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbuli, TkZee, Boom Shaka, Skwatta Kamp, Jimmy Dludlu and Steve Kekana, Darkie Fiction aim to honour the best this country really brings.

“We constantly want to bring the past to the future and remind people that you can be 100% true to where you are from, and still make great art that doesn’t have to be heavily influenced by a U.S. hip hop sound”, they said.

PREVIEW SOBABINI: A MZANSI EVOLUTION 

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STREAM: Sjava Unpacks The Genesis of His Sound On Ebro

It wasn’t until recently that Sjava actually embraced his authentically African sound. Listen to other revelations about his personal and musical journeys during his interview with popular Amercian radio presenter Ebro

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Sjava on Ebro

Sjava continues his upward move towards hitting that global market.

The latest in his ascension is an interview with Ebro Darden, who states here that Sjava’s “voice instantly feels like Africa.” It’s a good thing to ‘feel African’ because there’s honestly nothing cooler in creative spaces than seeing artists embracing their roots.

Further to touching on how he came to intentionally use his vocal instruments for the authentic expression of his African artistry, Sjava discusses how he came to being featured on The Black Panther album, as well as the genesis of his musical journey. It was tough, and now he’s broken through!

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