Still taken from YouTube.

Elaine, pictured above in the music video for "You're the One" music video.

Elaine is the Most Streamed South African Woman Artist

Elaine secures the number-one position on all three of Apple Music's 'Top Mzansi Females' charts.

Elaine continues to go from strength to strength and with good reason. The artist recently secured the top streaming positions on Apple Music's "Top Mzansi Female Artists of 2020", "Top Mzansi Female Albums of 2020" and "Top Mzansi Female Singles of 2020" charts. Moreover, several tracks featured on her debut EP Elements snatched seven spots on the "Top Mzansi Female Singles of 2020" chart. The stellar achievement comes shortly after having been announced as one of Apple Music's "Visionary Women" Campaign at just 21-years-old.

Listen to 15 Playlists by South African Artists and Personalities for Apple Music's 'Visonary Women' Campaign

The sensational trap-soul songstress shot to fame with "You are the One" which brought the heat on Apple Music charts in 2019. The single went viral and saw a piano cover by soulful artist Loyiso Gijana. The evocative "You are the one" music video dropped in April of this year with crisp visuals celebrating Black girls and a twist on 90s' aesthetics. The highly-anticipated song carried visuals that captured the intimacy between Elaine and her lover.

"My EP, Elements, means so much to me," Elaine explains in an interview. She goes on to add that, "I gave it all my love and passion, and to receive it tenfold from those who love and appreciate me and my music, is the greatest gift I could ever ask for. I am grateful, humbled and excited for the future. Thank you to every shining star that has been streaming my project, and thank you Apple Music for your love and constant support!"

At the beginning of lockdown, Elaine shared her 'At Home With' playlist for fans to cope with the blues of being cooped up indoors. Her curation is filled with mood-shifting music that'll have you feeling that everything will work out just fine.

Stream Elements on Apple Music:

Stream Elements on Spotify.

Top Mzansi (South African) Female Artists of 2020:

1. Elaine

2. Sha Sha

3. Lebo Sekgobela

4. Amanda Black

5. Ami Faku

6. Zonke Dikana

7. Bucy Radebe

8. Demi Lee Moore

9. Ntokozo Mbambo

10. Simmy

Top Mzansi (South African) Female Albums of 2020:

1. Elements by Elaine

2. Blossom EP by Sha Sha

3. Imali by Ami Faku

4. Power by Amanda Black

5. Spiritual Encounter by Busy Radebe

6. Country by Demi Lee Moore

7. Restored (Live) by Lebo Sekgobela

8. Tugela Fairy by Simmy

9. L.O.V.E. by Zonke Dikana

10. Hymns & Worship (Live) by Lebo Sekgobela

Top Mzansi (South African) Female Singles of 2020:

1. "You're The One" by Elaine

2. "Risky" by Elaine

3. "Tender Love (feat. DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small)" by Sha Sha

4. "Umlilo (feat. Mvzzle & Rethabile)" by DJ Zinhle

5. "Changes" by Elaine

6. "I/You" by Elaine

7. "When We're Alone" by Elaine

8. "Say It" by Elaine

9. "I Just Wanna Know" by Elaine

10. "Uzugcin'impilo Yam'" by Bucy Radebe


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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