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Still taken from YouTube video.

South Africans are Rooting for the Ndlovu Youth Choir to Win America's Got Talent

The countdown to announcing the winner of the show has officially begun.

Last night, South Africa's Ndlovu Youth Choir gave yet another phenomenal and goosebump-inducing performance at the Dolby Theater for America's Got Talent (AGT). The group, which hails from Limpopo province, performed their own rendition of Toto's 1982 hit song "Africa" and received a standing ovation from all four judges during the last night of the season finale. Voting is currently underway and the winner of AGT will be announced early tomorrow morning.


After their first audition which saw them performing Vicky Sampson's 1995 hit "African Dream", the Ndlovu Youth Choir has consistently given one stellar performance after the other. Under the leadership of their choirmaster, Ralf Schmitt, the group of young singers has wowed the American audience with their insane talent and heartfelt message of being proud ambassadors for a united Africa. Following their moving finale performance, the choir tweeted, "Tonight we were proud young ambassadors of a united Africa. Africa has the world's youngest population, and our hope is that our performance reflected the talent, opportunity and potential of millions of young people. One nation, one continent."

Amid the unrest South Africa has been experiencing in the past week with xenophobic violence towards African nationals and gender-based violence affecting women, the choir's success and hopeful message have provided a glimmer of hope for a country currently going through some dark days.

Whether or not the Ndlovu Youth Choir emerges as the winner of this year's AGT, South Africans are nonetheless tremendously proud of their world-class performances and spirited attitude. We're certainly holding thumbs for them.

Watch their performance of "Africa" below:

Ndlovu Youth Choir Puts South African Spin On "Africa" by Toto - America's Got Talent 2019 www.youtube.com

Interview

Interview: Bizzle Osikoya Is the A&R Shaping the Voice of a New Generation

We caught up with the A&R expert and co-founder of The Plug Management to talk about the fast-rising demand for Nigerian music and what it takes to break out as an artist.

The meteoric rise of Nigeria's burgeoning music industry over the last few years is definitely one for the books. From high profile collaborations that have graced international charts to appearances on American late night TV and a Grammy nomination, the Nigerian sound is sitting at the epicenter of a global conversation that the world—including Queen Bey herself —seem to scrabbling to get a piece of the action.

However, way before this global infiltration and westernized conflation of Africa's assortment of genres into one Afrobeats, Bizzle Osikoya was studying Music Business in England and plotting for a way to be a part of what he knew was inevitable. "I remember going to clubs in school and they would always play Jamaican music but rarely Nigerian songs. I knew we made good music here but I knew I couldn't sing. So I was motivated to come back, go behind the scenes, and see how we can make that crossover possible," he tells OkayAfrica.

More than a decade after making the intrepid decision to venture into A&R, helping artists find and develop their sound, Bizzle's creative genius has cascaded across different musical generations, from the piracy rife CD mix era with artists like Naeto C, Wande Coal and Dr. Sid to a streaming era populated with hits from Reekado Banks, Tiwa Savage and Davido.

Following the success of his latest project, Oxlade's Oxygene, we caught up with the A&R expert and co-founder of the Plug Management—a talent management company that has managed Davido, Peruzzi and DJ Obi—to talk about what it takes to break out as an artist, the fast-rising demand for Nigerian music, and how "alté" is not the same thing as alternative music.

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