Interview

How Lloyiso Aims to Take South African R&B Global

We talk to the singer about his upbringing, signing to Universal Music Group SA & Republic Records and more.

Back when he was a teen watching Idols, Lloyiso used to tell his family he could sing better than most of the contestants. Years later, when he made it onto the show but was eliminated after getting to the Top 8, he got a bit of a wake up call. It was one that would set him up for bigger goals.

"I wanted things and I wanted them to happen now," he tells OkayAfrica. "It was a humbling experience. I still needed to learn myself and know who I am. Patience was the biggest lesson I learnt from that show." It's a patience that's paid off with the news of Lloyiso's signing to Universal Music Group South Africa.

Born in 1999, as Loyiso Giyana, in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, the singer is taking his soulful R&B stylings to the world, where he'll play among the likes of Arianna Grande and James Blake. Universal South Africa will release his music in his home country, while Republic Records will nurture his global presence.

Lloyiso doesn't have a date yet for his debut album, but he's working on it — and still working on himself, too.

He spoke to OkayAfrica about his hopes for the record deal and his music.

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Photo by Tseliso Monaheng.

Interview: Amarafleur Has Stopped Caring

With the release of her debut EP '... And Then I Stopped Caring', South African R&B and soul singer Amarafleur signals a newfound self-confidence in her music.

Besides her 2019 single "DontLetGo" and the 2020 track "Reckless", fans of Joburg-based singer Amarafleur's soothing vocals had to be satisfied with her collaborations with the likes of Xenlaii, ECHLN, and Maramza as they waited for her to release a larger body of solo work. That day finally came with the release of her debut EP ...And Then I Stopped Caring, a three-track offering that sees the songstress overcome her fear of judgment and explores personal themes that include growth, anxiety, and intimacy.

The journey that led to the release of the EP began in 2019 after the release of "DontLetGo", which found Amarafleur in a space where she was doubting whether she had done enough creatively for the song, causing her to promote it less than it deserved. In looking back at this period, she was able to identify the reason that, up to then, had prevented her from releasing more music. "I realised it was because I cared about what happened when the music was out to others too much, so you're not creating anything," she says. "And that is how I got to the point where I decided to write what I wanted to write, make sure that what I feel is at the fore of the music-making process. I decided that this time it's about the end product and how I feel about it first before how the audience will feel about it."

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