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South African acapella group The Joy.

The Joy Release Their Nostalgic Debut Single 'Isencane Lengane'

South Africa's latest acapella group The Joy just released their new soul-enriching single 'Isencane Lengane', along with a moving music video.

South African acapella group The Joyhas marked their debut with a big bang through their fresh rendition of the traditional Zulu song "Isencane Lengane". On this nostalgic track, the five-member all-male band takes music fans down memory lane with smooth harmonising and deep vocals. The Durban-based group aims to spread long-lost, organic euphoria — and their debut single achieves just that.

To solidify their place, The Joy has shared a double release. The "Isencane Lengane" music video, which has a 'home-made' feel to it and pays homage to the group's Zulu roots and music journey, also dropped today. The traditional Zulu wedding song is captured in an effortless music video showcasing the group's family life. The stunning visuals have one searing scene of the young men clothed in fitted pastel suits, with their pants pulled up getting ready to step into a nearby river.

"Isencane Lengane" comes at a time when the acapella genre has, yet, to be commercially populated and contested. The Joy follows in the footsteps of The Soil, a South African group that pioneered and popularised the modern acapella genre. The Soil is admittedly South Africa's most successful international acapella group, and have dominated the music scene for just over a decade. The Soil's last single was released in 2018, the year when The Joy began its formation.

After heeding their teachers' and fellow school mates' advice, The Joy subsequently garnered over half a million views when they started sharing their music on Instagram. This admiration encouraged them to continue performing as a group, which ultimately led to them being noticed by the right people.

The group originates from KwaZulu-Natal, a province that is also home to acapella stalwarts, the Grammy-winning isicathamiya group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The five young vocalists met in high school and proceeded to enter a singing competition together. The band members are Ntokozo Magcaba, Melokuhle Mkhungo, Sanele Ngcobo, Phelelani Sithole and Sandile Sphelele Hlophe.

Read: 10 Essential Ladysmith Black Mambazo Songs

The Joy is signed to label imprint Love You Up, in partnership with management team September andTransgressive as The Joy's publishing partners. "Isencane Lengane" is produced by the England-based Two Inch Punch, who has also done some studio work with Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and more.

Watch the "Isencane Lengane" music video below.

The Joy - Isencane Lengane (Official Video)

Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Photo courtesy: Dac Biet

Listen to Black Sherif's Debut Album 'The Villain I Never Was'

Get ready, Black Sherif is here.

Ghana's Black Sherif shares his debut albumThe Villain I Never Was, a sonically refreshing body of work that underscores his personal struggles and triumphs. The album is a 14-track offering that has a single feature from Nigeria's Burna Boy.

“It took me everything to give life to this body,” says the 20-year-old Black Sherif in a conversation about the effort he put behind the album. “The one thing in my life that I gave everything up for. There is life in this body, I hope it treats you good and speaks to you like I want it to.”

In many ways, the album is a biopic that shows an unraveling of his personal life, and gives his audience a candid overview of his journey. In an earlier interview with OkayAfrica, the 20-year-old "Kwaku the Traveller" artist said that his ascent into the music world was unexpected, and went against his religious background.

“I have loved music since I was a kid. I just didn’t know I was going to make a career out of it,” said Black Sherif. “I am a Muslim. In Islam, music is more like sin, you shouldn’t make a career out of it if you are a Muslim. The music was chasing me, but I was always dodging it.”

Black Sherif, who was born as Mohammed Ismail Sharif Kwaku Frimpong, formally started exploring music at the age of 17 with his single "Cry For Me." This record was quickly followed by "Money," a record that highlighted his journey as a young man who was navigating the streets of Accra. He later went viral with massive singles like "First Sermon," "Second Sermon," and "Kwaku the Traveller."

Black Sherif's sound fuses elements of afrobeats with influences from drill and trap music. His sonic style is characterized by poignant wordplay, a keen ability to seamlessly merge multiple languages and genres in a way that is both interesting and fun.

He has become one of the leading voices in Ghanaian drill music, and has been featured on Apple Music's Rap Life playlist as well as Spotify's Radar Artist. He was also recently nominated for “Best International Flow” at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Listen to Black Sherif's 'The Villain I Never Was' below.

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