Best Jazz Artist

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  • Gifted with a multi-colored, intrepid voice and a talent for writing songs that reflect on the daily life and unique culture of the people of his homeland, Bholoja™ (Mbongiseni Ngubane) is one of Swaziland’s greatest artists.
  • His blending of Southern African traditions, including mbira, sitolotolo, and the traditional drumming styles, has created such a unique sound that is appreciated by audiences of different races.
  • Bholoja is one of the few genuine innovators on the Swazi music scene that will be instrumental in strengthening not only Swaziland but also Africa’s pride, socially, politically, and economically.”Bholoja’s journey to greatness is inevitable and the world cannot wait for his unveiling.

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  • Itallo Dlamini is a born and bred Swazi jazz artist. His musical journey began in his youth. He is forever indebted to his former school, Salesian, and the Band Master of the time Fr Hugh Boyle, for exposing him to a variety of musical instruments where he first fell in love with the brass instrument. This is where he began taking music seriously.
  • Itallo picked the trumpet and joined the junior school band at Form One (Grade 8). Due to his talent and good command of the instrument, he was recruited to join the senior band and has never looked back ever since.As he grew older, he was exposed to different kinds of music at the time, including jazz.
  • His inclination and approach to music was greatly influenced by jazz legends including Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, Miles Davis and many others who played brass instruments.

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John Philip

  • John Phillip is a local jazz musician who grew up in Msunduza with his three siblings, raised by both parents.
  • It was through his mother that local Jazz artist John Phillip acquired a basic business sense. If it wasn’t for saving the profits made from selling chilli sauce at the age of 13, he wouldn’t have been able to buy his first guitar.
  • The first song he learnt to play was ‘Gumbaya’.
    He tells L&E that soon after completing his high school education at Saim Christian High, he studied music in Pretoria and after that he taught music at Yandza Music Foundation and later moved to Waterford Kamhlaba, where he taught music theory as well.

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Quad Element

  • Quad Element is a four-member Afro-soul band from Eswatini, Swaziland. The live band is made of four talented musicians namely Mfanafuthi ‘Boifut’ Nxumalo on keys and vocals, Mandla ‘Enkosi’ Mdluli on bass guitar, Thembelani ‘Tboi’ Masina and Mayibongwe ‘Mayos’ Zwane (both on vocals). Their music is a fusion of jazz, RnB, neo soul and traditional elements.
  • In 2016, the band was working on its debut 10-track album titled ‘Love Traces’. The album was recorded live at Lusweti Studio at Malkerns. It was edited and mixed at Gugupa Records in Ezulwini and was mastered in New York, in the U.S. by Harry Saint Clare, better known as Dirty Harry. The project is a soul-filled experience that infuses traditional sound with jazz elements.

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  • Fikile Floewe (real name Fikile Dladla-Nxumalo) is a female singer from Swaziland. She is one of the country’s most gifted vocalists and composers who began composing and writing music when she was 15 years old. She draws her musical aspirations from artists such as Simphiwe Dana, Siphokazi, the late Miriam Makeba and Jill Scott.
  • Her music career began in high school, having participated in the school choir. She realised she had an interest in musc and eventually trained as a soloist. Shortly afterwads, she won the 1995 Soloist of The Year award at Evelyn Baring High school.
  • She has collaborated on stage with artists such as Afro-jazz singer, Siphokazi Maraqana, Selaelo Selota,US Hip Hop Artist Toni Blackman to name a few. She has also done jingles for KFC, ILO, LUSWETI and more. She has also performed at one of Swaziland’s biggest festivals Bushfire in collaboration with Lilanga and Temaswati Project.

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