Meet the Soweto born singer with a fresh and alternative sound she describes as Afro-international. With her beauty and talent she will surely hypnotise a horde of eager fans to a cult like following.
BEST: Please introduce yourself?
My name is Elo and I’m a proudly South African & Soweto born singing and performing artist. Versatile enough to experiment and unafraid to employ my female agency.
BEST: What is your music background?
ELO: Mine starts with the typical school choir moving towards the love for harmony at church and the joining the official and first church youth choir. In early high school I started writing music lyrics with “friends” then once the song was done I’d be excited to share it with people back home (a select few). I’ve always wanted to make and perform music but I was so afraid to believe in me in this regard and that of financial security (imposed by my parents). In tertiary I still struggled with what fulfills my soul and the pursuit for security and independence. My partner in life finally got frustrated with my frustrations and just made me (me willing but still afraid) do it. I then studied music while performing house music with a company of new Djs. I was told by one of the Djs that I could not sing and my heart was shattered. I was told the same in high school by my math teacher. After all this I was even more driven to learn my instrument not to say I know enough, then a year later I dropped out of music college to work for Ryan Hill at Universal Music Publishing Africa. At the same time performing with Vusi Nova as a BV (backing vocalist). Once in a while Vusi would invite me to sing as a BV when performing with (the flute trio). Once I really got comfortable on stage I was convicted to have faith in my talent and my Talent Giver. I left work to be introduced to Vusi Nova who also put a yes stamp after my first performance at the Joburg Theater for an initiative started by Mlindelwa aka Lili Mahlangu called Youth Unplugged (who regard me as a success story). After this achievement I volunteered to PA for Nothende (the songstress) who showed the general hustle in our music industry. She then allowed me to perform in her show for the South African Embassy in Abijan, Cote d’ivoire. I performed and that was my biggest yes to have Nothende back me up. Now I’m pushing towards my first album with Rambo.
BEST: Do you write your own songs?
ELO: Yes I do. I do however have a collab with Moonchild but it’s just one song so far where she wrote the first verse. Back in the day Khosi Mabaso and Simlet helped me write a song called Africa Friend of Mine. I still like that song. I almost forgot Dane Nysschen one of my favorited blues and rock guitarists. He also writes songs for me to perform but the process of the final composition we do together.
BEST: Who are your musical influences ?
ELO: I listen to different genres of music and my favorite is rock (any type). Who? is hard to come up with but I think I’m more influenced by the Thandiswa Mazwai in terms of stage presence, Nothende in terms of courage. Zebra and Giraffe write so well. Foals and Fink in terms of vocal expression and lyrics. Kings of Leon, heart. Bjork in terms freedom. Rihanna & FKA Twiggs are all about female agency.
BEST: What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
ELO: I grew up with church and gospel music. My church gang was about singing, loudly and emotionally sometimes dramatically. The only thing to really look forward to in school was choir practice. My neighbor who stayed 3 houses down played music so loudly everyday all day for many years. You either got irritated by it or enjoyed. He never asked anyone for permission. I grew up listening to a lot of the late Eddie Zondi mix most nights. So I listened to a lot of RnB too.
BEST: What are your songs about?
ELO: Self-love (the good kind that can be poured out onto others), conquering fear and freedom
BEST: So you are new in scene, how would you describe your music to people?
ELO: Afro international and alternative with a fresh and current twist.
BEST: Have you recorded any previous CDs or posted any audio files on the Internet?
ELO: I have a song called Dira and Stare made available online. No I have not yet recorded an album but in working on it but first releasing an EP.
BEST: What are your immediate music career goals?
ELO: • 2 albums, multiple singles, high profile collaborations
• PSA for dedicated cause
• Magazine covers
• Award winning debut album
• Award winning sponsored music videos
• Release illustrated children’s book on littering (because it’s an issue in my country and we need to start them young)
• Establish relationship with relevant cause related foundation
BEST: What are your long-term career goals?
ELO: • Establish a respected brand that goes beyond the scope of vocalist into that of respected musical professional
• Be a brand that moves fluidly between creative spheres with the main objective being the ability to create multiple income streams
• International product and relevant causes ambassador encouraging the cleanliness of our streets- no litter
Listen to her first single: ELO “STARE”