Johannesburg - Dancer-turned-musician Siyabonga Mkhize is riding the wave of success with record label Ambitiouz Entertainment, whose artists scooped several awards at both the Metro Awards and the SA Music Awards a few weeks ago.
He has released a single, Snapdats**t, featuring hitmaker DJ Maphorisa, rapper Emtee and Nigerian star Patoranking that is fast climbing the charts.
Known by his stage name KLY (Keep Love Young), the songwriter and singer claims to have fallen in love with music at a young age and says it gave him the determination to trek to Johannesburg from Durban to find a record label that could nurture his talent and open doors for him.
Along with the support and mentorship of rappers Emtee and DJ Maphorisa, Mkhize, 23, told City Press that the public’s reception of Snapdats**t has elevated his career and profile in the industry.
“The song is about the fun social media brings to people and the role it plays in capturing and sharing priceless moments in people’s lives.
“It is all about having moments with your loved ones and sharing love with them,” he said, obviously choosing to focus on the positive side of social media.
Mkhize told City Pres that he listened to a lot of R&B in high school.
This was soon followed by a desire to be a rapper and he now looks up to artists including Drake, PartyNextDoor, Wizkid and Tory Lanez.
He mentions the movies Sister Act 1 and 2 as part of what inspired him to try his luck in the music industry.
He says these movies led him to start watching and downloading videos which he used as singing lessons.
“It was then that I started taking music seriously and wanting to make a career out of it.”
(Photo: Silver Sibiya)
He worked with Mafikizolo on their hit single Kucheza, learning from their decades-long experience in the music industry.
“They taught me that music is for the people, not you as a singer, and how to be humble.
"They helped me to strive for perfection and how to be diverse because they always work with different African artists,” he said.
This is why, he added, he does not restrict himself to either hip-hop or R&B as a musician, but explores all music genres.
“I am planning on doing tours to show my love and respect for my fans all over the country and across Africa,” said Mkhize.
The tour will give him the opportunity to showcase his talent, he said, adding that fans should expect an album towards the end of the year.