The MTN Bushfire Firefly youth music competition is underway and the talent coming through is cutting edge and top notch. Open to South African artists for the first time this year, the locally produced music talent competition has unearthed over 100 bubbling-under artists since its inception in 2017. This vibrant platform aims to create expansive opportunities and larger reach for artists looking to explore their musical careers.
The Top 20 artists are currently in the voting stage of the competition. The Top 10 artists with the most votes will perform at the MTN Bushfire Firefly Grand Finale to be held on Friday, 28th April 2023 at House On Fire, which will also feature an exciting South African guest artist. The Top 3 winning artists will get the opportunity to perform at the globally acclaimed MTN Bushfire festival in Eswatini, to be held from 26 – 28 May 2023.
How to vote for your favourite artist: Download the innovative AYOBA App via www.ayoba.me, follow the MTN Bushfire Firefly channel, and vote once on the voting polls and like your favourite artist posts.
Make sure to support young, up-coming artists and join our movement as we seek to promote the arts from grassroots level to the globe!
For more information, visit www.bush-fire.com/firefly. Follow us on Facebook: MTN Bushfire Firefly, Instagram: MTN Bushfire Firefly and Twitter @MTNBushfireFly. We have exciting giveaways too.
Time to meet your Top 20!
𝗘𝗦𝗞𝗔𝗘 𝗔𝗠𝗜𝗚𝗢 is from Manzini, Eswatini, and has performed extensively in Nelspruit and Johannesburg. With a good infusion of New School Hip Hop and Kwaito, Eskae Amigo blends New School Trap and Swati raps to tantalise you with a taste of a different New Wave culture experience.
𝗡𝗔𝗔𝗥𝗗𝗜𝗘 is a South African Hip Hop / Rap artist who hails from Tembisa township in Johannesburg. His debut album dropped in 2021 making waves across all streaming platforms, reaching 165k views in just 5 months. He is currently working with a record label named Objektives Record, and has shared the stage with the likes of Focalistic, Costa Titch and Major League DJ’s, to name a few.
Nothando Nokulunga Mamba AKA 𝗦𝗛𝗜𝗡𝗘𝗟𝗬 𝗚𝗥𝗘𝗘𝗡𝗭, is a popular Afro Soul, House, Amapiano and R&B music performer. Shinely – a name given to her by her mother, meaning “Light”, has been influenced by her experiences and people in her life. The Liswati artist has previously collaborated with South African artists Big Zulu, Vukani, Smuk DJ, Slimtee, Nkosazana, Ma1000 and Scelo Gowane. She has also collaborated on the Amapiano hit, “Baby Boy”, with Nokwazi, DJ Jabs and DJ Panther, with the music video landing on MTV Base and Channel O Top 10 hits chart.
Starting off her musical journey at the tender age of 4 years, 𝗝𝗔𝗠𝗜𝗘-𝗟𝗘𝗘 𝗦𝗘𝗫𝗧𝗢𝗡’s diversity in playing guitar and piano to complement her raspy vocals and smooth tones landed her a spot in the top 8 Idols SA in 2010 with her signature sound being a melange of New Age Pop. Her EP ,Medicine Woman, debuted at number 1 on Apple music in 2022 with her songs bringing refreshing melodies, instrumental hooks and a touch of 80s and 90s Pop.
𝗗𝗥𝗧 𝗝𝗔𝗛𝗟𝗜𝗟 is a rapper who fell in love with music at the tender age of 10 years old. The Big Bend based rapper has honed his skills in sound engineering, perfecting the art of mixing and mastering ever since popping into the music scene. DRT JAHLIL has professionally released 3 EP’s, Dreaming Is Free (2020), Dreaming Is Free II (2021) and Innocent (2022). He has performed at the EPIC Gig in 2022, where he dropped a memorable Freshman cypher, solidifying his stamp in the local music scene.
Xhosa writer, performing artist and songstress 𝗩𝗜𝗪𝗘 is from the effervescent small town, Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. With her trademark intensity and sensational vocals, Viwe delivers a new level of honesty and passion with her fun fusion of 90’s Soul/R&B-fused Hip Hop and Funk, brought together in a distinctly South African way.
𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗚 𝗧𝗠𝗣𝗢 is a rapper, songwriter, mixing engineer and record producer. His debut EP “Youth Goals” dropped in December of 2017. A versatile multi-genre artist, he incorporates melodies from R&B, Trap, Soul and AfroBeats into his Rap and Hip Hop. This year, he reached a milestone 10.5k views on one of his TikTok verses, and a music video following the release of his “Mop-stick Freestyle”.
Zweli Msibi, professionally known as 𝗭𝗪𝗘𝗟𝗜 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗩𝗢𝗖𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗦𝗧, is a young Swazi man who started making music in 2012, playing the guitar. He has released 11 singles, with “Ingoma” garnering 2.4k views in a short space of time. With a loyal following on Facebook and TikTok, he has played on many of Eswatini’s stages. A solo vocalist, Zweli sings AfroPop.
𝗝𝗢𝗝𝗢 𝗟𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗘 Leads With Peace. With this intention, multidisciplinary artist Fikile Tsabedze builds a space for healing in her music. Jojo’s voice is soft and feather-like as her vocals gently call listeners to be reflective and embrace the range of their emotions. The 23-year-old has been releasing music since 2020, and has released songs in Russia, where she is currently studying.
Mpumalanga born musician, 𝗥𝗔𝗛 𝗣𝗨𝗡𝗭𝗟 merges R&B, Soul, Trap, AfroSoul and Deep House music while bringing a memorable, energetic, and soulful performance with every experience of her ‘Live On Set’ performances. She brings a mixture of old school ambience combined with the new school flow with her poetic rhymes. Rah has three music videos out on MTV Base, Trace Urban/ Africa, Channel O featuring her hit singles To The Side, For T.H.O.S.E & Fight No More.
𝗥𝗘𝗜𝗗 𝗥𝗔𝗣𝗦𝗨𝗦 is a 24-year-old rapper and producer from Matsapha, Eswatini whose music career ignited in 2013. He has dropped 2 albums and 3 music videos, with his recent album SANE reaching 4.9k listeners on Spotify, and one of his music videos airing on Chanel O.
𝗣𝗔𝗜𝗚𝗘 majored in Piano and Sound Engineering at Rhodes University, South Africa, and has spent the last 7 years building his brand. He has over 5 000 listens to “Heaven Only Knows,” a place on several Spotify Play Lists and an independent creative studio. His sound is heavily influenced by Hip Hop, Soul and RnB.
Wandile Andile Ndlovu, popularly known as 𝗠 𝗡𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡, is a vocalist from Mshingishingi, Pigg’s Peak. He has a unique Gqom / Rap sound, and is currently pushing his first ever album titled SwaziGqom. During the launch of his album, he was recognized by and gained the support of well-versed producer, DJ Maphorisa and DJ Cueber.
𝗦𝗛𝗔𝗤 ‘𝗢 𝗠𝗔𝗖 is a Swazi recording artist, composer & sound engineer, with a unique, laid-back energy rap style, which consists of a slow-paced storytelling flow over hard-hitting bass. Shaq’s catalogue of singles include “2 Eggs & Bacon” with The Craft Media, and “Zaza” and “11 Know What It Is,” with Melie FNM. He performed at Epic Gig III in 2022.
Asanda Zamaswazi, better known as 𝗔𝗬𝗭𝗘𝗘, is a rapper, singer and songwriter of Swati heritage, who grew up in both South Africa and Eswatini. She weaves her experiences into her music, making it relatable. AyZee calls herself The Last Flowbender, skillfully “sound shifting” between Hip Hop, Trap, Pop, AfroPop, Soul and Jazz.
𝗟𝗢𝗥𝗗 𝗦𝗔𝗔𝗖𝗛𝗜𝗜 is an independent multi-talented musician from eStjeni in Eswatini. Since he started recording music in 2011, Verse has released over 5 Hip Hop mixtapes and has performed at events such as UNESWA Fresher’s Ball, MTN Rhymes and Laughter, and the Hipnotik Festival. He is notorious for dropping songs randomly on his Facebook page, which he has been growing since 2019.
23-year-old Swazi vocalist, singer and songwriter 𝗡𝗢𝗞𝗔𝗡𝗜𝗔’s evocative music infuses smooth R&B and calming Pop harmonies into contemporary and worldbeat rhythms, creating a exceptional brand of conscious and soulful music that uplifts and inspires. Her first single and offering to the world Loving You Has Consequences dropped in 2022. She has since released Carry Me, Bambelela Kuwe and Have You Ever. She co-composed the theme song for the Eswatini Communications Commission.
𝗔𝗥𝗠𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗝𝗢𝗨𝗕𝗘𝗥𝗧 is a South African Pop artist, known for his energetic performances, high notes, and impeccable style. He draws his musical inspiration from artists like Todrick Hall Jessie J, Billie Eilish, Avery Wilson, Mariah Carey, and Christina Aguilera to name a few. AJ was part of the top 32 at season 2 of The Voice and went on to win Male Vocalist of the Year at the 011 Awards.
𝗞𝗔𝗗 is a star on the rise in the Hip Hop community, who attained his love for music in church where he felt he could freely express his feelings. The Ezulwini-based rapper was influenced by Hip Hop greats like Lil Wayne, Big Sean and Kanye West whose songs he used rap over as youngster, not realizing that he would one day purse his dreams in becoming a professional recording artist too.
For 𝗜𝗟𝗢𝗩𝗘𝗠𝗔𝗗𝗢𝗡𝗡𝗔, music represents an all-encompassing surrender, a pledge of self-honesty. Often tranquil and habitually sullen in his vocal style, the Swazi singer-songwriter delves deep into themes of romance, confusion, anger and ambition. Each rhyme and bar is deeply rooted in conveying the most intimate moments of human experience, blending R&B, Soul and Hip Hop. Above all, it’s deep, it’s sensual, and it grooves.