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“It’s A Good Time For Amapiano” Valee Music Talks About New Release ‘Mali’, South African Music and Upcoming Collaborations

The recent genre spotlight on Amapiano as the new sound of 2022 has sparked a wave of conversation around the music, which pays homage to its South African root. We caught up with the beautiful and incredibly talented Valee Music, currently based in London, on her latest soulful Amapiano hit ‘Mali’, dream collaboration and all about South African music as the latest trend to hit global shores.  

Valee Music, aka Valerie Menyiwe Sibanda, grew up in a family of musical background. “I’ve been singing since I was a child. From the age of six writing my first song, to joining choirs throughout my life to singing in festivals now. My parents love music, so I was exposed to a diverse sound at a young age. That’s where I draw inspiration from”. 

Describing her music as “sexy, confident and soulful”, ‘Mali’ encompasses exactly just all of that. “I love ‘Mali’, it’s one of my favorite records to date. I love it because if you listen closely it pays an ode to the previous genres behind it; Kwaito, SA House.” She shared. “I would really like to thank Unlimited Soul who is the amazing producer behind the record. This record was inspired by life and the hustle and bustle of chasing money. We all in one way or the other wake up every day and use money/ pursue money. As they say, “money makes the world go round” and it goes. Also, big shout out to Noxolo and Malcomplicated who contributed on the record with Inkredible Muzik who worked on the amazing mix & arrangement! Shout out to everyone involved on the project.”

The beautifully curated track speaks all about the pursuit of happiness where one yearns to achieve their ultimate desires. It is all about remaining resolute and determined to achieve your ambitions and desires, ‘Mali’ is more than just a feel good, groovy tune. The success of the song is also taking off across international shores. “Mainstream radio is playing our sounds; it’s playing my music and I love that! Shout out to Reprezent radio and Pulse FM who recently aired my tune Mali! It was also added as a Hotshot track in the BBC 1Xta feature on the Afro Beats Chart Show!”, Valerie enthuses. 

The talented producer Unlimited Soul, known for his record “Breakthrough” with Dbn Gogo and recently played at Friends of Amstel by Channel O, is credited for combining the synergies of melodic beats on ‘Mali’ with Valerie’s rich deep soprano vocals. With so many talents working alongside her, Valerie is grateful to have these amazing creative individuals who inspired her work throughout the years. “I was lucky at the start or my career to have been surrounded by so many buzzing talents and people who were genuinely hungry for authentic music. I got the opportunity of working with the likes of Cuebur & Ian Green (who produced for Michael Jackson) I was also heavily inspired by artists like: Bob Marley, Lebo Mathosa, Busi Mhlongo, Mfaz’ onyama, Ringo Madlingozi & Oliver Mtukudzi. Also “Remember when it rained” by DJ Sbu was just one of those classic records that has that timeless feel for me! “

Speaking of dream collaborations, Valerie reveals that the top would be Wizkid, Drake and Busiswa. “I love Busiswa’s high energy and how daring she is. Wizkid.. who wouldn’t want to work with Wiz. Drake is someone you can tell not only does music but loves music. He was one of the first Commercial Popstars to bring Afro sounds like Afro house to the forefront and International platform. “

When you listen to ‘Mali’, you can definitely hear sounds of Urban Zulu fusing traditional sounds to this Amapiano hit to draw listeners in. it evokes them to follow the music and connect with their innermost desire. The synergy of the beat takes the listeners on a musical journey to be one with their soul. Valerie further shares her thoughts on the genre, “Amapiano is a vibe! I love that I’m living in London and the taste of home is only one airplay away! Right now, I’m loving sounds but Boohle, Kabza’s always been consistent and Busta 929! Amapiano is the future not just for South Africans or Southern Africans. It’s the New African sound and everyone digs it! I knew Amapiano had crossed over when the US picked it up. I say US because it’s difficult to break into the USA market even for UK Artists. Shout out to Estelle from the UK who absolutely killed it, one of the first to do it. Right now, there’s a shift and Americans are beginning to listen to African music. Look at Afrobeats the likes of “Essence” track by Wizkid & Tems. I believe that the record really showed that Africa has arrived, and this helped smooth and open doors for the Amapiano sound. “

Discussing on this wave of culture not only growing at meteoric speed but also heavily influencing many house tracks of today’s dances and electronic genre, Amapiano is surely elevating the musical scene and playlists of many listeners today. “They are just lots of fun and exciting tunes out at the moment! And so many hits. It’s a good time for Amapiano”. So, what else can we expect from the talented soulful singer? “So many! I’m quite excited! Right now, I’m working with producers from Mozambique, South Africa and the US so please watch this space!”

Valerie’s high energy rubs off everyone who has the fortune to connect with her and her music will undoubtedly elevate your mood to a feel good, energized momentum. “I just want people to enjoy my music, I speak about life, love and different experiences so I know fans relate to my music. But I always tell my music in a fun way because my music is an escape!

Before we left off, she also sends her appreciation to all the fans and listeners out there, “Guys l love you so much and Thank you for supporting me! “

Words by Sheila Lim

Posted On 4 October, 2022