After making a name for herself as a celebrated singer, songwriter, actor and performer, South African singing powerhouse, Ramelo, has released her debut single “Heyiwena”.
Ramelo is one of South Africa’s top musicians whose soulful and powerful voice has left an indelible impression on the SA music industry. The 34-year-old musician who hails from Durban, but has lived in Johannesburg for the past 10 years, release “Heyiwena” on Friday 26 February 2021 across all major digital platforms.
Having worked under the previous stage name of Lelo Ramasimong within the local music scene, Ramelo was introduced earlier this year to her legion of fans – to showcase local audiences of the fresh, diverse and unique musical sounds this vocal powerhouse is set to be in 2021.
Despite having made a top name for herself as a talented singer and actor on the local theatre scene, Ramelo rose to notoriety when she appeared in the third season of the reality TV singing competition ‘The Voice SA’ in 2019 – as one of the Top 12 finalists.
According to Ramelo, the main inspiration for her single, was that 2020 was “a year of many harsh realisations”.
“As an artist I felt like no one really cared about the way COVID 19 affected our careers and how we all lost our main and in some instances only source of income. As a woman I felt like the fight against GBV wasn’t being fought consciously by the majority and seemed to be a passing phase coming and going according to the wave of tragic incidents reported on the news. However, I saw artists (myself included) reach out of their comfort zones to find different ways to survive and keep themselves afloat. Heyiwena is saying “Hey you! In spite of the injustices of life, we conquer still, we’re ready and “fired up” for whatever life brings,” she says.
The singer-songwriter has been writing songs for the past 14 years, but the journey to becoming a recording, singer, songwriter, artist began eight years ago for Ramelo. For her, timing is everything and that’s why this accomplished musician is finally ready to share her music with the world.
“The song is also about my personal journey of finally coming to a place of complete gratitude for every obstacle that has been placed before me and through God’s grace moving forward anyway. I tried releasing before but things just didn’t fall into place then the way they have now, it feels like I’ve been preparing for this very moment all these years.”
For “Heyiwena”, Ramelo worked with talented producer, PRAIZE, who has a developing studio in Durban with Ramelo’s younger brother, Lazarus, where they create beats – including the one for this soulful track.
“The beat to this single was one the two had in their archives, Praize didn’t think much of the beat until my husband Mike noticed and opted to co-produce the song – which has resulted in the phenomenal beat it now is,” she shares.
For Ramelo, the song is an ode to Mahlathini and Mahotella Queens as she sings a well-known melody of theirs at the beginning and end of the song.
“This addition is, in a way, a tribute to them as the Mbaqanga Legends that they are. With this song, I tried to create a new sound while acknowledging how their music has also influenced me throughout my life.”
Describing her sounds as “Soul R&B, with everything on top”, Ramelo says she has a number of musical projects in the works for 2021.
“I love experimenting with musical genres so I’ll be doing dance tracks, EDM, House and Deep House, Hip Hop/R&B, Afro Pop songs too, with a touch of R&B and Mbaqanga elements. Being a Zulu woman, married to a Sotho man, living in a world where English seems to be the communication language of choice, I have many influences and so I’d like my music to represent the amalgamation of those influences in my life.”
Listen to “Heyiwena”
- YouTube link for “Heyiwena”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTs_KPiL9dY
- Additional digital platform links for “Heyiwena”: https://orcd.co/rameloheyiwena“Heyiwena” is now available on all major digital music outlets .
RAMELO is a popular diva and R&B/Soul artist that possesses dynamic vocals and a bubbly personality that have made her a firm favourite with audiences everywhere. Seventeen Magazine voted her the Top Young South African Artist and she was a finalist in the ‘Cosmopolitan Most Awesome Women of the Year’.
RAMELO has also performed with Timothy Moloi in ‘Always and Forever: A Tribute to Luther Vandross”, and was cast as the Lead Female Vocalist for the international touring dance show ‘Burn the Floor’ in 2016. The producers of this global mega-hit ballroom dance show were so mesmerized with RAMELO’s talents that she returned to headline the 2019 South African tour of ‘Burn The Floor: Fire In The Ballroom’ as the Lead Female Vocalist, which toured Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban over a two-month period.
2018 turned out to be a breakout year for RAMELO’s career, as she completed two runs of the critically acclaimed musical theatre production ‘The Color Purple’ at the Joburg Theatre, first as a Church lady and then in a leading role as Shug Avery for which she recently won a Naledi Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.
This talented superstar ended 2019 on the Joburg Theatre stage in Janice Honeyman’s Pantomime ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ – in a lead role as the Good Fairy.
Being on the stage comes naturally for the KZN-born talent. RAMELO won a Durban Theatre Award for Best Newcomer and for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Theatre Production for her role in Kickstart’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. Having completed a Johannesburg run in Hazel Feldman’s outstanding production of ‘DreamGirls’, RAMELO joined the cast of ‘African Footprint’ for their tour of China before joining the cast of Barnyard Theatre’s ‘Under African Skies’ for their tour of Europe. She has performed alongside South African music legends, such as Gloria Bosmon and Abigail Khubeka. She has been the Lead Female Vocalist in the popular television show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and was one of the artists performing in the new television series ‘Coke Studio’ – collaborating with well-known producer 37MPH to create their hit single ‘SHINE’.
RAMELO is on an exciting journey as her audience rediscovers this dynamic vocalist. She is currently in the studio creating her own original sound and is looking forward to releasing more musical projects in 2021. The sky’s the limit for RAMELO right now, and exciting projects lay on the horizon.
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