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Obikay: A Vocal Inspiration to South African Youth

Landiso Magqaza

South African youngsters have fallen in love with the Afro music genre, a fusion of dance rhythm with contemporary pop music. If you haven’t heard it yet, then this is the introduction you’ve been waiting for. The Tswana are proud to present the country a rising star within the local music industry. Obikay is a sensation and inspiration to those whose ambition it is to be a musician in the afro-pop scene.

Born Obikeng Mmatli in 1989, she goes by the stage name Obikay. She is originally from Rustenburg Mabeskraal in the North West province, and later became a resident of Naturena in Johannesburg. The young artist says she developed her passion for music from a very young age. “I started singing when I was three years old [and] joined some choirs as I grew up,” she says. Not only can she sing, but she is also a songwriter and studied music at Central Johannesburg College after she completed her vocal training. Obikay explains how she was inspired by both local and international artists, and still is “inspired by artists who can really sing to conquer, such as Lira, Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Usher and Adele.”

Her debut album, Obikay Africa, began production and recording last year May, and was released at the beginning of 2016. She was discovered by recording producer Thapelo “Mahaps Thaps” Chaka. She has been recording under the label of Waveform Pro, and last year released her first hit single “Fight for Me,” also produced by Chaka and Dane John Hawkins.

It has an infectious fusion of both afro and pop music, with lyrical hooks that are easy to sing along to. “I sing not to impress,” Obikay explains, “but to conquer the stage. I do it not for myself, fame, or wealth, but rather for the hearts of the audience who need healing and inspiration.” The inspiration for her single came from a friend’s situation, where her parents could not accept the man in her life. Obikay wrote the song to her future man, asking whether he would fight for her in that kind of situation, and tugs at the heart strings of all who can relate.

Obikay has hopes of recording with other acclaimed names in the music industry such as Lira, HHP, Khuli Chana, Black Coffee, and DJ Fresh, as well as international acts, such as Beyoncé, David Guetta, and Nicki Minaj. She would like to perform on huge scales like the EMAs, SAMMAs, Grammys or even the National Arts festival. “When we manage to reach a point where we can afford to travel and conduct tours,” Obikay says with hope in voice, “then I could perform on those platforms.”

She is about to release another single entitled “Shake it Up,” which features fellow rap artist Sparzito. Obikay promises it will dare you to dance: “I hope the audience will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed recording it. South Africa should get up and shake it up with Obikay.”

Obikay can be found on twitter @Obikaysinger and her Facebook page is Obikay.
Her songs can be downloaded from iTunes.
For bookings and other communication contact Joanne Oliver on JoanneO@tickyboxmedia.co.za.

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