Just recently, barely anyone knew her name.
She was just a young woman following her dreams in the music industry and slowly making a mark. Until her name popped up on the South African Music Awards nominations list.
Now South Africa knows who she is.
The confident and bold rising star is going head-to-head with music giants in the Softn'free Female Of The Year nomination Award, White Star Newcomer Of The Year, and Best Reggae Album at the South African Music Awards.
Reggae and dancehall singer Tsoseletso Motsepe (25) fondly known as Reign Africa, is mostly excited to be nominated against powerful females, especially on the Sofnfree Female Of The Year category.
“This award is special to me because my music and essence is about the power and strength of women,” Reign Africa says.
Although she is new and going up against big names like Nomcebo Zikode, Sho Madlozi, gospel singers Bucy Radebe and Hle in the category, Reign Africa is not threatened.
“There is enough space for all of us in the industry and I’m just on my path,” she says.
Reign believes awards do not define a musician but are great achievements to have.
“A great artist has to authentic, genuine, timeless, be unforgettable and can transcend through generations.”
A star in her genre and steadily making a name for herself, Reign is counting her achievements. “Being nominated at the SAMAs is by far my biggest achievement,” she says. In 2018 she also had the opportunity to perform in Malawi.
“I am so blessed that through my music I got to travel to Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi and sang alongside Luttan Fyah from Jamaica, Black Missionaries from Malawi, and Skeleton Blazer from South Africa. That was a big deal for me, to be able to touch lives of people in different parts of the continent,” Reign Africa says.
Read more l Here's the full list of #SAMA27 nominees
Her single Ngifuna Wena is a fan favourite in the reggae music scene and has been played on radio stations across the country.
Released last year December, her 14-track album titled On The Frontline boasts about the strength, fearlessness, and beauty of being a woman.
“It embodies the strength, courage, and being of a black woman in their industry, whether it be in music or corporate. Being on the frontline; staying grounded and resilient through it all and trailblazing new paths for those coming behind us,” Reign Africa says.
To be nominated for the SAMAs, Reign Africa’s company Frontline Productions submitted her album to the SAMAs and then we waited for nomination day.
“Just being nominated is a dream come true. The reggae community in South Africa is big and it's time we got recognition in these mainstream platforms. I’ve had to constantly pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. It is so surreal and a big milestone for my career because I grew up listening to some of these artists, I’m just so excited,” she says.
Reign Africa believes she has a good chance of winning in all three categories.
“Everyone nominated with me is so deserving, it’s a great honour for me as an upcoming artist but being the first female reggae artist to be nominated for three categories and I do believe that I stand a good chance of winning. My album is something different,” Reign Africa adds.
She has been doing music for 12 years and chose to focus on reggae music six years ago. Both her parents are musicians, and singing came naturally to her.
“My love for music is in the blood. My mom has one beautiful and powerful voice that still gives me chills,” she says.
She was born in Vereeniging in the Vaal and spent her early years there before relocating to the South of Johannesburg. As a young girl, she always knew she would become a star.
“I was pretty naughty as a young girl, always somewhere within mischief, a definite creative. I was always really shy to sing or present in public but always participated in anything to do with the arts,” Reign Africa says.
“I chose Reggae music is a universal genre that appeals to the young and old. The conscious powerful message and the historical weight reggae music carries drew me to the music.”
Her favourite artists include Queen Ifrika, Jah9, Lila Ikè, Sizzla Kalonji, and Zonke to name a few.
“I see myself making reggae music fashionable and having it played on mainstream radio like other genres,” Reign Africa adds.