On the South African front...
» Future Sound
The name says it all; this pop-dance is the future. The three-man act has been under the radar for too long. They recently released an album and we predict big things for them. The boys have already racked up numerous SAMA nominations based solely on the hit single, Where Did She Go? The future of the South African sound is here.
» Zakes Bantwini
Shiny purple suit at the Metro Awards aside, this man is the business! After lending his cool and distinct vocals to South Africa’s best house DJ Black Coffee and Liquid Deep – undoubtedly the most influential act of 2010 – Bantwini’s own star is shining bright. His singles, Shake Your Bum Bum and Stop Wasting My Time, have become the summer anthems guaranteed to kick off any get-together. This is going to be his year.
The Daveyton- born Mbuso Sokhulo is about to take local hip-hop by storm. His single, Go Getta, from his debut album, Ambition, has already captured local radio. MB has quietly been working on his album for several years and now his voice, fresh sound and street-smart attitude will not go unnoticed in 2011. His lyrical prowess is on full display in songs like Sthandwa Sam and Ain’t The Same. His music videos are about to revolutionise the industry, thanks to high definition and multi-location shoots.
He is currently one of Mzansi’s hottest rappers who actually lives up to his hype. The Cape Town-born muso burst onto the scene in 1996 as part of hip-hop group Entity, which garnered a Kora Award. He was just 16 years old at the time. Fast forward to a few years later, AKA re-introduced himself as part of a production powerhouse, IV League.
The latter produced hits for various local acts like Khuli Chana, Pro, Teargas and Shugasmakx. He now has three solid hits under his belt, with I Want It All becoming an anthem for the inspired youth who are determined to make it, despite the odds.
» Joan Smalls
In November, Estée Lauder signed the Puerto Rican model to its line-up of global beauty ambassadors. Smalls will make her debut for the brand’s make-up and skincare campaigns in May this year, and will join long-term representatives Elizabeth Hurley, Hilary Rhoda and Carolyn Murphy.
The Latin model is a rising star in the fashion industry. She made her debut on Givenchy’s autumn/winter 2010-11 couture show in Paris and also has Marc Jacobs, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci on her CV.
...and on the international front
» Willow Smith
As the world joined her in whipping their hair back and forth, the 10-year-old was just giving us a glimpse of things to come. Having been compared to a young Michael Jackson, the youngest child of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith is set to release her album through Jay-Z’s record label, Rocafella. What will she be whipping up this year?
» Nicki Minaj
She established herself as the go-to hip-hop vocalist for all the cool cats of the industry and garnered an insane following on Twitter. The Young Money crew member’s new album, Pink Friday, was released in November 2010. She’s been called the black Lady Gaga and will continue her climb in the new year as she seeks awards, gives outlandish performances and pushes boundaries.
» Janelle Monae
Fresh-faced, petite, with dance-moves like James Brown, 25-year-old Monae has fashioned herself into one of the most memorable new artists of 2010.
Monae’s first album, released in 2007, called Metropolis: The Chase (Suite 1), gained her attention in small circles. The current album, The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III) made her an international sensation.
Her music is a mixture of pop, funk, hip-hop and R&B, which makes it difficult to pigeonhole her into any genre. Her personal style, like the tuxedo as seen on her video for the single, Tightrope, shows the world that not only is she a singer, but also a performer.
» Bruno Mars
Born Peter Gene Hernandez, he burst onto the music scene when he sang on rapper B.o.B’s hit single, Nothin’ On You. Thereafter, the American singer-songwriter and music producer cemented his name on Billionaire with Travie McCoy.
This year he released his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards. Sadly, Mars is to appear in court on February 4 on charges of drug possession, just nine days before the ceremony. This means he might miss the Grammies if he is found guilty.
You may recognise him as the rhyme-spitting Zulu rapper, but this thespian is now ready to be taken seriously and has already made headway. He has established a fan base on the SABC2 soapie, Muvhango, and his star is set to rise even higher when he features on etv’s Rhythm City as a Hustle Records musician, starting in February.
» Nonhle Thema
2010 has been pretty quiet for the petite media darling, but this is because her reality show, Nonhle Takes Hollywood, was being filmed. Yes, the global ambassador for Dark&Lovely, model, TV presenter, production company owner and all-round media powerhouse had cameras following her in Los Angeles as she tried to land one of the most sought-after jobs in Tinseltown – that of being an E!Entertainment reporter.
» Vanessa Haywood
She played the anxious and confused wife of Wikus van der Merwe in District 9; now she’s taking on a challenge of a different kind as one of the castaways in Survivor South Africa: Maldives. Hopefully this is the push the blonde-haired, blue-eyed former Benoni babe needs to finally thrust herself onto the bigger stage.
» Minenhle Dlamini
She got her foot in the entertainment industry after winning a presenter search for the popular SABC1 music show, Live. Now her cute, dimpled smile has taken her onto prime time TV with a stint in Generations. Minnie, as she’s known, is certainly making ripples. What next? Maybe a legit fashion range in the tradition of Bonang, Zizo and Sade.
» Thato Molamu
He made us bawl our eyes out as a prison rape survivor in the SABC1 drama, Intersexions. A few weeks later he pitched up in Generations as a scarf-wearing, slightly effeminate rich daddy’s boy. The large eyes, fashionable sideburns and naughty smile have already garnered him a loyal following. We predict that he is the next one who is going to cause a stampede on the red carpet and in shopping malls.
Food & Wine
» Marthinus Ferreira
Sitting at number five on the Eat Out 2011 Top 10 restaurants of the year is DW11-13, the brainchild of this talented chef. The fresh-faced young foodie has studied under two great British celebrity chefs, Gordon Ramsey and Heston Blumenthal, in recent years. The sum of that experience has resulted in him opening his own establishment.
He trained at home and before heading off to cook in foreign climes he worked at JC Le Roux Restaurant and La Calombe Restaurant and was head chef at Greenside’s Circle Café. After getting onto the sought-after Eat Out Top 10 for 2011, fine diners can expect to see a lot more of this chef.
» Praisy Dlamini
From the hills of northern KwaZulu-Natal to the mountains of Western Cape is quite a leap, especially when this has been accomplished through a love of wine. Dlamini, a viticulture and oenology graduate from Elsenburg Agricultural College and the first protégé of the Cape Wine Guild, has just joined Distell in Stellenbosch, where she will work as assistant winemaker on a range of products. You go, girl!Big screen
» Elle Fanning
The 12-year-old is younger sister to actress Dakota Fanning. Many might not recognise her as the young girl in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but Fanning has cut her acting teeth opposite the best in the business like Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett twice – also acting in Babel, a movie both actors starred in. Fanning even played the younger version of her sister in the movie, I Am Sam. This year she stars in the science fiction film, Super 8, and in Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo, opposite Scarlett Johansson.
» Elizabeth Olsen
The little sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is emerging from the famous twins’ shadow to make her screen debut in Peace, Love and Misunderstanding. Olsen has starred in many of her sisters’ made-for-DVD movies, but this time she has a chance to show her acting skills on the big screen. She has now acted in two other movies, Martha Marcy May Marlene and The Silent House, to be released between this year and next.
» Bella Thorne
At 13, the American actress and model has been tipped to be the next Miley Cyrus. Next year she starts her new Disney show, Shake It Up! This is by no means her first TV screen appearance. She has been in Entourage, The O.C. and portrayed Margaux Darling in five episodes of Dirty Sexy Money.
» Jesse Eisenberg
Having garnered a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Eisenberg is likely to get an Oscar nod. Which means his stock in Hollywood is about to go sky high. His starring role in The Social Network might take him from solid Indie film performer to mainstream A-lister.
» Lunga Shabalala
In four months the Pietermaritzburg hunk moved from coaching rugby and soccer at Durban High School to being the face and body of Calvin Klein underwear.
Since his win, Shabalala and his six pack have featured on numerous websites, magazines and newspapers, culminating in a spot in Cosmopolitan magazine’s 2011 calendar as Mr August.
He has become definite eye candy and will be taking TV by storm in the new year when he flexes his presenting muscles – and will then finish his town-planning degree on the side.
» Candice Swanepoel
The 22-year-old model is already well known overseas as a Victoria’s Secret girl, but here at home Swanepoel is just a blonde girl from Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal. She became a Victoria’s Secret Angel this year after featuring in the brand’s lingerie catalogues for four years.
She also modelled for the Kardashians’ 2010 swimwear line. She is now a well-known personality. Her popularity saw her being sent to open the first Victoria’s Secret retail store in Canada with much fanfare from adoring fans.