Eswatini’s music scene is buzzing with talent and creativity, and one of the artists who is making waves is iYA, a singer, songwriter and vocal coach who blends soul, RnB and modern jazz with her velvety voice. iYA, whose real name is Nkhosiyabongwa Dlamini, will be performing at the MTN Bushfire festival, one of Africa’s most celebrated music and arts events, happening from 26th to 28th May in Eswatini.
iYA started her musical journey as a member of a band called The Afroctaves, which reached the semi-finals of the MTN National Talent Search competition in 2016. She then signed with Mosoul Media, a record label and artist development company, where she spent three years honing her skills as a writer, vocalist and arranger. She also collaborated with other artists and worked as a vocal coach for the MTN Spotlight Season 3, Eswatini’s premium singing competition.
In December 2021, iYA released her debut single “Call Me”, which was accompanied by a music video that made it to VEVO’s Grown and Sexy RnB Playlist. The song showcases her smooth vocals and catchy lyrics over a laid-back groove. In April 2022, she dropped her first extended play record (EP) titled “Straight Up”, which features six tracks that explore themes of love, self-confidence and freedom. The EP received positive feedback from fans and critics alike, and was streamed on various platforms such as Spotify, Deezer and YouTube.
iYA describes her music as “soul searching sounds” that aim to touch souls, mend hearts and heal people emotionally. She draws inspiration from God and from a number of soul jazz musicians such as Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, H.E.R. and PJ Morton. She also cites Erykah Badu, Moonchild, Alex Isley, Cleo Sol and Kabza De Small as some of her influences.
iYA will be joining a diverse and powerful line-up of artists from across Africa and beyond at the MTN Bushfire festival, which is a celebration of arts, culture and social change that attracts over 20 000 people from across the globe every year. The festival’s motto is “Bring Your Fire”, which encourages the proactive contribution of the individual to make a positive difference in the world.
Tickets for MTN Bushfire 2023 are on sale now at www.bush-fire.com. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience one of Africa’s most vibrant and diverse festivals and witness iYA’s soulful performance