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This is why DJ Hlo won Ukhozi FM's 2021 song of the year

Published Jan 5, 2022


THE management team behind Durban-born music sensation, Hlosiwe Mthalane, 24, widely known as DJ Hlo, who recently landed Ukhozi FM’s song of the year contest, said her success was largely due to the growing popularity of the amapiano genre.

Amapiano (isiZulu for piano), is a locally developed version of house music.

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DJ HLo’s amapiano flavoured track, Isibani, which featured DJ Manzo and Sboniso, landed her the Ukhozi FM accolade, which made her the first female DJ to achieve the feat,

In keeping with tradition, Ukhozi made the announcement as the clock struck 12, to mark the New Year.

Her support team savoured the moment, especially since some music lovers, who were not familiar with her song or her brand, took to social media to express their displeasure.

Sandy B, an artist developer, who is part of DJ Hlo’s management team, made known some of their behind the scenes work, at a press conference in Durban on Wednesday.

He said their success came after much hard work, which included creating a fan-base, outside of Durban and capitalising on amapiano’s growing appeal.

“We did a lot of campaigning. As a team, we knew that we needed to capitalise on some things. We took into account her genre was on the rise and some communities are still trying to make sense of this type of music,” said Sandy B.

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“So we also focused on areas that were adapting to this type of genre. The areas outside of Durban included Jozini (northern KwaZulu-Natal) and even Namibia.”

Founder of Maz Entertainment, Dr Musa Zulu said that regardless of what the naysayers are saying, Dj Hlo won fair and square.

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“We took the criticism online as a motivation, we were not bothered by what they were saying because this title was not given to us on a silver platter, we worked for it. We promise the critics that we are going to go back to the drawing board and bring more heat because Hlo is here to stay,” said Zulu

DJ Hlo is a trailblazer for becoming the first female DJ to have won the number one spot on Ukhozi FM’s top ten. She said even though she will not be financially compensated by the radio station, she felt that recognition exceeded what money would have done.

She has also worked with well-known artists including Rethabile, Sabza Matsege, Alpha and Kaygee and Bizizi. Her festive titled track was also reportedly nominated for Ukhozi FM’s 2020 Top 10, where she claimed the fifth spot.

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Her music career was ignited by a meeting she had with Bull Dawgz record label’s Oscar Mlangeni who signed her and helped with her debut single ebusuku, which was released in 2020.

Under Maz Entertainment, DJ Hlo is planning to host a celebratory music festival on January 29, in Umlazi, where she was born and bred.

“The new-found fame is exciting and I’m in awe of the support of the public and media houses across the country, not forgetting fellow artists in the industry. I pledge to make a solid and meaningful impact,” said DJ Hlo.

She is also planning to release an EP and establish her foundation, the DJ Hlo Foundation, where she would groom and train females to become DJs like herself in the near future.


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