Elaine is the R&B singer-songwriter you need to know about. She made a name for herself when she became the first independent female artist to reach #1 on the Apple Music Sub-Saharan African charts, with debut EP Elements, going on to be named the most streamed female artist in SA and, to top it off, signing with Columbia Records. Not to mention the fact that she’s pursuing a law degree on the side. Elaine is a pure powerhouse.
Today, Elaine’s music is soul-busting, hinging on scintillating vocals and a new-school melodic undertone that’s testament to her writing finesse – a talent that’s been fostering since childhood. Elaine earned a love for the stage after singing in her pre-school choir, going on to win gold in the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. It was these days spent on the stage, the after-school splurges, that shaped her platinum debut, featuring breakout track “Changes” as well as sleek banger “Say It”.
It’s hard to believe that an album recorded from a modest dorm room between lunch breaks and class lectures at Wits University could sound so good, but for Elaine, it’s a small, pervading detail. She was humbled by the process, finding within it a sound, and stories, of the heart.
Elaine is currently writing new music for her first major label release, but that hasn’t stopped her from putting out a new video for “Risky”.
Directed by Nape Phasha, the video opens to her having her mugshots taken before cutting to an empty auditorium, her centre-stage. It’s a clean visual, with moody shots that follow the story of a relationship falling apart, eventually ending with Elaine holding a gun to the man who’s just cheated on her. Talk about female empowerment – Elaine is an artist for herself and only herself. Her music screams of burgeoning independence, the true sound of a woman taking SA’s music industry by the horns.