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South African R&B singer and songwriter Elaine is kicking off her next era of music

Elaine Mukheli

Elaine was born in Pretoria and began singing in the pre-school choir, immediately earning a love for the stage. From that point, Elaine participated in multiple talent show competitions both as a soloist and part of the choir, even winning a gold medal at 2014’s 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. While studying in law school in 2019, Elaine had the urge to create her first project that later shaped into her debut EP Elements.

She had an amazing start with her breakout single “You're the One,” which has garnered over 6 million video views to date and hit #1 on Apple Music South Africa charts upon release. The EP follows a journey through love, heartbreak and renewal, and ended up making history for Elaine, making her the first female independent artist to reach No. 1 on the Apple Music Sub-Saharan African charts. As a nominee for MTV Africa’s Music Awards for Breakthrough Act, Elaine is truly a star awaiting her takeover across the sea. Elaine just finished her law degree at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand and is working on a slew of new releases including her major-label debut album.

Here, she shares deets about her new track “Right Now”, a message she would tell her 16-year-old self, how she gained her confidence and her move to Columbia Records.

Image: Supplied

GLAMOUR: You’ve just turned 22 and you’ve achieved your music dream, how does that feel?

Elaine: Thank you! My partnership with Columbia has been great. I've got an amazing team that works day and night to make sure my vision for my music and visuals are respected & handled with so much care.

GLAMOUR: Your breakout “You’re the One” has reached over 6.2 Million views on YouTube and done tremendously well on digital platforms. Tell us about the time you wrote the song. Did you imagine it being this big?

Elaine: I didn't ever imagine that that would be the biggest song in South Africa in 2020. It was and still is such a humbling experience. I'm very grateful for the support and love that I've gotten. It means everything to me.

WATCH: Elaine’s “’You’re the One’’ music video

GLAMOUR: You are very confident in your own skin; would you say that has helped you on your journey of who you are right now? And what message would you tell our readers and your fans about being self-aware and confident?

Elaine: It's taken me very long to be comfortable in my skin. Self-love can be a very hard journey but I'm learning every day. And yes, confidence is definitely something that has opened a lot of doors for me. I think the best advice I can give is to always love and appreciate the person that you are because you're all you really have. Be kinder to yourself.

GLAMOUR: You recently released a short documentary ’’The Shining Star’’ tell us more about it?

Elaine: I really wanted to give my fans something for them to get to know me better. It was a very personal project for me, and it warmed my heart seeing and feeling all the love.

WATCH: The Shining Star Documentary

GLAMOUR: So finally, we’re receiving new music. Please tell us about your new single “Right Now”. The visuals are stunning as well.

Elaine: Thank you! “’ Right Now’’ is me reintroducing myself as a confident, educated and self-aware Black woman. It's about reclaiming your power and removing anything and anyone that no longer serves you. When making this song, I remember walking up to the mic with a lot of things I was carrying in my heart but had trouble communicating and relaying to others. After I recorded it, things changed for me. The concept of Love transformed from being a good lover to someone, to be a good lover to myself too.

WATCH: Elaine - Right Now (Official Video)

GLAMOUR: What would you tell 16-year-old Elaine?

Elaine: I'd tell her to be kinder to herself.

GLAMOUR: What can we expect from Elaine and Columbia in the future?

Elaine: Lots and lots of beautiful music! Lots and lots of content! A lot of growth too. I have grown so much since my EP, and I've found new ways to express myself too. So, I'm excited to share that with the world.

Stream “’Right Now’’ here

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