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Maleh returns to the limelight

Lesotho-born Afro-Jazz artiste Maleh

April 27, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

LESOTHO-born Afro-jazz musician Maleh, real names ’Malehlohonolo Hlalele, has returned to the music scene following a three-year hiatus.

Her latest offering, thus her fourth album titled ‘Tones of The Queen’ - is expected to hit social media platforms early in May, from where fans can pre-order it.

Maleh is also prepared to market the album through organised gigs in South Africa, where she is currently based.

She describes the album as versatile with fresh sounds, mostly composed by a prominent Nigerian producer.

Maleh, who is married in SA, last released in 2017 an album titled ‘Gold Ring’, which was also different from her two previous submissions (2013 and 2014) in that it was more of a love-dance album.

She thereafter took a break from the music scene to focus on her new family.

“The youth will definitely be excited about this new one. In it, I wanted to challenge myself and be more versatile hence, I introduced new sounds. The first track is “Kopa Tsela’ - a gospel song I wrote last year when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Through that painful period, I realised that life is not in our hands but under God’s control. This track encourages people to put God first in everything they do because we need Him,” she says.

The media-shy songbird began her musical journey in Lesotho where she was born in 1985 and raised in Sea-Point, Maseru.

Her singing career took off during her final high school year, when she joined the Bloemfontein-based Afro-pop group Kaya, which released its debut album ‘Kunzima’ and won the Metro FM Best Newcomer Award in 2005.

She later parted ways with the group to further her studies at a film college in Johannesburg, where she majored in Cinematography.

After graduating, Maleh began working for various events production companies as a freelance coordinator for some major music festivals.

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Having dedicated a few years to discovering the intricacies of the music world from behind the scenes, she later returned to the airwaves with hit collaborations including with DJ Qness ‘Uzongilinda’ and ‘Time’ songs, DJ Ganyani  ‘Not so Far' and international hit with DJ Kent called ‘Falling’.

In 2013, Maleh released her much anticipated solo album 'Step Child', a 12-track Afro-soul album fuelled by a strong desire to incorporate her cultural roots with her urban vibe.

The album included hit singles like 'Under My Skin' and 'Chimsoro' which she sang in Isizulu.

It won the 2013 SAMA Award for Best African Adult Album, and was also nominated Award for Album of The Year and Best Female Artist of The Year.

It was further nominated for the 2013 Metro FM Music Awards for Best African Pop and Best Contemporary Jazz. The album was followed by ‘You Make My Heart Go’ - released in 2014, which included the track – ‘Ke MoAfrika’ that received much airplay on local radio stations and in SA.

Maleh is popular with R&B/Soul, Dance/Electronic and Latin Pop genres.


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