From singing to small crowds along side side two other talented singers in an acapella group to winning the hearts of millions, Luyolo Yiba has cemented his place in the music industry of South Africa. Hailing from the Eastern Cape, 26-year-old Luyolo Yiba was crowned the Idols SA Season 15 winner in a glittering awards ceremony hosted at Carnival City on Sunday 17th November 2019 and televised live to millions of Mzansi Magic watchers. The season of Idols SA in which Luyolo won saw the biggest volume of votes being cast, 186 million to be precise, over the duration of the competition, and trended in the number one position on social media every Sunday.
On the 6 th of November, Idols winner “Luyolo Yiba” released his third single titled “Sondela” which is set to be one of summer’s biggest hits. “Ithemba” is a 10 Track album produced by Bavumile. This Duo is fast becoming known for a new wave in sound and they have recently signed under Jazzworx as producers. Luyolo’s writing ability, merged with their compositions, created the masterpiece titled “Ithemba” which means ‘Hope’. This is a formidable milestone for Luyolo’s music career after winning the hearts of many South Africans on Idols South Africa Season 15
“What my supporters should take from Ithemba is the positivity, the love, and the hope; they should be hopeful at all times despite life’s circumstances and love one another. That’s the whole vibe of the album” says Luyolo with excitement. “A quote that I live by is, we are all destined for greatness, we just have to continue doing what we do best. Wonke Umuntu Maka Phuse” he adds.
The editor of Dannywired got to sit with Luyolo Yiba and this is what he had to say
What was your biggest wakeup call after winning idols?
One of the greatest parts of all of this is that I was an artist before all of this, I was already used to hustling and being on the ground waaaay before Idols happened. I didn’t come into the competition without knowing anything and after winning thinking I had made it, I knew there was work to be done continuing from where I left off. One of the wake calls was just that, just because i won the competition doesn’t mean i am anywhere, yes i have a huge advantage and a larger fan base but i still need to put in the hard work like everyone else. I think the biggest problem about singing competitions is that you get know as a person who sings covers which intern which means you sing popular songs which draws people in but when you release music some people switch because now you not singing their favourite songs but there are other listeners who want to listen to you and grow with you and understand your music, from me that is a downfall – it if it was a case of people hear your original music from get go they would easily fall in love with you and grow with you from day one.
So the group Ethnic happened before Idols?
Yes, the group was formed before I entered the competition. So what I did when I recorded Ithemba, I called my friends to do the backing vocals and if you listen to the chorus from “Thula” you can clearly hear Xola and Phila.
Album is out, 10 tracks – so tell us, what is the album about?
The album revolves around 2 things being love and hope, so just saying that it just tells you that it is positive oriented – anything negative can move right along as the world is already negative as it is. I just wanted to keep this album positive seeing where we have come in 2020. It is so crazy as some of the songs i wrote a while ago however they are still relevant in the time we are in. It talks about my life, my love life, things that have literally happened – take example, one of the songs titled Kwelizayo is a song that i wrote for my late uncle so it’s dear to my heart. Even though the song has a sad element it still speaks about having hope that we will meet again.
From you two singles already released which were more romantical, we now see another side of you. When you were working on this body of work, how much did you give yourself in this album and was it hard for you to open up to your fans since you live a private life?
Right this album was… ya it was complex especially when it came to the love stories “chuckles” because i knew people were going to ask me about certain songs and what they really meant but i was so truthful when i was writing it. It was very difficult “chuckles” hey it was very difficult writing about such, i mean i just wrote a very personal song and put it out there so yeah it was difficult.
Tell us about Ithemba which is my personal favourite.
I wrote that song while I was in varsity, i was going through the most again but this time around it was my books causing all my mystery. You know when you are in school you think your books will be the end of you but quick realise when it’s all done that actually the outside world right is rough! This song was written to console me not to lose hope and it is a way of also telling people that even if it is still rosey or darkness is upon you, don’t lose hope. There’s a quote I like from that song which says “ we things are though we always forget about the good times we had we always focus on the time we in and we quick to lose hope because we are fond of having it all” now when we fall it’s like we have lost it all. Its crazy, when i recorded it on the mic on the laptop and looking bad it was bad “chuckles” but how i made it a complete song with the harmonies and melodies like all of it and i played it for my friends and we decided to start a group called Ethnic and it was a acapella group and that’s the song we started singing.
So who broke your heart because I got an element of “ but he’s going through the most”?
“Chuckles!!!” I feel as though as artists we tell our stories and express ourselves through our craft. I mean look at Adele with her albums 19, 21 I mean all of them, she speaks her truth! Who broke my heart? No man, someone! It wasn’t a situation of they broke my heart but a situation whereby like example Sondela, Sondela at first glance appears to be a party vibe song but actually if you listen carefully it’s a song about a time in my life where i was in this relation where everything was rosey but soon i too didn’t know what the hell was going on. I was trying to show that I didn’t understand where the relationship was going but I still wanted the person to come even close to me anyways. I later discovered that naaaah it’s not it. When you start questioning things you know you must continue with your life separately.
Where to from here?
Most definitely promoting the album, i really wanna give it time to promote it out there then going forward i would like to do a few collaborations and i have been in talks with some people. With this album I didn’t want to bombard it with a lot of collaboration and also bring on big artists because i didn’t want people to download my music just because so and so is on the song but because my music is good as it is. I wanted people to get to know me. I have been getting a lot of bookings but didn’t have music to perform, I had music ready but it wasn’t released and i didnt want people to hear good music and not be able to get it. Right now I can confidently go on stage and sing my songs and if I decide to do a cover I will do so because I want to not because I don’t have enough material to perform.
Catch up with Luyolo Yiba on the Socials