Zethembiso Mdletshe — aka Zethe — launched her first EP, "Qhawekazi" at The Orbit in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening. The singer won the Vodacom NXT LVL competition last year, and is ready to take the industry by storm.
She's not naive about the usual lifespan of reality-show winners once they hit the real music world, though.
"It's always like: 'You won, bye!'" she said after her performance. "That was the one conscious decision I made when I won — that I am not going to disappear."
Her set at the launch included songs from her EP, but she also covered one of her favourite musicians — Thandiswa Mazwai — with whom she says she would like to work one day.
Her vocal range wowed the audience, who sang the lyrics to some of the songs they knew at the jazz venue.
The singer from KwaZulu-Natal attributes her success to her mother, who was the one who "saw a vision" and "pushed [her] when she was younger".
"You know like how black families are; you know the arts and doing it full-time as a career is just like, 'Wow, babes, what is going to happen now?' I think she saw something behind this," she said.
Last night @Zethe_M launched her debut EP, Qhawekazi. She's done the hard work of recording this masterpiece and as she explains how this body of work came to life, one can't help but wait to listen to the soulful tunes she has in store for us! #VodacomNXTLVL #QhawekaziEP pic.twitter.com/hk24x3n6SJ— Vodacom (@Vodacom) June 21, 2018
Although most of the music on the EP is Afrosoul, Zethe will also be releasing a house track soon.
"You need to open yourself up," she said.