5 minutes with singer Elaine


Musician Elaine Mukheli chats to us about her inspiration and new EP, Elements. By Kwanele Mathebula

Image: Elaine IG

I started singing at the age of six. I have always been passionate about music and partook in a number of school and talent show competitions throughout my schooling years. I was also able to be a top academic achiever because I knew that I wanted to study law. This is still evident because I am part of my university’s golden key honour society. Although I enjoy law, my passion for music and performing led me to my career in 2018, and it has since been a fruitful journey.

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I have always known that music was my passion. This is why I joined the school choir and also auditioned for solos. This meant that I had to learn how to memorise music and perform in front of an audience quite quickly. When I was in high school, I began writing my own music. By the time I was in university, I felt confident enough to start making my own music. Because I had a particular sound in mind, finding the right team was important to me. This took some time, research and a lot of networking, but I eventually found the right people.

Putting together my EP, Elements, was a major challenge. This is largely because I had to start the recording process over multiple times because I wasn’t satisfied with the sound and quality. Even though it was a frustrating and demotivating period, it taught me a lot about perseverance and patience – the two things that are key in the entertainment industry.

Elements is a personal project, dedicated to myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I am capable and worthy of following and achieving my dreams. My EP is inspired by the different elements that come with love; both the good and bad. The process of putting it together was long, but worth it, taking just over a year to complete. I was careful and intentional in picking the producers that I worked with. I chose them according to their work ethic, values and sound. I wanted something distinct and warm, with a lot of attitude.

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I’ve had a few highlights since I dropped my EP. One of them is reaching number one on the Apple Music charts. This was rewarding after the hard work that went into the EP. A few others include having my songs featured on international shows such as the Joe Budden podcast and Ebro Darden’s radio show. My music has also made in onto the top 10 Apple Music RnB playlists and Metro FM Top 40. To be an independent artist and have my music do so well has been inspiring.