South African jazz re-imagined: Rhea Blek’s unique, modern take on jazz & artistically finessing her way into the hearts of music lovers
RHEA BLEK (real name Naledi Refiloe Makhetha) is a South African treasure. The Durban born and bred artist is a breath of fresh air and a rising force in the South African urban music scene. With an unmatched, inimitable style, the young sister does what many cannot do – capture the ears and hearts of listeners after one listen of her music. That’s rare and an undisputable indication and display of talent.
Hailing from the beautiful Kwa-Zulu Natal coastal city, Durban, affords her the opportunity to immerse herself in the progressive arts and culture scene in the region. Rhea blek’s rise in the music scene comes at a time where Durban is becoming a focal point for unearthing talent to shake up the local music industry. Acts like Red Robyn, Victoria Raw, Muzi and ByLwantsa are breaking through and receiving much acclaim for their work. One of the biggest artists to come out from this new generation of Durban acts is Shekinah, who now has won multiple SAMA awards for her Rose Gold album. The interesting thing about what RHEA BLEK and her peers do is how their gifted to show a different side of city and offer something unique to the South African listener.
RHEA’s first shot in breaking into the industry was through her three-track EP titled THIIIRD WAV – a ground-breaking body of work that thrust the young artist before the eyes and ears of South African music lovers. The EP was a mixture of all the sounds that inspire her, you can hear traces of R&B, pop, neo soul and very strong jazz influence. Media platforms that cover and champion alternative music went crazy, all covering her as a new act that was to shift perspectives in the urban music scene. We vehemently agree with all the media platforms that co-signed her. He ascent is passion-driven and is happening organically, which is a beautiful sight to see as she blossoms into the artist she is destined to be.
Her end goal is to become a professional recording musician, establish a record label and management company and release multiple albums. She’s not only working on becoming an innovative musician, but she also has plans on becoming an entrepreneur in the music industry. As a performing artist, she has rocked crowds at major events such as Woke Arts and We Are One Music Festival, spaces that are very progressive, inclusive and safe for different types of people.
She is an artist that has a bright future, full of potential and a lot to offer to the world. With new music coming out soon, we can only imagine how much she is going to amaze us.
Listen to her THIIIRD WAV EP below.