Busiswa (Boo-see-swa) Gqulu (born 8 November 1988) is a South Africa vocalist, songwriter and
performer. Born in Norwood in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape Province.
She rose to fame in 2012 when she collaborated with DJ Zinhle in the worldwide hit, My Name Is.
Since then she has worked globally with both African and US musical stars in elevating her music voice that infuses poetry into electrifying beats. This has resulted in her earning numerous accolades across the globe and has two music albums under her name and has starred in a feature film about her life, “Busiswa”.
During her elementary schooling, Reading and writing became a solid passion for the young Busiswa which later led to her interest in poetry– a talent she pursued for a decade as she performed her newly found skill at various poetry sessions, festivals, corporate and charity events. Aiming to establish a career in the
Busiswa experimented with fusing spoken word with dance music in 2010 and initially recorded with house music producers Sir Bubzin and DJ Clap who introduced her to leading music director and legend Oscar “Oskido” Mdlongwa.
In 2012, Busiswa was invited to independent label Kalawa Jazmee recording studios to lend her vocals for DJ Zinhle’s single titled My Name Is. Her eclectic ability to infuse her mother tongue, Xhosa – that entails loads of clicks with rhythm while supplementing it with the English language led her to serve a unique sound that was easily embraced by audiences. The single imminently became a global hit, introducing Busiswa’s
commanding voice as a rising vocalist that could rapidly propel the international music scene.
That year she signed to the recording label and her stardom grew with the label through her music tours across the African continent to countries including Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Algeria, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Within the two years, the singer in her early 20s scored six awards while topping charts on both radio and television channels. She collaborated with musicians such
as Uhuru, Heavy K, Professor, Maphorisa, Oskido, Vetkuk & Mahoota, DJ Tira, Rudeboyz and Distruction Boyz. She has also topped charts with numerous hits including, Lahla, Ngoku, Visa, Naughty Boy, Nangu and more while also having collaborated with many musicians including D’ Banj, Tumi and the Volume, Oliver
Mtukudzi, Heavy K, Victor Pedro and more.
By 2014, Busiswa was an established household name that saw her feature across several international platforms including CNN and MTV for her musical career.
In 2015, the award-winning singer featured on international news channel CNN on a travelogue programme “African Voices”, while her smash hit “Lahla” featured in the American dance film directed by Bille Woodruff and starring Cassie Ventura and Kenny Wormald called Honey 3. That year, the star also scored her first presenting role on public broadcaster SABC1’s dance reality show Stumbo Stomp Amapantsula. In 2018, she co-hosted the television show Gqom Nation 2 – which broadcast across 48 countries in Africa.
The year 2018 was a huge highlight for Busiswa as her music propelled beyond the continent as her hit Gobisiqolo featured in the billion-dollar revenue Marvel Studios film Black Panther. That year she also penned the mega hit Banomoya– laced with an infectious beat by DJ Prince Kaybee and features musician TNS. The celebratory anthem, that topped charts for the 2018 festive season has since transcended across borders
globally and ranked number one on radio charts across South Africa on 31 December 2018 entering into the New Year.
In July 2019, Busiswa made headlines for her collaboration with US Beyonce Knowles Carter for The Lion King soundtrack The Lion King: The Gift’s hit My Power. The song featured other leading African musicians including Yemi Alade and Moonchild Sanelly.
Busiswa continues to expand her global presence – this time through her feature of the soundtrack “My Power” in Beyoncé’s Black Is King visual album and its trailer.
The visual album is described as a reimagining “of the lessons of “The Lion King” for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns”. This is done through the story of a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity that is also a celebration of “black resilience and culture”.
Filmed in various locations, the film’s cinematography captures beautiful people and landscapes across continents, starting in New York, then Los Angeles, South Africa, West Africa, London and Belgium.
From all those places came an extraordinary cast of actors and dancers that influenced the film’s rich tableau and vibrant choreography.
Black Is King comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the release of Disney’s global phenomenon The Lion King. The visual album is a companion to Beyonce’s The Lion King: The Gift – an album that was released in 2019 as an accompaniment to the Disney film.
Among the well-known Mzansi stars featured in Black Is King are Connie Chiume (Gomora), Nandi Madida (The Road), Nyaniso Dzedze (Binnelanders) and Warren Masemola (The River).
For more information on this new exciting special, visit mnet.tv.
Connect with Busiswa @Busiswaah