Johannesburg, 9 February 2021: Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight for February is Urban Village, a Soweto-based band who blend folk, Zulu rock, Xhosa funk, mbaqanga, maskandi and layer it with funky acoustic melodies to create a sound that is wholly African.

“We are Urban Village and we are really excited by this opportunity to be selected for the Apple Music New Artist Spotlight campaign. We just released our debut album ‘Udondolo’, a love letter to Soweto.Thank you to Apple Music for including us alongside such amazing artists that have been featured in past campaigns. Urban Village, The People Have Spoken,” said the band.

When Lerato Lichaba (guitar and vocals) and Tubatsi Mpho Moloi (flute, guitar and mbira) joined Xolani “Cush” Mtshali (drums) and Simangaliso “Smash” Dlamini (bass) to create Urban Village, the quartet was inspired by their hometown from the get go, as their music grew organically from the hustle and bustle of South Africa’s biggest township.

The release of their 12-track debut album, Udondolo, with Parisian label NØ FØRMAT! RECORDS combines “urban” modern influences with traditional “village” elements, chronicling the life of the average black South African from Apartheid right up to present day, solidifying their all encompassing sound with a wider audience.

On Udondolo, Urban Village speaks directly to the country’s different communities and urges them to come together for the sake of the future – whether that means looking beyond race, supporting blue collar workers or overcoming the hardships of everyday life in the hope of enjoying a better tomorrow.

Influenced by Soul music and the Motown greats that the band grew up listening to in Soweto, their music is a direct product of their surroundings – blending languages, cultures and genres that suggest we ultimately share more similarities than differences.

At the core of Urban Village’s music and ethos beats a heart that is deeply African and keenly original, manifesting the soul of their hometown on a global scale for the world to embrace.

Listen to Udondolo on Apple Music

About Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight
Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight is a monthly artist development feature focussed on identifying, showcasing and elevating rising star talent across Africa. Each month, Apple Music’s editorial team selects an artist to promote, utilizing the full extent of the platform to raise awareness of the artist. The program has been running for the past four years and the support given to artists includes main page and genre page featuring, inclusion on the global African Editor page, Beats 1 support, inclusion in top playlists including Mzansi Hits, A-List South Africa, Mzansi House, Future Hits, Mzansi Hip-Hop, New Music Daily, Rising, the brand new playlist Africa Now and more!

Past New Artist Spotlight talent includes award winning and critically acclaimed artists such as Sho Madjozi, Amanda Black, Shekhinah, Shane Eagle, Sun El Musician, The Big Hash, Simmy, Ami Faku and Elaine.

About Apple Music
Apple loves music. With iPod and iTunes, Apple revolutionized the music experience by putting a thousand songs in your pocket. Today, Apple Music takes this to the ultimate with over 70 million songs, thousands of playlists, and daily selections from the world’s  best music experts, including all of the artists and hosts broadcasting daily across its Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country global live streams. Since 2015, Apple Music has welcomed tens of millions of subscribers in 167 countries. Streaming seamlessly to iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, Apple Watch, iPod touch, CarPlay, popular smart TVs, smart speakers, Android and Windows devices, and online at, Apple Music is the most complete music experience on the planet. Apple Music offers a free 3-month trial with no commitment and is ad-free.

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